Possession of drug paraphernalia is less serious than possessing actual drugs, but it still carries jail time in Los Angeles. You should know that prosecutors remain zealous about convicting drug offenders and that a single conviction can affect your career and future. Don’t let an arrest negatively impact your life.
The Simmrin Law Group can help you if you have been arrested for drug paraphernalia possession. We have years of experience with the court system and we understand how to fight drug paraphernalia charges – even the toughest cases. We will take your side without judgment and fight to protect you.
What Exactly Is Drug Paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia means any kind of device or equipment that is used to take illegal drugs. Usually, that means devices for smoking or injecting a controlled substance. The truth is that this is a sneaky law – it’s a way for the police to arrest you even if there are absolutely no drugs on your person.
Unfortunately, police take a very broad view of what counts as drug paraphernalia, and they will often make an arrest even if you didn’t violate the law. This is why fighting your drug paraphernalia case can often result in a victory.
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What Items Count As Drug Paraphernalia?
Unfortunately, drug paraphernalia is a vague term and many items may be perceived as illegal. The most common devices considered drug paraphernalia include:
- Needles under some circumstances
- Pipes used for smoking crack or methamphetamine
- Roach clips
- A cocaine spoon
- Rolling papers
There are also some items associated with drugs that do not count as paraphernalia:
- Bongs for smoking marijuana
- Vaping devices
- Needles in many situations
Los Angeles Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Defense Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Are Syringes Considered Drug Paraphernalia?
Depending on your situation, syringes may or may not be considered drug paraphernalia. California has made an effort to protect two types of people with syringes:
- Anyone with a medical necessity, such as diabetes
- People who use illegal drugs, but act responsibly to limit the spread of HIV
These two circumstances mean your possession of a syringe may not count as paraphernalia. If you obtained your syringes from a doctor, they should be in a sealed case for safe disposal. The other scenario includes needles for illegal drugs, but you only use them for personal use and obtain the needles from a syringe exchange program.
This means that even if you were arrested for possessing a heroin syringe, it is not a valid paraphernalia charge if you got it from a needle exchange program. This law exists to stop the spread of HIV and other diseases by allowing drug users to get clean needles. This protection is currently valid through the year 2021, although the state legislature may extend it.
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Can Regular Items Be Mistaken for Drug Paraphernalia?
You might be surprised by some items police have used to make a drug paraphernalia arrest. For instance, a hookah may be mistaken for a bong.
Any object used for the consumption of illegal drugs may lead to a drug crimes arrest. Objects often associated with drug abuse include:
- Dust masks
- Small mirrors
- Glow sticks
- Razor blades
- Aluminum foil
- Playing cards
- Soda cans
You should be aware that some of the items (other than needles) may be considered illegal under laws other than the possession of drug paraphernalia. California’s drug laws are complex and it helps to talk with a possession of drug paraphernalia defense lawyer in Los Angeles to know exactly what you’re facing.
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Can You Beat a Drug Paraphernalia Charge?
Our possession of drug paraphernalia defense lawyers in Los Angeles can help you build a defense. There are multiple ways to fight a drug paraphernalia charge and it’s not always easy for the prosecutor to convict you. They have to prove three things:
- You had the paraphernalia in your possession or under your control (such as in your car),
- You knew the item was there, and
- You knew the item could be used for illegal drugs
This is not an open and shut case – even if they really did find the paraphernalia when they arrested you. If they cannot prove all three of these facts, they cannot convict you. Working with an experienced lawyer will improve your chances of beating a drug paraphernalia charge.
What Are the Penalties for Drug Paraphernalia in Los Angeles?
In California, possession of drug paraphernalia is classified as a misdemeanor. While less severe than the consequences of a felony conviction, you still need to take this case seriously. Penalties for a conviction include:
- Up to six months in county jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Up to three years probation
- Community service
- Drug counseling
You may face additional penalties, such as:
- A permanent criminal record
- Loss of a professional license
- Difficulty securing employment
- Rejection of a college application
- Trouble renting a house or apartment
This charge can follow you for years. It’s in your best interest to get legal help. A qualified possession of drug paraphernalia defense attorney in Los Angeles can help you seek alternative sentencing.
How Do You Fight Drug Paraphernalia Charges?
The Simmrin Law Group can help you fight a drug paraphernalia charge. There are several strong defenses that may apply to your case:
- A Miranda rights violation
- The search that found the paraphernalia was illegal
- You didn’t know the paraphernalia was there
- You knew the item was there but didn’t realize it could be used for drugs
- The item is for legitimate medical use
- The item does not count as illegal paraphernalia
- You are a medical professional and authorized to possess these items
- You are part of a legitimate business that sells medical devices
More often than not, the best defense is simply a lack of evidence. The police may have found the “paraphernalia” when they arrested you, but that doesn’t mean there is enough proof to convict you. The reality is that paraphernalia cases are often far weaker than they look and a skilled Los Angeles drug crimes lawyer can help get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Talk to a Los Angeles Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer for Free
We believe California’s drug laws are too strict. The punishments do not fit the crime, and a drug paraphernalia charge should not ruin your life. Seek the assistance of a Los Angeles possession of drug paraphernalia defense attorney.
The Simmrin Law Group has provided criminal defense to residents of Los Angeles for decades. Contact us for your free consultation today. We can help you understand the charge you face and your options for fighting it.