California's Definition of Drug Paraphernalia

In California, you can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for just possessing an item considered to be drug paraphernalia. Many of these arrests lead to $1,000 fines and 6-month jail sentences upon conviction. Additionally, most of the people arrested for this crime did not even know they were breaking the law until they were in hand cuffs thanks to the relatively unknown definition of drug paraphernalia.

California defines drug paraphernalia as an opium pipe or any device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking a controlled substance.

If you are still scratching your head after reading that definition, you are not alone. The wording is intentionally vague to create a blanket law that can snag any number of people for drug paraphernalia possession. Essentially, it makes it easier for prosecutors to tack on this crime to your rap sheet after you are arrested for any other drug crime. With enough persistence, they could even define something that is clearly a hookah pipe – something not used for drug inhalation – as drug paraphernalia if they found you had marijuana or cannabis in your possession.

If you have been arrested for possessing, purchasing, or selling drug paraphernalia, let the Law Office of Frances Prizzia know right away. Our Orange County criminal defense attorney has a track record of successfully defending people from the harsh penalties and often one-sided charges of the law. Call 888.392.8114 today to learn more.