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Health and Safety Code 11364: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Laws in California

H&S 11364: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Legal Definition: (a) It is unlawful to possess an opium pipe or any device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking…a controlled substance…

In order to establish guilt under HS 11364, the prosecution must satisfy the following elements:

  1. The defendant unlawfully possessed an implement intended for the injection or inhalation of a controlled substance.
  2. The defendant was aware of the presence of said implement.
  3. The defendant had knowledge that the implement was designed for the illicit injection or inhalation of a controlled substance.

As an experienced authority in this field, I can confidently assert that these elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

What does this mean?

Possession of a device for smoking marijuana, without further specifics, does not amount to a criminal offense. Illustrative instances falling within this category include methamphetamine pipes or items such as cocaine spoons. Until 2021, possession of hypodermic needles or syringes, intended solely for personal use and obtained lawfully from sources like pharmacies, remains permissible. Here, possession encompasses both physical and constructive possession. Physical possession denotes physically carrying the item.

Constructive possession may arise when one exercises control over the item or possesses the right to exercise control either singly or jointly with another individual. Hence, multiple individuals may possess drug paraphernalia simultaneously. Certain items are not subject to this section; for instance, possession of scales/balances for drug weighing purposes, blenders/spoons or mixing devices, balloons, and capsules do not qualify as drug paraphernalia. Possession of such items typically leads to violation under HS 11351 or HS 11352.

Controlled substances falling within this section encompass depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and opiates. Common drugs falling under these categories include cocaine, heroin, PCP, and methamphetamine. As per Prop 64, possession of marijuana for personal use is no longer a criminal offense.


A charge under HS 11364 is a misdemeanor offense. If you are convicted of this charge you could be sentenced to upwards of six months in County Jail. You would be required to serve at least 50% of that time in custody. You could also be subject to a fine up to $1000 for this charge. In addition, all paraphernalia present would all be confiscated by police as part of their investigation and likely destroyed.This is not a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, and it is not a Sex Offense under PC 290. You could also face a suspension or loss of your Professional License if convicted, and if you are not a legal resident, you would face Deportation in Immigration Court since the offense is deportable, in that it is a crime involving drugs.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Violation of Rights
  3. Insufficient Evidence

This specific criminal provision necessitates a level of expertise on your part to determine whether the item in your possession qualifies as drug paraphernalia. In order to be implicated under this provision, it is not sufficient for you to merely possess the item; rather, you must possess the knowledge that the item in question is, indeed, drug paraphernalia. For instance, if your roommate requests you to hold a bag on their behalf, you cannot be found guilty of this offense if you are unaware that the contents of the bag constitute drug paraphernalia. In such a scenario, the evidence available would be insufficient to establish your guilt. Furthermore, it is also a valid defense to assert that you were unaware of your possession of the drug paraphernalia. For instance, if a friend left an item in your car without your knowledge, proving this lack of knowledge would serve as a defense, highlighting the insufficiency of evidence to establish your guilt in this crime.

Another potential defense arises if law enforcement officers violate your rights against unlawful Search and Seizure. Such violations could occur if the police enter your residence without a proper warrant or without probable cause to search for drug paraphernalia. If such a violation were to occur, it would empower your Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney to file a Motion to Suppress Evidence, invoking a PC 1538.5 motion, in order to render the evidence inadmissible in your case.

Call Today

Charges under HS 11364 represent a critical juncture in your life, casting a shadow that can significantly alter your future. The implications of a drug-related conviction extend far beyond the legal system, potentially obstructing educational achievements, career progression, and even the choice of where to live. For those with aspirations in professional fields, it’s crucial to remember that past drug convictions can severely impede the pursuit of professional licensing.

However, amidst the uncertainty, there’s a beacon of hope: a robust legal defense can dramatically shift the outcome of your case.

At Inland Empire Defense, our Ontario-based HS 11364 attorney possesses not only an in-depth understanding of drug-related legal challenges but also a proven history of successful advocacy for individuals facing HS 11364 charges. Our expertise and commitment to our clients’ futures make us a pivotal ally in your corner.

Why Inland Empire Defense for HS 11364 Defense?

  • Experienced Legal Navigation: Our attorney’s extensive experience with HS 11364 charges means your case benefits from knowledgeable and strategic legal guidance tailored to your unique circumstances.
  • Track Record of Success: The proven success of our defense strategies in HS 11364 cases illustrates our ability to challenge the prosecution effectively and advocate for the best possible outcomes for our clients.
  • Focused on Your Future: We understand the far-reaching impact of a drug-related conviction and are dedicated to defending not just your legal rights but also your aspirations and potential.

Take Charge of Your Future with Inland Empire Defense

Facing HS 11364 charges requires swift, informed, and determined legal action. Inland Empire Defense, strategically located in Ontario, is prepared to provide the expert legal support necessary to navigate these charges successfully.

Contact Inland Empire Defense Today

If you’re dealing with HS 11364 charges, don’t let the potential repercussions dictate your future. Contact Inland Empire Defense at 909-939-7126 to secure a defense team that stands ready to protect your rights and guide you toward a brighter future. Our Ontario office ensures you have easy access to premier legal defense, setting the stage for a proactive approach to your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

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