HS 11364 – California Drug Paraphernalia Possession

drug paraphernalia on ground

In California, when a person is found to be in possession of illegal drug paraphernalia they can be charged with violating California Health and Safety Code 11364 HS. This law applies to anything that a person could use to unlawfully smoke or inject a controlled substance.

More often than not, this charge is applied to those who are found in possession of drugs as well as paraphernalia to smoke or inject those drugs. Instances in which defendants are found in possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia make it easier for prosecutors to prove that the devices in question were intended to be used for consuming illegal substances.

What Devices Could Result in an HS 11364 Conviction?

11364 HS could be applied to a wide variety of different items. Some of the most common include pipes, syringes or hypodermic needles, and cocaine spoons. Depending upon your circumstances, prosecutors may charge you with an HS 11364 violation for being in possession of common household items.

If certain items are found near illegal substances, prosecutors could make the argument that you were planning to use those items to consume controlled substances.

How Do I Avoid Being Convicted?

Case dismissed for hs 11364Although it is impossible to ensure with 100% certainty that you will be able to avoid a conviction for your drug paraphernalia charges, there are circumstances that may provide evidence that can help prove you are innocent of the HS 11364 charges brought against you. There are several instances where police officers will charge the wrong person for possessing drug paraphernalia. The following is a common example of how this type of situation could happen:

Bob lives in a broken down home with several tenants that regularly use heroin. On any given day, Bob and his roommates can be found in the house living room preparing their fix and helping each other administer the drugs. One day, police officers enter the home with a warrant, but the only person home at the time is Bob. The officers find drug paraphernalia items in the living room and proceed to charge Bob with violating HS 11364. Although Bob explains that the drugs and paraphernalia are not his, the police charge him anyways. Bob should be able to be acquitted since the drugs and paraphernalia are located in a room shared by all of the tenants.

There are other instances where the person charged with violating HS 11364 are unaware that the objects confiscated are tools for using illegal drugs. This particular defense is most successful when the defendant does not have a history of drug possession, sales, or transportation.

Another situation that could help a defendant avoid a conviction is one in which he or she was unaware the paraphernalia was present. This can happen if you borrow someone else’s clothing or car. If the drug paraphernalia belongs to someone else and you have some sort of evidence to help support this claim, you may be able to avoid a conviction.

One situation that has become increasingly common is instances in which police officers fail to adhere to the laws governing police investigations resulting in an unlawful search and seizure. If your arresting officer broke any laws during the course of their investigation that resulted in your HS 11364 charge, you may have the ability to have your charges dismissed.

What are the Penalties for Violating 11364 HS?

jail time for 11364Those who are convicted of possessing drug paraphernalia will then have a misdemeanor on their criminal record. In addition, defendants face a maximum penalty of six months in jail as well as a $1,000 fine. Some of those who are convicted may be given the opportunity to enroll in a drug diversion program such as PC 1000.

If you successfully complete the program and avoid probation violations the judge will dismiss your charges. If you fail to complete your diversion program, you may be ordered to serve time in jail for your offense.

Those facing charges for violating Health and Safety Code 11364 are invited to contact our law offices by calling 888-250-2865. An attorney at the Law Offices of Randy Collins can provide you with a free case evaluation to help you determine what options are available for your California drug crime as well as what steps you can take to help ensure your freedom.


Let us use our 40 years of combined criminal defense legal experience to help you avoid a conviction and move on with your life.

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  • Angie

    Hi my name is ang & I turned 18 recently, I hung out with on old friend and we smoke by a park next to my home and police handed me a cite. I have to go to court, I had a tobacco pipe, 1.5 of a gram, I have never been arrested or gone to court. Any advice please

    • Ivy

      I’m no lawyer or anything…but publicly posting exactly what you were doing, with whom and when and how much you had on you probably isn’t the wisest idea.

  • Carrie

    I have been charged with violation of PC 11364, but DID NOT have a smoking or injection device. I did however have a pen that of course did not have the contents intact anymore. Can I still be charged with the violation considering the law reads specifically that it is for having a smoking or injection device?

    • JJ Bisnar

      Hi Carrie,

      I suggest contacting an attorney you trust in the area for which you are facing charges for a free consultation.

      Best of luck to you.

  • Ryan

    I’m a student at Cal State Fullerton University, CA and at the time of this incident I was living on campus. I’m no longer living on campus. Police were called because they got a call from someone saying that my “friends are smoking meth” I had no idea that these “friends” were doing illegal activity for I was in my room. They were charged with Possession of illegal substance. I informed the officer I was on Probation, so they destroyed my dorm room and found hypodermic needles in a gym bag that I did not know what was in there. An old work out partner used to use that bag. I had an old prescription with my name on the bottle in the bag, so police assumed it’s mine. I’ve been cited for a Misdemeanor – PB 4140 Unauthorized Possession of Hypodermic syringes. However in CA AB 1743 allows person(s) to purchase & posses syringes legally. Any advice on what to do or what to expect when I go to court? Any advice would help me greatly due to me losing my any future financial aid assistance for my education

    • David LaRue

      Um yeah…. RIGHTTTTTTTTT……..