What can be done if I’ve been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia but I have authorization for personal use of such items?
Having authorization for personal use is an affirmative defense to the charge of drug paraphernalia. This is usually the case when someone is caught with hypodermic needles or syringes. The law allows for a person to be able to possess hypodermic needles or syringes, as long as they were for personal use, the person obtained it from an authorized source, and the person possessed no more than 10 needles. The defendant only needs to raise a reasonable doubt about whether his or her possession of the items was lawful. It will be the prosecution’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant possessed the needles unlawfully. If the prosecution does not meet this burden, the defendant must be found not guilty.