Our No-Fee Promise: You Don’t Pay Unless We Win

Penal Code 4373.5 Bringing Contraband Into a Jail or a Prison

Feb 11, 2021 | Criminal Defense

In order to prevent the commitment of new possible crimes in custodial facilities, California Law criminalizes actions of bringing contraband to those facilities.

Particularly, Penal Code 4373.5 PC Bringing Contraband Into a Jail or a Prison states that bringing into a state prison, prison farm, prison camp, and other institutions, where prisoners are held under custody, in any manner, shape, form, dispenser, container instrument for injection without having authority to do so under the rules of the custodial facility, is considered a felony.

What is “Contraband” as Defined in Penal Code 4373.5?

Contraband, under Penal code section 4373.5 PC, are alcoholic beverages and drugs other than controlled substances.

Examples of such drugs can be cough and cold medicines, pain relievers, cough suppressants, etc, as well as medication prescribed to treat different medical conditions, such as infections, diabetes.

What is Essential to Consider While Criminalizing Actions Under PC Section 4373.5?

The main element of the crime is the intent of the person to commit it, in other words, the person shall knowingly bring the contraband to the jail. Let’s consider this example. You bring clothes to the jail, however before you reach the place, someone drops off a small bottle of vodka into the box with clothes. In case you can prove that you were not aware of how the bottle of vodka can appear in her box with clothes, you can be released from punishment.

It shall also be considered that prohibitions and sanctions shall be clearly posted near and outside of the detention facilities.

Example of a Penal Code section 4373.5 PC Charge

Let’s consider the following scenario. You bring ibuprofen to your friend because you are aware that only this pain reliever is effective for him. Then, when charged for violation of Penal Code section 4373.5 PC, you claim that you were not aware that law prohibits bringing to jail this drug and you only had the intent to help your friend. It is impossible to rely on the fact of not knowing the law because the rule with its sanctions was written outside the jail.

Penalties for Penal Code Section 4373.5 PC Conviction

The violation of the relevant section is charged as a felony under California Law. It is punishable in state prison for 16 months or 2 years or 4 years, depending on the circumstances, as well as the criminal history of the person committing the violation. The judge can also award with a felony or formal probation.

Other Related Offenses

Another related offense is the violation of section 4573.6 of the California Penal Code. The section stands for bringing controlled substances to the prison, jail, any detention facility knowingly.

What is a Considered a Controlled Substance?

US “Controlled substances act” regulates the manufacture, possession of such controlled drugs. Examples of these are heroin, cocaine, or drugs similar to them. If the violation is charged as a felony and is punishable by imprisonment for up to 4 years in county jail.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know have been charged with Penal Code section 4373.5 PC Bringing Contraband Into a Jail or a Prison, it is critical that you consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney.

For more information about Bringing Contraband Into a Jail or a Prison and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney at KAASS LAW at 310-933-5171. We are located at 815 E. Colorado Street Unit 220, Glendale, CA 91205 with additional offices in Los Angeles located at 633 West 5th St., 26th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071.