Warriors In The Criminal Defense Arena

What are legal defenses for having a needle?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2023 | Drug Charges |

You might wonder whether or not the police will arrest you if they find you with a hypodermic needle. It is true that people can inject themselves with illegal drugs using a needle, making the needle a piece of drug paraphernalia. Still, people also use needles for legitimate reasons.

Fortunately, Louisiana law describes a number of defenses state residents may offer against charges of possessing a needle for illegal paraphernalia purposes.

Legally approved uses of needles

Many people have a prescription for medicine. However, some patients need to inject their medication instead of drinking or chewing it. If a doctor has written you a prescription, you should not have a problem with the law.

Needles also have legal uses in scientific or medical work. According to state law, residents can offer an affirmative defense of having a needle for the purposes of industrial, scientific, agricultural or veterinary use.

The lawful sale of needles

While you may not use a needle yourself, you might help with the sale of hypodermic needles. As state law explains, dealers of needles have the right to produce, market, distribute and sell needles for a variety of legitimate purposes in the scientific, medical or industrial fields.

Using a needle exchange program

The provisions of Louisiana drug law do not prohibit local governments from creating needle exchange programs. So if you are in a city or parish that has such a program, you may be able to dispose of a needle without legal repercussions.

Knowing these defenses should help you feel confident that law enforcement does not always look at hypodermic needles as illegal objects.