Penal Code 4573 PC | Bringing Narcotics into a Correction Facility

Penal Code 4573 PC | Bringing Narcotics into a Correction Facility

Hey guys, I wanted to write about Penal Code 4573 PC which makes it illegal to bring drugs and alcohol into prisons, jails, juvenile halls, and other correctional facilities in California. This law applies to both inmates and visitors – no one is allowed to bring controlled substances into lockup! Let’s break it down:

What is PC 4573?

This law prohibits people from knowingly bringing or trying to bring drugs, alcohol, and other illegal contraband into any facility where inmates are kept. This includes:

  • State prisons
  • County jails
  • Juvenile halls
  • Camps
  • Industrial farms
  • Rehab facilities

It doesn’t matter if you’re an inmate, visitor, or staff member – no one is allowed to possess controlled substances on the grounds. The only exception is prescription meds that are cleared by the staff first.

What substances does PC 4573 prohibit?

Basically any drug or alcohol that would get you arrested on the outside is prohibited on the inside. This includes:

  • Cocaine, heroin, meth, ecstasy
  • Marijuana, even medical marijuana
  • Alcohol like beer, wine, hard liquor
  • Prescription drugs that aren’t prescribed to you
  • Synthetic drugs like bath salts

The law also bans deadly weapons, firearms, explosives, tear gas, knives, pepper spray – anything that could be used as a weapon or to help someone escape. Cell phones and other communication devices are prohibited too.

Penalties for Violating PC 4573

Bringing drugs or weapons into a correctional facility is a felony. If convicted, penalties can include:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison
  • Up to $20,000 in fines

In some cases it may be charged as a misdemeanor with up to 1 year in county jail. But either way, it goes on your criminal record. Other possible punishments include probation or diversion programs like drug rehab.

Legal Defenses

There are viable legal defenses that a skilled criminal defense lawyer can use to fight these charges, like:

  • Lack of knowledge – You didn’t know the substance was prohibited
  • No possession – The drugs were not actually found on you
  • Entrapment – You were tricked or coerced into the crime
  • False accusations – Someone lied about your involvement

An attorney can evaluate the details of your case and decide which defense strategies give you the best chance of beating the charges. Don’t hesitate to call a lawyer right away if you find yourself accused of violating PC 4573.

Additional Consequences

On top of potential criminal charges, there can also be administrative punishments within the facility, like:

  • Loss of privileges
  • Solitary confinement
  • Loss of good-time credits

Visitors may be banned from the facility. Parolees and probationers face revocation and more jail time. Your life can be turned upside down if you’re caught breaking this law.


There are a few exceptions where you can legally have prohibited substances in a correctional facility. This includes:

  • Medications approved by staff
  • Drugs given for a medical emergency
  • Lawful performance of your duties (for staff)

But in general, the rule is total prohibition of any unauthorized mind-altering or intoxicating substances.

Related Offenses

Other crimes related to contraband in lockup include:

Violating any of these laws can land you in hot water. Don’t try to sneak anything illegal into a correctional facility.

Contact a Defense Lawyer

Allegations of violating Penal Code 4573 PC can totally disrupt your life. The best way to protect yourself is to call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. They can safeguard your rights, build a strong legal defense, and help you avoid harsh punishments.

Don’t take chances with your freedom and criminal record. Get expert legal help fighting these charges. There are defenses available and skilled lawyers know how to win.

Well I hope this breakdown of California’s law against bringing drugs and contraband into jails and prisons helps explain what’s prohibited and how these cases are handled.