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Loitering for Drug Activity
HS 11530 Law & Defense

Information on the crime of loitering for drug activity is found at California Health and Safety Code section 11530.


HS 11530 Law

HS 11530: It is unlawful for any person to loiter in any public place in a manner and under circumstances manifesting the purpose, and with the intent to commit, a drug offense, i.e. buying, selling, transporting drugs, etc. (Abbrev.).
Evidence that a person has the intent to engage in drug related activity include:
  • Acting as a “look-out.”

  • Transferring small objects or packages for currency in a secret fashion

  • Using signals or language indicative of summoning purchasers of illegal drugs

  • Repeatedly beckoning  to, stops, attempts to stop, or engages in conversations with passersby, whether on foot or in a motor vehicle, indicative of summoning purchasers of illegal drugs

  • Repeatedly passes to or receives from passersby, whether on foot or in a motor vehicle, money or small objects (Known as hand to hand transactions)

  • Has prior convictions for drug offenses

Note: this list is not exclusive and no one piece of evidence is necessarily more important than any other when is comes to analyzing circumstantial evidence of the defendant's intent to loiter for drug activity.



Jail: HS 11530 is charged as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of of loitering with intent to commit a drug offense, the defendant could face up to 180 days in jail.

Probation: A probation sentence is a period of time in which the court monitors the defendant (summary probation). Probation sentences are allowed in HS 11530 cases but there is no guarantee that the defendant will receive a probation sentence at the outset of a criminal case. Whether or not a defendant will receive a probation sentence after a conviction for HS 11530 depends on many factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.

Good Behavior Credits: Any jail or work release sentence that is ordered against the defendant in an HS 11530 case may be reduced by up to fifty percent for good behavior while on probation.

Bail: The scheduled bail amount for loitering for drug activity crimes is $5,000  in San Bernardino County (2020). This amount may be lowered or raised by a judge at the defendant's first court appearance (arraignment). In some cases, the defendant may be released from custody without the need for bail (Own Recognizance Release). 

In addition to the jail or probation sentence that may be suffered by the defendant after a conviction for HS 11530, if found guilty, the defendant penalties could include: fines and fees, professional licensing or immigration consequences, restraining orders, and more.

If you have been arrested or charged with loitering for drug activity, or HS 11530,  contact out criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our successful team of criminal defense lawyers have defended hundreds of felony and misdemeanor crimes. Call today!



Quick Reference​ Sheet

Crime: Loitering for Drug Activity

Code: HS 11530

Wobbler: No. HS 11530 is not a wobbler. HS 11530 is only charged as a misdemeanor.

Incarceration:HS 11530 jail sentence up to 180 days.

Probation: Probation is allowed in HS 11530 cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.​

Strike: HS 11530 is not a strike offense listed in California's Three Strikes law.

Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.


Bail: $5,000 (San Bernardino County)

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