Arizona is extremely strict when it comes to drug possession. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being caught with drugs in the state of Arizona, then there are a few things you need to know regarding the legal repercussions and the steps you can take to minimize the consequences. In Arizona, those who are found in the possession of drugs can have criminal charges filed against them. Penalties also vary depending on the type of substance on your person. While drug possession is a serious issue, the right defense lawyer can assist you in getting a fair outcome.
Arizona Revised Statute 13-3407
Drug possession laws in Arizona are governed by ARS 13-3407. According to this statute, a person shall not knowingly possess or use a dangerous drug. The most difficult portion to assess within this statute is the term dangerous drug. The statute itself does not define what a dangerous drug is; however, recent case law has identified this term to include substances such as meth, LDS, mescalin, ecstasy, steroids, and like substances. In addition to these dangerous drugs, you can be subject to legal repercussions for possession of narcotics and marijuana.
The legal consequence for drug possession in the state of Arizona is a felony offense. Felony offenses can range from class 2 to class 6. At the class 4 level, the maximum punishment is 3.75 years in prison, 4 years of probation, and a fine of $150,000. The sentencing level will depend upon whether it is a first time offense and which type of drug you were in possession of.
If you get caught with drugs in Arizona, the prosecution has the burden to prove you were knowingly in possession of drugs beyond a reasonable doubt, as outlined in ARS 13-3401. To satisfy this claim, the prosecution must bring forth sufficient evidence that points to culpability. However, once all information has been brought forth, a skilled, reputable defense attorney will be able to bring in his own evidence and information to counter the prosecutions claims. In addition, if the evidence against you is substantial, your defense attorney will evaluate whether you qualify for deferred prosecution.
Drug possession is a common crime, and putting every individual who is found culpable for drug possession in jail can be very costly for the justice system. As a result, Arizona allows what is known as deferred prosecution. Essentially, it is a second chance for mainly first-time offenders who are caught with drugs. Your defense attorney will be able to thoroughly evaluate whether this option applies to you.
Every individual deserves fair and quality legal representation. If you are currently being prosecuted for drug possession in the state of Arizona, one of the most reputable options in the Flagstaff and northern Arizona area is the Law Offices of Gonzales & Poirier. The firm has high-quality and experienced criminal defense attorneys who can represent your interests and help you navigate through the legal system for a fair outcome.