Drug Possession Defense in Phoenix
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Phoenix Drug Possession Lawyer
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No one should face the complex intricacies of drug charges alone. Arizona and the city of Phoenix do not take drug offenses lightly, and neither should you. If you or a loved one are facing drug crime charges or have been wrongfully accused of a drug crime, we urge you to reach out to our experienced criminal defense lawyers at Belén Law Firm right away. Whether you have prior felony charges or are a first-time offender, we will strive to provide you with excellent legal counsel and obtain the best possible outcome for your case.
Based out of Maricopa County, our legal team knows that Phoenix and Arizona officials will attempt to prosecute drug crimes to the fullest extent of the law. Belen Law Firm’s attorneys travel to courts around the entire State of Arizona. The stakes are too high not to have a solid defense strategy working in your favor. To speak with our Phoenix drug crime lawyers about potential drug possession charges in Arizona, contact Belén Olmedo Guerra by calling (602) 715-0908 or via our online intake form today for a free consultation.
Arizona Possession Laws
Due to the state’s close proximity to the Mexico border, Arizona drug laws are relatively strict. Arizona Revised Statutes strictly prohibit the possession, manufacturing, transporting, or selling of any type of dangerous or narcotic drug.
The severity of a drug crime is directly correlated to the type of drug involved. For example, the possession of Schedule I narcotic drugs in blotter form–such as fentanyl–or other drugs in rock form can result in the defendant receiving a Class 4 felony in a drug possession case. However, depending on the number of prior offenses the person has, a drug possession lawyer may be able to reduce their charge to a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Is Marijuana Legal in Arizona?
In November 2020, marijuana drug possession laws changed with the enactment of the Safe and Smart Act. This law legalized the recreational use of cannabis in the state of Arizona. Even so, and despite A.R.S. section 13-3401 stating that it is not considered a dangerous drug, marijuana possession remains highly regulated due to its classification as a Schedule I substance. Arizona law permits the possession of one ounce or less for personal use.
With a valid prescription, a person may be permitted to possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana. A medical marijuana card may be issued with a doctor’s permission to qualifying patients with certain medical conditions, such as autoimmune disease and cancer. Legalizing medical marijuana possession is intended to provide pain relief to those suffering from such diseases.
What are the Penalties for Marijuana Abuse?
According to ARS § 13-3405, any amount of cannabis between one ounce and two pounds constitutes a Class 6 felony. Any amount more than one ounce but less than two pounds is a Class 5 felony, and any amount more than four pounds is a Class 4 felony. The degree of jail time for a Class 4 felony ranges from one to four years depending on the number of prior drug crimes the person has committed.
Drug possession cases should not govern the potential success of anyone’s future, but it can be difficult to remove the prejudice associated with it once the damage is done. That is why it is imperative to have experienced Phoenix drug possession lawyers with you to navigate the daunting task of comprehending drug possession laws.
Actual Possession vs. Constructive Possession
ARS § 13-3407 dictates that a person can be charged with either the actual or constructive possession of dangerous drugs found during a search. Actual possession is similar to simple possession in that a number of drugs under the threshold amount are found on a person’s body while a lawful search is being conducted.
Constructive possession can be claimed by the prosecution when police officers observe the defendant actively contributing or having dominion over the seclusion of drugs during a search.
Any illegal drugs found to be in constructive possession during a lawful search conducted by law enforcement officials will have severe penalties.
State drug laws often treat this method of possession more severely due to the potential for AZ drug trafficking charges, which will result in a mandatory prison sentence. However, because of the argument for reasonable doubt, it is more difficult for the prosecution to prove that the defendant was knowingly possessing drugs if they were not found directly on his or her person.
What are the Penalties for Drug Possession in AZ?
When a defendant is being prosecuted for drug possession charges, many factors are involved in determining the penalties. The number of priors a defendant has, whether or not it was simple possession, the threshold amount determining intent to sell, or the types of drug paraphernalia associated with the possession are just some things that may influence the severity of sentencing.
The severity of the penalties for drug possession is also influenced by the type of drug involved. For example, a dangerous drug like crack cocaine will accompany a harsher drug possession charge than the illegal possession of prescription drugs.
Arizona drug laws dictate that the possession or personal use of dangerous drugs constitutes a Class 4 felony drug charge. However, if the defendant is being charged with their first offense, then their sentence may be reduced to a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Those charged with this reduced sentencing may also be given the opportunity to opt-in for rehabilitation rather than up to 6 months of jail time. During the rehabilitation, the defendant will be expected to attend drug treatment and education programs.
Why You Need a Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney if You’re Facing Possession Charges
Arizona state law takes drug crimes very seriously and will attempt to punish those accused of them to the fullest extent of the law. Felony convictions do not just end in fines or jail time; for anyone with a drug possession conviction, it can be difficult to achieve meaningful success in life.
This is why it is crucial that you obtain the help of a Phoenix drug possession attorney to help you navigate your charges and avoid the harsh penalties that accompany a drug crime conviction. An experienced lawyer will pay diligent attention to every last detail of your case, including whether the authorities handled the gathering of evidence properly, if an illegal search was ever performed, and if law enforcement conducted the arrest correctly. If it can be proven that violations occurred during these procedures, then it may result in your criminal charges being dismissed altogether.
As a federal criminal defense attorney, Belén is able to handle drug cases on both a local and federal level. Rest assured, the skilled Phoenix drug possession attorneys at Belén Law Firm will concoct the strongest defense strategy to achieve the most favorable solution in your criminal case.
Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer for Drug Possession Charges
The Arizona criminal justice system can be overwhelming, especially when drug charges are involved. You should never have to go through that alone, which is why it is crucial you have a reliable Phoenix drug possession attorney like Belén Olmedo Guerra on your side. At Belén Law Firm, we understand how daunting the penalties can be for charges associated with drug crimes. Everyone makes mistakes, and drug-related mistakes should not have to define you or the rest of your life. Remember, you are always innocent until proven guilty, but having a skilled Phoenix criminal defense lawyer working with you grants you the fighting chance you deserve.
We know arrests don’t follow a 9-5 schedule, which is why a Phoenix drug crimes attorney is always ready to assist you at Belén Law Firm. Our legal team will work around the clock to provide you with strong defense strategies for a positive resolution in your case. For 24/7 legal advice or to schedule a free consultation regarding your case, give us a call at (602) 715-0908 or complete our online intake form today.