Arizona aggressively penalizes those in possession of illicit drugs or other controlled substances. In some circumstances, charges may be filed even if the individual did not physically have the drug on their person – officers only need to believe that the person simply knew or should have known about the drugs.
Punishments for drug possession usually include jail time and fines, and long-term consequences include a permanent criminal record and social stigma.
If you have been charged with drug possession, you could be facing harsh penalties even if you think the offense is minor.
Ensure that your rights and freedoms are protected by contacting a drug defense attorney who is proven effective. In Phoenix and surrounding areas, our defense lawyer at Goldman Law, Mr. Howard Dworman, has a successful track record in obtaining case dismissals, lowered charges, and Not Guilty verdicts.
Call Goldman Law today at (602) 698-5520 to protect your rights.
What Is Considered Drug Possession In Arizona?
In Arizona, the “possession” of a controlled substance doesn’t just mean you were physically holding the drug. The state recognizes three types of possession:
- Actual possession is when you were found to be physically carrying the drug, such as in your pocket, bag, or body cavity. Note that even if officers found you with actual possession, you are still entitled to due process – the law still sees you as innocent until proven guilty.
- Constructive possession is when drugs are found in a place that you have control over, such as your room, house, or car. Even if you say you had no idea about the drugs, law enforcers could assert that the place was under your control, hence you should have known about the substances.
- Joint possession is when you and another person (or persons) share control of the place where the drug was found. Examples are shared apartments or shared vehicles.
Is Drug Possession A Misdemeanor Or A Felony In AZ?
In Arizona, drug possession charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies. The level of the charge depends on several factors including drug type, drug amount, and previous drug convictions.
Three Main Drug Classifications In AZ:
- Dangerous drugs include clonazepam, ecstasy, hallucinogenic mushrooms, lorazepam, LSD, methamphetamines, steroids, etc. Possession of these drugs is prosecuted under Arizona Revised Statutes 13-407.
- Narcotics include cocaine, heroin, morphine, opium, oxycodone, etc. These drugs fall under ARS 13-408.
- Marijuana and cannabis laws are swiftly changing. Arizona recently decriminalized recreational marijuana possession up to an ounce for adults who are at least 21 years old. However, violating these restrictions may still result in criminal charges under ARS 13-405.
Possession of a dangerous drug, for instance, is commonly charged as a class 1 misdemeanor, with penalties including up to six months in jail and $2,500 in fines. Even if the substance isn’t considered a “hard” drug, the level of charges could still escalate if a large quantity is involved. For example, possession of two to four pounds of marijuana could be a class 5 felony, punishable with a prison sentence of 1.5 years.
Fighting Your Drug Possession Charges In Arizona
With Arizona’s strict drug possession laws, individuals have had to face daunting drug charges in various situations, including being mistaken, wrongfully accused, or entrapped.
No matter what your circumstances are, a drug possession defense lawyer who has a proven track record of winning cases can help.
Here at Goldman Law, Arizona defense attorney Howard Dworman has successfully defended clients faced with drug charges.
Here are some of the things we can do for you:
- Build the best defense strategies against your drug possession charge. There is a wide range of legal defenses available to lawyers, but we at Goldman Law get creative when building a strategy specifically for your case.
- Determine whether due process was followed. Any violation of proper procedure during investigation or arrest could get your charges thrown out.
- Negotiate for much lighter charges or penalties. We are closely familiar and updated with Arizona’s ever-changing drug laws. Existing laws and newer ones could reduce the criminality of your alleged offense.
- Help you avoid costly mistakes. Even a small action or statement can cause a client to sign away their rights. Let a lawyer consult you towards best practices in your case.
- Communicate with you every step of the way, and provide clear answers to your questions.
Hire a Phoenix Drug Possession Defense Lawyer Today
Our defense lawyers can help to protect you from tenacious prosecutors and unfair drug possession charges.
Contact us at Goldman Law, LLC. Call us at (602) 698-5520 today to get started. We serve clients in Phoenix and all throughout Arizona.