LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Jon Martinez | Sep 18, 2011

Arizona Drug Possession- Possible Punishment and How To Avoid It

What types of drug possession cases are there?

Possession of drugs in Arizona can be charged a number of different ways. Each one is uniquely different and may carry different punishments depending on the drug that you are being charged with.

  • Possession of Marijuana- Possession of marijuana can be charged as a misdemeanor in Arizona, but it is most often charged as a class 6 Felony offense so long as it is considered personal use. A class 6 Felony offense is punishable by up to 2 years in prison.
  • Possession of Narcotic Drugs- Possession of narcotic drugs is considered a class 4 Felony offense in Phoenix. There are many different drugs that may be classified as a narcotic drug in Arizona, including cocaine, crack, heroin and prescription drugs such as Percocet, Oxycodone, and Oxycontin and many others. A class 4 Felony offense is punishable by up to 3.75 years in prison.
  • Possession of Dangerous Drugs- Possession of dangerous drugs is also classified as a class 4 Felony offense. Dangerous Drugs include a variety of different drugs such as Methamphetamine, PCP, Ecstasy, Mushrooms and LSD. A class 4 felony is punishable by up to 3.75 years in prison.
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is a class 6 felony offense in Phoenix. Drug paraphernalia is defined by any object used to cultivate, store, conceal, or use an illegal drug. This can include anything from a pipe used to smoke a drug to a bag used to carry it. A class 6 Felony offense is punishable by up to 2 years in prison.
  • Arizona law may help to keep you out of jail for simple possession cases if you have never been convicted of a drug crime before and meet other criteria. Consult a drug possession attorney today to find out if it is possible to keep you out of jail and to keep a drug crime off of your record.

How can I keep a drug possession off of my record?

  • In Arizona, it may be possible for people who are being charged with drug possession to avoid a criminal record by entering into a diversion program. The diversion program may include a fine with drug classes and random testing, but if you complete the program successfully, you may be able to have your charges dismissed. Diversion may be offered only to people who do not have a criminal record or have not completed the program before. Also, other charges may prevent you from entering into a diversion program.
  • Often times, a person is charged with drug possession only after the police have illegally searched them or their property. It is vital that your drug possession attorney understand search and seizure law and the 4th Amendment in order to protect your rights and put you in the best possible position to win your case.
  • Many times in Phoenix, police will find drug paraphernalia in a common area, such as a car or a living room. In order to be convicted of a drug possession charge in Arizona, the law requires that the person knew of the drugs and exercised or had the ability to exercise some control of the drugs. You may be able to fight your case with an experienced and aggressive drug possession lawyer who will investigate the case thoroughly and fight for you in the courtroom.

Additional resources provided by the author

Jon M. Martinez Attorney at Law Jon M. Martinez Criminal Law Group 40 North Central Avenue, Suite 1400 Phoenix, Arizona 85004 (480) 745-1572 [email protected]

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