Arizona is a tough state for people with drug convictions and drug possession is a serious criminal offense with significant consequences. Many factors can affect the consequences of a drug arrest in Arizona. Here we will talk about the range of penalties for drug possession in Arizona, specifically when it is considered a class 5 felony, and how a criminal defense lawyer can help you.
Arizona, as with all other states, classifies offenses according to several levels. Misdemeanors are low-level offenses and felonies are higher-level offenses. Misdemeanors have lower penalties than felonies, and some felonies have lower penalties than high-level felonies. The Arizona Criminal Code lists specific crimes corresponding to each level, Class 1 being the highest felony and Class 6 being the lowest felony. The Arizona Revised Statute §13-3408 makes it illegal to knowingly or intentionally possess or use a controlled substance. The law also makes it illegal to possess drug paraphernalia. Paraphernalia means a pipe, needle, or other equipment meant for the use, ingestion, or administration of controlled substances.
A Class 5 drug possession conviction in Arizona carries six months to 2.5 years in prion. The six months sentence is reserved for mitigating circumstances. These unique facts or circumstances will make your sentence shorter. They include age, mental capacity, and others. The judge may also reduce your sentence based on the amount you possessed. The lower the amount of drugs you were holding, the lower the penalty may be. The maximum sentence of 2.5 years is reserved for aggravating circumstances, such as possession of a large amount of drugs. Also, if you intend to profit from the sale of the drug, your sentence will be much harsher. Other aggravating circumstances may include drug use with a minor, possession of a weapon, selling drugs in a school zone or to a minor, resisting arrest, tampering with evidence or the court process, and obstruction of justice. The list is extensive.
A criminal defense lawyer can appear on your behalf to argue mitigating circumstances and present a compelling case for leniency. A trained criminal lawyer knows Arizona drug laws, the different factors influencing sentencing, and the best ways to defend you in court. They will prepare for trial with a strong defense and ensure that your rights are protected. They may help you collect evidence and find witnesses. The more evidence you have of mitigating circumstances and the more support you have, the better your outcome can be. A reasonable attorney will be as creative as possible in negotiating a drug possession case with the prosecutor. If you have not been convicted before, there is a good chance that you will be given a more lenient sentence.
Evidence must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly or intentionally possessed a controlled substance for you to be charged. If the State does not prove this, you will not be convicted of drug possession. The evidence against you might be weak or lacking altogether. An Arizona lawyer will know how to challenge the evidence and may be able to argue that it is unreliable or insufficient. The police might have conducted an illegal search or relied on wrong facts or flawed testimony. Your attorney will challenge this information. You might have been in the company of someone using or possessing drugs or borrowed a friend’s car without knowing there were drugs present. If the police found drugs in your possession and they do not belong to you, that might provide you with plausible deniability. Your attorney will investigate who the drugs belong to and what the ownership of those drugs means for your case.
Finding the best attorney for drug possession charges in Arizona can be tedious. You must look at their qualifications, experience, and past performance history. Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, is a highly rated, accomplished, and respected attorney. His aggressive defense techniques and expertise in drug defense and criminal law make him a skilled advocate. Robert is highly educated and skilled at overcoming challenges in the courtroom. He has an excellent case preparation record and a proven track record of success in Arizona’s criminal court system.
The penalties for drug possession can be harsh and expensive. If you are facing a drug crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. They will listen to your situation, research the facts, and give you the best legal advice. If you have been charged with Class 5 drug possession charge, contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, to get started defending your case today.