Being charged with possession of marijuana or possession of drug paraphernalia can be a stressful and frightening experience, especially if you are uncertain about how the law treats these charges. Every state has its own laws regarding possession of marijuana. In Arizona, possession of marijuana can result in a felony conviction and life-changing consequences. If you are charged with possession of marijuana, the potential penalties will vary based upon a number of factors. You should contact a Phoenix drug possession attorney for guidance and possible representation. Depending on the legal strategy you take, you may be able to get a lower sentence or the possibility of keeping the charge off your record. Below is an overview of how possession can affect you in Arizona’s legal system.
Possession of a Controlled Substance
Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-3405, “A person shall not knowingly possess or use marijuana.” Possession of marijuana also includes transportation of the substance. The possible criminal consequences of possessing marijuana depend on a number of factors are continuously evolving as laws change. These factors include whether you have a medical marijuana card, how much marijuana you were in possession of and whether or not you have any prior criminal convictions or drug charges. Under the current laws, if you are in possession of less than two pounds of marijuana, you can be charged with a class six felony. However, if you are possession of four pounds, then you can be charged with a class four felony.
Felony sentencing ranges depend on the level of felony that you are facing. In Arizona, a class four felony can be punishable by a maximum 3.75 years in prison, while a class six felony can range from 4 months to 2 years. Sentencing can be more severe if you have prior offenses or potentially less severe if mitigating factors exist. If this is the first time you are being charged with possession of marijuana, there is some legal steps your attorney can take to help you achieve more positive outcome. One of these steps is seeing if you qualify for “deferred prosecution.”
Possession of marijuana is a relatively common offense. To minimize the effect of a drug conviction, the State may offer “deferred prosecution” or a “diversion” program. This program may be offered for first-time offenders who qualify. If you successfully complete the program, the State may dismiss the charges against you. Your defense attorney will be able to evaluate whether deferred prosecution applies to your case.
Penalties for possession of marijuana in Arizona is a serious crime. However, with the legal representation of an experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney, you can get the legal representation you deserve to work to get the best possible outcome. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.