Phoenix Drug Possession Defense Attorney

It is unlawful in Arizona to knowingly possess or use illegal drugs. Penalties upon conviction depend on the type of drug, the amount in your possession, and whether you have a criminal history. If you are facing drug possession charges, contact AZ Defenders as soon as possible. Our Phoenix drug possession defense lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and dedication to effectively pursue the best possible outcome in your case.

Why Choose Us?

  • Our Phoenix defense attorneys understand that the criminal justice system can be intimidating and offer dedicated, white-glove service to assist you through the process.
  • Arizona prosecutors are highly motivated to secure convictions – especially in drug crime cases. Our criminal defense attorneys fight aggressively for your rights in the courtroom. We do not settle for guilty pleas.
  • We have more than 20 years of combined experience successfully defending clients charged with drug possession and have an excellent reputation in the legal community.

Arizona Law on Possession of Drugs

State laws on drug possession can be found in Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 13, Chapter 34, Sections 3401 – 3423. Arizona drug laws are extensive and penalties for a conviction depend on the charge as well as the type and quantity of prohibited drugs. Simple possession for personal use carries less severe penalties than possession with intent to sell. Possession in a quantity that exceeds the statutory threshold is charged as possession with intent to sell.

Drug Classification in Arizona

Under state law, illegal drugs, or controlled dangerous substances (CDS) are classified in the following six categories:

  • Marijuana
  • Peyote
  • Prescription drugs
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Narcotics
  • Substances that emit toxic vapors

Medical marijuana has been legalized in Arizona. However, recreational use, nonmedical cultivation, and possession with intent to sell are still serious drug crimes.

What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession?

Conviction of drug possession can seriously impact your future, including loss of money and services provided by the state, such as scholarships, tuition waivers, welfare benefits, and public housing. Since Proposition 200 was passed, nonviolent drug offenders are not sent to prison for a first or second conviction, but rather sentenced to probation and mandatory drug treatment. However, if probation is not completed successfully, the court may impose jail terms.

Defenses against Drug Possession Charges

If you have been charged with drug possession, it does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. Our Phoenix drug crime lawyers are well-versed in drug possession defenses that can be used on your behalf. Examples of possible defenses include:

  • Illegal search: You are protected by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution against unlawful search and seizure. After a legal traffic stop, drugs found in plain view may be seized and used as evidence.
  • Lack of knowledge: The prosecution must prove that you were knowingly in possession of illegal drugs. If you did not know the drugs were there, you cannot be convicted.
  • Religious use: This is a defense to peyote possession that can be raised if the drug was used for religious purposes and posed no threat to the community.
  • Medical marijuana: This affirmative defense can be raised for persons arrested on state charges for possession of less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana, who are qualifying patients and can show they obtained the drug from a licensed medical marijuana dispensary.

Contact Us Today

Being charged with a drug crime in Phoenix is a frightening experience for a good reason. A conviction can carry serious penalties and negatively impact your future. If you have been arrested or charged with drug possession, call AZ Defenders right away. Your best course of action is to get an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side.

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