Phoenix Drug Possession Lawyer Serving Throughout Arizona
Phoenix’s Drug Possession attorneys at the Law Offices of Brandon White are located in Gilbert, Arizona. However, this does not limit us to serving only the greater Phoenix area. Our Arizona drug possession lawyers serve clients throughout the entire State. Our firm has successfully defended against drug possession cases not only in the greater Phoenix area, but also in Yuma, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff, Kingman, as well as Lake Havasu. Our Arizona drug possession attorneys are ready to fight for your rights today.
Arizona Drug Possession Laws
Arizona law on possession of drugs classifies drugs into six different categories:
- Prescription-only drugs
- Dangerous drugs
- Narcotic drugs
- Vapor-releasing substance containing a toxic substance
If charged with a drug possession crime, you will be charged with a felony. Possession of dangerous drugs in Arizona is a very serious charge, along with possession of any of other classifications of drugs. However, the class of felony will be dependent on the type and quantity of drugs you are in possession of. You will be charged with a drug possession crime if you are in possession of a personal use amount, transporting drugs, or have a quantity over the statutory threshold which automatically upgrades the charge to possession with intent to distribute.
If you are in possession of certain drugs, A.R.S. §13-3401(36)(a-k) outlines Arizona’s threshold amounts for a charge to be automatically upgraded to possession with intent to distribute, which are:
- Heroin-1 gram
- Cocaine-9 grams
- Cocaine base or hydrolyzed cocaine-750 milligrams
- PCP-4 grams or 50 milliliters
- Methamphatamine-9 grams
- Amphetamine-9 grams
- LSD-0.5ml or 50 units
- Marijuana- 2 pounds
- Fentanyl or fentanyl mimetic substances-9 grams
- For every other drug-a value of more than $1,000
The above are only the weights in which requires a charge to be automatically upgraded to possession with intent to distribute. It is important to remember that even the drugs are under the statutory weight, you can still be charged with possession with intent to distribute depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
Being “in possession” of drugs is not as simple as you may first think. There are two ways in which you can be in possession of drugs, by either (1) actual or (2) constructive possession.
Actual possession is when the drugs are found in your direct physical control. Someone is in actual possession of drugs when the drugs are found on their person or bag they are carrying.
Constructive possession is when although you are not in actual physical possession of the drugs, you still knowingly exercise dominion over the drugs. Constructive possession is proven by the circumstances surrounding the facts of the specific case. The most common example of constructive possession is when drugs are located in someone’s car or home, but the drugs are not on that individual’s person.
You may then be in either sole or joint possession of the drugs while you have actual or constructive possession of them. Sole possession means that the Defendant, and the Defendant alone, had actual or constructive possession of the narcotics. Joint possession is when the Defendant and another individual shared actual or constructive possession of the drugs.
What Are Dangerous Drugs Under Arizona Law
The list as to what qualifies as a dangerous drug in Arizona is codified in Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) §13-3401(6). The list of what is a dangerous drug is extensive. Some of the most common examples of dangerous drugs, per the statute, are:
- Anabolic steroids
- Hallucinogenic drugs
- Ecstasy (3, 4 methylenedioxy-methamphetamine)
Possible Penalties for Drug Possession in Phoenix
Arizona felony drug possession sentencing is very complex. Possession of Dangerous Drugs is a class 4 felony. A class 4 felony in Arizona is punishable of up to 45 months in the department of corrections, 4 years probation, and $150,000 fine.
The felony class increases to a class 3 felony if the dangerous drug charge involves:
- Possession of equipment or chemicals, or both, for the purpose of manufacturing a dangerous drugs other than methamphetamine.
- Obtain or procure the administration a dangerous drug by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge.
In Arizona, a class 3 felony is punishable up to 8.75 years (105 months) in the department of corrections, 5 years probation, and $150,000 fine.
The felony dangerous drug charge increases to a class 2 felony if the charge involves:
- Possession of a Dangerous drug for sale.
- Possession of equipment or chemicals, or both, for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine.
- Manufacturing a dangerous drug.
- Administering a dangerous drug to another.
- Transportation of a dangerous drug.
A class 2 felony is the most serious non homicide related felony. A class 2 felony is punishable up to 12.5 years in the department of corrections (114 months), 7 years probation, and $150,000 fine.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Proposition (Prop) 200 allows first time drug offenders, without the intent to sell, to be sentenced to probation. However, there are exception to this rule as well. One is not eligible to take advantage of Prop 200 if the individual has:
- Been convicted OR indicted for a violent crime.
- Convicted of possession of a controlled substance for sale, manufacture, or transportation.
- Convicted three times for simple possession of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia.
- Refused drug treatment as part of probation.
- Rejected probation.
- Is convicted of simple possession of a controlled substance where that substance was methamphetamine.
Prop 200 also allows the State to reduce the charge for first time drug offender (so long as the drug is not methamphetamine, amphetamine, or LSD) who HAS no prior felony convictions to have the charge reduced to a class one misdemeanor. This is not required, but solely provides prosecutors the option to offer a misdemeanor.
What Defenses are Available if I’m Accused of Drug Possession in Gilbert, AZ?
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Brandon White strongly believe there is no “one size fits all” defense to drug possession crimes. Each offense rest on its own specific facts and the investigation that the police conducted. However, there are certain defenses that are commonly deployed in drug possession cases:
- Illegal seizure. Often, an unlawful seizure can lead to an arrest where drugs or other contraband is located. If proven that the Officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop you, or to expand the scope of the investigation, all evidence after that constitutional violation will be suppressed.
- Illegal Search. The Constitution protects your right to be free from unlawful searches. This is a valid defense when the Officers violated your constitutional right and conducted an unlawful search.
- Lack of Possession/Knowledge. This is a valid defense when you did not know the drugs were in your possession.
- Medical Exception. This defense is commonly used with marijuana when the individual has a valid medical marijuana card. This is a valid defense when the individual in question has 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana in their possession, has a valid medical marijuana card, and can prove the marijuana in questions was purchased from a licensed medical marijuana dispensary.
- Religious Use. This defense is most commonly when the drug in question is peyote. This is a valid defense when it can be proved that the drug was used only for religious purposes and posed no threat to the community.
- Entrapment. Police departments frequently use undercover operations to lure or bait individuals into buying drugs. If you participate in a drug transaction only due to the police involvement, and would not have done so otherwise, entrapment is a defense that may be available.
Schedule a Consultation With a Phoenix Dangerous Drug Possession Attorney
If you have been charged with drug possession, it is imperative that you contact an experienced defense attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Brandon White today for your free consultation!
Why Do You Need an Arizona Drug Possession Lawyer in Phoenix?
Being involved with the court system is something most people hoped they would never have to be. Arizona’s courts can be confusing and intimidating, even for people who are involved with them on a daily basis; even more so due to Arizona’s prosecutor’s being highly motivated to secure convictions.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Brandon White have a thorough understanding of the criminal justice system in Arizona:
All of our attorneys have experience with hundreds of drug cases ranging from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute. We know what kind of evidence the prosecution looks for.
All of our attorneys are either former State Troopers or Prosecutors. We know what the prosecution looks for because we used to be in their shoes conducting and analyzing the investigation.
Our entire office, not just the attorney’s, understand the impact a criminal charge can have an on individual and their family. Understanding our client’s needs is as important to us as creating the best defense strategy.
We will keep you updated as to the status of your case and keep you informed until its resolution. Even once your case is resolved, we are still here to assist you with whatever you need. Our relationship does not end just because the case does.
Contact Phoenix Drug Possession Defense Attorney TodaySchedule Consultation
Regular Phoenix DUI or DWI
A regular DUI is considered driving with a BAC of 0.08-0.14% or driving with a controlled substance in your bloodstream.
- Undergoing a substance abuse screening assessment;
- Completing substance abuse treatment program;
- Serving 10 consecutive days in jail and payin g jail costs;
- An additional 9 days in jail will be suspended if the substance abuse program is completed;
- $250 fine plus any surcharge;
- $500 State Prison Construction and $500 State General Fund payments.