Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Arizona
Last Modified: November 17, 2017 at 6:50 pm
In Arizona, possession of drug paraphernalia is unlawful and can result in arrest, jail time, fines, and more. Specifically, a possession of drug paraphernalia charge is used when a person is found with any kind of product, device, or other object that is known to be used for smoking, injecting, or creating an illegal drug. For example, if you’re caught by the police with a marijuana pipe or bong (especially if there is residue in the pipe), you could very well be charged with possession of paraphernalia.
If you’ve been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in Arizona, it’s important that you understand your rights, possible defense options, and potential sentences if you are found guilty. It is also vital that you consult with a local drug defense lawyer who will represent your best interests throughout the complex legal process.
Potential Punishment for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
If you are found in possession of any kind of drug paraphernalia in Arizona, it is automatically considered a class six felony. However, it is worth noting that first- and second-time offenders are not able to be sentenced to any jail or prison time as a result of a conviction on this charge alone. More than likely, if this is a first or second charge and you are convicted, you will end up paying fines and penalties; you will also probably be placed on probation. If you violate your probation in any way, you can spend as much as a month in jail.
While possession of drug paraphernalia is always charged as a felony, it is also worth noting that those who seek proper legal representation rarely end up with a felony conviction on this charge. More often, the charge is pled down to a misdemeanor or even a TASC. The latter refers to a Deferred Prosecution Program offered by the state of Arizona. This program allows those who have been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia to complete a drug and alcohol abuse class in exchange for total dismissal of their charge. As part of this program, you will still likely end up paying hundreds in fees, and you will need to submit to one random urine test per month until completion (which usually takes three to six months total).
Exploring Your Possible Defense Options
Aside from pleading your charge down to a misdemeanor or TASC resolution, keep in mind that there are also legitimate defenses for possession of drug paraphernalia charges. One of the most common defenses is that the drug paraphernalia was not actually being used to ingest or otherwise interact with any illegal drugs. For example, plenty of people use pipes to smoke legal substances, such as tobacco. Another potential defense would be a “lack of knowledge” defense, which would make the claim that the person charged was not aware of the drug paraphernalia on his or her person, or in his or her possession (such as in a car). This is a common defense in situations where there may have been multiple people in a car or house.
Time to Consult With an Attorney
If you’ve been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, your first step should be to consult with an experienced drug defense attorney. By doing so, you can receive sound legal guidance and get a better idea as to what your next steps should be. Having an attorney on your side is the best decision you can make for your case and for your future. To set up a consultation with an experienced attorney, contact our legal team today.