Getting charged with drug possession can cause serious consequences that can last long term. There are many details to know about drug possession in Arizona and what you should do if you’ve been charged with drug possession. Depending on the type of drug possession and your current criminal history, there are different penalties you may face if you’ve been charged.
Those charged with drug possession will stand the best chances of fighting a case with the help of a drug possession lawyer in Arizona. If you need a lawyer for your drug possession charge, contact Killham Law Office to get started with your case.
Types of Drug Possession
There are different types of drug possessions and it is important to know which one applies to you. Below are three of the main drug possession types and the consequences you may face should you be convicted.
Dangerous drug possessions are classified as a class 4 felony. Without previous convictions and if it wasn’t a drug possession of amphetamines like meth, a dangerous drug possession may be reduced to a class 1 misdemeanor. Maximum fines for a Class 1 Misdemeanor can be up to $5,500 with the surcharges. In some cases, you may pay three times the value of the substance you possessed. In many cases, the most extreme penalty is chosen. For those without prior convictions, you may face up to one year in jail depending on the type of conviction. For those with prior convictions, you may face up to 3.75 years in prison time.
Like dangerous drug possessions, narcotic possessions are classified as a class 4 felony. Without previous convictions or felony, there may be a chance to reduce the charge to a class 1 misdemeanor. Like the dangerous drug fines, you may be liable to pay a maximum fine of $5,500 for a misdemeanor conviction (additional fines for a felony conviction) or up to three times the value of substance you had in your possession. Without prior convictions, you may face up to one year in jail. If you have two prior convictions, you may face up to 15 years of prison time.
Marijuana (less than 2lbs)
Marijuana possession is considered a class 6 felony in case if you were using it for personal use. Much like the other two drug possessions, marijuana possession can be reduced to a misdemeanor. In some cases, marijuana possession can be considered a class 5 felony, but only if the marijuana was personally produced. It will be classified as a class 4 felony should you be the one selling marijuana. If convicted, you will pay at minimum, $2000 or up to three times the value of substance you had in your possession. For those without prior convictions, you may face up to one year in jail. For those with prior convictions, you may face up to 3.75 years in prison time.
Classification of Drugs in Arizona
Arizona State Law classifies illegal drugs under six categories: prescription drugs, dangerous drugs, marijuana, peyote, narcotic drugs, and toxic vapor substances. In Arizona, medical marijuana is legal, but it cannot be used for recreational purposes, for resale purposes, or for non-medical purposes. If it is used for any of these reasons, it is considered a crime in the state of Arizona.
Unlawful amounts of drug possession are:
- Heroin – 1 gram
- Cocaine – 9 grams
- PCP – 4 grams or 50 milliliters
- Methamphetamine – 9 grams of methamphetamine
- Amphetamine – 9 grams
- Marijuana – 2 pounds
If you have been in possession of any of the drugs or have recently been charged with drug possession, it’s important to contact a drug possession attorney immediately to explore solutions to your case. Contact Killham Law Office at 623-239-0886.
First Time Offense
Depending on the type of charge and the severity of the drug possession, you could face up to 10 years of prison time in your first offense. Arizona takes drug-related felonies very seriously and you will face consequences for drug possession. In some cases, drug possession charges that involve violence may experience more extreme prison sentences.
Those being charged for possession of marijuana will see far less prison time than that of a dangerous drug or narcotic convictions, but it’s important to speak with a qualified lawyer about this.
Class 2 drug possession felonies are the most severe for first-time offenders, while class 6 drug possession felonies are the least severe. The durations of prison time are below:
- Class 2 felony – 4 to 10 years
- Class 3 felony – 2.5 to 8.75 years
- Class 4 felony – 1.5 to 3 years
- Class 5 felony – .75 to 2 years
- Class 6 felony – .5 to 1.5 years
Two or More Offenses
If you are experiencing a drug possession charge for more than once, fines, penalties, and prison time may increase even more. Avoid lengthy periods in prison and get proper representation to make sure you have explored all options in additional offenses.
If you have been charged with your second drug offense, you may face the following in prison:
- Class 2 – 3.0 to 12.5 years prison
- Class 3 – 1.8 to 8.7 years prison
- Class 4 – 1.1 to 3.7 years prison
- Class 5 – 0.5 to 2.5 years prison
If you have been charged with your third drug offense or more, you may face the following in prison
- Class 2 – 4.0 to 15 years prison
- Class 3 – 2.5 to 11.2 years prison
- Class 4 – 1.5 to 6.2 years prison
- Class 5 – 0.75 to 5.0 years prison
Contact Killham Law Office to discuss the lengths of a sentence and how they will apply to you and the severity of your charge.
Drug Possession Defenses
If you are charged with drug possession, there are a few defenses that you can use to help justify the reason you were in possession of drugs. It’s important to know your rights when you are handling your case. It is important to discuss these options with a lawyer so you have the best possible outcome with your case.
Illegal Search Procedures
You are guaranteed protection against unlawful searches under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S Constitution.
As long as you can provide proof that you are a medical marijuana cardholder, that you purchased your marijuana from a licensed dispensary, and that you own 2.5 ounces or less, you may have a successful defense.
If the drug was used for religious purposes and was not used for selling or any other threat to the community, this can be used as a proper defense to fight a case.
Drug Possession Fines
Felony drug charge fines can vary but depending on the severity, a person may be ordered to pay up to $150,000 per criminal charge. IN some cases, fines as high as $1,000,000 per charge may be given to the person in possession, (this applies primarily to enterprises).
Depending on the nature and severity of the drug charges you could face the same fines, but it is important to speak with a lawyer about this. Contact Killham Law Office to discuss these fines further.
What You Should Do If You’ve Been Charged with Drug Possession
Remember you do have a right to remain silent in the event you are arrested for drug possession. Remaining silent can afford you a reduction or dismissal with the help of an experienced lawyer. This also means not discussing the details of your arrest or case with others on social media or in person. Anything could be used to convict you in court if you do so.
While it may be difficult, remain polite with law enforcement and keep your calm. Outbursts against law enforcement will not be helpful to you when fighting your case. It is also important to stay out of trouble if you have been charged with drug possession, any other arrests may influence your case.
If you have been charged with drug possession, don’t wait to hire a lawyer. Having strong representation could be the difference between a failed and successful case. To get the expert advice from one of the leaders in the field, contact Killham Law Office. We can help you fight this case and we will investigate all avenues to make sure you have the best outcome in your drug possession charge.
Get in touch with Killham Law Office at 623-239-0886 below to discover your options.