As with many other states across the nation, Arizona considers drug use a serious matter and the state’s drug laws reflect that sentiment. Thus, even possession of property related to drug use is penalized. Under A.R.S §13-3415, possessing drug paraphernalia is a criminal offense in Arizona, and the law reaches a broad range of materials. The law criminalizes the use, as well as the possession with intent to use, drug paraphernalia that can be used to “plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale” or otherwise bring a drug into the human body. Additionally, A.R.S §13-3415 makes it a crime to make, deliver, or possess intending to deliver, any drug paraphernalia if you know or have reason to know it will be used for one of the listed purposes.
Possession of paraphernalia charges can be serious, and a conviction of possession of drug paraphernalia in Arizona is a crime that will appear on your record for life. Having a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you secure a favorable outcome; contact DM Cantor today at 602-737-2812 or use our secure, confidential contact form.
Drug Paraphernalia Possession: Potential Punishment
Being convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia can be serious, as it is a class six (6) felony. But due to Proposition 200 (also known as Prop 200), no prison or jail time can accompany first or second nonviolent convictions of these charges, and probation is the only consequence. If you violate the terms of your probation, however, you can be taken into custody for between two and four weeks, after which point the judge will release you and reinstate your probation.
To help you avoid these consequences, our firm may be able to help you set up a “TASC” resolution or plead the felony charge down to a simple misdemeanor. The latter scenario does not involve jail time unless you violate probation, in which case you may be sentenced to up to six (6) months in jail.
A TASC resolution, on the other hand, can take between three (3) to six (6) months to complete, but offers a way to avoid jail time. If you have previously been convicted of a drug crime or have undergone the TASC program before, you are not eligible for this type of resolution. In this deferred prosecution program, you will have to attend a three-hour drug and alcohol seminar on a Saturday, submit to one (1) random urine test per month, and pay fees of between $300 and $700. In exchange for your compliance, the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia in Arizona will be completely dismissed. Because of the significant benefit this program offers, the program administrators only select a small fraction of applicants. DM Cantor have experience helping TASC program applicants and our firm can support you in creating a successful TASC offer and guide you through the program.
In the event you are not TASC eligible, you may still avoid jail time under Prop 200 if you do not have two prior drug convictions. If you are not Prop 200 eligible, you will face up to one (1) year in jail, or between four (4) months and two (2) years in prison, along with probation. If you have a prior felony conviction, you will face a term of between nine (9) months and two years, nine months (2.75 years) in prison. If you have two prior felony convictions, you will face a sentence of between two years and three months (2.25 years) and five years, nine months (5.75 years) in prison.
Potential Defenses for Possession of Paraphernalia
We will help you fight your possession of paraphernalia charges with a variety of defenses. Often, we can beat the charges by demonstrating there was no intent to use the property with illicit drugs, as in the case of possessing a pipe or rolling papers for tobacco. Another potentially useful defense is lack of knowledge; you cannot be convicted if you were unaware the paraphernalia was left in your car or on your property by another person.
More general defenses, such as Miranda rights violations and denial of right to counsel can also help you beat paraphernalia charges. Our firm also vigorously analyzes police reports and procedures for any forensic flaws, misstatements or other inaccuracies that will render related evidence inadmissible.
DM Cantor features many former prosecutors and has the highest Martindale Hubbell® rating of AV®. The entire firm is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®, and David is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist as designated by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. To set up a free consultation, use our secure, confidential online form or call us at 602-737-2812.