It is a crime to possess any substances deemed to be illegal by Federal and State drug possession laws. The Law Offices of José A. Saldivar handles cases involving controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin. It is also illegal to possess certain quantities of so-called “precursor” chemicals that can be used to produce or manufacture controlled substances such as crystal methamphetamine or to possess drug-related paraphernalia.
Arizona is known for being especially tough on drug crimes and if convicted of drug possession, you could face extremely harsh sentencing. By hiring a Phoenix drug possession lawyer to represent you and defend you against drug crime charges, you take an important step in contributing to the progress of your case. Depending on the type of drug involved, you might be charged with either possession of marijuana, possesion of a dangerous drug or possesion of a narcotic drug.
Phoenix Drug Offenses: Drug Possession Charges & Punishment
Punishment for drug crimes depends on the following:
- The Quantity of the Drug
- The Drugs Classification under the Schedules
- The Purpose of the Drugs Possession
Possession of drugs for personal use is considered to be a serious crime, but possession for personal use tends to be punished less severely than distribution crimes. Possession of drugs with the intent to distribute or sell them is a very serious crime in Phoenix and prosecutors can try to prove your intent to distribute simply by showing the quantity of the drug you possessed, regardless of whether or not you actually distributed the drug. Depending on the type of the drug and the quatntity involved, you could be facing a mandatory term in the Arizona State Prison if convicted of possessing drugs for the purpose of sale. If the State is unable to establish the defendant’s intent to sell or distribute, the individual’s case could be reduced to a personal possession case for which probation could be mandatory. Most first-time personal possession cases are subject to “Proposition 200” which essentially recognizes that most persons convicted of possessing drugs like cocaine, crack, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, marijuana and prescription medication should be treated for their underlying drug dependence, not punished as criminals. Recently, the Arizona Legislature removed meth (sometimes referred to as crystal methamphetamine) from “Proposition 200” and a person convicted of possessing that substance, even for personal use, could be ordered to serve a prison term. Not surprisingly, Phoenix Drug prosecutors have a strong dislike for “Proposition 200” and might accuse someone of possessing with intent to sell so that probation is not available. An experienced former drug prosecutor knows how the strategies used by the prosection to prove the critical element of intent in these types of cases and will put his knowledge and experience to work for you.