Although you may grow or possess a small amount for your personal recreational use, possessing large amounts of marijuana remains a serious criminal offense in this state. If law enforcement catches you with large quantities, they could bring serious criminal charges.
If you face marijuana possession charges, you risk jail time and a permanent criminal record that could continue to impact you for years. Work with an experienced defense attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group to avoid the harsh consequences of the charge. A Gilbert marijuana possession lawyer at our firm has the knowledge and experience to achieve a favorable resolution to the charges.
Possessing small amounts of marijuana for personal use has been legal in the state since 2020. An individual may grow up to six plants and a household with at least two adults may grow 12 plants. A person could transfer up to an ounce of marijuana to another person without penalty, as long as no money changes hands.
However, possessing or selling larger amounts remains illegal, according to Arizona Statutes §13-3405(A)1. Possessing marijuana means having it on the body or in a pocket, purse, backpack, bag, or similar container. Constructive possession means the marijuana was in a place where the defendant had access to it, knew it was marijuana, knew it was there, and intended it to be there. A marijuana possession attorney at our firm could review the prosecution’s evidence confirming the identity and quantity of the substance.
Various defenses to marijuana charges are possible, depending on the circumstances. In every case, the dedicated Gilbert attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group will evaluate law enforcement’s conduct during the investigation and arrest.
Police must have reasonable suspicion to stop someone and probable cause to search them. A search warrant must be narrow in scope, and police may not deviate from it. If the police procedures were improper, an attorney could ask a court to suppress evidence or dismiss the marijuana possession charges.
Other defenses could assert that the accused did not know the marijuana was in their possession or that the substance was marijuana. If the accused has a medical marijuana card, that could provide a defense to marijuana possession charges.
Possessing less than two pounds is a Class 6 felony, but possessing less than two pounds of marijuana for sale is a Class 4 felony. Possessing larger quantities increases the severity of the offense. Possessing more than four pounds of marijuana for sale is a Class 2 felony, the second-most serious category of criminal charge.
The sentencing scheme in this state is complicated and depends on multiple variables. The presumptive sentence is one year in prison, but mitigating factors could reduce the sentence, and aggravating factors could increase it. Mitigating factors in a marijuana possession case could include the defendant’s:
Aggravating factors could include:
If a person is convicted of marijuana possession, a local attorney could present all relevant information to mitigate the sentence. Prosecutors often agree to a probation term and drug education rather than jail for first-time marijuana offenders.
Although the state allows adults to possess small quantities of marijuana for personal use, the law still punishes people harshly for possessing larger quantities. If you have been arrested on marijuana charges, do not put your future in the hands of someone inexperienced in defending drug possession cases.
A Gilbert marijuana possession lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group can develop a robust defense to the charges and achieve the best outcome in your situation. Call today to discuss your case with our legal team.