Unlike some states that focus their enforcement efforts on shutting down distribution networks, Arizona pursues and harshly punishes people for mere possession of illegal drugs. If you face possession charges, you must act quickly to defend your rights and way of life.
Call a Gilbert drug possession lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group as soon as possible. Our seasoned defense attorneys will work to resolve the charges with the minimum possible impact on your future.
It is best to be cooperative when police officers make an arrest. Do not struggle or try to flee, and do not assault an officer, physically or verbally. Do not give the officers an excuse to add charges.
Say as little as possible. A suspect should provide their actual name but not offer any other information. If the officers ask questions, a suspect should politely reply that they will not answer questions without an attorney present.
Call a skilled Gilbert drug possession attorney at the first opportunity. The sooner a suspect has legal representation, the stronger their defense will likely be.
Under the law, possessing an illegal drug means a person knew they had a substance under their control and knew that the substance was an illegal drug. The drug need not be in their pocket, handbag, or on their person. If the substance is in a vehicle the person uses, a residence where they stay, or even a desk in their office, they could face possession charges.
The state has a unique method of categorizing illegal substances. Arizona law divides illegal drugs into six categories:
Possession charges usually indicate that the person had only a small amount of an illegal substance. Possession of larger amounts could lead to more severe distribution charges.
Penalties for possession depend on the identity and quantity of the drug. For instance, according to Arizona Revised Statutes §13-3408, possession of narcotics is a Class 4 felony. A sentence could range from one to three years in prison for a first felony offense or six to 12 years if the accused has a previous felony conviction. Our knowledgeable local attorneys can further explain the potential penalties for a specific drug possession charge.
A Gilbert attorney at our firm will review the circumstances surrounding the drug arrest to determine whether the police followed proper procedures. Everyone has Constitutional rights that the police must respect. If the officers infringed on a suspect’s rights, a lawyer could move to have the drug possession charges dismissed or the evidence suppressed.
Drug possession charges often arise from traffic stops. Police must reasonably suspect a crime or violation to pull a car over. Once they do, they may arrest the occupants for drug possession if the substances are in plain sight. However, they may not search the car without probable cause—objective evidence that a crime is being committed or will be committed. The same is true for “stop and frisk” actions.
For instance, the court could suppress the evidence if officers found drugs under a seat or in the glove box and did not have probable cause to search the car. Without the evidence of drugs, the possession charge cannot stand.
A prosecutor must demonstrate that the accused knew they had drugs in their possession. If the drugs were in a home, vehicle, or backpack, a suspect might credibly deny knowing they possessed them.
Similarly, the accused must know the substance was an illegal drug. Depending on the substance in question, there could be a reasonable argument that the suspect believed it was something other than an illegal drug.
Possession charges relate to the drug quantity, so a Gilbert attorney might challenge the prosecutor’s evidence on that point. An irregularity in the chain of custody could allow a defender to propose that the evidence of quantity is unreliable.
Police, prosecutors, and judges in this state take drug possession seriously. Depending on the type and quantity of the drug, you could face prison even for a first offense.
A Gilbert drug possession attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group can provide a rigorous defense to the charges and fight to protect your future. Call us as soon as possible to begin working on your case.