Mesa Marijuana Charges Lawyer

Arizona has joined the growing number of states decriminalizing possession of marijuana and some of its derivatives for personal use. However, it is still possible to run afoul of the law in several ways, and people still can face serious criminal charges related to marijuana.

Our Mesa marijuana charges lawyers offer a vigorous and skilled defense in these situations. A drug defense attorney from Grand Canyon Law Group can help you fight back, so call us immediately to learn how we can help.

Small Quantities of Marijuana Are Legal

An adult can now possess up to an ounce of cannabis in leaf form for personal use; if they have a medical marijuana card, they can possess up to two and a half ounces. It is also now legal to possess up to five grams of concentrated marijuana.

An adult may grow up to six marijuana plants on their property for personal use. If two or more adults live on the property, they can grow up to 12 plants.

First offenders are guilty of a criminal infraction if they possess more than an ounce, but less than two and half ounces. Typically, these infractions are resolved with a fine and do not create a criminal record.

Prosecution of Marijuana Violations

Even though possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use is legal, prosecution of marijuana crimes is still a law enforcement priority. Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3405 describes the various marijuana crimes still on the books.

Possessing More Than Appropriate for Personal Use

A person found in possession of more than two and half ounces and up to two pounds of marijuana could face a Class 6 felony charge. First and second offenders usually face probation, but the presumptive sentence for a conviction is one year in jail. Someone convicted of a third marijuana possession offense faces a presumptive sentence of three years and nine months in prison.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

The law presumes that someone possessing more than two pounds of marijuana intends to sell it. However, when there is evidence of an intent to sell—like scales or baggies—someone could be prosecuted for intent to distribute even if they have less than two pounds.

It is a Class 4 felony to possess less than two pounds of marijuana for sale. The presumptive sentence for a first offender is two and a half years in prison, but with mitigating circumstances the sentence could be as short as one year, or as long as three years, nine months if there are aggravating circumstances. Someone with one prior offense faces a presumptive sentence of four and a half years, and with two prior offenses, the presumptive sentence is ten years.

Possessing or transporting more than two pounds but less than four pounds for sale is a Class 3 felony. Possessing more than four pounds for sale is a Class 2 felony.

Underage Weed Possession

Legalization only applies to people over 21. Younger people still face criminal prosecution for possessing any quantity of marijuana or its derivatives.

Underage possession of small amounts for personal use is a Class 1 misdemeanor. For a first offender over the age of 18, our Mesa marijuana attorneys can arrange a sentence of probation in most cases if the minor was not also charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. A marijuana DUI leads to harsh penalties for first offenders, just as an alcohol-related DUI would.

Someone under 18 in possession of marijuana in Mesa would face their charges in the juvenile court system. Typical penalties include fines, community service, and a drug education program. However, if the juvenile has had other offenses, a charge could lead to time in a juvenile detention facility. It is crucial to call us NOW to begin gathering evidence of your defense.

Defenses to Marijuana Charges

Our attorneys always try to resolve charges in the way that has the least impact on the defendant. Reviewing the circumstances of the arrest can lead to getting charges dismissed or at least reduced in severity.

We will investigate whether the police had the property authority to search for and seize the marijuana. If the police investigation involved electronic surveillance, we will ensure they had the proper warrants to conduct the investigation. Any errors or misconduct during the investigation and search could lead a judge to dismiss the charges.

The prosecutor must prove a defendant knowingly possessed the drugs. If the defendant faces a distribution charge, they must prove there was an intent to sell the marijuana. We can attack the prosecutor’s evidence of the defendant’s knowledge and intent, which could lead to an acquittal.

Work With a Mesa Attorney to Defend Marijuana Charges

The marijuana laws in this state allow recreational possession and use, but only under limited circumstances. There are still many ways that marijuana can get someone into trouble with the law. Do not get caught up in the justice system – we can help if you call us QUICKLY.

Marijuana charges can lead to substantial penalties, so it is unwise to try to defend yourself without help from the Grand Canyon Law Group. Contact our Mesa marijuana charges lawyers, available 24/7, today for a free consultation.

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