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Mesa Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer

Drug paraphernalia is the name the law gives to items necessary for using, selling, or manufacturing illegal drugs. Possessing drug paraphernalia is a crime, and prosecutors often add it when someone faces charges of drug possession or distribution. A person could be arrested and face charges solely for possessing paraphernalia – it is crucial you call us and get legal help.

It is often the police officers who decide whether an item is paraphernalia, and it is possible for a respected drug defense attorney to challenge their opinion in court and present other defenses to the charge. Contact our Mesa drug paraphernalia lawyers if you were arrested and need legal help.

What the Law Says About Paraphernalia

Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3415 makes possessing, transporting, selling, or advertising drug paraphernalia a Class 6 felony. The law contains a long list of uses for drug paraphernalia and items that could be considered paraphernalia under the statute. Among the objects listed are scales, blenders, roach clips, bowls, balloons, envelopes, numerous kinds of pipes, bongs, cocaine spoons, and many others.

Many of these items have one or more non-drug-related uses. The law allows a court or jury to determine an item is paraphernalia based on the:

  • Criminal record of the person accused of possessing it
  • Proximity of the object to drugs
  • Presence of drug residue on the object

A judge or jury also could consider evidence, like instructions accompanying the object, the content of advertising, and other circumstances that could shed light on why the accused possessed the object.

Paraphernalia possession charges are usually brought with drug possession or distribution charges. However, if police discover some items they believe are paraphernalia, they could arrest someone on a paraphernalia charge even if they find no drugs. Our Mesa lawyers from Grand Canyon Law Group will challenge the claim that the items were paraphernalia when the police found no other evidence of drug use.

Penalties for a Paraphernalia Conviction

Even though possessing paraphernalia is a Class 6 felony, people convicted on the charge often receive probation. Arizona Revised Statute §13-901.01 directs that a first or second offender who possesses paraphernalia or less than the threshold quantity of drugs should receive probation rather than a jail or prison sentence.

Probation is not always an option. An offender is not eligible for probation if they have two or more prior convictions, any convictions for a violent crime, or if they face methamphetamine charges.

However, Maricopa County drug court could be an option for an offender who does not qualify for probation and has a substance abuse issue. Drug court is rigorous, and the minimum program is one year. However, the sentence for a Class 6 felony could range from three months if a Mesa attorney can show mitigating factors, to two years if the prosecutor can show aggravating factors. You must call us so we can begin working immediately.

Defenses to Drug Paraphernalia Charges

Probation and drug court are not the only ways to resolve paraphernalia charges in Mesa. Making the prosecutor prove their case in front of a jury could result in an acquittal. Going to trial is the best strategy in some cases.

One way to defend a paraphernalia charge is to contest whether the objects were being used or intended to be used for drug-related purposes. The prosecutor’s proof of how the defendant intended to use the object is often flimsy.

Police conduct often helps an offender in a drug case. If the police did not have probable cause to conduct a search or a proper search warrant, our Mesa attorneys will ask the judge to throw out the evidence the police collected illegally. Confidential informants often provide information that leads to drug arrests, and challenging the informant’s motives and truthfulness can help an accused’s case.

Defend a Drug Paraphernalia Charge With a Mesa Attorney

A drug paraphernalia charge might not seem like a big deal, but it is treated as a felony. Even if you do not have to serve time, a felony conviction could limit your opportunities for the rest of your life.

Our Mesa drug paraphernalia lawyers can help you defeat a charge, or at least reduce its long-term impact. Reach out for help from the Grand Canyon Law Group and schedule a free consultation.

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