If you face charges for drug possession, there may be options for something called “diversion.” Drug diversion programs in Mesa allow certain offenders to receive substance abuse treatment rather than jail or prison time and can avoid any conviction at all on your permanent criminal record. This also allows you to receive the rehabilitation and support you need to move past this difficult time without the permanent damage to your life that a felony or misdemeanor drug conviction can bring.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, our knowledgeable lawyers can help determine if you qualify for alternative sentencing and assist in pursuing this option. Whether this is a one-off situation or a deep addiction issue, drug diversion may be an option for you. We are former prosecutors who know how to negotiate with the prosecution and protect your future. We work with our clients to tell their story.
In Mesa, it is illegal to possess dangerous or illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia. In addition, with the passage of marijuana legislation like the AMMA (Arizona Medical Marijuana Act) and Prop 207 legalizing recreational marijuana, many people are being charged if they violate the limitation in quantities or restrictions on where it can be used or possessed. However, drug diversion programs give those accused of drug offenses the opportunity to seek treatment, avoid jail time, and keep their criminal record clean. The goal of these redirection programs is to provide effective treatment options that address specific underlying behaviors. The diversion program gives a drug offender the tools they need to be a productive member of society.
A person will have to meet specific qualifications for acceptance into one of the programs. Some of those qualifications include taking responsibility for their actions and demonstrating a motivation to change. Additionally, drug diversion programs are typically only available to first-time, non-violent offenders, and in cases where no other crime is accused such as theft or assault. The requirements vary from court to court, and they change from time to time. Our experienced local attorneys can further advise on the eligibility requirements for drug diversion programs.
The Treatment Assessment Screening Center (TASC) is a drug diversion program offered in the Mesa location of the Superior Court, and throughout Arizona. This program is a private division run by a not-for-profit organization. They offer counseling, specialized services, drug education, substance abuse support, drug screening, and more. However, some Courts are changing to other organizations such as SAGE and others. The provider is not as important as the ability to get the prosecution to allow you to enter and complete it.
There are many benefits to the TASC or other program over a plea agreement for a drug crime. Upon completion of the program, the prosecution agrees to dismiss the charges, meaning there is no criminal record. This also helps accused people avoid prison and other harsh penalties. Our lawyers have experience negotiating for TASC and other drug diversion programs on behalf of those facing drug charges.
Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3401 outlines the definitions for drug crimes, including the types of illicit substances and “threshold amounts.” If a defendant is found in possession of a certain amount of an illegal drug, the court could charge them with intent to sell, which carries a much harsher penalty than simple possession.
One of the risks of failing to complete the drug diversion program, is that you often have to admit guilt in order to enter the program. So if you fail, the prosecution can reinstate prosecution, and in some instances can even have the judge enter judgment against you without the opportunity to defend. It is vital to understand that if you enter diversion, you must follow through.
In some circumstances, depending on the form of the diversion program, you can be given a second chance to compete the program and be re-entered into the program. We have successfully accomplished this for many of our clients. But we also know which courts and prosecuting offices are more or less likely to allow this. Speak to one of our attorneys to see what your chances are if you have been removed from a diversion program.
If you face charges for substance-related offenses, let the knowledgeable team at Grand Canyon Law Group explain your options for drug diversion programs in Mesa. Our experienced lawyers will help weigh all your choices and decide if a diversion program is the best option for you. You may be able to get rehabilitative resources and avoid a permanent criminal record. Give us a call today to learn more.