Drug Paraphernalia Laws in Arizona
Drug paraphernalia is one of the many drug charges you can receive sentencing for in the state of Arizona. Penalties for this crime include both misdemeanors and felonies. Regardless of if its a misdemeanor or a felony, a drug lawyer at Gurion Legal can help.
If you do not understand what paraphernalia is, know that it has a broad definition. It includes any product used for the storage, preparation, ingestion, or manufacturing of drugs. Paraphernalia ranges from a needle for ingestion, a pipe for smoking, or even baggies for dealing. Though misdemeanor and felonies are both possible, class six felonies are the most common charge.
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Drug Paraphernalia Defined
As mentioned, drug paraphernalia includes the materials used for the intake, selling, or manufacturing of illegal substances. It is important to get into more specific examples of paraphernalia so you can better understand. For ingestion, for instance, it includes:
- Syringes and needles
- Household utensils (i.e., spoons, knives)
- Cigarette papers
Distribution and manufacturing each have similar charges. It really depends on the specific substance. Some examples of paraphernalia for each of these include:
Advertising materials can also be paraphernalia. If you intend that the objects you advertise will encourage others to distribute or use, you could face a charge under ARS 13-3415. This factor showcases that intent is essential, even when considering the types of paraphernalia.
Drug Paraphernalia with the Intent to Use
If you have specific objects in your home that are to use for drug manufacturing or intake, you have the intent for a paraphernalia charge. If you possess these belongings with the desire to sell or deliver, you will also face a crime.
Police will often find intent if you have common materials like Ziploc baggies or spoons, for instance, with lighters, masks, and even pipes.
Pressing Charges Against Drug Paraphernalia
Sometimes, paraphernalia-related charges are some of the most difficult for police to pursue. Certain factors will make a difference, including previous drug-related convictions and personal statements.
Other factors could include:
- Drug residue on household objects
- Evidence to showcase delivery intended (i.e., text message, phone call)
- Drug instructions
- Advertisements for the substances
- Statements from buyers or criminal informants
Understanding ARS 13-3415
Arizona Revised Statute 13-3415 is one of the many laws in Arizona against drug crimes. As mentioned, it is the one used for drug paraphernalia. Three specific actions that lead to sentencing include:
- Use of drug paraphernalia for any drug-related reason
- Delivery of paraphernalia for substance use
- Creation of an advertisement to promote drug use
All three of these actions include the information discussed above. Again, an individual can take any of these actions with any of the paraphernalia-related equipment listed. If police discover your goods, you will face sentencing of some form.
Drug charges such as this one result in both misdemeanor and felony convictions. A misdemeanor occurs when paraphernalia is present, but drugs are usually not. Often, these cases face a trial in a local justice court.
Potential penalties for a misdemeanor drug charge are:
- Up to six months in jail
- Fines up to $3,600
- Up to three years of probation
- Counseling and treatment plans related to substance abuse
What does Proposition 200 Mean?
Most first-time personal possession drug offenses are covered by Proposition 200 and require mandatory probation and no jail time. Under Arizona Proposition 200, this only applies if there is no violence associated with the crime. You also cannot possess any methamphetamine. You will have to undergo probation, however, and there are also fines associated with your charge.
Additionally under this proposition, during your probation period you will also attend treatment courses and other substance abuse counseling to help you move forward. The judge and your probation officer will receive proof that you regularly go to these courses as required. If you violate your probation or continuously do not attend your treatments, you may have to sit in jail before talking with a judge.
Available Diversion Programs
If you face a misdemeanor, you will also have the option of a diversion or deferred prosecution program. In Arizona, this program is the Felony Diversion Program. You will receive counseling through an organization such as SAGE Counseling (Social Accountability Guidance & Education) at a reduced rate, but the prosecutor does have to approve diversion.
A drug crimes lawyer at Gurion Legal can talk with the prosecution to convince them to allow diversion. It will require professional negotiation so that you can receive admission. If you complete the program, the judge will dismiss your case, and there will be no charge on your record.
Felony Drug Paraphernalia Offenses
The most common felony offense for paraphernalia is a Class 6. Often, if you receive a felony sentence, you will face other drug charges such as drug possession or use. It is important to note that Proposition 200 does still apply to felonies.
The only circumstances in which you are not eligible for Proposition 200 to include:
- Possession of methamphetamine
- Possession for sale
- Two prior convictions
- Prior violent convictions
Rather than jail with Proposition 200, you will still receive counseling and treatments. With a felony, you will also undergo community service. Again, this proposition does only apply to first and second offenders.
If you are not eligible for proposition 200, you will face jail sentencing. Your specific jail time will depend on your prior convictions and on if this is a repeat offense.
Specific penalties include:
- First offense: Probation time, four months to 2 years in jail
- Second offense: Probation, nine months to 2.75 years in jail
- Third offense: 2.25 to 5.75 years in jail
- $150,000 fine for any felony offense
Drug Lawyer Defenses for Paraphernalia Charges
A drug crimes lawyer can help you craft defenses for your specific paraphernalia-related case. These range from you having a lack of knowledge to illegal activity by the police.
Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Arizona, tactics could even include possession of paraphernalia for its use. More specific examples are in the information below.
When the police engage in illegal activity, you will find your first defense tactic. Under the Constitution, the police cannot search your home without a search warrant obtained. They also cannot search or get this documentation without suspicion.
Suspicion means that police must have a reason to believe that you have paraphernalia in your home or car. If police collected evidence during the search, judges throw it out during the court session.
Legitimate Reasons for Possession
Sometimes, there are medical reasons you may possess objects that look like paraphernalia. If you have diabetes, for instance, you need syringes to take your insulin. If syringes were the only evidence and your medical history comes up, your case will face dismissal.
For any drug-related charge, you need knowledge of the drugs or paraphernalia. Sometimes, others plant paraphernalia in your vehicle or home. If you have evidence that it is not yours, you can have your case thrown out in court.
Lawyers may request individuals to testify on your behalf or give other firsthand information. Even without evidence, the prosecution has to prove that you were aware.
After the passage of Proposition 207 in Arizona, marijuana is legal if you do not exceed the required amount. This act also made it legal to possess paraphernalia related to the drug.
As long as you are at least 21 years of age and can prove that the paraphernalia is for marijuana, the judge may dismiss your case.
Speak to a Drug Crimes Lawyer at Gurion Legal Today
The list of potential defenses above is not exclusive. Your drug crimes lawyer at Gurion Legal may have more ideas up their sleeve to resolve your case. They fully understand all of the potential circumstances behind your drug paraphernalia charge.
The lawyers will closely look over all evidence and will provide you details of your case. Each client deserves a unique approach to get the best outcome, and you will receive exactly that. It is essential to your future to have the best defense tactic possible to have your paraphernalia charge completely dismissed.
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