Charges of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Arizona: ARS 13-3415
In the state of Arizona, the possession of drug paraphernalia is defined under Arizona Revised Statute, ARS §13-3415, as the unlawful possession, use — or possession with the intent to use — paraphernalia meant to be utilized for the purpose of taking (ingesting, smoking, intravenous mainlining) any type of illegal drugs, be they street drugs, prescription medications that are not yours, or any other illicit drugs.
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Additionally, ARS §13-3415 delineates the illegality of paraphernalia that can be used for the purposes of planting, growing, cultivating, or harvesting illegal drugs. What’s more, the revised statute also tells us it is illegal to possess paraphernalia that can be used for the purpose of manufacturing, converting, compounding (with other drugs or other substances), processing or otherwise preparing, and/or testing the quality or weight of illegal drugs.
And finally, Arizona Revised Statute 13-3415 explains that any items that may be used for the purposes of packaging, repackaging, storing, or otherwise containing or concealing illegal drugs or illegally obtained prescription medications are also considered paraphernalia, and are therefore also illegal.
This highly expansive statute also makes it unlawful for any individual to make, construct, design, or possess drug paraphernalia that may aid them in the process of manufacturing or delivering illegal drugs or illegally obtained prescription medications — with or without the intent of sale, distribution, or redistribution.
Pursuant to ARS 13-3415, a person may be charged with possession of paraphernalia whether s/he admits to having known of its existence, or even if, according to the statute, s/he should have “reasonably known” of the paraphernalia, and even be aware of what it would be — or was — used for.
Potential Legal Ramifications for the Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in the State of Arizona
In the most basic sense, sentencing and other penalties for the possession of drug paraphernalia are as follows — but there are some caveats we’ll discuss later in this article.
- For first-time offenders with no other criminal history, possession of drug paraphernalia will likely be sentenced with between zero days and 1 year in jail, but there is a chance that if found guilty, you may serve between a minimum of 4 months up to a maximum of 2 years in prison.
- If you have one prior felony conviction, sentencing changes to a minimum of 9 months to a maximum of 2.75 years in prison.
- If you have two prior felony convictions, sentencing once again ramps up, this time with a minimum of 2.25 years and a maximum of up to 5.75 years in prison.
It’s important to note that even if prior felony convictions for possession of drug paraphernalia charges resulted only in probation, they may still be counted as “historically allegeable prior felony convictions” for the purposes of sentencing based on the laws set forth in ARS 13-3415.
Getting Around Harsh Sentencing for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia with Proposition 200
Aside from the sentencing guidelines for the possession of drug paraphernalia in Arizona that makes this crime a class 6 felony, Prop 200 can dramatically improve things for those with only zero, one, or two prior non-violent drug possession or paraphernalia convictions “strikes”. Having the support of a drug crimes lawyer can effectively strengthen the odds.
If you fall into this category, you can only be sentenced to probation — you will not be made to serve any time in jail or prison. But, it is absolutely imperative to understand that you must adhere to the terms of your probation. If you fail in any way on probation, such as by:
- By not appearing at scheduled court appearances
- Not reporting to your probation officer
- Not paying any fines or fees you owe the court
- Possessing or using drugs
- Committing other crimes while on probation
- Getting arrested while on probation
- Failing a drug screen
You will be taken into custody and forced to spend several weeks in jail while the judge decides how and when to re-release you onto probation, very likely with new and more stringent terms.
Treatment Assessment Screening Center (TASC) and now AVERHEALTH: An Important Part of Prop 200 — and Your Success
It May Not Sound Great Right Now, But TASC or DIVERSION is a Favorable Solution
Not everyone is eligible for Diversion, Averhealth or TASC (Treatment Assessment Screening Center) — the prosecution and courts can be highly selective when making their admissions considerations — this is where an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney who is highly knowledgeable about drug crimes can make all the difference — it is literally the difference between a dismissal of charges or a conviction and going to either jail or prison — so it’s definitely a fight you want to win, and the Law Office of Daniel Hutto will fight aggressively to ensure you become diversion eligible rather than face a conviction and potential time behind bars.
The Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney You Need if You’re Not Prop 200 Eligible
If you have prior convictions that make you ineligible for Prop 200 consideration (certain drug offenses or violent crimes), we know you’re probably worried sick and very scared for your future. But we want you to know, we’re here for you, and we will be every single step of the way.
Before allowing yourself to feel completely defeated, just know: there are dozens and dozens of legal defense types for paraphernalia possession in Phoenix and throughout Arizona — we know, because we’ve successfully used such defenses many, many times.
Believe it or not, there are, even in the eyes of the law, a variety of reasons that you could very well be found not guilty. But what it takes is commitment from you and hard work from us. With that winning combination, we will build a defense for your case that has the absolute best chance of dramatically reducing or even entirely dismissing your Phoenix drug paraphernalia charges or possession charges.
Drug Crimes Lawyers with Proven Results
If you have recently been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, don’t despair: get on the phone right now and let’s start preparing for your win with a completely free legal consultation with a an informed, respectful, and discerning Phoenix criminal defense attorney who will listen to every word you have to say, answer any questions you may have, and most importantly, put you at ease.
You have a bright future ahead of you. Let’s start fighting for it right now. Call 602.536.7878 to get started.
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