While breaking out of prison is an extremely difficult task, smuggling contraband into a prison is not so difficult. In an effort to reduce the amount of contraband making its way into Arizona prisons, the Arizona legislature passed laws such as A.R.S. 13-2505.
A.R.S. 13-2505 was enacted to prevent the promotion of prison contraband by legally defining goods and items that are illegal to smuggle into prison as well as are illegal for inmates to possess. By creating a legal definition and list of goods that are illegal to bring into a prison, law enforcement agents are better able to reduce the influx of contraband into prisons.
If you have been arrested for promoting prison contraband, contact Jackson White Law today to schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
What Does Promoting Prison Contraband Mean?
According to A.R.S. 13-2505, unless authorized by law, a person promotes prison contraband by doing any of the following:
- By knowingly taking contraband into a correctional facility or the grounds of a correctional facility; or
- By knowingly conveying contraband to any person confined in a correctional facility; or
- By knowingly making, obtaining, or possessing contraband while being confined in a correctional facility or while being lawfully transported or moved incident to correctional facility confinement.
To be guilty of promoting contraband, an individual must knowingly bring contraband items either to prison, give contraband to an individual in the prison, or if they are an inmate and are in possession of contraband. If are caught promoting prison contraband, you are facing felony charges.
What is Considered to be Prison Contraband in Arizona?
There are many items considered to be prison contraband in Arizona. The following are the most common forms of contraband:
- Dangerous Drugs
- Dangerous Instruments
- Cell Phones
- Portable Gaming Devices
- Multimedia Storage Devices
In addition to the items listed above, an item is also considered to be contraband if its use or possession would endanger the safety, security, or preservation of the order of the correctional facility. If you have been charged with promoting prison contraband and believe that the item in question was not contraband, contact Jackson White Law to schedule a free case review.
Penalties for Promoting Prison Contraband
The penalty for promoting prison contraband is either a Class 2 Felony or a Class 5 Felony depending on the type of contraband.
Types of Contraband Resulting in a Class Two Felony
Promoting prison contraband is a class 2 felony when the contraband is any of the following:
- A dangerous instrument
- A deadly weapon
- A dangerous drug
- A narcotic
- An explosive device
The standard prison sentence for a class two felony is 4-10 years with a presumptive sentence of 5 years. Additional charges may also be applied depending on other circumstances such as being a prohibited possessor and being in possession of a deadly weapon
Types of Contraband Resulting in a Class Five Felony
If the contraband is not one of the items listed above, then the penalty is less severe.
Promoting prison contraband is a class five felony when the contraband is any of the following:
- Cell phones
- Portable gaming devices
- Multimedia storage devices
It should also be noted that A.R.S. 13-2505 requires individuals to report a violation of this crime to the proper authorities or the prison management. If an individual fails to report a violation of this crime they can be charged with a class five felony.
The standard prison sentence for a class 5 felony is from 9 months up to 2 years. The presumptive prison sentence is roughly a year and a half.
Unknowingly Promoting Prison Contraband
A.R.S. 13-3205 continuously references “knowingly” promoting contraband, however, the Arizona Supreme court has also ruled that not knowing an item is contraband and being in possession of the said item is illegal. This means that even if you didn’t know that an item was considered to be contraband if you are found to be in possession of contraband in a correctional facility, you will be charged.
Due to the Arizona Supreme Court’s findings, claiming ignorance or mistake of law are not valid defenses for your case. Instead, your attorney will need to formulate other ideas to dispute your charges.
If you have been charged with promoting prison contraband, you are facing either a class two or class five felony. Both classes of felonies come with mandatory prison sentences and a lifetime of consequences to deal with.
You need to fight your charges and the best way to do so is with the help of the experienced criminal defense team at Jackson White Law.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.