In Arizona, possession of drug paraphernalia is prohibited under the terms of A.R.S §13-3415, which states that it’s illegal to possess anything that allows one to use, prepare, plant or do a number of other things related to drugs.
In broad terms, any instrument or item used in close connection with illegal drugs can be deemed paraphernalia, and under Arizona law, this can be either a felony or misdemeanor charge.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor Paraphernalia Charges
If the drug paraphernalia possession charge is processed through the county court system, it will likely be charged as a class 6 felony.
On the other hand, if the charge is processed in a municipal court, then it will likely be charged as a misdemeanor. In either case the conviction will remain on your record until you motion the court to set it aside.
Penalties for Possession of Paraphernalia Charges
Arizona’s Proposition 200 prohibits jail or prison time for first- and second-time nonviolent drug offenders. They may receive probation and other penalties, but incarceration can be avoided.
However, if there are other charges or aggravating factors present, or if the charges are deemed violent, the offender may face jail or prison time.
In many jurisdictions throughout Arizona, there are drug diversion programs that are offered to drug offenders. One of these is TASC, which is a drug monitoring program that generally lasts from three to six months.
For offenders who don’t fall under the Proposition 200 restrictions, jail or prison time for paraphernalia charges could be up to one year for a first-time felony, or longer for those with multiple felony convictions.
If an offender is eligible for a drug diversion program, he or she may have their charge dismissed once the program is completed successfully. If offenders don’t pass the program, they could face increased penalties.
Getting the Best Defense for Paraphernalia Charges
With the right legal defense, you may be able to reduce your paraphernalia charges and limit your penalties. At JacksonWhite Law, we work to ensure you can make the most of your case. If you’re facing other drug charges such as possession or use of a dangerous drug, or possession of marijuana, we can help.
We’ve helped clients across the Phoenix metro and Mesa area reduce their charges, limit their penalties, and take advantage of drug diversion programs in their areas.
If you need help with a drug paraphernalia charge, contact the East Valley’s premier criminal defense attorneys at JacksonWhite Law.
Call our criminal team today at (480) 467-4370 for your free consultation.