Possession of drug paraphernalia in Phoenix, AZCriminal Defense Attorney Aaron Black defends clients charged with a wide range of offenses including possession of drug paraphernalia in Phoenix, AZ and surrounding communities.
Defending clients charged with serious criminal offenses in all Arizona city, state, and federal Courts, Aaron’s goal is to obtain the best possible outcome such as dismissals, not guilty verdicts, no jail time, or substantially reduced charges.
Arizona Revised Statute 13-3415Possessing drug paraphernalia in Arizona is a class six felony, the lowest in the felony chain, but still a severe charge.
Arizona’s applicable statute, A.R.S. 13-3415, is broad enough to include just about anything as paraphernalia. You might be surprised that kitchens harbor innocuous items that can legally become paraphernalia.
The statute states that:
"Drug paraphernalia means all equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body a drug in violation of this chapter.”
This statute specifically cites a long list of things that can be used as paraphernalia. Among the list of items are spoons, bowls, containers, packaging such as plastic kitchen bags, scales, all types of pipes made of various materials, “roach clips,” testing equipment to determine the purity and strength of a drug, mailing envelopes, balloons, bongs, shovels, and many other items things.
Consequences of Possession of ParaphernaliaPossession of Paraphernalia in Arizona if convicted means incarceration as well as consequences that can impact your quality of life after serving a sentence.
The consequences include the following:
- Being stripped of your right to vote
- Deprived of your right to possess and carry a firearm
Possible Drug Paraphernalia DefensesThe law provides defenses to ensure your constitutional right is not violated. Defending against possessing drug paraphernalia is based on the actual circumstances and investigation methods of the case.
Common Criminal Defenses are:
- Miranda Rights
At the time of your arrest, you weren’t read your Miranda rights which include your right to remain silent and that whatever you say can and will be used against you in court. The arresting officer must also let you know that you have the right to an attorney. These Miranda rights protect against self-incrimination.
- Reasonable Doubt
Authorities didn’t gather sufficient evidence necessary for proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Probable Cause or Reasonable Suspicion
The law doesn’t allow evidence to be obtained without sufficient probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop you. Investigators can make mistakes, and if the evidence was obtained illegally, that could become a defense.
- Intent to Commit a Crime
You didn’t know that the item was paraphernalia, meaning you didn’t know someone was using the thing to ingest or make drugs, so you didn’t intend to commit a crime.
Entrapment, which happens when investigators using deception or threats caused you to possess drug paraphernalia which you wouldn’t have done acting on your own.
A qualified Phoenix, AZ Criminal Defense Attorney, can evaluate the state’s evidence against you and thoroughly investigate your case to hunt for possible missteps and mistakes made by authorities.
Your Defense begins the minute you are ArrestedYour defense begins the moment of your arrest. Police officers, while required by law to read you, your rights will still push to question you and if you choose to answer, what you say becomes state’s evidence.
Be respectful and decline to say anything except that you would like to speak to an attorney.
Can I avoid a Felony Drug Conviction?If you’re facing the felony drug paraphernalia charge, your world may not necessarily have to end. In 1989 law enforcement and justice professionals established the Treatment Assessment Screening Center (TASC) diversion program for Maricopa County. Seven other counties in Arizona have their own TASC programs.
TASC is for people who face a felony drug-related charge in Maricopa County, who won’t contest their charge in court, and who would benefit from a treatment program.
Those who qualify for TASC and choose to enter the program and complete it may have their case dropped without being charged or dismissed without prejudice, which means the prosecution can’t accuse you again of the same charge.
TASC diversion likely isn’t offered to those convicted of a severe offense, dangerous crimes, sexual offenses or serious crimes against children.
The program also saves the financial burden of imprisoning first-time drug offenders. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office stated that almost 4,000 cases are funneled through TASC each year. The vast majority, 77.2 percent, are cases involving marijuana, followed by methamphetamine cases at 8.4 percent.
TASC screens applicants carefully, so having a criminal defense attorney at your side to help you during the application process is essential. The attorney can build and present arguments in your defense and protect your rights.
Proposition 200 & ProbationTo save taxpayers the burden of incarcerating certain offenders, Arizona voters in 1996 passed with more than 65 percent of the vote Proposition 200, codified as A.R.S. 13-901.01. This law allows a first or second conviction, for non-violent possession of a drug paraphernalia offender to receive probation rather than any jail time.
The proposition also allows prosecutors to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. If however your probation is violated, you will be arrested.