Facing a possession charge in Arizona can result in significant consequences if convicted. Possession of any controlled substance is a felony, no matter how small the amount. This means if you are convicted of the drug crime of possession, you will be facing the penalties of that specific offense in Arizona and will have a felony conviction on your criminal record. A skilled Phoenix criminal defense attorney can inform you of your rights and may be able to help you avoid a conviction through a diversion agreement, plea negotiations or even taking the case to trial if necessary.
Am I Eligible for a Diversion Program?
What is a diversion agreement, or deferred prosecution? This is an alternative approach to prosecution allowing participants to avoid a felony conviction upon successful completion of the program, if the individual meets certain eligibility requirements. Once the participant successfully completes the program, the charges against them will be dismissed. Maricopa County felony possession cases go through the adult deferred prosecution program, called TASC (Treatment Assessment Screening Center). The TASC program for Possession of Marijuana is typically up to six months and includes drug screening, education and counseling. There is also a required 3-hour seminar and substance abuse counseling if a client tests positive for marijuana or other illegal drugs during the course of the program. The Possession of Narcotics Drugs program is a bit more involved and individuals participate in this program for at least one year. The program includes screening, education, counseling and self-help meetings along with the required 3-hour seminar, required substance abuse counseling, required 12-step meetings, and monthly contact with a case manager to discuss program requirements and progress. An experienced attorney will be able to assess your case and determine whether you may be eligible to participate in a TASC program or other diversion program in order to avoid a felony conviction on your record.
Drug Possession Charges and Penalties
If you are ineligible for a diversion agreement in your drug possession case, sentencing will vary depending upon the type and amount of drug found in your possession. An experienced attorney understands the complexities and potential legal defenses that may arise in drug cases and will do a thorough review and investigation of your case to determine the best course of action. Charges of possession commonly involve:
Crystal meth – methamphetamine
Depending upon the specific circumstances of your case, and provided that there were no minors or weapons, or meth involved, you were not found near a protected area (park or school) and you have no prior convictions, you may be eligible for a deferred sentence or a diversion program. Your attorney will pursue all legal options available, through the course of his case investigation and negotiations with the prosecutor. Call the Law Offices of Trent R. Buckallew, PC to speak with a criminal defense lawyer who will fight vigorously to ensure every angle of case resolution is considered.