Along with charges of drug possession, drug paraphernalia charges are among the most commonly charged criminal offenses in any jurisdiction. In the U.S., all states have laws that criminalize the possession, use and sale of drug paraphernalia. However, the terminology used in the laws and how they apply often vary. These laws are usually broadly applied, and a court system can decide that just about any item is drug paraphernalia under certain circumstances. This is why understanding your paraphernalia charge is so important.
What is Paraphernalia?
Drug paraphernalia is considered to be all products, equipment, and various other materials that are intended for use, used, or designed for use in propagating, planting, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, converting, processing, testing, analyzing, weighing, packaging, repackaging, storing, concealing, inhaling, injecting, or introducing drugs into the body. Just about anything can be considered drug paraphernalia including vials, water and opium pipes, hypodermic needles and spoons.
Arizona Law, Title 13 Chapter 34
A considerable number of drug laws are included in the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) law title 13, chapter 34. Criminal acts prohibited under these statutes include the sale or possession of drugs, to possess with the intention of use, trafficking, distribution, manufacturing and more. Those who violate Arizona Law, Title 13, Chapter 34 are considered guilty of a class 6 felony.
Who Determines the Paraphernalia Charge?
To determine the paraphernalia charge and to convict, the state prosecutor examines many factors to ascertain if the alleged perpetrator was actually in possession of drug paraphernalia. The defense for paraphernalia charges varies. It may include tactics that determine if forensic flaws during the investigation come into play, such as paperwork issues, false statements and more. If you find yourself facing Arizona drug or paraphernalia charges, it is highly recommended that you have a skilled defense attorney by your side.
Penalties for First Offenders
Arizona drug laws are complex, especially when it comes to sentencing. If convicted, your sentence will depend on how many prior offenses you have, the quantity of drugs involved, any aggravating or mitigating factors and the specific crime or combination of crimes involved. An example is whether the criminal offense is possession of drugs/paraphernalia for personal use or if it involves the intent to sell, selling, or transportation for sale.Any item that is used in close connection with illegal drugs can be regarded as paraphernalia. Under Arizona state law, it can be either a misdemeanor or felony charge. The State’s Proposition 200 prohibits prison time or jail for non-violent first and second-time drug offenders. In other words, offenders can face probation along with other penalties and incarceration is usually avoided.
Penalties for Repeat Offenders
If an individual is a repeat offender, if other charges or aggravating factors are present, or if the charges are regarded as violent, they could end up facing prison or jail time. The main purpose of criminal law is to identify and remove those whose conduct continues to jeopardize public safety by committing aggravated or violent felonies.
Understanding Your Paraphernalia Charge
Arizona criminal law is hard to sift through, and the State’s drug and paraphernalia charges are serious business. They can ruin your reputation, deplete your finances, and have a devastating effect on you and your family’s future. Understanding your paraphernalia charge will affect the end results of the case and requires a good defense attorney with in-depth knowledge of Arizona State laws. We will be your best defense. To learn more about how we can help you, give me a call for a quick case evaluation today.