Mesa, AZ asked in Criminal Law for Arizona

Q: I live in Arizona and I got charged with poss of marijuana and paraphernalia and it's my first offense

What are the consequences I can get

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2 Lawyer Answers
Stewart Salwin
Stewart Salwin
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: The Arizona law that criminalizes possession of marijuana in Arizona is A.R.S. 13-3405. If you are charged with simple possession of marijuana it can be either a class 6 or up to a class 4 felony depending on the amount of marijuana that you possessed. For example, anything less than 2 pounds is classified as a class 6 felony, anything more than four pounds is a class 4, and anything in between is a class 5. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a class 6 felony.

In Arizona, a class 6 felony can be charged as a misdemeanor. If this is your first offense and you possessed a small amount of marijuana, it is not uncommon for the prosecutor to charge your case as a misdemeanor, which is what I would expect to happen (but keep in mind they could technically charge it as a felony). Even if the did charge it as a felony and you went to trial and were convicted, the judge could decide to designate it as a misdemeanor during sentencing anyway.

What the outcome of the case would be depends on the prosecuting agency that is charging you. A class 1 misdemeanor conviction carries a maximum of jail time of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $2500. That is the worst-case scenario. However, judges and prosecutors are usually much more lenient on marijuana possession. And I have personally never seen anybody get jail time for a first-time marijuana possession offense--but it's not theoretically off the table.

A lot of prosecuting agencies in Arizona will other some diversion programs for a first-time marijuana offense. This is known as TASC and it involves you having to take some drug counselling classes and then the case will be dismissed. If you possess a valid medical marijuana card, you can usually get the case dismissed outright because the possession of such a card is a defense.

Zachary Divelbiss agrees with this answer

Zachary Divelbiss
Zachary Divelbiss
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: If the prosecutor is giving you anything other than TASC, then you need to immediately ask for a continuance and contact one of us to represent you.

Zach@futurefirst.law or 602-900-6642

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