How To Defend A Drug Charge In Arizona?

Are There Any Other Alternative Punishments or Programs for First-time Offenders to Avoid Stiff Penalties?

In Arizona, some first time offenders are going to be offered the TASC program. TASC is a company that administers regular and random drug testing for individuals charged with drug offenses. Sometimes, it is imposed just as part of the release conditions, sometimes part of the probation, sometimes part of a deferred prosecution.

In the deferred prosecution situation, a first time drug offender can often participate in TASC, they will have to randomly drop clean samples. Sometimes there are fines to pay; there are definite costs to participate in the programs. At the end of it, when you are all done, well, while you are doing it, the prosecution is put on pause. If you complete it successfully, your case can be dismissed. However, if you do not complete it successfully, then the prosecution will be reinstated and they can proceed with normal charges and penalties. With first time drug offenses, especially on possession and paraphernalia, they do try to give individuals an opportunity to earn a dismissal in their first case.

What Might Be Some Other Common Defense strategies That Can Be Used in These Types of Cases?

In drug cases, there is often the question of which they belong to, where they were found. If the drugs can be closely tied to the individual charged, then in Arizona law, they have what is sometimes called the actual possession where something is in your possession or in your immediate control. Then there is constructive possession which is not in your immediate possession. However, you could exercise control over it, you could have some awareness of it. That can be attributed as possession to you. Those are the cases where the individual did not know that these drugs were there.

For example, when there are a few people in a car and there are some drugs in the backseat or under the backseat. When several people in the car could have access to them, it becomes a question of who knew about it, could you see it, was it in plain view etc. Some of these facts contribute towards the defense in cases like that and in sale cases, oftentimes people are charged with sale, even with a small amount of drugs. Based on other factors like if the drugs are divided up into smaller packages, presence of any type of cash, maybe a scale for weighing drugs, these things are typically considered what they call indicia of drug sales.

However, they do not always mean that is what was happening. Sometimes, the defense to that can be the small amount of drugs or money, the fact that sometimes it can just be a couple of friends that are sharing drugs among themselves. In those cases, there needs to be exploration into exactly what the relationships between the parties are, how much of the drug we are talking about and how much the indicia of drug sale actually resulted in the potential for selling drugs in the case as opposed to just being a way that friends are sharing or giving drugs to one another.

If Someone Is Acquitted Of A Drug Charge In Arizona, Is There Any Way To Completely Remove It From Their Record?

The standard way for drugs charges in Arizona is that they are never completely removed from the record. They can be set aside and that is in a conviction sense. If you have been acquitted, if you have done the diversion program and the case is dismissed, there is still a more extensive criminal background search. There may be some record of an arrest, there is probably going to be a record of the court case but it would show that it had been dismissed. Therefore, it would not show up as a conviction but it could still show up that an arrest or a charge was filed.

If you need information on How to Defend a Drug Charge in Arizona, call the law office of Jared Allen PLLC for a FREE Initial Consultation at (602) 456-1982 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

Jared Allen, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (602) 456-1982.

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