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Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of a Controlled Substance

An individual that has been charged with drug possession or possession of a controlled substance, dangerous drug, narcotics or prescription pills in Mesa can receive severe consequences. Additionally, law enforcement officers will often to try and find drug paraphernalia or other evidence in order to charge the alleged offender with a more serious offense of drug trafficking or possession with the intent to sell.

It is important to remember that even if you have been charged with a possession offense, your criminal charges will not necessarily result in a conviction. The prosecutor is required to prove you committed every element of the possession offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If they are unable to meet this very high burden of proof, the charges against you may be reduced or even dismissed. Therefore, it is important to immediately hire an experienced drug defense attorney to begin crafting your best legal strategy.

Mesa Possession of a Controlled Substance Attorney

If you have been charged with any drug possession offense in Mesa, or any of the surrounding areas in Arizona, including Phoenix, Gilbert, Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale or East Valley, contact the Law Office of James E. Novak. Attorney James Novak is knowledgeable in all areas of Arizona’s drug and narcotic laws and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious consequences and punishments to your alleged offense. Call the Law Office of James E. Novak for a free consultation at (480) 413-1499 about your alleged possession of a controlled substance charges.


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Controlled Substance Definitions in Arizona

The degree and type of drug possession offense in Arizona depends on the type of substance the alleged offender has in their possession. These substances are defined under the Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3401 as:

  • Dangerous Drugs – These substances are usually those that are made by whatever official, common, usual, chemical or trade name, such as hallucinogens and stimulants.
  • Narcotic Drugs – These substances are classified as natural or synthetic drugs and any substance that is a narcotic, such as opium, cannabis, heroin, LSD, pseudoephedrine and codeine.
  • Prescription Drugs – These substances do not include narcotic or dangerous drugs, but can include any of the following categories:
    • Drugs that are not generally recognized among scientific and medical experts as safe for use except by or under the supervision of a medical practitioner because of its toxicity or other potential for harmful effects, or the method of its use, or the collateral measures necessary to its use;
    • Drugs that are limited by an approved new drug application under the federal act only to be used under the supervision of a medical practitioner
    • Any drugs required to have a caution label under the federal act.

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Possession of a Controlled Substance in Arizona

The following are the most commonly controlled substance possession offenses under the Arizona Revised Statutes:

An individual can be charged with possession of prescription drugs under ARS § 13-3406(A)(1) if they knowingly possess (through actual or constructive possession) or use a prescription-only drug without a valid prescription.

An individual can be charged with possession of a dangerous drug under ARS § 13-3407(A)(1) if they knowingly possess (through actual or constructive possession) or use a dangerous drug.

An individual can be charged with possession of drugs or narcotics under ARS § 13-3408(A)(1) if they knowingly possess (through actual or constructive possession) or use a narcotic drug.


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Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Mesa

Drug possession penalties in Arizona depend on the type of substance possessed by the alleged offender in addition to a variety of other factors. For example, a prescription drug possession offense usually results in lower penalties. However, possession of a dangerous drug can result in more serious penalties. Additionally, the punishment can vary depending on the type of substance; whether the alleged offender has any other prior convictions; whether the offense was aggravated or mitigated; and whether the offense was dangerous or non-dangerous.

Chapter 7 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes lists the sentencing range for controlled substance possession penalties. The penalties can range from a minim term of imprisonment to a maximum term, but most first-time offenders will generally be given the presumptive sentence.

  • Possession of a prescription drug can result in a class 1 misdemeanor drug conviction. This degree of offense is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.
  • Possession of a dangerous drug can result in a class 4 felony drug conviction. This offense is punishable by imprisonment from 18 months to three years, but the presumptive sentence is 2.5 years. Additionally, an individual convicted of this offense is required to pay a fine up to $1,000 or up to three times the value of the substance involved in the offense, but not more than $150,000.

Unless an alleged dangerous drug possession offender was in possession of LSD, methamphetamine, amphetamine or phencyclidine, or they were previously convicted of a felony offense or a narcotics possession offense, they may be placed on probation or, alternatively, charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. This degree of offense is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000 or up to three times the value of the substance involved in the offense, but not more than $150,000.

  • Possession of a narcotic drug offense can result in a conviction for a class 4 felony. This offense is punishable by imprisonment from 18 months to three years, but the presumptive sentence is 2.5 years. Additionally, an individual convicted of this offense is required to pay a fine up to $2,000 or up to three times the value of the substance involved in the offense, but not more than $150,000.

Anyone who has been charged with a possession of a narcotic drug offense is also eligible for probation if they have not previously been convicted of a felony offense and have not been sentenced under any other drug provision.

Certain drug possession offenders may be eligible for drug court, probation or another type of deferred program. Any individual granted probation for their possession offense is prohibited from using any marijuana, dangerous drug or narcotic drug, except if it is lawfully administered. They are also required to undergo drug testing as a condition to the probation. Additionally, anyone who is placed on probation is required to serve community restitution or community service.


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Law Office of James E. Novak, PLLC | Narcotics Possession Attorney in Tempe

Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak today for a consultation about your alleged controlled substance possession charges throughout Maricopa County in Arizona. James Novak is an experienced Tempe controlled substance attorney who will make every effort to fight the allegations against you and help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation. Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak at (480) 413-1499 for a consultation about your alleged drug possession offense throughout Maricopa County in Arizona.