Meth is an abbreviation of crystal methamphetamine, a white drug that people consume through snorting, smoking, or injecting, often in connection with raves or night clubs. Sometimes it is known as crank, speed, or ice. Meth creates a feeling of happiness and confidence, among other things. However, it can destroy a user's life, systematically destroying the body, creating dependence, and causing serious health problems. Meth possession is punished harshly in Arizona. James Novak is an experienced Phoenix meth possession lawyer who can put insights gleaned from his prior work as a prosecutor to work for you if you are charged with a serious drug crime.Fighting Meth Possession Charges
Under Arizona law, possession of what are deemed dangerous drugs has serious legal consequences. Methamphetamine is considered a dangerous drug under the law, and serious penalties may be imposed for actual or constructive possession, or sometimes for joint possession. Actual possession can be proven by showing that you had the drugs on your person during a lawful search. Constructive possession means that you exercised control and dominion over the meth or the location where the meth was found. In some cases, meth is found in an area where two people share control and dominion, such as a married couple's bedroom; this is joint possession.
Under A.R.S. section 13-3407, if you are caught possessing meth, you can be charged with a class 4 felony. Unlike with certain other drugs, a meth possession charge is not one that a judge can turn into a class 1 misdemeanor. The judge cannot put you on probation, as with some other drugs, and refrain from designating the offense as a felony or misdemeanor until you complete probation.
As a class 4 felony, simple meth possession when charged as a first offense involves a presumptive sentence of 2.5 years in prison. The minimum term is 1.5 years. Mitigating factors can reduce the term to one year, while aggravating factors can increase the prison term to 3.75 years. It may be possible to get a judge to put you on probation. However, the penalties may increase if this is not your first felony conviction. A meth possession attorney in the Phoenix area can advise you on the specific consequences that you may be facing.
When the amount possessed is more than nine grams, it becomes a class 2 felony because the presumption is that it is too much for personal use and must be for sale. This is called possession for sale. Penalties are significantly higher for class 2 felonies. The presumptive prison term for a class 2 felony is five years. The minimum term is four years’ imprisonment. With mitigating factors, it is possible to get it down to three years. If there are aggravating factors, however, such as related weapons charges and violence, the aggravated term is 12.25 years.
You should never feel hopeless about your situation. There may be strong defenses that a Phoenix meth possession attorney can raise. A prosecutor must prove the meth possession beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very high standard of proof. In some cases, it may be possible for us to defend your case by arguing that there is a reasonable doubt about whether you possessed the meth.
Additionally, there may be constitutional and other procedural violations that occurred when the police were investigating you for meth possession. Under the Fourth Amendment, you have a right to be free from illegal searches and seizures. When meth is seized illegally, it may be possible to file a motion to suppress it as evidence. Without the evidence of the drugs themselves, a prosecutor is unlikely to continue to pursue charges of meth possession.Consult a Meth Possession Lawyer in Phoenix or Surrounding Cities
If you are charged with meth possession, you may be facing some serious penalties as well as a criminal record. It is important to retain a tough, experienced lawyer to present a vigorous defense. James Novak represents defendants throughout the Phoenix area, including in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and other cities in Maricopa County. Contact James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.