Drug Possession – Cocaine
A drug possession charge doesn’t make you an addict, in the same way that drinking on the weekend doesn’t make you an alcoholic. But, cocaine is a highly addictive drug, and if your habit is more than just a recreational habit, a possession charge could present you with a chance to get some help.
In Arizona, drug possession charges are taken quite seriously. The stakes are high and you face both jail time and the designation as a convicted felon. When you work closely with a local defense lawyer, your chances of walking out of court unscathed may be improved. Whether through a plea agreement or getting the charges dismissed, your attorney will work to get you the best results possible.
Arizona Cocaine Possession – Laws & Penalties
Possession of cocaine is a Class 5 felony charge under Arizona law. This means you could spend up to 18 months in prison if convicted. Rarely, however, are people sentenced to the maximum for a cocaine possession charge.
Despite what you might have thought before your arrest, you don’t have to have the drugs in your pocket or on you to be charged with their possession. They merely have to be within your control. That could be in your glove box, in your home, or under your seat.
If a friend drops a bag of cocaine when they see the police coming, and the cocaine is within your reach, you could be charged with possession even if the drugs weren’t yours.
Arizona Cocaine Possession Legal Defense Strategies
The good news is, you still have options. Being charged isn’t the same as being convicted and a defense lawyer knows how to represent your best interests by working to mitigate the effects this charge has on your life.
Even for cocaine possession, Arizona lawmakers have built in a lenient option for first time offenders. If you have never been charged with a drug crime before, you could be eligible for deferred prosecution.
This means the state will suspend your case, in essence, while you go through a period of probation. I you successfully complete the probation, the charges will be dropped. However, if you violate the terms of the probation, you will be prosecuted.
This is your second chance.
Fighting the Possession Charges
One of the most common defense strategies in a cocaine possession case is to challenge the search that led to your arrest. Perhaps the police didn’t have probable cause to search you. If they didn’t or if they violated your rights in another way while conducting the search, the evidence they found could be inadmissible in court, and your charges ultimately dropped.
The right defense strategy for your case depends on the details surrounding your arrest. If you’re facing charges of cocaine possession in Arizona, contact me today for a free case evaluation and some advice on what to do next.