Being caught with heroin, or being accused of heroin possession can be humiliating and stressful. Not only are you facing possible prison time, you also have to worry about people seeing you as a junkie. This is a serious charge, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re facing heroin possession charges, you need all the help you can get, to help get past this serious criminal legal problem, and get your life back in order.
Drug Possession Defined
Despite what you might have thought before, you don’t have to have the heroin in your hand or your pocket to be charged with possession. Generally, if it’s within your reach or within your control, you can be arrested. The trunk of your car, the kitchen of your home, or underneath your seat—any one of these locations could put the drugs under your control and legally within your possession.
Sometimes, depending on where the drugs are found, your attorney can argue that they weren’t yours or that you weren’t aware of their presence. But, these arguments must be backed with proof for a judge to consider them credible.
Arizona Heroin Possession – Laws & Penalties
Under Arizona law, possession of a narcotic, like heroin, is classified as a Class 5 felony. This charge is punishable by a maximum of 18 months in prison, along with fines. However, not all heroin possession cases result in prison time. Whether through plea agreement or deferred prosecution (see below), you may be able to avoid the worst penalties with the assistance of a local defense attorney.
Deferred prosecution is an option specifically for first time offenders. If this is your first drug charge, you could be eligible. This program involves a period of supervised probation. When completed successfully, the charges against you are dropped. If, however, you violate the terms of the probation, you can still be prosecuted under the initial charge.
The majority of criminal cases, including heroin possession cases, end in a plea agreement. This is where both sides (the defense and prosecution) negotiate an agreement on your charge and/or sentence. In many cases, you can avoid a lengthy jail sentence with a plea agreement. However, it’s important to note, a plea agreement does involve you pleading guilty to the charge.
Other Arizona Heroin Possession Defense Options
If you are innocent of the charges or if the police violated your rights by searching or arresting you, your defense attorney could fight the charges in court. The strategy used will depend on the facts of your case and should be discussed with an attorney as soon as possible.
If you’ve been charged with possession of heroin and are in need of representation, let us help. Contact us today to be put in touch with a local defense attorney who is ready to assist you.