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Glendale Marijuana Offense Lawyer

Arizona allows the medical use of marijuana, but the state also has laws that criminalize its use, possession, etc., outside of the medical program. To add to the confusion, the federal government doesn’t officially recognize the legality of the medical marijuana program in Arizona (or anywhere else).

Arizona undoubtedly has a great many citizens who smoke marijuana, whether for medical reasons or not. The situation is rife with conflicting goals and values, leaving the state’s law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and courts to work it all out. This is why we advise you to contact an experienced Glendale marijuana offense attorney that knows how to navigate through protesting against marijuana charges.

The sooner you obtain the help of a criminal defense attorney in Glendale who understands marijuana cases, the better your chances of avoiding conviction, and the better your chances of getting a lighter sentence if you are convicted. None of the defenses discussed above will get serious attention from the state; it’s up to your attorney to make sure that they are carefully investigated and followed up on.

Arizona Law Criminalizing Marijuana

The primary law criminalizing marijuana in the state in section 13-3405, which makes it a crime for anyone to knowingly do any of the following:

  • Possess it either for personal use or sale
  • Sell or transfer it (or even offer to do so)
  • Produce it (grow it, essentially)
  • Transport it for sale (or offer to do so)
  • Import it into the state (or offer to do so)

Possession of the paraphernalia related to marijuana use amounts to a separate crime.

Arizona Penalties for Possessing, Producing, Selling, Transporting, and Importing Marijuana

The classifications of marijuana offenses span the range from class 6 felonies (not very serious) to class 2 felonies (very serious). Simple possession of small amounts is the least serious of the offenses, while selling, transporting, and importing amounts over 2 pounds are the most serious offenses.

While some marijuana crimes may not generally require jail time, that changes if you are convicted of a marijuana offense that involves two pounds or more.

As with most crimes, the defendant’s prior criminal record may be used to enhance sentences.

Defenses against Marijuana Charges

Marijuana charges can be defended in many ways. If the marijuana that forms the basis of the case was improperly obtained by the police, the state will find it difficult or impossible to prove its case. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Glendale will scrutinize the entire procedure that culminated with the seizure by asking:

  • Was there valid legal justification for any police stop that resulted in the charges?
  • Was the marijuana seized without a warrant?
  • If so, were there valid legal grounds for not getting a warrant?
  • If it was seized under a warrant, was the warrant properly issued and served, and was it broad enough to cover the search that was made?

A very common defense in marijuana cases is whether the defendant acted “knowingly” under the circumstances. It’s fairly common, for example, for someone to be found driving a car in which marijuana is hidden, but that alone does not establish that the driver knew the marijuana was there. Friends, relatives, even acquaintances may have left the marijuana in the vehicle for any number of reasons. A good, experienced drug crimes attorney in Glendale will thoroughly examine:

  • How many people drove the car on a regular basis
  • How many people probably had access to it even if they did not drive it
  • Whether the defendant’s history seems consistent with carrying the marijuana

Similar questions apply to marijuana found in any location in which multiple people had access.

Since the amount of marijuana involved has a significant impact on the potential sentence, it is important that your defense attorney ensure that the state’s claim about the weight of the drug is accurate. It may be off for totally innocent reasons, like a defective scale, or less innocent reasons like an officer adding the amount needed to bump the penalty up a level or more.

It should also be added that one can potentially be convicted of a DUI if they are driving while too impaired from marijuana, even if it is medical marijuana. Penalties include license suspension, a drug alcohol awareness class, fines and even possibly jail time. If an officer pulls you over and recognizes you are impaired from drugs, contact a Glendale prescription drug DUI attorney right away.

Get Top Quality Legal Help

Craig Orent understands that conviction of even a minor marijuana offense can have a major impact on your life. His long years of experience in handling Arizona drug crime cases has taught him that many people charged with these crimes simply found themselves in the wrong place at a very wrong time.

Protect yourself and your freedom. Call Craig Orent Law Offices today.

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