Guide to New Recreational Marijuana Laws in Arizon

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Phoenix Arizona Marijuana Possession Lawyer

Laws surrounding marijuana in Phoenix are complex. While you can recreationally use this substance, you cannot possess more than a certain amount. This comes as a surprise to many people facing criminal charges—and you could be among them.

Gurion Legal offers comprehensive legal representation to defendants throughout the state. A Phoenix, Arizona, marijuana possession lawyer can challenge your charges and fight for your future. They can also work to get a previous marijuana charge expunged from your record. Call to begin a free case review.

We Advocate for Defendants Up Against These Charges in Phoenix

Gurion Legal advocates for residents of Phoenix facing these marijuana-related charges:

  • Cultivation and production (if you have more than six plants)
  • Intent to sell
  • Sale or delivery for sale
  • Driving under the influence

We have a long history of securing positive outcomes for drug possession defendants. In one case we managed, our client was accused of stealing prescription pads and writing fraudulent scripts to get painkillers. Not only did we successfully combat 21 felony counts, but we narrowed them down to two misdemeanors and one year of probation.

The Details Behind Marijuana Possession in Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona is one of more than 20 states that have legalized marijuana use. And, like many of these states, Arizona limits how much you can have in your possession at one time.

The law says:

  • Recreational users may only carry up to one ounce of marijuana at a time. If the marijuana you possess has a concentrated form (like in a vape pen), you can only carry a maximum of five grams.
  • If you use marijuana for a medical reason, you can possess up to 2.5 ounces at a time.

Proposition 207 (also known as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act) wants to ensure that licensed dispensaries have total control over who can sell marijuana. The state assumes that if someone has an excessive amount, they intend to deal outside of the legal parameters. For this reason, those found guilty of marijuana possession could face serious penalties.You Could Face These Penalties if Convicted

The penalties you face largely depend on your criminal history and the amount of marijuana found in your possession:

  • If you had less than two pounds of marijuana in your possession, you could face fines exceeding $100.
  • If you had over two pounds of marijuana in your possession, you could face anywhere from four months to 3.75 years behind bars.

Sometimes, the state charges defendants with multiple things. For instance, it’s not uncommon for those charged with marijuana possession to also face charges of driving under the influence. If convicted of multiple crimes, you could face higher penalties than those listed above.

How Our Marijuana Possession Lawyers Advocate for Defendants

It shouldn’t matter whether this is your first or subsequent criminal charge; you want strong legal representation. On your own, you could face aggressive law enforcement officials, uncertainty, and (even worse) jail time. You want every resource available to combat possession charges in Phoenix.

When you entrust your defense to Gurion Legal, you can count on us to:

  • Stay with you through interrogations
  • Gather any evidence that could benefit your case
  • Represent you through any hearings
  • Guide you on whether you should accept a plea deal
  • Build a defense strategy
  • Represent you in court if your case goes to trial

We can also guide you on what you should and shouldn’t do while going through the criminal justice system. Any wrong move could mean the difference between getting your charges dropped or serving jail time.

We Also Help People Get Their Marijuana-Related Charges Expunged

Believe it or not, some parts of your criminal record aren’t written in stone. Depending on your case’s details, you could petition the county to have a marijuana-related charge removed.

For instance, suppose that before Proposition 207 passed, the state convicted you of possessing a half-ounce of marijuana. Today, the law allows that amount, so we could remove the offense from your record.

The Superior Court of Maricopa County reports that you may qualify for expungement if the court resolved your case, and:

  • You had, smoked, or transported less than two-and-a-half ounces of marijuana flower in your possession.
  • You had, smoked, or transported less than 12-and-a-half grams of marijuana concentrate.
  • You did not have more than six marijuana plants in your home.
  • You had certain marijuana paraphernalia when searched by law enforcement (such as bongs, scales, baggies, or vape pens).

Expungement makes it so other parties (like potential employers, for instance) can’t see a conviction. For many, expungement offers a second chance. If successful, you could have an easier time securing housing, finding a job, and applying for school.

A Phoenix Marijuana Possession Lawyer May Employ These Defenses

If you’re facing marijuana possession charges, you’re within your rights to retain legal help. Our team may employ one or more of the following defenses to secure a positive outcome:

You Didn’t Knowingly Have Drugs in Your Possession

To secure a guilty verdict, a judge and jury must rule that you knowingly had too much marijuana in your possession. Here’s an example of how this defense could benefit you. Your friend leaves their backpack in your car. It has more than an ounce of marijuana in it. You then get pulled over by police, who find the drugs, and they charge you with marijuana possession.

If your lawyer can prove that you didn’t know you had those drugs in your car, the judge and jury cannot convict you. We could use witness testimony, toxicology reports, and other evidence to build this defense.

You Use Marijuana Medicinally

The state notes that if you have a medical marijuana card, you can legally carry more than 2.5 ounces. Yet, if you didn’t have your card when the police arrested you, this could have ended in possession charges. Our team can present this information to the other party and work to get your case dismissed.

The Police Mishandled Procedures

Police officers must follow certain procedures when gathering evidence and making an arrest.

They must:

  • Only search vehicles and homes if they have probable cause (or a warrant)
  • Read people their Miranda rights upon arrest
  • Document the incident appropriately in a report
  • Use restraint

If law enforcement failed to do these things, that error could serve as an important part of your defense. For instance, if the police didn’t read your Miranda rights, and you admitted something that could incriminate you, that statement cannot be used to prosecute you.

The Statute of Limitations Expired

For some offenses, like marijuana possession, the state doesn’t have an unlimited time to bring a criminal case. In Arizona, the state generally has seven years to prosecute you for a felony. Once that timeframe expires, you cannot be tried.

The Benefits of Getting Your Charges Dropped, Reduced, or Dismissed

Popular media, like movies and TV shows, make defense cases look easy. There’s always a star witness who comes in at the last second to save the day. Or, the prosecution makes a mistake that a real professional wouldn’t dream of making. When given the severity of a real-life criminal trial, you should at the very least consider legal help.

Through a positive resolution of your case, you could enjoy fewer problems when:

  • Looking for employment: On a job application, you don’t have to admit that you were tried for a crime and then later acquitted. You can apply as though you never walked into a courtroom before.
  • Searching for housing: Landlords don’t want to rent to tenants who have criminal histories. You wouldn’t have to worry about a rejection stemming from your criminal past.
  • Applying for a loan: During the loan application process, the creditor could run a background check. If they don’t see a conviction on your record, your chances of getting a loan could increase.
  • Applying to college: If you have plans to go to college to further your education, you could have better opportunities without a criminal record. Some universities have competitive programs to get into. A criminal record could hurt your chances of getting accepted.
  • Adopting or fostering children: Someone with a criminal record will have a harder time adopting or fostering children. Adoption agencies go through applications line by line. If one sees that you have a conviction, you could have a hard time adopting.

You have defense options if your court date hasn’t rolled around, and you’re hoping to get a not guilty verdict. At the same time, your life isn’t over if you were previously convicted of marijuana possession. With our team’s help, you could get that mistake expunged from your record and start anew.

Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana Possession in Phoenix, Arizona

As you consider partnering with our defense attorneys, you may ask:

When Should I Contact Gurion Legal?

We have defendants contact us at various points in their cases. Some call us while at the police station. Others show up for their first day in court, then call us when they realize they’ve taken on too much.

We want to get started managing your case as soon as possible. That way, we have more control over interrogations, jury selection, and other relevant matters. You don’t have to spend a single day in court alone. Our team can stand by you throughout the legal process.

What Happens During My Free Case Review?

During your no-obligation case review, you get the opportunity to meet our team and learn about our services. We encourage you to ask questions about our experience, resources, and previous case results. Everything you share during our conversation is confidential, so don’t hold anything back when speaking with us. By giving us the full picture of what happened, we can start crafting your defense.

What Exactly Is Proposition 207?

Voters in Arizona passed Proposition 207, making recreational marijuana legal. The proposition legalizes and recreational use of cannabis for adults over 21. This law allows counties to begin dismissing marijuana-related cases and expunging past convictions.

Yet, as mentioned, Proposition 207 has some limitations. You cannot possess, sell, distribute, or cultivate marijuana up to a certain amount. Our team can help you understand what your charges and a conviction could mean in relation to this law.

What Does Expungement Mean? Is That the Same as Erasure?

Expungement is erasing or removing a criminal record by sealing it. Therefore, when someone runs a criminal background check on you, they will not see the conviction on your record. Someone could only see the conviction if they had a court order to reopen the file.

Our attorneys can file a petition to get your record expunged. Then, after a certain period, the court may grant or deny your request. If the court grants your petition, the state could expunge any record of your arrest, charge, conviction, and sentence. With the help of the Phoenix, Arizona, marijuana possession lawyers from Gurion Legal, you can put your worries aside and plan for the future.

What Should I Do While Facing Marijuana Possession Charges?

While waiting for your day in court, you want to avoid doing anything that could worsen your situation. For instance, avoid spending time with people who engage in criminal (or even just sketchy) activity. You may consider enrolling in a substance abuse program if that’s relevant to your situation.

Above all else, you should consider partnering with the team at Gurion Legal. You’d be surprised at the small things that could compel a jury to convict, and we build the strongest defense possible.

Contact Gurion Legal Today to Get Started

Facing marijuana possession charges is terrifying. Yet, the attorneys at Gurion Legal can provide support and legal guidance. We offer more than comprehensive legal help; we offer hope. To connect with our firm, call (480) 800-0020. Reach out to a Phoenix drug lawyer.

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