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What are the elements of drug possession crimes in Arizona?

Arizonans who are arrested on drug charges must remember the penalties and the long-term consequences that accompany a conviction. This is true whether it is a person who is facing arrest for trafficking drugs, distributing drugs, selling it at a low level, or is simply accused of drug possession. There are many factors that are part of lodging a strong defense after an arrest for drug possession. Understanding the elements of these drug crimes when the case is prosecuted can be important to the defense.

When the arrest is made, it is important to determine whether the person was in knowing possession of the drug or not. If the person is in the location where the drugs were found, it is not sufficient for a conviction. Law enforcement must connect the person to the drugs so the reasonable inference can be made that the person was aware that the drug was there. It is also necessary for it to be proven that the person was in control of the drugs. Simply having a usable quantity is not part of this requirement and is not needed for there to be a conviction.

It is imperative that it be proven that the substance is recognized as a dangerous drug. Testing must be done to show this. After a forensic scientist has tested it and determined it was a narcotic, that scientist must testify to that fact in the trial. For there to be a conviction, these points must be shown beyond reasonable doubt.

For anyone, being arrested on drug offenses can be a terrifying and worrisome experience. This is especially true if it is a person who is accused of drug possession in a small amount. Fortunately, there are multiple avenues of defense that can be used. Included is showing that the drugs did not belong to the person who was arrested or there was no proof that it belonged to them. Other possible methods are calling the search into question or a lack of knowledge that the drug was present. Having legal assistance is essential after an arrest for drug charges and a qualified defense attorney should be contacted for representation.

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