Man and woman signing an agreementThis is my fourth post in my series regarding defending against cases involving heroin in Phoenix and other areas in Arizona. My last post discussed search and seizure issues which arise in heroin arrests. Sometimes litigation is not in your best interest and you need a lawyer who is familiar with the local courts and prosecutors and can help negotiate a favorable resolution.

Phoenix prosecutors have discretion to reduce first time heroin possession offenses to misdemeanors and require treatment instead of jail

Simple heroin possession in Arizona is a Class 4 felony, carrying a maximum of three years nine months in prison. However, prosecutors have the discretion to reduce first time offenses to misdemeanors. They also have the ability to allow probationary sentences, which usually involve treatment programs. If you are out of custody on your own recognizance or on bail, it is in your best interest to begin treatment immediately to demonstrate your commitment.

Your lawyer will also ask you for other favorable information regarding your life. If you are employed, attending school, are active in your community (social organizations, churches, synagogues, mosques, sports, etc.), meet your family obligations or in other ways contribute to your community your attorney can use that information to negotiate your case. Additionally, if you have a history of suffering from addiction, your counsel will present that information in an effort to secure treatment instead of incarceration.

A Phoenix attorney familiar with the local treatment options is an asset in charges involving heroin

It can be embarrassing and scary to be arrested for crimes involving heroin. A lawyer familiar with the local courts, prosecutors and treatment programs can help calm your fears and help you create a path forward to recovery. Programs frequently have waiting lists and counsel knowledgeable about all available options may ensure you get the treatment you need as quickly as possible. It is also helpful to obtain a lawyer who has a good working relationship with the personnel at the treatment programs themselves. Positive relationships can help you get into the right program and can help smooth out any problems that may develop as you begin your recovery.

I understand that treatment can be difficult and that relapse is part of recovery. If you are a Phoenix resident and you have been arrested for possession or possession with intent to sell or distribute heroin contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. I also service other Maricopa County cities such as Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert as well as assisting Pima County residents in Tucson.