I Got Arrested for Heroin Possession in AZ (What Now?)
Substance abuse can cause many harmful and life-changing effects on a person. Heroin possession in Arizona is a very serious offense and can lead you down a dangerous path. The drug is a dangerous opioid, classified as a Schedule I narcotic, and is illegal to possess, use, and sell. Getting caught with heroin in your possession can result in you getting arrested and most likely going to jail.
Along with legal consequences, heroin use can cause various health risks to the user. However, you can prevent further damage by getting the help you need. Let us help you it is too late. Call us at 623-263-7371, and get the medical and professional help you need to beat this addiction.
Forms of Heroin
Heroin is derived from the opium poppy plant along with other opioids. Common opioids include pain relievers like Vicodin and morphine. Not all opioids are illegal like heroin but they are all highly addictive and therefore dangerous. All it takes to get hooked is using the drug regularly and for a long time. Heroin comes in many forms such as a white or brown powder or even a tar-like liquid. This drug is either inhaled through the nose or injected into a vein with a needle.
Heroin causes a massive release of dopamine in the brain, resulting in a feeling of euphoria while also blocking pain messages. This occurs because opioids’ original intention was to help people deal with pain after surgeries or other medical reasons. However, people began misusing heroin regularly, trying to recreate the initial dopamine high, and in the end, it became clear that the drug comes with many dangers.
The side effects on the body are enough to be frightened by. They include insomnia, infections, and chemical changes in the brain just to name a few. If that still doesn’t concern you, consider what happens if you get stopped by a police officer and you have heroin in your possession? Most likely you will be in serious legal trouble.
Arizona Heroin Laws
Heroin possession in AZ is treated very severely. Heroin laws revolve around a “threshold amount,” meaning the minimum amount is considered to be punishable. For heroin, you only need to have one gram of it in your possession to be arrested, convicted, and put in jail. To put this into a visual perspective, that is a quarter of a teaspoon of sugar.
The Arizona State Legislature has heroin laws classified under the possession of drugs. Under Title 13 in the criminal code, chapter 34 is labeled drug offenses. Under the state’s legislature, a person risks incarceration if they use or possess even a small amount of heroin.
By law, if you are caught with heroin your punishment depends on the amount you have on you and whether you have a record. If this is your first offense, depending on the reason you had the drug and if it was below or above the threshold limit will determine your punishments. Getting arrested with heroin is seen as a class 4 felony, even as a first offense.
Although, no matter what, if you are caught with heroin in your possession, your case will be treated as a felony until your lawyer asks for it to be knocked down to a class 1 misdemeanor. It can only become a class 1 misdemeanor if this is your first time being arrested for heroin possession. However, if this is your second or third offense with heroin possession you will face more serious consequences.
Heroin Threshold Possession
Above the Threshold
If you have heroin in your possession and it is above the threshold amount of one gram then you will be convicted. This could result in 12 ½ years in state prison. That is almost 13 years of your life you would be giving up. If you get convicted a second time you could go to prison for heroin possession for 23 ¼ years. Finally, if you get convicted of the third offensive of heroin possession then you will be sent to prison for at least six years where you will then spend another 35 years in state prison.
Below the Threshold
If you are caught with less than a gram of heroin, you might not be sent to jail. However, getting caught with less than a gram of heroin is still breaking the law. Even if you don’t go to jail, it isn’t worth the consequences. People caught with an amount below the threshold can face other penalties such as fees, fines, hours of community services, and even required to attend programs for drug use. Additionally, people may have mandatory drug testing as part of their probation.
The Arizona legislature states that a person found with even a minimum amount of heroin can still suffer various consequences. The person can expect to do no less than 360 hours of community restitution. They will need to participate in a program from an agency or organization that offers counseling, along with rehab treatment for substance use.
Since having less than a gram of heroin is still against the law, you have to follow through on the required order. You will also get the incident put on your record, which can get into greater trouble later if you continue on this path. If you are caught again with possession it will count as your second offensive and could lead to worse felony sentences and more jail time.
Statistics of Heroin Deaths
Heroin is not only illegal but it is bad for you. It is bad for your body, brain, and life. Getting arrested for heroin possession in AZ could be the least of your worries. Possession could lead you to spend 35 years in prison, but using heroin can ruin your life and hurt your family. On top of those consequences, heroin can possibly kill you. This is a terrifying reality that some people may choose to ignore. There is always the fear when you are doing something wrong that you could get caught, but what if you die before you even get into trouble?
In Arizona, prescription opioids and heroin were the leading cause of overdose deaths in 2017. This resulted in 949 opioid-related deaths in the state, which increased the death rate by 20 percent more than the year prior. On its own, deaths involving heroin amounted to 344.
Knowing the statistics of these harmful drugs can help lead people to seek recovery before it is too late. For those who continue to use drugs, educating yourself on the side effects and consequences is crucial. It only takes one gram to get arrested and it only takes one overdose to end your life.
Drug Enforcement Administration 360 Strategy
Unfortunately, not everyone understands the dangers or consequences of heroin. Especially when the opioid crisis first hit, no one knew what to do. It is called a crisis because so many people suffer from misusing, abusing, or being addicted to prescription drugs, heroin, or fentanyl.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl works just like heroin in binds to the user’s opioid receptors in the brain. The receptors are found in areas that control pain and emotions. Long-term use of opioids can lead to the brain changing and adapting to the drug. It can affect the brain’s sensitivity and cause issues with feeling pleasure as a result of natural rewards.
The lack of education around this topic has caused even more harm to communities. Especially tribal nation communities such as the Yavapai-Apache Nation, who previously did not have the correct resources to help with the crisis. Thankfully in 2015, the Drug Enforcement Administration created a program called the “360 Strategy”.
More on the 360 Strategy
The program combines partnership of the community, law enforcement, and diversion control all to target the problems of heroin and other dangerous drugs. The Drug Enforcement Administration decided to partner with the Yavapai-Apache Nation for the first time to implement their program. The program is believed to provide resources to help educate and prevent drug use in rural areas.
The partnership’s goal is to bring better awareness of what these drugs can do. Not only the harm they can do to your body but how the law is involved. Discussions about heroin, fentanyl, and opioids are explained by the Phoenix Field Division who travel to the tribes.
In addition, they will also continue the efforts by involving other organizations to help. This includes the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, DEA Educational Foundation, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, Discovery Education, and many others.
All of these efforts come with the hope to make a difference. With education and awareness, the goal is for these local communities in Northern Arizona to eventually become drug-free.
Receive Help and Education Today
Continuing to educate yourself and others on heroin addiction can make a big difference. Knowledge is a gateway to understanding what this world can offer you. Using drugs and alcohol can come with dangerous risks, not only to you but to others you love. Substance abuse can lead you down a negative path that can leave you in prison, with numerous health risks, and even death.
You do not have to continue done that path and you are not alone. We can help guide you in getting help so you can heal. You can beat this addiction with treatment, support, and love. Don’t get caught with heroin possession in AZ. It doesn’t need to get that far. Call us at 623- 263-7371, we can help you start your sober life today.
Written by Julia Bashaw
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