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  • Know Your Rights

    Pima County Public Defense Services has created several short video presentations to help inform the community about the criminal justice system. Below you will find videos on what happens when you are arrested, how the bail bond system works, what Miranda rights are, and other topics. We hope you find these presentations informative and useful.

    What are
    Miranda
    Rights?      

    Know Your Rights
    - Juvenile Edition

    What happens if I
    get arrested?

    What is bail and
    how do bail bonds work?

    Family Preservation
    Legal Clinic

     


     

    Pima County Legal Clinic

    Pima County Public Defense Services holds a free, virtual or telephonic legal clinic.  The clinic provides services and information about: civil rights restoration; misdemeanor designation of felony convictions; quashing warrants; referrals to lower courts; community services; and constitutional rights.

     

    The clinic is free and open to the public. Individuals must schedule an appointment by clicking on the link below, or call our legal clinic number to schedule an appointment. The clinic is held virtually every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., via Microsoft Teams. You can attend your appointment by computer using any web browser or smart phone, or you can call in. For more information about the clinic and the services that are—and are not—provided, please call 520-724-2285.

    Restoration of Rights

    Please have ready the following items with you (if available to you) for your scheduled appointment:

    • Case Number(s)

    • Conviction/Sentencing Date

    • Date of Discharge from Probation

    • ADOC Inmate Number

    • Absolute Discharge from ADOC

    • Information regarding your court fees

    If you do not have any of the above information, we may still be able to assist you, although it may take us more time to do so.

    Family Preservation Legal Clinic

    The Family Preservation Legal Clinic provides assistance to parents who are being investigated by DCS by providing legal and social work advice to help resolve issues that may lead to removal of children.  The clinic can help with things like obtaining custody, filing for paternity, seeking orders of protection, locating appropriate housing, assisting with employment resources, as well as assisting with any other issue that that would resolve the concerns that led to DCS involvement.

    Check out our Legal Clinic Flyer

    Other Information and Forms

    Prop 207


    Pursuant to Prop 207, Pima County Attorneys Office (PCAO) has launched a website to help people with eligible marijuana convictions get those convictions expunged.

    https://www.pcao.pima.gov/prop207/


    Frequently Asked Questions about Proposition 207

    So, pot is legal in Arizona now?

    Proposition 207 only takes effect after the general election results are certified on November 30, 2020.

    Okay, but it's legal after that?

    Kind of. If you’re 21 or older, you can possess not more than one ounce of marijuana, including up to five grams of marijuana concentrate. Think about what that means. The law is saying that one ounce of bud is the same as five grams of concentrate.

    To be on the safe side, it’s probably best not to have both bud and concentrate at the same time—unless you can be absolutely sure that the amount of both combined does not equal more than one ounce of bud.

    Here are some sample combinations that Prop 207 makes legal:

    Marijuana Flower

    and

    Marijuana Concentrate

    .5 Oz

    (half ounce)

    +

    2.5 grams

    .25 Oz

    (quarter ounce)

    +

    3.75 grams

    .125 Oz

    (eighth ounce)

    +

    4.375 grams


    Only an ounce? I could get more than that with my medical marijuana card.

    The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is still law. That means patients with a valid medical marijuana card are still permitted up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, or the same amount in concentrate form, every 14 days.

    What is marijuana concentrate?

    Extracted oil from the bud of the marijuana plant. You’ll often see it in the form of hash (or hashish), wax, or shatter. It’s also the active ingredient in edible marijuana products.

    Can I make my own concentrates?

    Solvents are volatile substances used to get the psychoactive chemical out of marijuana buds. Prop 207 doesn’t let you use those at home. For that reason, you can make non-solvent concentrates at home, but you have to buy the solvent-based stuff from a licensed dispensary.

    But I can grow my own stuff, right?

    If you’re 21 or older, you can have six plants if they’re locked away in an enclosed space in your primary residence, not visible to the public. If you’re in a household with two or more people of ages 21 or older, you can have twelve plants. But twelve is the maximum; you can’t have six plants per person in a house with six people living there.

    Wait, hang on - did you say six to twelve plants? Isn't that going to give me much more than an ounce of marijuana? 

    Yeah, and that could be a problem. The police might claim that folks with personal grow ops are actually selling their stuff. It’s hard to say exactly how that would shake out in court. Here’s why:

    On the one hand, the law is very clear on how much marijuana and concentrate you can have. If you have more than one ounce you could be charged under the existing Arizona pot-possession law. At best—if you’re under two pounds and they can’t prove you’re trying to sell it—that’s a class 6 felony.

    On the other hand, we’re talking about a ballot initiative. That’s important because, thanks to the Voter Protection Act, Arizona courts have to follow intent of the voters in cases about ballot initiatives. To figure out what the intent of the voters was, courts look at documents like the General Election Voter’s Guide. And a summary of Prop 207 in the 2020 Voter’s Guide says a person can:

    “possess up to 6 marijuana plants at that person’s primary residence, the marijuana produced by those plants[,] and marijuana accessories.”

    That seems promising, but it doesn’t explain how the “marijuana produced by those plants” fits in with the one-ounce/five-grams limit. It’s likely that we’ll have to go to court and argue about that at some point.

    Can I sell weed that I legally bought or grew? 

    No. Prop 207 only lets you give away marijuana, concentrates, or plants. If you give any of those things away, you have to do it for free. You can’t ask for a donation or offer to make a trade for anything else to help offset the costs of growing or delivery, either. You also cannot advertise to the public that you’re giving away marijuana, concentrate, or plants. This means you can’t post on Craigslist, Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media app.

    Also, keep in mind that you can only give away as much as you can legally have. That’s a maximum of one ounce of marijuana five grams of concentrate, or six plants.

    Hey what exactly is a plant, anyway?

    Good question. That’s another thing we’ll probably have to argue about in court. Typically, you grow marijuana by cutting parts off of a “mother” plant. The mother counts as a plant—even though it does not produce any intoxicating buds.

    Then, there’s the issue of whether each little cutting counts as a plant. If you have any experience gardening, you know that sometimes you plant something and it just dies. Same deal here, which is why people often plant more than five cuttings.

    Arizona courts have not decided exactly when a cutting becomes a plant, but other courts have said that a cutting is a plant if its roots grow enough to clump up into a “root ball.”

    Once you have a total of six plants—including mother and the cuttings with roots—it’s time to get rid of the rest of your cuttings.


    Where can I buy marijuana? 

    You’ll be able to buy up to one ounce of marijuana or up to five grams of marijuana concentrate (including edibles), from a licensed dispensary. If you want to buy more than that, you will need a valid medical marijuana card.

    One more thing: the Arizona Department of Health Services will be regulating purchases even if you don’t have a medical marijuana card. That means that details about your purchase (like your name, the amount, and type of product purchased) will go into the ADHS database. Law enforcement agencies may try to collect that information. Whether they need a warrant to do that is a legal issue that will probably end up in court.

    When can I buy marijuana?

    Prop 207 makes businesses go through a licensing process before they can sell marijuana products for recreational use. Existing medical marijuana dispensaries will probably complete that process by March or April of 2021.

    Can I smoke pot in public? 

    No. Prop 207 makes it a petty offense for “any person to smoke marijuana in a public place or open space.” To smoke means “to inhale, exhale, burn, carry or possess any lighted marijuana or lighted marijuana products, whether natural or synthetic.”

    Also, the arguments for Prop 207 in the Voter’s Guide make it clear that this new law is intended to be really strict about banning smoking in public. Courts will have to follow that intent if this ever becomes an issue in a case.


    Okay, but can I eat edibles in public? How about vaping in public?

    Prop 207 only says a person can’t “smoke” in a public place, so edibles are probably safe.

    Vaping is a bit more complicated; it doesn’t seem to fit with what the law says it means to “smoke.” Still, there might be a future court case about whether vaping counts as using a “lighted marijuana product.” After all, we have seen a lot of businesses and government offices ban vaping along with smoking.

    What about in my car? Can I get a DUI for driving while high? .

    It’s still very illegal to operate any sort of motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. Specifically, Prop 207 says you can get a DUI if you’re operating a motor vehicle while “impaired to the slightest degree.” That’s pretty strict. But, unlike with alcohol, the State can’t charge you with a DUI just because you test positive for some amount of marijuana in your system. They must also prove that you were impaired while driving.

    Oh, and it doesn’t matter if you are sitting in a parked car. A car parked in a parking lot is considered to be in a “public place” under Arizona law.

    Can the cops still search me, my car, or my home because they say they smell marijuana? 

    Under Arizona law, the smell of marijuana usually allows the police to search a person, place, or thing. We don’t know whether or how Prop 207 will change that. In all likelihood, it will depend on the circumstances. Consider a few examples:

    • You’re walking down the street and an officer smells marijuana on you.
    • You get pulled over and the officer smells marijuana in your car.
    • The police suspect you are growing marijuana in your home to sell it illegally. 
    • You're a passenger in a car that gets pulled over. 

    What if I'm under 21? Am I still facing a felony charge for simple possession? 

    Probably not; Prop 207 substantially reduces the penalties for people under 21, but the punishment is still worse for kids and adults under age 21 than for adults older than 21. The chart below shows the new penalties for underage offenses:

    Offense

    1st Violation

    2d Violation

    3d Violation

    (or recurring)

    Under 21 possession of not more than 1 oz (incl. 5 g concentrate)

    Civil penalty of not more than $1000

    Petty offense; possible drug education or counseling

    Class 1 misdemeanor

    Under 21 misrepresenting age by means of written instrument to get marijuana

    Petty offense

    Class 1 misdemeanor

    Class 1 misdemeanor

    Under 21 soliciting a person to buy marijuana for them

    Petty offense

    Class 3 misdemeanor

    Class 3 misdemeanor



    Well, that seems like an improvement - but wait, why did you say probably not?

    Other Arizona laws assume that simple possession is a felony. For example, the law on possession in a school zone says a person “is guilty of the same class of felony” they otherwise would’ve been, then adds a year to the sentence.

    It seems that Prop 207 should mean that possession by a person under 21 in a school zone would no longer be not a felony. One of the arguments for Prop 207 in the 2020 Voter’s Guide laments that “Arizona is the only state that makes first-time, simple possession of any amount of marijuana a felony offense.”

    But the answer is another issue that will probably need to be argued in court.  One of the stated purposes of Prop 207 is to “keep marijuana out of the hands of children,” and Prop 207 is clear that possession of marijuana by anyone on a school campus is not allowed.


    What if I have a prior conviction or something? Can I get that off my record? 

    It depends. Prop 207 sets up a way to expunge (basically, to seal away forever as if it never happened) the records of arrests, charges, adjudications, convictions, and sentences for:

    • possessing, consuming, or transporting not more than two and one-half ounces of marijuana, including not more than 12.5 grams of marijuana concentrate;
    • possessing, transporting, cultivating, or processing not more than six marijuana plants at your primary residence for personal use;
    • possessing, using, or transporting paraphernalia relating to the cultivation, manufacture, processing, or consumption of marijuana.

    You can ask the court to expunge those records beginning on July 12, 2021. Unless the agency that originally prosecuted you can show by “clear and convincing evidence” that you’re ineligible, the court has to grant your petition.


    And if they expunge those records, does that mean I get my gun rights back? 

    Yes, unless you were also convicted for an offense not listed above that would otherwise make you ineligible for restoration of your civil rights. BUT this only restores your STATE civil rights; you may still be a prohibited possessor if you have a conviction from a federal court, and there is currently no process for restoring your federal gun rights

    If I get in trouble again, can they still use those old pot charges to give me a longer sentence? 

    If those records are expunged after July 12, 2021, Prop 207 says prosecutors and courts can’t use those arrests, charges, adjudications, convictions, or sentences in a later prosecution—for any purpose.


    Is there anything I can do if I'm currently facing marijuana-related charges?

    If you’re being charged with one of the offenses listed above, you can ask your attorney to file a motion to dismiss those charges with prejudice (“with prejudice” means the prosecutor can’t charge you with that same thing again). After the court dismisses the charges, you can then ask the court to expunge all the records of that pending arrest or indictment.

    One last thing—and this is important—Prop 207 says that you can do that before July 12, 2021.

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    Legal Clinic

    33 N. Stone Ave., 21st Flr
    Tucson, AZ 85701

    Phone:  (520) 724-2285
    Fax:   (520) 770-4168

    Every Wednesday
    9 a.m. - 4 p.m., except on holidays


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