The state of Arizona takes drug crimes very seriously. If you are convicted of drug possession, drug purchase or sales, or trafficking large quantities of drugs, there are many sanctions that are required for a conviction. Often the quantity of the drugs will have a big effect on the severity of the charges brought against you and the ultimate penalties you face if you are convicted of the crime.
When someone is convicted of possessing or trafficking drugs, there is usually a required minimum prison sentence and high fines. Drug crimes can be handled in a state or federal court, depending on the nature of the arrest and the specific type of drug charges. In any case, you want to ensure you have an aggressive Arizona criminal defense attorney on your side.
Here are a few drug crimes you could be facing:
- Drug possession (including MDMA, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, prescription drugs and methamphetamines, as well as possession of prescription drugs without a prescription)
- Drug importation, trafficking, smuggling (also referred to as drug dealing, drug sales, drug delivery or possession of drugs with the intent to distribute)
- Drug purchase
- Drug manufacturing or marijuana cultivation
- Prescription fraud
If you are being charged with, are suspected of, or are being questioned in regard to a drug crime, you need the advice of an experienced Arizona drug crimes lawyer in order to protect your rights. You should be aware that your freedom is at risk.
Types of Drug Charges
There are three main categories for Arizona drug crimes: possession, dealing, and trafficking. Some of the most common drugs people are charged with possessing are cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and Xanax. It is only legal to possess Xanax is you have a valid prescription from a medical professional. Generally, the more you are caught with, the longer the prison sentence and the higher the fines. The type of drug you are caught with is a significant factor as well.
If you are caught dealing drugs, then this is a more serious matter, and you may be facing felony charges. If you are caught dealing a very large amount of drugs, then this can make it a trafficking charge. You will also be charged with trafficking if you sell, buy, manufacture, deliver, or bring a controlled substance from another state or out of the country.
You have many options for a possible defense when it comes to fighting the charges, such as illegal search and seizure, insufficient evidence, entrapment, and substantial assistance. A good attorney will investigate your case thoroughly to ensure that the proper procedures were followed and pursue any possible weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. The goal should always be to get you the best possible outcome.
First-Time Drug Offenders in the State of Arizona
If you are a first-time offender, you have even more options available. In fact, if you are caught in possession of an amount of drugs under the thresholds set by the State, you don’t even have to go to jail in many cases. Instead, you can go to an adult diversion program, which is known as TASC. This program requires mandatory counseling, and you will need to produce clean samples. But if you pass the program successfully, your case will be dismissed as a result. If you do not pass the program successfully, your case will be litigated, and you could face additional penalties such as jail time and fines.
Misconduct Involving Weapons in Arizona
If you are charged with the sale, distribution, or possession with intent to sell, you can also be charged with another crime if there was a weapon present. This crime is called Misconduct Involving Weapons. If convicted of this crime, you will face additional penalties, such as jail time and fines, on top of the weapons charge. Your criminal defense attorney can also fight this charge by trying to argue that there was no relationship between the weapon and the drugs.
Fight Your Charges with an Experienced Drug Crime Lawyer in Arizona
Even if you are not a first-time offender, you have the opportunity to fight the charges. Remember, the State must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In many cases, lawyers are able to get the charges dropped or reduced through many different defensive strategies. To understand your options and decide on the best plan for you, contact an experienced Arizona drug crimes attorney as soon as possible to discuss the specifics of your case. The sooner you get legal help, the better your chances are of a positive outcome.