Avondale Drug Crime Lawyer

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Avondale Drug Crime Attorney

Recreational drugs are becoming more widespread and even legal for some adults, such as marijuana for people over the age of 21. Yet not all drugs are legal, and drug users can only possess small amounts.

Illegal drugs can lead to a criminal conviction and probation, as well as jail time, scaled by the severity of the offense. An Avondale drug lawyer can help you figure out the potential consequences of your charges and prepare your defense. Grand Canyon Law Group is a team of criminal defense attorneys, some of whom used to be prosecutors and know how they think about these cases.

GENERAL DRUG OFFENSES AND SENTENCING

Drug offenses generally fall into the categories of possession and sale and vary by the type of drug. So while possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal under Arizona Code § 36-2852, possession of any amount of cocaine is illegal and is a different class of felony than illegal possession of marijuana or another drug.

Both the possession and sale of drugs are non-violent offenses and generally range from a Class 2 felony to a Class 4 felony—with some offenses falling to a Class 6 felony, the sentences for which are laid out by Criminal Code Sentencing Provisions. While the sentencing provisions appear simple based on the offense, an Avondale drug lawyer can show how felonies fall into many categories and result in different penalties depending on the situation.

For a person with no prior felony convictions, a Class 2 felony can result in a minimum of 3 years in jail (if mitigating factors exist) to a maximum of 12.5 years (if aggravating factors exist), or 7 years of probation. On the lower end, a Class 4 felony can result in a minimum of 4 months to a maximum of 2 years, or only 3 years of probation.

EFFECTS OF DRUG THRESHOLD AMOUNTS

State law defines different threshold amounts for different types of drugs, and those thresholds can redefine the legal consequences. For example, marijuana possession by adults over 21 is legal if the adult has less than one ounce. If that adult has more than one ounce—and less than the threshold amount (listed below)—the penalties would not be as severe as if the threshold was exceeded.

If a drug amount exceeds a threshold, then the convicted person loses the chance for a sentence suspension, parole, probation, pardon, or any other release until the full sentence has been served. The threshold amounts for several drugs also come from the Criminal Code Sentencing Provisions:

  • 9 grams of amphetamine or methamphetamine
  • 9 grams of cocaine powder or 750 milligrams of cocaine rock
  • 0.5 milliliters of liquid LSD or 50 dosage units of LSD in blotter form
  • 2 pounds of marijuana
  • 4 grams or 50 milliliters of PCP
  • 9 grams of fentanyl or fentanyl mimetic substances

Threshold amounts also affect the penalties for repeat offenses, increasing sentences and changing probation. Second offenses are usually eligible for probation, but second offenses over the threshold amount lose that privilege. An increase in penalties could look like this: A third offense, Class 3 drug felony below the threshold amount has a minimum sentence of 1.8 years and a maximum of 8.7 years with no possibility of probation, but the same crime above the threshold amount has a minimum sentence of 2.5 years instead.

These sentencing tiers can confuse an alleged violator, especially as offenses for different drugs can fall into different felony classes. A lawyer familiar with drug offenses in Avondale can help figure out the ranges and increases based on the drug, prior felony convictions, and the possibility of probation.

AVONDALE DRUG PENALTIES

Although public sentiment and criminal penalties involving the possession of small amounts of marijuana have shifted in recent years, the consequences of most drug convictions are significant. A number of Avondale drug penalties include years of incarceration, steep monetary fines, and collateral consequences that can have a lifelong impact.

When you have been arrested on drug charges, it is crucial that you fight back against a conviction. The serious penalties associated with these crimes will only become a reality if you are found guilty. Let a skilled drug defense attorney develop the right approach for your case – call Grand Canyon Law Group now!

UNDERSTANDING DRUG THRESHOLDS

The type, and amount, of controlled substances a person possesses will have a significant impact on the penalties they face if they are convicted. Specifically, a conviction in a case where the number of drugs is over the so-called “threshold” can have devastating consequences. The threshold varies across different types of drugs. Some examples primary include:

  • Cocaine: 9 grams
  • Marijuana: 2 pounds
  • Heroin: 1 gram
  • LSD: .5 Milliliters

There are also additional penalties based on the street value of narcotics. No matter the weight, any amount of drugs valued at $1,000 or more will face higher penalties in Avondale than if it was valued under that amount.

Small amounts of drugs (other than marijuana) remain felonies, but state law provides for lesser consequences for first- or second-time offenders. In many situations, these individuals could have their felonies reduced to misdemeanors without jail time as long as they meet certain conditions like drug treatment. You should call a lawyer right now to determine if drug treatment can be a viable alternative in your case.

HOW THE LAW APPLIES TO MARIJUANA

Over time, the level of public acceptance for the use of marijuana has increased dramatically. This has led to a push to reduce or even decriminalize the possession of small amounts of this drug in some places. Since 2020, marijuana has been authorized for recreational use across the state.

That said, there are still a number of criminal offenses related to the sale or possession of weed. It remains unlawful to grow or distribute the drug without authorization, and possession of large amounts of marijuana is still against the law.

A person who possesses more than 2.5 ounces of the drug outside of a registered dispensary might be charged with a Class 2 felony. First-time offenders could face a prison term between three and 12.5 years in some cases, and the consequences can be even greater if the accused has prior convictions.

DIFFERENT STANDARDS FOR JUVENILES

The system for prosecuting juveniles for drug violations is very different from how adults are treated. Minors will not face the same risk of incarceration in most cases, as the primary goal is to rehabilitate them. That does not mean a judge will never send a minor to a juvenile detention center for a drug-related offense—especially for crimes involving the distribution or sale of controlled substances.

The drug penalties for juveniles in Avondale usually involve other forms of consequences, however, like community service, drug treatment, and educational requirements. Most of the time, the goal is to provide a juvenile with an opportunity to move past these issues and lead a normal adult life.

These charges are more complicated than you might think. If you have been charged with a drug-related offense, it is vital that you have the support of a reliable criminal defense attorney. The right attorney can help you fight to reduce or even avoid these Avondale drug penalties.

TALK TO AN AVONDALE ATTORNEY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DRUG CHARGES

Drug charges can lead to hefty jail sentences that can increase with multiple offenses. A conviction can lead to probation instead of jail, but the possibility of probation can disappear based on the amount of drugs present.

To make sense of Arizona’s varied drug penalties, speak with an Avondale drug lawyer about any charges you might face. The attorneys at the Grand Canyon Law Group can explain the consequences of a particular charge and how it might affect your chance for probation.

Schedule A Consultation With The Grand Canyon Attorney Who Can Help