Mesa Drug Crime Lawyer

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Mesa Drug Crime Attorney

Many of our clients face criminal charges as a result of addiction to drugs. We have become familiar with recovery resources and understand the challenges of relapse as part of the process. Challenges can arise in which clients are accused of possession of drugs that were possessed by someone they were with when arrested. These can be challenging, and require an aggressive approach.

In addition, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act has resulted in many people being arrested and charged for allegedly violating one of the restrictions in the act. It is important to become familiar with the restrictions and requirements of the act. Unfortunately, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has taken a dim view of the act and has aggressively charged cases. The approach differs from county to county.

At Grand Canyon Law Group, you will work directly with an experienced attorney who will work for the best outcome for your case. The partners in our firm are former prosecutors who formerly worked with the people charging your case. This benefits our clients and has produced a long history of the best results.

Someone convicted of a felony drug offense in Arizona can face substantial penalties, including a fine, imprisonment, or both. A person regularly involved in unlawful drug activity or someone convicted of such an offense through their association with a criminal enterprise potentially faces a life sentence in prison. A drug-related charge can have serious effects, particularly on someone with one or more prior convictions.

When confronting a charge for unlawful activity related to marijuana or any dangerous, narcotic, or prescription-only substance it is important work with a local attorney who has experience in defending and prosecuting criminal cases. If you face a serious drug charge, you need honest advice and strategy from a top Mesa drug lawyer. To get started on your case, call today to schedule a consultation. En Español.

LOCAL MARIJUANA LAWS

The Arizona Criminal Code makes it unlawful to knowingly possess, use, sell, or produce marijuana. It is also illegal in Arizona to transport marijuana for sale, import it into the state, sell it, transfer it, or offer to do any of these activities. These offenses can lead to any of several classes of felonies, depending on the particular offense and the amount of marijuana involved.

Someone convicted of a violation faces, in addition to any other penalties imposed, a fine of either $750 or three times the value of the marijuana involved, whichever is greater. Similar penalties apply for crimes involving narcotic drugs, but the fine imposed in those cases is the greater of $2,000 or three times the value of the narcotics in question. Someone charged with a marijuana offense could consult with a Mesa drug lawyer to determine the potential outcomes in their case, from dismissal to conviction.

LAWS RELATED TO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Certain drugs may be obtained only by a prescription issued by a licensed provider. Unless properly licensed or permitted to do so, a person may not possess such drugs for sale, manufacture them, possess materials for manufacturing them, administer them without proper authority, or obtain them by fraud. It is also unlawful to possess, use, manufacture, or distribute a misbranded drug.

Along with any other penalties they receive, someone convicted of one of these offenses must pay a $1,000 fine. If you face a charge for violating a local or federal drug law, a drug attorney in your local area could inform you about the potential penalties involved and any opportunities you might have to avoid prosecution or seek a reduced charge or sentence.

SENTENCING OF SERIOUS DRUG OFFENDERS

An adult or someone tried as an adult who is convicted of a serious drug offense that is part of a general pattern of unlawful drug-related activity from which they derive significant income (i.e., more than $25,000 per year) receives a sentence of life imprisonment. Unless the sentence is commuted, they may not receive parole, sentence suspension, probation, release, or pardon before serving 25 years. The same penalty applies to someone who commits such an offense as part of their association with a drug-dealing enterprise.

TYPES OF DRUG CHARGES IN MESA

Arizona’s drug laws and sentencing guidelines are extremely complex. When you are charged with a drug crime, it could be difficult to know how serious the charge is and what the potential consequences might be.

A drug defense attorney can explain the types of drug charges that exist in Mesa and help you understand what a conviction might mean for you. Get in touch with the Grand Canyon law Group as soon as you are arrested.

MARIJUANA CRIMES

State voters decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana and its recreational use in 2020. Adults may possess up to an ounce of marijuana or its derivatives without penalty and may grow up to six plants. A household with at least two adults can have up to twelve plants.

Adults possessing more than one ounce, but less than two and half ounces, face a criminal infraction. This violation is treated similarly to a traffic ticket, and an offender would usually be hit with only a fine. A conviction does not result in a criminal record.

Possession of any amount of marijuana by a minor, driving under the influence of marijuana, using cannabis in public, and possessing more than the sanctioned amounts remain crimes and can lead to jail or prison sentences. Anyone dealing with this type of drug charge in Mesa should seek counsel from our team of former prosecutors.

DRUG POSSESSION CRIMES

The severity of a drug crime depends on the type of drugs found in a defendant’s possession and the quantity of drugs. Someone convicted of possessing a small quantity of drugs—an amount that does not exceed the so-called threshold—usually faces probation, rather than jail or prison.

The threshold amounts of illegal drugs are set out in Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3401(36) . The threshold quantity is the amount that the legislature deemed appropriate for personal use, or the quantity that has a street value of $1,000. The threshold quantity of heroin is one gram, but the threshold quantity of cocaine and methamphetamine is nine grams.

Someone facing their first or second drug possession conviction would be sentenced to probation. Probation is arduous, and can include drug dependency screening and treatment, random drug tests, fines, frequent check-ins with a probation officer, curfew, and other restrictions.

OTHER TYPES OF DRUG CRIMES

Possessing more than the threshold quantities of drugs allows police and prosecutors to assume that the person in possession intended to sell the drugs, even if there is no evidence of intent to sell. When there is evidence of intent to sell, someone could face drug distribution charges even when they possessed less than the threshold quantity. When a prosecutor assumes an intent to sell with no clear evidence a sale took place, a Mesa attorney can often work with a prosecutor to reduce this type of drug charge.

Transporting drugs, even within the state, can result in drug trafficking charges. It is also a crime to possess materials to make drugs or to possess drug paraphernalia.

These charges are felonies. Upon conviction, an offender would face sentencing according to the state’s sentencing guidelines. The guidelines set a presumptive prison sentence for every class of felony and provide for a more lenient sentence if the judge finds mitigating circumstances, or a harsher sentence if the judge finds aggravating circumstances. The sentences become substantially more severe when an offender has prior convictions.

MESA DRUG PENALTIES

Arizona has enacted a complicated set of laws to penalize the possession and distribution of drugs, trying to reduce the flow of drug traffic. Mesa drug penalties can be extremely harsh, with mandatory minimum prison sentences in many cases.

QUANTITY AND TYPE DETERMINE THE SEVERITY OF CHARGES

The drug laws are based on the type and quantity of illegal drugs someone possess. The statutes list scores of illegal drugs that could lead to possession or distribution charges.

Someone possessing an amount appropriate for personal use faces more lenient treatment than someone who possesses more than the threshold amount described in Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3401(36). When someone possesses more than the threshold amount of a specific drug, prosecutors assume they intend to sell, distribute, or traffic the drugs, and penalties are much harsher.

Most drug charges are felonies. Regardless of the sentence imposed, a felony conviction can limit a person’s choices and opportunities for a lifetime. Anyone facing drug penalties should work with our Mesa attorneys to resolve the matter with minimal long-term consequences, if possible.

PENALTIES THAT AVOID INCARCERATION

The state recognizes that many people who commit drug crimes have problems with substance misuse. The law offers alternative sentencing for most people who are convicted of possessing small quantities of drugs.

PROBATION

Arizona Statute § 13-901.01 requires a first- or second-time offender convicted of possessing paraphernalia or less than the threshold amount of an illegal drug to be sentenced to probation. An offender’s conditions of probation could include a drug assessment and treatment, community service, a requirement that the offender find a job to pay their probation fees, and other conditions a judge might impose.

Probation is available to offenders facing misdemeanor and felony charges. However, offenders convicted of charges involving methamphetamine are not eligible for probation. A judge cannot sentence someone to probation if they have been convicted of a violent crime or have refused probation or drug treatment in the past.

DRUG COURT

When an offender does not qualify for probation, drug court might be an attractive alternative. Drug court is open to people facing felony charges with no more than one prior felony conviction, but not to people charged with possession with intent to distribute or any crime involving a weapon.

An offender who applies for drug court and is accepted must engage in a rigorous program of drug treatment and counseling. They also must submit to frequent drug tests and report regularly to court to discuss their progress. Drug court allows an offender to receive treatment for substance abuse and get support for their sobriety. When an offender completes the program, their felony conviction is reduced to a misdemeanor.

INCARCERATION IS REQUIRED FOR SOME DRUG OFFENSES

Arizona has a complex set of sentencing guidelines that judges must follow. The guidelines limit the judge’s discretion in many cases and sometimes require the judge to impose minimum prison sentences.

The sentences listed are for first offenders. People with prior convictions face substantially longer sentences. Our Mesa attorney could discuss the possible sentence an accused might face in a drug charge based on their specific circumstances.

CLASS 4 FELONY SENTENCES

Possessing controlled substances and other dangerous drugs in less than threshold amounts is a Class 4 felony in most cases. If the offender has no prior convictions but is not eligible for probation, they face a presumptive sentence of two and half years in prison. If the judge finds mitigating circumstances, the sentence could be one year, and if the judge finds aggravating circumstances, the prison sentence could be as long as three years and nine months.

CLASS 3 FELONY SENTENCES

Possessing the materials to manufacture a controlled substance is a Class 3 felony. The presumptive sentence for a first offender is three and half years, with a range from two years to eight years and nine months.

CLASS 2 FELONY SENTENCES

Drug possession with intent to distribute, drug trafficking, and drug manufacturing are Class 2 felonies. The presumptive sentence is five years for a first offender, with a possible range of three years to 12 and a half years.

Arizona law allows people convicted of possessing small quantities of drugs to serve their sentences on probation and get substance abuse treatment. However, anyone convicted of a more serious drug offense faces significant time in prison. Do not let this happen to you!

DISCUSS YOUR CASE WITH A MESA DRUG ATTORNEY

The choices made by someone facing a drug charge will profoundly affect their future. Find the right person to consult regarding these choices.

If you face a serious drug charge, consider all your options for representation. Contact a Mesa drug lawyer who knows how to secure a positive outcome in your case. Choosing the right lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case and your life in the future.

At Grand Canyon Law Group, you will work directly with an experienced former prosecutor who knows how to get the best outcome in you case, and who will work tirelessly to achieve it for you.

Schedule A Consultation With The Grand Canyon Attorney Who Can Help