Scottsdale Drug Trafficking Lawyer

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Arizona has some of the harshest drug laws in the country. Possession of a relatively small quantity of controlled substances can trigger a drug trafficking charge if the authorities believe the individual is involved with a drug distribution network or transporting them for sale. Some drug trafficking crimes are Class 2 felonies.

Combatting a drug trafficking charge requires knowledge, skill, and experience in the local courts. You need the support of a Scottsdale drug trafficking lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group. Our seasoned attorneys are committed to representing people charged with drug crimes and achieving the most favorable result possible.

WHAT CONSTITUTES DRUG TRAFFICKING?

Arizona does not have a law defining drug trafficking. Possessing a large quantity of illegal or controlled substances, transporting drugs, or participating in a drug distribution operation could be considered drug trafficking under Arizona law. Possessing less than the threshold amounts also could lead to trafficking-related charges if there is evidence of intent to sell, such as scales, packaging materials, or large amounts of cash.

The severity of a charge depends on the identity of the illegal drug and the quantities involved. According to Arizona Revised Statute §13-3405, a defendant could face a Class 4 felony charge for possessing or transporting two pounds of marijuana with intent to sell. The threshold amounts for other common drugs are:

  • Cocaine and crack—nine grams
  • Heroin—one gram
  • LSD—50 milliliters or 50 doses of blotter
  • Methamphetamine—nine grams
  • PCP—50 milliliters or four grams

Possessing more than the threshold amounts of substances the law defines as narcotics or dangerous drugs is a Class 2 felony.

Prosecutors routinely charge drug trafficking offenses if the accused allegedly possessed more than the threshold quantity of a drug, even if there is no other evidence of intent to sell. Our Scottsdale drug trafficking attorneys could push back against over-charging and develop a strong defense for the case.

DRUG TRAFFICKING CRIMES CARRY SEVERE PUNISHMENTS

Drug trafficking charges carry heavy penalties with mandatory prison time. Other felony convictions offer first offenders the possibility of probation rather than prison time. However, serving time in prison is mandatory for first offenders convicted of possessing more than the threshold amount of illegal or controlled substances or possessing drugs with a street value exceeding $1000. In addition to prison, offenders face significant fines.

Trafficking marijuana is typically a Class 4 felony, with a sentence for a first offender ranging from one year with mitigating factors to three years and nine months with aggravating factors. Trafficking cocaine is typically a Class 3 felony, and the sentence ranges from two years to eight years and nine months. It is a Class 2 felony to traffic heroin, fentanyl, other narcotics, and substances listed as dangerous drugs. The prison sentence could range from three years to 12.5 years. Trafficking methamphetamine requires a minimum prison sentence of five years.

Sentences for repeat offenders are even harsher. The severity of the charge also increases if the offender allegedly possessed drugs in a school zone or sold them to a minor. Our skilled lawyers in Scottsdale can further explain the potential penalties for drug trafficking charges and work to prevent them.

DEFENSES TO DRUG TRAFFICKING OFFENSES IN SCOTTSDALE

Police and prosecutors pursue drug trafficking crimes aggressively, making it important for defendants to work with a relentless local attorney. People sometimes feel their fate is sealed when police find drugs in their possession, but there are many effective defenses to drug trafficking charges.

CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

Law enforcement officers often violate a suspect’s Constitutional rights when investigating drug crimes. Drug suspects are often the victims of unwarranted traffic stops, illegal searches, and improper detention. Officers also might neglect to promptly inform a suspect of their rights.

Our lawyers could request a hearing to inform the judge of the police misconduct. In many cases, the judge will exclude evidence the police acquired through improper means, and the prosecutor either reduces the charges or drops them.

IDENTITY OF THE SUBSTANCES

Establishing the identity and quantity of the substance is critical to any drug crime prosecution. A Scottsdale drug trafficking lawyer could challenge the chain of custody and assert that the sample might have been contaminated through sloppy evidence handling. Attacking the lab record or the weighing procedures also could prove effective in some cases.

INTENT

A person must knowingly possess drugs with the intent to sell them to be guilty of a drug crime. A prosecutor must establish that the accused intended to sell the drugs in their possession. Evidence of intent to sell is often weak, and exploiting that weakness could defeat a trafficking charge.

DEFEND A DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGE WITH A SCOTTSDALE ATTORNEY

A drug trafficking allegation is a significant criminal charge. Your rights, freedom, and reputation are on the line. To secure a positive outcome for your case, you need representation from a skilled attorney.

A Scottsdale drug trafficking lawyer is committed to defending you and your way of life. Call Grand Canyon Law Group immediately if you are arrested and charged with a drug crime.