Tempe Drug Crime Lawyer

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Tempe Drug Crime Attorney

Arizona’s legislature has enacted comprehensive, detailed drug laws which impose mandatory prison sentences in certain instances. The police and prosecutors harshly pursue these cases, and those accused need dedicated legal counsel to protect their rights.

If you have been arrested or are under investigation for charges related to illegal substances, let a Tempe drug lawyer provide aggressive representation on your behalf.Our attorneysspent years prosecuting these types of cases. Now they use their knowledge and skills to successfully defend those accused.

THE SCOPE OF ARIZONA’S DRUG LAWS

Arizona prohibits the knowing possession, use, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and sale of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. Unlawful drugs or controlled dangerous substances fall into six categories, identified in Arizona Revised Statutes §§13-3402,-3403,-3405,-3406,-3407, and-3408. These include:

  • Peyote
  • Vapor-releasing toxic substances
  • Prescription drugs (when improperly used)
  • Dangerous drugs (with special treatment of methamphetamines)
  • Narcotics
  • Marijuana

Although marijuana is on the list, only certain activities are unlawful. Medical and recreational marijuana use is now legal in Arizona. Additionally, recreational pot was legalized in November 2020 with the passage of Proposition 207. With its approval, those 21 and over may possess a maximum of one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants.

However, driving under the influence of marijuana and smoking it in public are still illegal. Additionally, federal law still lists marijuana as a controlled substance, so federal courts can prosecute individuals for possession. Because the local and federal laws for drugs can be complex, anyone facing charges in Tempe should consult a knowledgeable attorney at our firm.

TYPES OF DRUG CHARGES IN TEMPE

From marijuana to cocaine, countless controlled substances are heavily regulated in Tempe. As a result, there are many different types of criminal charges related to the possession, use, or sale of these substances. Any of these charges come with consequences that could alter your life forever.

When you are charged with a drug offense, it is important to understand the trouble you currently face. The types of drug charges in Tempe each have their own penalty range and elements that must be proven by the state. A dedicated drug attorney from Grand Canyon Law Group can help you fight these charges.

POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

Possession of a controlled substance is the drug crime that leads to the most arrests each year. This offense is common because it only involves being illegally in possession of a controlled substance.

This charge is often related to holding a street narcotic like methamphetamine or cocaine, and is also the charge used when a person has medication without a valid prescription. First-time offenders are often able to avoid jail time with these charges but a criminal history can increase the risk of incarceration.

PRESCRIPTION FRAUD

Prescription medication is as heavily regulated as street narcotics. A prescription from a doctor allows a person to use and possess certain drugs without fear of criminal prosecution. These medications can still be abused in many cases, which can lead to acts of prescription fraud.

Prescription fraud comes in two forms. First, it can involve a doctor writing a prescription for recreational use of a drug instead of for its intended purpose. The other type of prescription fraud occurs when a person falsifies information in order to receive a prescription without medical need. An attorney experienced with types of drug charges in Tempe could determine whether prescription fraud applies to a case.

DRUG DISTRIBUTION

Another serious offense is drug distribution, which involves providing controlled substances to other people. While this charge is frequently brought based on the sale of narcotics, it is important to note a person could be guilty without selling anything.

The crime of drug distribution applies broadly to other situations. A person could be guilty if they give away, distribute, or deliver a drug to another individual. This is true regardless of whether money changed hands.

The penalties for this offense vary based on two different factors. First, the type of drug being distributed is important. Second, the amounts of controlled substances in question can also increase the penalties of a conviction. An attorney in Tempe can explain how types of drug charges are affected by a distribution offense.

DRUG TRAFFICKING

Drug trafficking is arguably the most serious of these offenses. The charge is frequently brought by the state, as it applies to anyone who participates in an organization that distributes drugs illegally.

Often, this offense is coupled with other charges. For example, a person found to be in possession of a controlled substance might also be charged with trafficking if they had the drugs as part of a larger scheme to distribute them.

No matter which of these charges you face, you have the right to hire legal counsel to defend you. A former prosecutor now working as an attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group can build a defense strategy that secures a dismissal or a reduction of your charges at trial.

PENALTIES FOR DRUG CRIMES IN TEMPE

There are a variety of drug charges you could face under state law and each carries different consequences. These charges are generally treated as felonies, meaning most of them carry the prospect of a year or more in state prison.

If you have questions about the Tempe drug penalties you face, now is the time to reach out to legal counsel. Facing the prosecutor on your own is a mistake that could have life-changing consequences. A skilled drug attorney from Grand Canyon Law Group could not only advise you on the penalties you may face, but they can also help you fight a conviction.

UNDERSTANDING DRUG PENALTIES

The severity of drug penalties depends on various factors, including the type and quantity of the substance involved, the criminal history of the accused, and any efforts to distribute these substances to other people.

Most drug charges are felonies, but there are multiple types of felony offenses. For example, possessing narcotics is classified as a Class 4 felony, and if convicted, could result in imprisonment ranging from 12 months to 3.75 years. Trafficking convictions could lead to as much as 15 years in prison, depending on the circumstances.

These penalty ranges primarily apply to first-time convictions; harsher sentences are imposed for repeat offenders. An experienced defense attorney could provide comprehensive explanations regarding these varying drug penalties in Tempe and how they may specifically relate to a defendant’s situation.

DRUG THRESHOLDS

The penalties for many of these drug-related criminal charges depend on the amount of a specific controlled substance the accused possessed. This amount—known as the threshold level—differs from one drug to another.

The volume of controlled substances can differ dramatically. For that reason, the threshold level for marijuana is substantially higher than that of controlled substances like heroin. Some of the threshold levels to be aware of include the following:

  • Cocaine: 9 grams
  • Heroin: 1 gram
  • Methamphetamine: 9 grams
  • Marijuana: 2 pounds

Understanding these levels is important, because possessing amounts greater than the threshold can result in steeper penalties. A lawyer in Tempe could explain more about how threshold levels determine drug penalties.

JUVENILE PENALTIES

There are major differences between the adult and juvenile justice systems. While adults typically face mandatory incarceration for certain drug offenses, that is not the case for minors. This is because the purpose of the juvenile justice system is to reform the minors instead of punish them.

Incarceration in a juvenile detention center is one possible outcome for a minor charged with a drug offense. Other penalties such as mandatory counseling and community service are more likely, especially for first-time offenders. An attorney could help determine which outcome is most likely for a juvenile with drug penalties in Tempe.

If you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime, you likely have questions about possible penalties. These penalties can be severe, but a strong defense strategy could help you avoid a conviction entirely. The dedicated defense lawyers at Grand Canyon Law Group are former prosecutors familiar with Tempe drug penalties and how to defeat the charge. 

CONSEQUENCES FOR BREAKING DRUG LAWS IN TEMPE

Each illegal act (possession, manufacture, sale, etc.) amounts to a separate indictable crime with associated penalties. These may include probation, jail or prison time, fines, restitution orders, and more. The corresponding punishments depend on the offense, the type and amount of the drug, the accused person’s criminal history, and other mitigating or aggravating factors.

Convictions on multiple offenses will result in harsher punishments. In certain circumstances, a defendant could face imprisonment for as long as 28 years and fines reaching $150,000. When the stakes are this high, it is critical to work with an aggressive drug attorney who is well-versed in the local legal systems.

LENIENCY FOR FIRST-TIME DRUG OFFENDERS

Those convicted on a first offense for personal drug use or possession must receive a probationary sentence underAriz. Rev. Stat. § 13-901.01without any condition of jail time. Second-time offenders also receive probation but may face up to one year in jail. However, probation is no longer an option if the situation involves injury to others, a deadly weapon, refusal to participate in a drug treatment program, or methamphetamines.

MANDATORY IMPRISONMENT FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING

If a person possesses a certain amount of the drugs identified inAriz. Rev. Stat. 13-3401(36), the law assumes that they intend to engage in drug trafficking. In these circumstances, convicted individuals must serve a term of imprisonment; the court has no discretion.

Drugs that are often involved in trafficking charges include heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, LSD, and PCP. Any other illegal drugs can cross the threshold for a trafficking charge if the value equals or exceeds $1,000. To avoid these aggravated charges, it is best to consult the experienced drug lawyers at our firm.

DEFENSES TO DRUG CHARGES

An arrest for drug charges does not always lead to a conviction. In fact, there are many strategies that a savvy drug lawyer can use to combat the prosecution’s case. In addition to possibly negotiating a plea deal,our legal teamcan utilize the following defenses:

  • Legal right to possess the drugs with a prescription
  • Religious exemption
  • No knowledge of the presence of drugs
  • Mistake in the amount of drugs (i.e., no threshold violation)
  • Infringement of constitutional rights (e.g., illegal search and seizure)
  • Entrapment

Aggressively challenging the State’s case is the only way to defeat drug charges. Our attorneys are deeply familiar with the legal system in Tempe and can work with defendants to effectively counter the allegations.

CALL A TEMPE DRUG ATTORNEY TO VIGOROUSLY PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS

Every drug offense case is different. It is essential to work with the right attorney who will tailor a defense strategy to the unique circumstances of your case. The Tempe drug lawyers at our firm give personal attention to each client to secure the best chances of a positive outcome.Give us a calltoday to learn how we can protect you and your way of life.

Schedule A Consultation With The Grand Canyon Attorney Who Can Help