Phoenix Drug Crimes Attorney

The State of Arizona takes drug crimes seriously. Arizona penalties for committing drug crimes are some of the most severe in the country.

If the police have arrested you for a drug crime, then it is critical to protect yourself by hiring an experienced Phoenix drug crime attorney who has a history of helping defendants in similar situations.

AZ Defenders has the skill, experience, passion, and track record to give you confidence in your legal representation. Our drug crime defense lawyers are dedicated to our clients, seeking every possible way to lighten the consequences of drug crime charges.

If you or someone you love is facing drug crime charges in Phoenix, contact us right away for a free defense consultation. We may be able to help you during this difficult time. Call (480) 456-6400, 24/7.

Why Trust AZ Defenders With Your Drug Crimes Case?

We make ourselves available to take client calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our attorneys work hard to deliver the highest quality representation in Phoenix drug crime criminal defense. You will always feel seen and heard by us.

We understand Arizona’s rigid drug crime laws and how to navigate the criminal justice system to our clients’ greatest benefit. Our team of criminal law defense attorneys prepare an aggressive defense through a legal team that has all the resources, personnel, and power you need for a strong defense. Our peers recognize us as one of the finest defense firms in Arizona.

How Can a Phoenix Drug Crimes Lawyer Help?

Every citizen of the United States has a right to a legal defense attorney during a criminal case. If you cannot afford a private lawyer, then the court will assign a public defender to take your case pro bono or for a reduced fee.

Hiring the private attorney of your choice, however, could give you more power during negotiations. The right Phoenix defense attorney can make an enormous difference to your case and your future––especially in the face of Arizona’s tough and unyielding drug laws. A drug crime defense lawyer can assist you in many ways throughout your case:

  • Understanding and navigating all of Arizona’s drug crime laws.
  • Giving you a direct, honest, and straightforward evaluation of your case.
  • Listening to your story, needs, questions, and concerns.
  • Offering 24/7 support for you and your family during the criminal justice process.
  • Negotiating the charges against you for lesser charges or penalties.
  • Arranging a satisfactory plea deal, if applicable and appropriate.
  • Walking you through processes such as arraignment and hearings.
  • Tailoring a criminal defense strategy to your unique situation.
  • Defending your rights during a drug crime trial in Phoenix.
  • Appealing the court’s decision, if necessary.

If you believe hiring a private Phoenix drug crimes attorney is the right move for your drug crime case in Phoenix, then request a free consultation with AZ Defenders today. Tell us a little about your case and give us your contact information. We will get back to you promptly to discuss your situation in further detail. If we accept you as a client and you choose to retain our firm, we can start defending you or your loved one right away.

Arizona Controlled Substances

In Arizona, a controlled substance is any substance the possession, sale, and use of which the government controls through federal or state laws. The federal government lists in the Controlled Substances Act all controlled substances in the U.S., from acetorphine to zopiclone. The Controlled Substances Act breaks controlled substances down into five different schedules based on the potential danger of the drug:

  • Schedule I. No accepted medical uses or medical value, and a high potential for abuse. Examples: marijuana, ecstasy, heroin, LSD.
  • Schedule II. High potential for abuse with severe dependence. Examples: morphine, opium, codeine, OxyContin, hydrocodone.
  • Schedule III. Less potential for abuse with low to moderate physical dependence and high psychological dependence. Examples: ketamine, Suboxone, anabolic steroids.
  • Schedule IV. Lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs. Examples: Valium, Xanax, Soma, Klonopin, Ativan.
  • Schedule V. Substances that contain limited quantities of narcotics, such as certain cough syrups.

The classification of the drug involved in your Phoenix drug crime case can determine the severity of the penalties you might face if convicted. Alleged crimes involving Schedule I drugs come with more severe penalties than other schedules.

The penalties will also depend on the amount of drug involved, as well as the harm inflicted. If a drug crime causes serious bodily injuries or deaths, for example, the punishment will increase. To learn more about controlled substances in Arizona, speak with an experienced AZ Defenders drug crimes lawyer.

Types of Drug Offenses We Handle

At AZ Defenders, we protect the rights of our clients accused of all types of drug crimes. Your attorney will start your case with a comprehensive look into the specific drug offense prosecutors are accusing you of, then create a defense strategy accordingly. If you are facing any type of drug offense charge, contact us for a free consultation.

Here are some of the kinds of drug crime charges we have helped our Arizona clients with.

Manufacturing or Cultivating Drugs

As the category suggests, growing or making controlled substances is a crime in Arizona. Illegal drug manufacturing in Arizona includes making misbranded medications, which is a Class 4 felony.

Whether the manufacture or cultivation is a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the drug involved, but because growing and making drugs is part of drug distribution overall, the penalties are harsher than they are for drug possession.

For example, growing an illegal plant other than marijuana is a Class 2 felony in Arizona, and you can receive mandatory prison time of up to 13 years for manufacturing methamphetamine.

How serious a charge of cultivation or manufacture of illegal drugs is depends on the circumstances of each case. Prosecutors in Arizona consider the following factors:

  • The kind of drug involved
  • How much of the drug was being grown or made
  • Whether you have a prior criminal record, especially past drug-related convictions
  • Whether you were distributing drugs in addition to growing or manufacturing them
  • Aggravating circumstances, like whether children are harmed because of the illegal drug activity or if weapons charges are being brought against you in combination with the drug charges

Drug Distribution and Trafficking Charges

Drug trafficking and distribution are similar charges. The crime of knowingly transporting, importing, transferring, or selling drugs in Arizona is drug trafficking. Drug trafficking is a class 2 felony if classified as a “dangerous drug”.

Arizona law categorizes drug distribution and trafficking offenses into three kinds: distribution of dangerous drugs, distribution of narcotic drugs, and distribution of prescription drugs.

  • Dangerous drugs: These include amphetamines including methamphetamine, psilocybin, PCP, and LSD. A conviction for this kind of distribution is a Class 2 felony in Arizona.
  • Narcotics: This category includes a number of drugs including heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, opium, sufentanil, tramadol, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. This category is also a Class 2 felony under Arizona law.
  • Prescription drugs: If you are importing or otherwise transporting a prescription drug without legal authorization, this is a Class 6 felony.

Examples of how you can face drug distribution charges include if you are found with more than 2 pounds of marijuana, 9 grams of methamphetamine, 9 powdered grams of cocaine, ¾ gram of cocaine in rock form, 1 gram of heroin or ½ gram of LSD.

You could also face this charge if found hiding drugs, with a lot of cash on hand, or with equipment for selling drugs.

Drug Possession Charges

Possessing illegal drugs or controlled substances. In Arizona, this can lead to criminal charges and penalties. The classes of controlled dangerous substances in Arizona are marijuana, peyote, prescription drugs, dangerous drugs, narcotics, and substances that emit toxic vapors.

Possession for sale. Possession with intent to sell comes with stiffer penalties than possession alone. This charge might arise if the police find you in possession of a large quantity of drugs or equipment to sell, such as plastic baggies or scales. The penalties for drug sales will depend on the type and amount of drugs involved.

Possession of drug paraphernalia. Having drug paraphernalia is a Class 6 felony in Arizona. It can refer to possessing anything that would allow you to use, store, prepare, sell, or plant drugs. You could face this charge even without the police finding any actual drugs on your person or in your home or vehicle.

Fraudulent prescription. The police finding you in possession of or using a fake or fraudulent prescription to get prescription drugs is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona. Forging a prescription, however, is a felony. It is also illegal to possess prescription drugs without a valid prescription. This can include OxyContin, Xanax, Adderall, Vicodin, codeine, and morphine.

Penalties for Drug Crimes in Arizona

The penalties for committing drug crimes in Arizona are severe and wide-ranging. They can change significantly depending on the type of charge and the circumstances. The crime of drug possession in Arizona is a felony but can be reduced to a misdemeanor in some situations. It comes with a fine of $2,000 or three times the value of the drug (whichever is greater), as well as potential time in jail.

Other types of crimes can come with stricter penalties.

  • For a first-time offender, a Class 2 Felony drug crime can result in 3.0 to 12.5 years in the Department of Corrections.
  • A Class 3 Felony comes with a possible 2.0 to 8.75 years of prison time.
  • Class 4 felonies may result in a prison sentence of 1.0 to 3.75 years in the DOC.
  • A Class 5 felony can lead to 0.5 to 2.5 years in prison, and a Class 6 felony conviction carries a sentence range of 0.25 to 2.0 years.

If you are a repeat drug crime offender, you could face even more serious consequences. A prior record of drug crimes could immediately escalate the level of charges against you, as well as the amount of potential fines and jail time you face.

Speak to an attorney about your individual case to discuss the penalties you might face according to the types of charges against you, the kind of drug involved, the severity of the charges, and your past criminal record. Remember, the penalties you could face are not necessarily the sentence you will receive.

Hiring a Phoenix drug crime lawyer from AZ Defenders could help you decrease your penalties even with a drug crime conviction. Your lawyer may also be able to protect you from any penalties at all with a successful not-guilty plea. The circumstances of your criminal case and defense depend on your unique situation.

Potential Drug Crime Defenses

One of the most important reasons to hire a lawyer is for a tailored defense strategy based on your individual case and circumstances. Rather than receiving the maximum penalties for a conviction, for instance, your lawyer might succeed in reducing your sentence or arranging a lighter plea deal. It may also be possible to use a defense with the strategy of achieving a not-guilty verdict.

Here are some possible defense strategies:

  • Lack of knowledge. Ignorance of the illegal nature of the substance or your possession of it could be a usable defense.
  • Someone else’s drugs. If the drugs belong to another person and not you, then this could help your defense.
  • Illegal search or seizure. This is a form of police misconduct. The police officer might not have had a legal right to search your person, home, or vehicle, making any evidence found inadmissible.
  • Lack of evidence. The prosecution might not have enough evidence against you to prove you are guilty of the drug crime in question beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence chain of custody is also something to examine carefully to look for possible chances that the chain has been corrupted. Lab errors in testing and analyzing drug evidence being used against you are another opportunity to have evidence excluded.
  • Valid prescription. The existence of a valid prescription for the drug in your possession could clear you of the drug charges.
  • Entrapment. It may be a defense to say that the police officer who arrested you pushed you into committing a crime you otherwise would not have.

Always be honest with your lawyer. Your lawyer is there to help you, not incriminate you. Your lawyer will ask you several key questions at the beginning of your case. Answer them completely and honestly so your attorney can properly prepare your defense.

Without all the relevant information, your lawyer might not be able to create a strong strategy in your defense. If the prosecution knows something your lawyer does not, this could hurt your case.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Phoenix Drug Crimes Attorney

A drug conviction in Arizona can have many life-changing penalties. You may have to spend time in jail, pay thousands of dollars in fines, lose your job, lose security clearance, lose a professional license, and/or suffer the consequences of a criminal record. A felony conviction could strip you of certain rights, such as the right to vote and bear arms. It may also make it harder to find a job or housing. Finally, a criminal conviction could cost you personal relationships.

We do not say all this to scare you, but to express the importance of hiring a high-quality defense attorney. The drug defense attorneys at AZ Defenders are committed to representing those accused of federal drug crimes and Arizona drug laws in Phoenix, Arizona.

Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. Our Phoenix drug crime attorneys can help you fight back against drug charges, jail sentences, and hefty fines. Our attorneys can review your case for free and give you personalized legal counsel on what to do next.

If we decide to take your case, we will assist you with each step of the justice process while ensuring the protection of your rights. We can create as strong a defense as possible to minimize the consequences of your drug arrest.

If you or someone you love is facing a drug charge, contact the Phoenix drug crimes attorneys at AZ Defenders today. Call (480) 456-6400 any time, night or day, to speak to a defense attorney near you. We also respond promptly to messages sent via our online intake form. Contact us today.

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