Arizona law classifies drugs into two basic categories: dangerous drugs and marijuana. Use or possession of a dangerous drug in Arizona is classified as a Class 4 Felony. Possession of dangerous drugs for sale or manufacturing or to administer to another individual is a Class 2 Felony.
Drugs are further divided into 6 categories of controlled dangerous substances, or CDS: peyote, marijuana, prescription drugs; narcotic drugs, dangerous drugs and substances that emit toxic vapors. A drug crime lawyer in Arizona can help you navigate the complexities of state drug laws and provide competent defense counsel.
Dangerous drugs, per Arizona law, are basically any controlled substance other than marijuana and are divided into several categories including: hallucinogens (e.g. acid), amphetamines such as meth, anabolic steroids, depressant drugs. An experienced drug possession attorney in Arizona can explain the categories, which are described in greater detail in ARS 13-3401.
The Stakes Are High for Felony Drug Charges
Penalties for felony drug charges can include prison terms of up to 20 years, with prior convictions. Felony charges range from Class 1, the most serious charge, to Class 6. As such, the severity of punishment for a felony drug conviction will vary. For example, a Class 4 Felony possession of marijuana carries a possible jail term of 3 ¾ yrs., and a fine of up to $150,000. A Class 6 Felony charge is punishable by between 4 months and 2 years of jail and a $150,000 fine.
Arizona Code Section 13-703 divides felony repeat offenders into three categories, based on the types of prior convictions. A Category 3 offender convicted of Class 4 Felony Drug Possession faces a prison term of 6 to 15 years. When faced with such serious charges and severe consequences, you will need to obtain the services of a felony defense attorney in Arizona.
If you are a first time offender, it may be possible to have your charges dropped or your penalty reduced to completion of a drug treatment program as prescribed by the court. This is why it is essential that you find a criminal defense law firm in Arizona. Your chances of getting such a favorable outcome would be enhanced significantly.
Protecting Your Rights and Property
Felony drug charges are often the result of illegal searches or involve illegal seizure of assets. Search and seizure laws in the State of Arizona, as well as relevant federal statutes, are very explicit. Your rights may very well have been violated or the charges against you may not be legally sound. A drug defense attorney familiar with Arizona and federal law could find such discrepancies in your case.
In fact, in some cases, the law requires a citizen to furnish proof that property seized during a drug arrest is in fact theirs and not associated with a criminal charge in order to regain ownership. Failure to do so successfully can leave you penalized with additional legal costs.
The war on drugs is a never-ending battle for law enforcement agencies and mistakes can be made, and often are, at the expense of citizens like you. It is not uncommon for law enforcement to seize property belonging to citizens who are never even charged with a crime. Don’t fight this fight alone. Seek the legal guidance you’ll need from a drug crime lawyer in Arizona.
Although it’s categorized separately from dangerous drugs by the State of Arizona, penalties for marijuana possession can be severe nonetheless. Felony possession of marijuana under 2 lbs., for example, carries a potential jail term of 2 years, and/or a fine of up to $150,000. Penalties for felony charges for manufacture/cultivation or trafficking are even greater, with prison terms of up to 12 ½ years. Those aren’t the kind of risks you want to face without strong legal assistance in your corner.
A marijuana defense attorney who understands Arizona drug laws can help. You may have been searched illegally, or had in your possession what constitutes by law a usable amount. That can be the difference between possession or the more serious charge of trafficking.
The Best Defense is a Good Law Firm
Regardless of what crime you may have been charged with, remember that the law is on your side too. You have rights, and the justice system has rules and guidelines to follow. When those rules are broken, or guidelines have not been carefully followed, then your rights have been violated. The case against you is only as strong as the process by which it has been made.
Expert and affordable legal counsel through Matthew Lopez Law in Arizona will protect your rights and defend you against criminal drug charges. He will get you the most favorable outcome possible in your circumstances.