Sometimes, our clients are occasional or even first-time users, whether for marijuana or more serious drugs. But more often our clients face a serious drug addiction problem. This addiction quickly touches every aspect of their life and causes great pain and strain on family and loved ones. It literally puts our clients’ lives in danger.
While we outline the realities of drug-related charges below, we feel it important to say that the criminal justice system is getting better at attempting to allow treatment over punishment. But our clients must be willing to communicate with us and make difficult, measurable efforts towards recovery for us to minimize the penalties. So just know that there is hope. And our dedicated defense attorneys can help.
We care about our clients and have extensive experience and knowledge of addiction and the recovery process. And we do all we can to weave it into the outcome of the case to try to help our clients move forward from their criminal charge in a positive place in recovery, not just in minimizing the damage of the criminal case.
If you are a family member of a person accused of a drug crime and conflicted about whether to hire private counsel, you are not alone. It is a common dilemma by those with loves ones in the grips of addiction. Please, set up a free consultation with us and speak directly with an Arizona drug lawyer. There is no obligation to hire. If nothing else, you will gain valuable information. If you decide in the end that a public defender or going it alone is the best decision, we will part as friends and at least you will be more educated on the process.
Drug charges are not to be taken lightly. Often, these types of charges carry severe penalties like hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences. Drug-related offenses can also carry social stigmas that are hard to overcome. Depending on the nature of the allegations, your reputation, relationships, and future opportunities could be at stake.
Additionally, charges can escalate quickly based on the type of drug involved, the nature of the alleged offense, and prior criminal history. Often these charges come with multiple dates of offense and additional allegations of sales or transportation which can skyrocket the penalties and severity. Certain drugs can yield extreme consequences even for possession in minuscule amounts. If you are facing substance-related charges, an experienced drug attorney is your best line of defense.
While there are many different types of drug crimes, most fall under categories involving possession, distribution, manufacturing, or acts under the influence of drugs. Even something like possession can escalate into a serious offense under the law.
Even “simple possession” in Arizona is a felony offense. Possession of any narcotic or dangerous drug is a class 4 felony. Arizona regulates the possession of controlled substances under ARS §13-3402 and ARS §13-3403.
Some people think only one person can possess the same drug, or that it must be in your pocket or “on your person” to qualify as possession. This is not true, and possession can be broad. Under Arizona law, possession can be classified by two categories: actual possession or constructive possession. The difference lies in whether a person has drugs on them or located somewhere that they control.
Furthermore, the nature of the possession charge can also change based on the quantity of drugs involved. If the amount meets a certain threshold, then the accused party can be charged with possession with the intent to distribute. Any sales or distribution charge carries serious prison time and must be defended aggressively.
Distribution charges are defined under ARS §13-3401. In short, Arizona considers distribution to be the movement of drugs from one location or person to another. Even the disposal of a controlled substance can be regarded as distribution depending on the circumstances.
Distribution charges are generally more serious than possession charges due to the public policy behind them. The law considers any acts towards supplying drugs to be greater than purchasing or possessing those drugs for personal use. A drug distribution charge can carry a wide range of custody time.
The severity of consequences is directly tied to the unique circumstances of each drug possession charge. There are both mitigating and aggravating circumstances that can be used to help or hurt a defendant’s case. The right Arizona drug crimes attorney can help present mitigating factors and evidence to defend against a charge. The attorney you hire is one of the most important decisions you can make for your future.
Drug courts may order supervision and treatment programs to assist addicted individuals. Because defendants can lessen the chance of repeat offenses with adequate support, rehabilitation is frequently favored over imprisonment.
Getting help is an essential step for anyone battling drug addiction. Obtaining legal counsel who understands addiction and has resources for their clients can be just as important. A local attorney who has experience handling drug crime cases can present evidence of addiction as a mitigating factor to help their client seek treatment rather than jail time.
Drug charges can have a huge impact on your way of life and future opportunities. The potential consequences may feel overwhelming. However, the burden to prove these charges is on the state, and there are many defenses available to mitigate or avoid penalties.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, an Arizona drug lawyer can provide support each step of the way. Call our office today to learn how our experienced former prosecutors can work to defend you and your rights.