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Arizona is one of the toughest states in the country when it comes to punishing people for drug crimes. In addition to jail time and significant fines, you face a conviction on your criminal record that can affect your future opportunities.
Chandler drug penalties vary depending on your criminal history and other aggravating and mitigating factors. Let a knowledgeable attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group help you understand the sentencing guidelines and navigate the criminal justice system.
When drugs are discovered on or near a person, police officers determine the charges depending on what drugs are found and how much they weigh. Past criminal history and whether the drugs appear to be for personal consumption or sale will also affect the severity of the charges. If drug paraphernalia is also found, this can be used as evidence of trafficking or possession with the intent to distribute.
Arizona sentencing guidelines assign threshold limits to illicit drugs, with higher limits penalized more harshly. The threshold limits for some of the most common drugs include the following:
A seasoned Chandler attorney can explain the sentencing guidelines and penalties based on the amount and type of drug involved in the case.
Arizona law offers some alternatives to jail time for first-time and some second-time offenders charged with personal possession of a controlled substance. Check with our Chandler attorneys to discuss the drug penalties that may apply to a specific case.
Under Prop 200, codified as Arizona Revised Statute § 13-901.01, those convicted of first-time drug possession for personal use will receive probation instead of incarceration if they have no violent offenses on their record. Second-time offenders can also be placed on probation but may be sentenced to jail time.
Possession of scheduled narcotics or other dangerous drugs such as heroin, cocaine, opioids, methamphetamine, LSD, and PCP are Class 4 felonies and Class 2 felonies if they were for sale. Class 4 felonies in which the drugs do not exceed the threshold are punishable by 1.1 to 3.7 years in prison for second and subsequent offenses. If the threshold is exceeded, third and subsequent offenses are punishable by 1.1 to 6.2 years in prison.
Class 3 felonies below the threshold come with a 1.8 to 8.7-year prison sentence; this can increase to 11.2 years for a third or subsequent offense exceeding the threshold amount. Class 2 felonies in which the drug is below the threshold are punishable by three to 12.5 years for a second or subsequent offense and up to 15 years for a third or subsequent offense exceeding the threshold.
Fines, surcharges, and drug counseling are also part of sentencing, which a knowledgeable attorney at our firm can explain.
Although state drug laws are stringent, you have options for fighting the charges and minimizing the penalties you face. Working with a lawyer on a strong defense strategy is the best way to protect your future against severe consequences.
The main thing you must do is ask for help. Drug convictions will follow you in all aspects of your life and affect your relationships, job opportunities, and rights. Discuss your options for avoiding Chandler drug penalties with an experienced attorney. Call Grand Canyon Law Group today.