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If you were arrested on drug trafficking charges, you must be proactive to protect your rights, freedom, and way of life. Trafficking charges carry mandatory minimum sentences upon conviction, among other consequences. You need a skilled legal advocate with significant experience in the local court systems on your side.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, a Chandler drug trafficking lawyer will put their legal knowledge and experience to work for you. We will fight to achieve a favorable outcome that preserves your future.
Transporting illegal drugs with the intent to sell them is drug trafficking. It is not necessary to move the drugs across an international or state border; moving them within the state is enough to support a drug trafficking charge. Sometimes, a person is charged with trafficking even when they did not move the drugs—the quantity the police found allows the prosecutor to assume an intent to sell.
Crimes have specific elements that a prosecutor must prove to get a conviction. When the charge is drug trafficking, the prosecutor must demonstrate that the defendant:
Possession does not necessarily mean that the defendant had the drugs on their person. If the drugs were in a vehicle with them or stored in a warehouse or other space they had access to, this could be “constructive possession” under the law.
Prosecutors can infer an intent to sell if the quantity of drugs exceeds a statutory threshold. The threshold quantity varies according to the drug. For cocaine and methamphetamine, the threshold is nine grams. For heroin, it is one gram. For marijuana, the threshold quantity is two pounds. A knowledgeable attorney at our Chandler office can further explain the legal requirements for drug trafficking charges.
Our Chandler lawyers could mount many potential defenses against drug trafficking charges. For instance, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knew they possessed illegal substances. A seasoned attorney could argue that the proof of the defendant’s knowledge is inadequate to prove the charge.
The prosecution also must demonstrate that the defendant intended to sell the drugs. The trafficking lawyers at Grand Canyon Law Group could assert that the drugs were for personal use. If the prosecutor does not have persuasive evidence that the defendant intended to sell drugs, a jury cannot convict a defendant of trafficking.
Drug trafficking arrests often result from undercover police operations, electronic surveillance, and confidential informants. Police often abuse these techniques and do not adequately protect a suspect’s Constitutional rights. If improper police conduct led to the defendant’s arrest in Chandler, our local drug trafficking attorneys could ask a judge to throw out the illegally obtained evidence.
Prosecutors cannot accept pleas to reduced charges for drug trafficking. First offenders convicted of drug trafficking are not eligible for probation or drug diversion programs. Prison sentences are mandatory in most cases.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes §13-3407 and 13-3408, many drug trafficking charges are Class 2 felonies. Factors that could mitigate a sentence include no prior felonies, a good employment record, military service, and the defendant’s age. On the other hand, involving minors in the crime, possessing drugs near a school, being involved with a criminal gang, or being out on parole could aggravate the potential sentence.
Arizona has a complex sentencing scheme for drug crimes that considers the identity and quantity of the drugs, the defendant’s prior criminal history, and any mitigating or aggravating factors. An experienced attorney at our firm can explain the range of prison time a person might face in a drug trafficking case.
Convictions on drug trafficking charges lead to harsh prison sentences in most cases. You need a seasoned defense attorney to help you beat the charges and preserve your way of life.
A Chandler drug trafficking lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group has what it takes to mount a successful defense. Call our firm today to get started on your case.