Drug distribution is a charge that carries significant penalties, regardless of the type of drug you allegedly possessed. To protect your rights and future, do not try to defend distribution charges without the help of a seasoned criminal attorney.
Our Gilbert drug distribution lawyers at Grand Canyon Law Group have extensive experience defending people in your situation. Our former prosecutors know how to find the weaknesses in the case against you and tirelessly fight for your best interests. We believe you have a way of life worth protecting, so call us today to get an aggressive advocate on your side.
A distribution charge means that the police believe the defendant intended to sell the drugs in their possession. The police can infer an intent to sell drugs by the presence of scales, baggies, or other items used to package the substance for consumer sales.
The state divides illegal drugs into six categories:
The quantities that trigger a distribution charge and its severity depend on the drug’s category.
Police and prosecutors could infer an intent to sell if someone possesses a threshold quantity of a specific substance. The threshold depends on the drug. According to Arizona Revised Statutes §13-3401(36), possessing more than two pounds of marijuana could lead to a distribution charge. The threshold amount for heroin is one gram, while the threshold is 9 grams for methamphetamine. A skilled Gilbert attorney could question the evidence of the drug’s identity and quantity to get distribution charges reduced or dropped.
The criminal sentencing scheme in Arizona is complex and considers various factors. In a drug distribution case, the type of drug and its quantity determine whether the crime is a Class 3 or 2 felony. Most distribution crimes are class 3 felonies.
Each category of felony has a presumptive sentence for first offenders and a harsher presumptive sentence for repeat offenders. The presumptive sentence is usually the mid-point of a range. Judges then consider mitigating and aggravating factors to determine whether the sentence should be higher or lower than the presumptive sentence. If the mitigating factors are compelling, a judge could impose less than the minimum sentence in some cases. However, aggravating factors could see the judge imposing more than the maximum sentence.
A first offender convicted of Class 3 felony distribution faces a presumptive sentence of three and one-half years in prison. However, they could get probation if they possessed less than the threshold amount with mitigating factors. The sentence could be almost nine years for significant aggravating factors. For repeat offenders, the presumptive sentence would be six and one-half years. To minimize the potential penalties, those accused of drug distribution should work with an experienced lawyer at our firm.
Defenses for drug distribution charges could focus on the police activity that led to the arrest. If law enforcement did not follow correct procedures, a court might dismiss charges or suppress the evidence the police obtained illegally.
A Gilbert attorney could challenge the prosecutor’s evidence of a clear intent to distribute drugs. Even if the accused had more than the threshold quantity, a prosecutor still must prove intent as an element of the crime.
Other defenses could be effective in specific circumstances. Our seasoned drug distribution attorneys in Gilbert could review the circumstances and evidence and craft a defense tailored to the case.
Distribution of illegal drugs is a significant felony charge that could lead to severe penalties. You need the best possible legal defense to defeat the charges and preserve your future prospects.
Our Gilbert drug distribution lawyers know how to effectively challenge police procedures and evidence to defend your rights. Call Grand Canyon Law Group as soon as you are arrested to discuss your case with a skilled advocate.