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Types of Drug Charges in Mesa

Arizona’s drug laws and sentencing guidelines are extremely complex. When you are charged with a drug crime, it could be difficult to know how serious the charge is and what the potential consequences might be.

A drug defense attorney can explain the types of drug charges that exist in Mesa and help you understand what a conviction might mean for you. Get in touch with the Grand Canyon law Group as soon as you are arrested.

Marijuana Crimes

State voters decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana and its recreational use in 2020. Adults may possess up to an ounce of marijuana or its derivatives without penalty and may grow up to six plants. A household with at least two adults can have up to twelve plants.

Adults possessing more than one ounce, but less than two and half ounces, face a criminal infraction. This violation is treated similarly to a traffic ticket, and an offender would usually be hit with only a fine. A conviction does not result in a criminal record.

Possession of any amount of marijuana by a minor, driving under the influence of marijuana, using cannabis in public, and possessing more than the sanctioned amounts remain crimes and can lead to jail or prison sentences. Anyone dealing with this type of drug charge in Mesa should seek counsel from our team of former prosecutors.

Drug Possession Crimes

The severity of a drug crime depends on the type of drugs found in a defendant’s possession and the quantity of drugs. Someone convicted of possessing a small quantity of drugs—an amount that does not exceed the so-called threshold—usually faces probation, rather than jail or prison.

The threshold amounts of illegal drugs are set out in Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3401(36) . The threshold quantity is the amount that the legislature deemed appropriate for personal use, or the quantity that has a street value of $1,000. The threshold quantity of heroin is one gram, but the threshold quantity of cocaine and methamphetamine is nine grams.

Someone facing their first or second drug possession conviction would be sentenced to probation. Probation is arduous, and can include drug dependency screening and treatment, random drug tests, fines, frequent check-ins with a probation officer, curfew, and other restrictions.

Other Types of Drug Crimes

Possessing more than the threshold quantities of drugs allows police and prosecutors to assume that the person in possession intended to sell the drugs, even if there is no evidence of intent to sell. When there is evidence of intent to sell, someone could face drug distribution charges even when they possessed less than the threshold quantity. When a prosecutor assumes an intent to sell with no clear evidence a sale took place, a Mesa attorney can often work with a prosecutor to reduce this type of drug charge.

Transporting drugs, even within the state, can result in drug trafficking charges. It is also a crime to possess materials to make drugs or to possess drug paraphernalia.

These charges are felonies. Upon conviction, an offender would face sentencing according to the state’s sentencing guidelines. The guidelines set a presumptive prison sentence for every class of felony and provide for a more lenient sentence if the judge finds mitigating circumstances, or a harsher sentence if the judge finds aggravating circumstances. The sentences become substantially more severe when an offender has prior convictions.

Call a Mesa Attorney to Defend Against Various Types Drug Charges

A drug conviction is not something you want to deal with. In many cases, Grand Canyon Law Group can review the evidence against you and present a compelling case for leniency or innocence. But you need to act QUICKLY.

Do not face any type of drug charges in Mesa without a criminal defense attorney at your side. Reach out today to learn more from our team.

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