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The state’s drug laws are a complex group of statutes. Of course, the mere possession of an illegal substance is a violation of the law. However, depending upon the type of drug, the amount, and even the defendant’s alleged state of mind, penalties vary drastically.
A New River drug lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group is dedicated to defending the rights and liberties of the accused in criminal court. If you are facing any substance-related allegation, call a seasoned attorney at our firm to give yourself the best chances of a positive outcome.
Most people facing accusations of drug crimes in New River face charges related to the possession of these substances. Under Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3407, possessing even a small amount of most illegal drugs is a class 4 felony. This includes street drugs and prescription medications when a person does not have a doctor’s note.
However, state rules require a court to sentence a person with a first or second drug possession conviction to probation. This allows defendants to receive the treatment they need as a substitute for jail time. Even so, this will still create a criminal record. Our seasoned local attorneys could review a defendant’s options and help determine an appropriate strategy for dealing with drug possession charges.
Any allegation that a person is selling drugs is a much more severe charge. The criminal sale of a controlled substance under AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-3407 is always a felony offense. Even a first offense with mitigating circumstances will result in a prison sentence of three years. Aggravating factors lengthen the sentence to up to 12.5 years. Regardless of the specific drug charges, help from a nearby drug attorney could make all the difference in the outcome of the case.
As in all criminal cases, the burden is on the prosecutor to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means they need to prove that the defendant possessed the substance in question and that the substance is illegal.
Proving that a substance is an illegal drug is a scientific process that requires laboratory work and expert testimony. A prosecutor cannot hold up a bag of cocaine at a trial and tell the jury that it is an illegal drug. As a result, a trial may involve the testimony of a laboratory worker who speaks about the scientific methods used to identify the alleged drugs. These experts are open to cross-examination concerning the methods used and their expertise.
Another area where a savvy attorney could discredit the prosecution’s case concerns the methods the police used to seize the alleged drugs. All people have the right to be protected against random illegal searches in public and the right to privacy in their homes. A New River lawyer at our firm can closely examine the police work in a drug case and file motions to protect the defendant’s rights in court.
Facing a drug charge in court can be an intimidating experience. For many people, this is their first experience with the criminal justice system. Others hope to avoid the label of a repeat offender and a felony charge on their record. No matter your goals, a New River drug lawyer can provide essential help.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, we work with clients to identify the facts in their case, formulate an effective defense, and stand up for their rights in court. Contact us today to get started.