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Although the Arizona state legislature recently legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, state law still treats the possession, distribution, and manufacture of other controlled substances as serious criminal offenses. Even first-time offenders may face felony charges for possessing certain types of drugs. Additionally, having a certain amount of a specific substance in your possession can be taken as evidence that you intended to distribute it, allowing for substantially harsher sanctions upon conviction.
Put simply, drug-related criminal offenses should not be taken lightly. You need relentless representation from a Peoria drug lawyer with a track record of success. Working with the dedicated attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group can increase your chances of achieving a favorable case outcome and protecting your way of life.
Many states follow the five “schedules” of drugs outlined under the federal Controlled Substances Act. However, Arizona state law classifies controlled substances into six categories based on their nature and use. These six categories are as follows:
In general, possessing a controlled substance for personal use is not prosecuted as harshly as possessing with intent to distribute, sell, or produce a controlled substance. However, prosecutors may presume that anyone found with a “threshold amount” of a drug possesses that substance for trafficking purposes. For instance, subsection 36 of Arizona Revised Statue §13-3401 defines the threshold amount for cocaine as nine grams, while the threshold for marijuana is two pounds. Regardless of the specific substance or amount involved in the drug charges, defendants need representation from a skilled attorney in the area.
First-time unlawful possession of any narcotic or dangerous drug is often prosecuted initially as a Class 4 felony. This is punishable upon conviction by a sentencing range of one to 3.75 years. However, courts also have the discretion to prosecute first-time drug possession offenses as Class 1 misdemeanors, usually contingent on the defendant completing drug treatment, probation, and other requirements. Our Peoria drug lawyers can help first-time defendants pursue this beneficial alternative to incarceration.
That said, Arizona state law allows for increased sentencing ranges for repeat drug offenders. Under A.R.S. §13-3419, individuals convicted of third or subsequent offenses involving the possession of an amount of a controlled substance equal to or exceeding the statutory threshold amount are subject to even harsher sentencing ranges than those typically applied to repeat offenders. When the stakes are this high, legal counsel from an attorney experienced at defending drug charges in Peoria is of the utmost importance.
Whether this is your first time facing any kind of criminal accusation or you have a history of drug-related convictions, you need to be proactive in your defense. A conviction could impact your professional life and personal freedom; it could even lead to the loss of constitutional rights if your charge is considered a felony.
Retaining a Peoria drug lawyer should be your top priority after being charged with possession, distribution, production, trafficking, or any other offense. Call Grand Canyon Law Group today to discuss your options in a private consultation.