Appealing a Drug Conviction in Phoenix

Drugs continue to attract the attention of both law enforcement attempting to crack down and activists seeking more tolerance for drug use and users. Currently, the consequences of a drug conviction remain severe in terms of jail time, fines, and lengthy stretches of probation.

You can appeal a drug conviction shortly after a jury’s decision but you must act FAST. Grand Canyon Law Group’s appeals attorneys have a wealth of experience as former prosecutors now practicing criminal defense, and we can help you fight for your future and avoid the worst penalties by appealing a drug conviction in Phoenix. Calls us now.

Drug Convictions

First, you should know just how bad a drug conviction in Phoenix can be for you and your future. Most drug crimes fall into the category of possession and sale of controlled substances and are classified as felonies, anywhere from a Class 2 felony to a less severe Class 4 felony.

The state provides Criminal Code Sentencing Guidelines to illustrate the possible penalties for drug felony convictions, including minimum sentences for each Class of felony. For example, a Class 2 felony—say for the sale of cocaine under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3408—has a shortest sentence of 3 years and a longest sentence of 12.5 years, but a Class 4 felony for the possession of a small amount of cocaine only has a sentence ranging from 1 year to 3.75 years. Probation time also varies by Class, such as 7 years’ probation for Class 2 but only 4 years for Class 4.

These sentencing guidelines apply to someone convicted of their first felony; penalties increase to longer prison sentences and removal of probation for multiple offenses. Based in Phoenix, our attorneys can advise you on whether to appeal your drug conviction, which could prevent a second or subsequent conviction from taking effect and raising the mandatory sentence. It is important to CALL NOW to make sure you do not miss your opportunity.

The Appeal Process After a Drug Conviction

Anyone party to a criminal prosecution can make an appeal, as established by A.R.S. § 13-4031, but the options for defendants are more limited. Criminal defendants can appeal any of the following under A. R. S. § 13-4033:

  • A final judgment or conviction
  • Denial of a new trial
  • Order after judgment affecting substantial rights
  • An illegal or excessive sentence

In noncapital cases—prosecutions not resulting in the death penalty—a defendant cannot appeal from a plea agreement or admission of a probation violation. Also, a defendant must appear for sentencing within 90 days of conviction to appeal a final judgment or denial of a new trial, unless the absence was involuntary.

On appeal, the State Supreme Court can reverse a conviction or order a new trial under A. R. S. § 13-4036. It can also modify any order from after a conviction and any later proceeding. If appealing from a sentence, the Court has authority to correct an illegal sentence and to reduce or replace an excessive sentence with an appropriate one.

If you seek to appeal a drug conviction in Phoenix, you will need to quickly get an experienced lawyer by your side. Our attorneys are available 24/7 and can review your case to see if you can and should appeal from a conviction, a post-judgment order, or from sentencing.

Discuss Appealing Your Drug Conviction with a Phoenix Attorney

Drug convictions can cost you years of your life in prison and on probation. A conviction can also set you up for larger penalties for later violations, so avoiding a conviction can only help you. But you need to ACT NOW.

If you want to know more about appealing a drug conviction in Phoenix, make an appointment with Grand Canyon Law Group. Our experienced lawyers can talk you through how to file an appeal and whether you have a good chance of reversing your conviction or reducing your sentence.

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