Being charged with a drug-related criminal offense can be a life-altering and confusing experience. Depending on the substance, amount, and actions involved in the allegations, the specific state statute you may be charged under can vary drastically. Another person in similar circumstances might be prosecuted differently.
Guidance from a skilled drug defense lawyer is the best way to move forward in these situations. Grand Canyon Law Group can explain the nature of your drug charges in Phoenix and help fight them both in and out of court. With that in mind, here is some basic information about how state law differentiates between different kinds of drug offenses, as well as what amounts of certain substances can lead to more severe charges.
Federal law divides controlled substances into one of five “schedules” based on the perceived dangers of abuse and the number of legitimate medical uses of each substance. On the other hand, Arizona state law categorizes most controlled substances as “narcotic drugs” or “dangerous drugs.” State law also separates marijuana, peyote, prescription drugs, and inhalants into distinct categories. Each has unique sentencing ranges and penalty structures for possession charges, which our experienced local attorneys can further explain.
These categories of controlled substances and the criminal classifications assigned to different actions involving them are defined in Arizona Revised Statute §13-3402 through 13-3408. More specifically, the following statutes address different substances:
“Serious drug offenders” who have demonstrated a pattern of selling and distributing as part of a criminal enterprise or a significant part of their income may be prosecuted harshly under A.R.S. §13-3410. Unique sentencing ranges for repeat offenders are outlined in A.R.S. §13-3419. The seasoned lawyers at our Phoenix office could further explain these drug charges during a confidential consultation.
Another important thing to understand about how Arizona state law defines drug charges is the “threshold amounts” for certain controlled substances. As per A.R.S. §13-3420, if someone is found in possession of a controlled substance equal to or greater than the threshold amount, the legal system can presume intent to distribute even without any other evidence supporting that presumption.
The threshold amounts for Phoenix drug charges, as defined in subsection 36 of A.R.S. §13-3401, are as follows:
Additionally, any amount of a controlled substance not listed under the statute valued at $1,000 or more can be treated as a “threshold amount,” which can justify charges for intent to distribute.
Dealing with drug charges can be a complex process that varies from person to person. Without assistance from a legal professional with experience handling these cases, you may have slim odds of securing a favorable resolution.
When facing drug charges in Phoenix, your top priority should be contacting a dedicated attorney. A conviction can significantly impact your freedom and future. Do not take any chances with your life; call Grand Canyon Law Group today to schedule a private meeting about your case.