Arizona prosecutes drug charges harshly. Even the simple possession of illegal substances is a felony-level offense that can come with severe penalties. However, the law is even stricter in cases alleging the sale or distribution of illicit drugs. A conviction here will always result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence—meaning that you could spend years behind bars.
Clearly, you need to build a strong defense against these allegations to protect your freedom and way of life. At the Grand Canyon Law Group, our Phoenix drug distribution lawyers understand the stakes you face, and we are here to assist you with the legal process. Our skilled attorneys can evaluate the reason for your arrest, challenge the identification of supposed illegal substances, and fight back against the idea that you intended to distribute these substances to others.
Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3407 and 13-3408 are the main laws that define the concept of drug distribution and creates the potential penalties for a conviction. Put simply, it prohibits any person from possessing a dangerous or narcotic drug with the intent of offering that drug for sale. This may include any substance that falls under the category of contraband in the state, such as:
A conviction for the sale of these items is always a class 2 felony. This means that a first conviction with mitigating circumstances must still result in a three-year prison sentence. Aggravating factors can lead to a sentence of up to 12.5 years.
The identity of the substance involved may also play a role in sentencing. For example, the law requires a prison sentence of no less than five years if the drug involved is methamphetamine.
The amount of the substance is also a determining factor in potential punishments. If the amount of the drug passes the threshold amount under state law, the court cannot suspend any portion of the sentence or change it to time spent on probation. Our local drug distribution attorneys understand how severe and life-changing these penalties can be, and we are prepared to fight against a conviction at all costs.
Luckily, there are many ways of disputing drug distribution charges. For instance, a lawyer could argue that police arrested the wrong party in a case of mistaken identity. A Phoenix attorney could work to obtain evidence that the defendant was in a different place at the time of an alleged drug sale.
However, most drug distribution cases are more nuanced. In some instances, it may be possible to argue that the allegedly illegal substances were not what law enforcement believed them to be. This could involve examining the processes that a lab used to identify the supposed drugs or disputing whether the substances remained in a constant chain of custody.
A defense may also revolve around the question of intent. However, you should know that Arizona law does not require an actual sale to bring enhanced penalties. Instead, a prosecutor may pursue a conviction based on nothing more than your supposed intent to sell drugs. They may ask a jury to infer this fact from the amount of the substances, the presence of packaging materials, or even a large amount of cash in your car or home. At the Grand Canyon Law Group, our Phoenix drug distribution lawyers can work to provide alternative explanations for these situations.
You may be understandably scared for your future if you face drug distribution charges. These are felony cases that can come with mandatory time spent in prison. However, with relentless legal counsel, you have options for mitigating the potential penalties and defeating the charges against you.
Let a Phoenix drug distribution lawyer at the Grand Canyon Law Group handle your case the right way. From day one, our former prosecutors are ready to explore the reasons for your arrest, determine the strength of the case against you, and present evidence in court to protect your best interests. Give us a call now to get started.