Arizona prosecutes and has statutes to address all types of drugs, from marijuana to narcotic and dangerous drugs. Mere possession of an illegal drug, no matter what it is, can lead to charges. Possessing prescription medication without a prescription is a violation of the law, as is possessing drug paraphernalia with intent to use it. Some of the most severe charges allege the possession of drugs or prescription medication for sale.
No matter the charge you face, you need representation from someone who understands the legal process for drug cases in Phoenix. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our dedicated attorneys have the experience and expertise necessary to help you resolve your case favorably.
A couple of things could happen when a person is charged with a drug offense. After a traffic stop, the officer could release them from the scene and have charges filed later. This could result in a summons to appear in court.
Behind the scenes, the officer will typically need to have the substance tested by a lab to determine the type and quantity of the drug. In other cases, officers may arrest, book, and charge the person immediately. This is more typical in drug sales cases or other serious charges. A Phoenix lawyer could further explain these early stages in the drug prosecution process.
At the misdemeanor level, like in drug paraphernalia cases, the police will file the charges. Minor offenses will be charged as misdemeanors in the municipalities or Justice Courts. In these circumstances, the police officer files a short-form complaint with the Municipal Court.
For more serious charges, the deputy county attorney is responsible for filing a long-form criminal complaint with whichever court has jurisdiction over the situation. Police officers typically file misdemeanor complaints, while prosecutors file for felonies.
When a charge is filed with the court, it will appear on the person’s record. This will show that they have been charged and that a case is pending. At this stage of the process, it is crucial for those accused of drug offenses to contact a nearby attorney.
Any charge can be dropped immediately, but this is not typically what happens. Usually, there must be some form of adjudication of the case—the person either must plead guilty or go to trial, or the defense attorney must find a maneuver to force the case to get dismissed. This could be because of a constitutional rights violation or a lack of proof that would make the prosecutor unable to pursue the case.
For diversion cases, the prosecution may be suspended while the person completes the diversion program. If they complete the program, the case will be dismissed. However, this is different from charges being dropped right away.
If a person thinks they are under investigation for a drug crime, especially if the investigation involves drug sales or large-scale operations, they need to contact an attorney right away. Even those found with paraphernalia or small quantities of a drug need legal representation.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, we deal with these cases day in and day out. We know the legal process for drug cases in Phoenix and understand the procedures, laws, courts, and prosecutors involved. This prepares us to effectively defend you against these types of charges and seek the best possible resolution to your case. Call our firm today to get started.