After an arrest for drug-related charges, you should expect a lengthy court process ahead. This begins with an appearance before a judge to set your release conditions while the case is pending. At each stage of the legal proceedings, representation from a skilled attorney is crucial to protecting your rights and pursuing a positive outcome to the case.
Grand Canyon Law Group can guide you through the court process for Scottsdale drug cases while minimizing the impact of the charges on your life. We will help determine whether going to trial or negotiating a plea deal is in your best interests. Either way, we are prepared to fight tirelessly for your future.
Outside of federal drug trafficking or higher-level cases, felony drug charges will be heard by the Maricopa County Superior Court. Most cases are charged in state court. Misdemeanor drug offenses like simple possession will be charged in one of the justice courts or city courts in the area.
Misdemeanor drug cases involve bench trials, while felony charges entitle defendants to a jury trial. These offenses typically take three to four months to resolve, although larger-scale drug sale cases can be more complex and may take up to a year or more. The experienced local attorneys at our firm can explain what to expect from the court process for specific drug charges.
For any drug offense, the prosecutor must prove several elements in court to secure a conviction. In cases alleging personal possession, they must show that the defendant knowingly possessed a prohibited substance. If the charges involve transportation or possession with intent to sell, the prosecutor must also prove the defendant’s intent. The factors at play will also vary if the defendant is accused of being an accomplice to a drug crime.
Anyone facing trial for drug offenses needs representation from a knowledgeable Scottsdale lawyer to navigate the complex court proceedings, especially in larger-scale cases. A savvy attorney could contest the prosecution’s case by raising various constitutional issues throughout the legal process. Fourth Amendment issues involving illegal searches and seizures are often major topics in drug proceedings, as well as Fifth and Sixth Amendment issues involving Miranda rights and the right to counsel.
The sentencing process varies drastically depending on the nature of the charges. Those convicted of personal use or possession will be placed on probation or offered entry into a drug diversion program. Convictions for drug sales and trafficking offenses can lead to much harsher sentencing, potentially years-long prison terms.
When a defendant believes their conviction or sentence is unjust, they have options for seeking justice, whether their sentencing resulted from a guilty verdict at trial or a plea agreement. Our seasoned attorneys in Scottsdale could explain the court process for appealing a drug conviction if mistakes occurred at trial. Defendants who took plea agreements may have legal avenues for seeking post-conviction relief to correct an unfair sentence.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, our former prosecutors deeply understand the legal systems involved in drug cases. We know the police, prosecutors, and judges and can use these relationships to pursue the best avenues of defense for our clients. Our team will listen to your story and work tirelessly to secure a favorable result in your situation.
Discuss the court process for Scottsdale drug cases with our knowledgeable attorneys. Call our office today to learn how we can fight for your way of life.