Tempe Drug Lawyer

Arizona’s legislature has enacted comprehensive, detailed drug laws which impose mandatory prison sentences in certain instances. The police and prosecutors harshly pursue these cases, and those accused need dedicated legal counsel to protect their rights.

If you have been arrested or are under investigation for charges related to illegal substances, let a Tempe drug lawyer provide aggressive representation on your behalf. Our attorneys spent years prosecuting these types of cases. Now they use their knowledge and skills to successfully defend those accused.

The Scope of Arizona’s Drug Laws

Arizona prohibits the knowing possession, use, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and sale of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. Unlawful drugs or controlled dangerous substances fall into six categories, identified in Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 13-3402, -3403, -3405, -3406, -3407, and -3408. These include:

  • Peyote
  • Vapor-releasing toxic substances
  • Prescription drugs (when improperly used)
  • Dangerous drugs (with special treatment of methamphetamines)
  • Narcotics
  • Marijuana

Although marijuana is on the list, only certain activities are unlawful. Medical and recreational marijuana use is now legal in Arizona. Additionally, recreational pot was legalized in November 2020 with the passage of Proposition 207. With its approval, those 21 and over may possess a maximum of one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants.

However, driving under the influence of marijuana and smoking it in public are still illegal. Additionally, federal law still lists marijuana as a controlled substance, so federal courts can prosecute individuals for possession. Because the local and federal laws for drugs can be complex, anyone facing charges in Tempe should consult a knowledgeable attorney at our firm.

Consequences for Breaking Drug Laws in Tempe

Each illegal act (possession, manufacture, sale, etc.) amounts to a separate indictable crime with associated penalties. These may include probation, jail or prison time, fines, restitution orders, and more. The corresponding punishments depend on the offense, the type and amount of the drug, the accused person’s criminal history, and other mitigating or aggravating factors.

Convictions on multiple offenses will result in harsher punishments. In certain circumstances, a defendant could face imprisonment for as long as 28 years and fines reaching $150,000. When the stakes are this high, it is critical to work with an aggressive drug attorney who is well-versed in the local legal systems.

Leniency for First-Time Drug Offenders

Those convicted on a first offense for personal drug use or possession must receive a probationary sentence under Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-901.01 without any condition of jail time. Second-time offenders also receive probation but may face up to one year in jail. However, probation is no longer an option if the situation involves injury to others, a deadly weapon, refusal to participate in a drug treatment program, or methamphetamines.

Mandatory Imprisonment for Drug Trafficking

If a person possesses a certain amount of the drugs identified in Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-3401(36), the law assumes that they intend to engage in drug trafficking. In these circumstances, convicted individuals must serve a term of imprisonment; the court has no discretion.

Drugs that are often involved in trafficking charges include heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, LSD, and PCP. Any other illegal drugs can cross the threshold for a trafficking charge if the value equals or exceeds $1,000. To avoid these aggravated charges, it is best to consult the experienced drug lawyers at our firm.

Defenses to Drug Charges

An arrest for drug charges does not always lead to a conviction. In fact, there are many strategies that a savvy drug lawyer can use to combat the prosecution’s case. In addition to possibly negotiating a plea deal, our legal team can utilize the following defenses:

  • Legal right to possess the drugs with a prescription
  • Religious exemption
  • No knowledge of the presence of drugs
  • Mistake in the amount of drugs (i.e., no threshold violation)
  • Infringement of constitutional rights (e.g., illegal search and seizure)
  • Entrapment

Aggressively challenging the State’s case is the only way to defeat drug charges.  Our attorneys are deeply familiar with the legal system in Tempe and can work with defendants to effectively counter the allegations.

Call a Tempe Drug Attorney to Vigorously Protect Your Rights

Every drug offense case is different. It is essential to work with the right attorney who will tailor a defense strategy to the unique circumstances of your case. The Tempe drug lawyers at our firm give personal attention to each client to secure the best chances of a positive outcome. Give us a call today to learn how we can protect you and your way of life.

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