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Many situations could lead to you being arrested or charged with substance-related offenses. At the most basic level, state law still prohibits the simple possession of scheduled substances and prescription medications without a doctor’s note. Additionally, the laws that punish the supposed distribution of these substances are among the harshest in the nation. In many cases, convictions come with mandatory-minimum prison sentences.
If you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime, you must act swiftly to protect yourself. Talking with a Tolleson drug lawyer is the first step in defeating the case against you. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our skilled attorneys work to explain the state’s drug laws and how they apply to your case. We then identify realistic goals and take all necessary steps to protect your rights and freedoms during all court sessions.
Many states have taken steps to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs or even to make these substances outright legal to own. Unfortunately, Tolleson is not located in one of these states. As a result, possessing even a trace amount of an illegal substance can still bring severe criminal penalties.
A common example is Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3405, which deals with the possession of marijuana. Under this statute, possessing even a small amount of marijuana remains a class 6 felony. Thankfully, other portions of state law say that a conviction for possession of illegal drugs requires a court to sentence a person to probation that may include mandatory drug treatment courses. While this is certainly better than jail time, it can still be a costly disruption to a person’s life.
Similar concepts apply to other drug possession cases. AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-3407 describes the penalty for possessing most other illegal substances as class 4 felonies. While the same presumption of probation exists for a first conviction, subsequent cases will come with mandatory-minimum prison sentences. A local attorney at our firm is ready to fight against charges that allege illegal drug possession.
While cases that allege the possession of illegal drugs may allow a person to avoid jail time after a conviction, charges for the distribution of these substances do not provide this option. Instead, state law classifies the distribution of illegal drugs (except marijuana) as a class 2 felony. Here, a first conviction with mitigating circumstances will result in a three-year prison sentence. If aggravating circumstances are present, judges must sentence a guilty party to 12.5 years in prison.
Charges are even more severe if they allege the trafficking of these substances. The concept of trafficking applies when the amount of a drug crosses the threshold amount defined in AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-3401(36). This amount will vary depending on the type of drug involved in the case. If a case involves more than this threshold amount, a judge cannot suspend any resulting prison sentence. When the stakes are this high, it is crucial for those facing allegations of drug distribution to seek legal counsel from a lawyer at our Tolleson office.
Law enforcement and prosecutors in the Tolleson area take allegations of illegal drug possession and distribution seriously. Having even a small amount of marijuana in one’s possession can justify an arrest and prosecution. Even more concerning are cases that move forward under the state’s drug distribution laws. Here, a conviction will label you as a felon and require a mandatory minimum prison sentence for a first offense.
A Tolleson drug lawyer wants to help you avoid these outcomes. The attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group can work to evaluate the reason for an arrest and convince a judge to exclude damaging evidence. We can also make arguments for fair bail conditions and cross-examine state witnesses to create reasonable doubt in jurors’ minds. Speak with us today to explore your options.