Drug-related offenses in Arizona are aggressively prosecuted and severely penalized.
If you have been charged with a drug crime, it is vital that you get legal protection as soon as possible because time is a critical factor in building your defense. You’ll want a qualified Arizona defense attorney who has a solid track record of winning defense cases, whether in state or federal court.
In Phoenix and surrounding cities, Arizonans trust Goldman Law, LLC for our successful track record in criminal defense. Our defense attorney Howard Dworman is uniquely experienced in fighting drug charges, as he has formerly worked with the Arizona Attorney General’s office and the Maricopa County Public Defender’s office.
He has dismissed numerous criminal cases, lowered charges, and obtained Not Guilty verdicts in state and federal courts.
Call Goldman Law, LLC today at (602) 698-5520.
What Drug Activities And Substances Are Illegal In Arizona?
A variety of offenses can fall under the umbrella of drug crimes, including:
- Cultivation (e.g. growing of plants to make drugs)
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Drug possession
- Possession of drugs with intent to sell
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
What drugs are illegal in Arizona? The Arizona Uniform Controlled Substances Act names many drugs as controlled substances, including methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, ketamine, certain opioids, and other narcotics. Prescription drugs may also result in drug charges if they are allegedly being distributed or used in unlawful ways.
Various parts of Arizona law prosecute drug offenses. Narcotic drug possession, manufacturing, possession with intent to distribute, and trafficking are governed by Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3408. Meanwhile, dangerous drug offenses fall under ARS 13-3407, prescription drug offenses under ARS 13-3406, and paraphernalia possession under ARS 13-3415.
Is Drug Crime A Misdemeanor Or Felony In Arizona?
A drug offense can either be a misdemeanor or a felony in Arizona. The severity of the drug charge depends on the classification (or “schedule”) of the narcotics involved, the amount of the substance in question, and whether this is a first-time or repeat violation.
Either way, a drug conviction in the state typically carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence, even when it is a first offense. Potential prison sentences for a state drug felony are as follows:
- Class 2 Drug Felony:
- First-time offense – Minimum 4 years, maximum 10 years
- Subsequent offense – Minimum 14 years, maximum 28 years
- Class 3 Drug Felony:
- First-time offense – Minimum 2.5 years, maximum 7 years
- Subsequent offense – Minimum 10 years, maximum 20 years
- Class 4 Drug Felony:
- First-time offense – Minimum 1.5 years, maximum 3 years
- Subsequent offense – Minimum 8 years, maximum 12 years
- Class 5 Drug Felony:
- First-time offense – Minimum 0.75 years, maximum 2 years
- Subsequent offense – Minimum 4 years, maximum 6 years
- Class 6 Drug Felony:
- First-time offense – Minimum 0.5 years, maximum 1.5 years
- Subsequent offense – Minimum 3 years, maximum 4.5 years.
A serious drug conviction could adversely impact your life, especially because criminal records in Arizona cannot be expunged (erased) or sealed (hidden). After you endure the penalties of a jail sentence and fines, the record could still damage your employment prospects, housing opportunities, and relationships.
This is why you should entrust your case to a defense lawyer with proven experience. In the hands of a competent attorney, it may be possible to lower your charges or dismiss them altogether.
When Does A Drug Offense Become A Federal Crime?
Some drug violations are prosecuted at the federal level, particularly when they involve out-of-state activity. Examples are when the substances are moved across state lines or international borders, or when email, fax, or mail is used.
Federal drug offenses are handled by national agencies such as the DEA and the FBI. They are among the most tenacious law enforcement entities in the US, equipped with a vast amount of resources to investigate and apprehend offenders. The penalties for a federal drug conviction can also be much more severe.
If you are facing federal drug charges, or even if you are only being investigated for drug-related allegations, do not wait to enlist a powerful attorney. Choosing a competent defense lawyer – and doing it fast – can help safeguard your freedom and minimize the ruinous impact of a federal conviction.
Why Time Is Crucial In Fighting A Drug Charge
Whether at the state or federal level, drug prosecutors do not take their job lightly. To build a case against a potential offender, they employ a variety of investigative tactics such as undercover officers and confidential informants. It is common for a drug investigation to be well underway even before charges are brought. By the time you learn of your charges, a strong case may already be prepared against you.
The earlier you approach a defense attorney, the better you can protect your rights, avoid damaging mistakes, and attack the prosecution’s case.
Your attorney should also look out for the legitimacy of the law enforcement procedure. They will investigate the case based on questions such as:
- Was the investigation or arrest lawful?
- Does the informant have a personal motivation to say anything against you?
- Were your rights violated at any point in the process?
Having a lawyer from the get-go can help ensure that proper procedure is followed. If there were procedural violations, this may be grounds to dismiss the charges.
Fighting Your Drug Charges In Arizona
To defend our clients facing a drug-related charge, we at Goldman Law pour our skills and resources to cover the different aspects of each case. Our legal service includes:
- Building the best defense strategies against your drug charge – We have a wide range of legal defenses in our arsenal, and we work with you to create a specific strategy for your case.
- Guiding you to avoid costly mistakes such as making statements, admitting to things, violating existing orders, and signing away your rights
- Scrutinizing the prosecution’s investigation and the officers’ arrest procedure
- Negotiating for much lighter charges or penalties
- Arranging a favorable plea deal, if applicable
- Walking you through the whole criminal justice process and guiding you on your options
- Updating you every step of the way and providing clear answers to your questions.
If you work with us, you’ll be backed by a capable team led by hard-hitting criminal defense attorney Howard Dworkin. Choose Goldman Law, LLC to defend your rights and freedom.
Contact Goldman Law, LLC
Act now to protect yourself from drug charges by calling us at (602) 698-5520. We serve clients in Phoenix and all throughout Arizona.