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Scottsdale Drug Crimes Lawyer

Criminal charges for drug offenses in Arizona can change your life. You might face severe penalties such as jail time or thousands of dollars in penalties. The more serious drug crimes could lengthen your prison sentence to 15 years or longer.

The Scottsdale drug offense attorney you retain to represent you can make an enormous difference in the outcome of your case. Trust our Scottsdale criminal defense lawyer with your future and engage a team of attorneys who are compassionate about your case. We have everything you need for strong drug offense-defense in Scottsdale.

How A Drug Offenses Lawyer Can Help in Scottsdale

Arizona’s criminal code is extremely complex and covers a wide range of drug offenses and drug classes. The Hallam Law Group has significant experience with  Chapter 34 (Drug Offenses) of the criminal code. We know these laws inside and out, including their loopholes and weaknesses. We also know what to expect from the prosecution and how to poke holes in the case against you. Our drug crimes lawyers can confidently help you combat felony drug possession charges in Scottsdale.

We’ll start with an overview of the state’s detailed drug laws. We can answer your specific questions and concerns during a one-on-one legal evaluation, but in the meantime, you can learn some general information here.

How Scottsdale Drug Charges Are Determined

The charge against you will vary depending on the type of drug involved, as well as the quantity. Your prior criminal history will also play a role in the outcome of your case. Punishments for possessing drugs can range from months in jail to up to 15 years, as well as fines of $2,000 to substantially more according to the value of the substances.

Arizona law divides illicit controlled substances into six main categories:

  • Marijuana
  • Prescription drugs
  • Narcotic drugs
  • Peyote
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Substances that emit toxic vapors

Possessing less than two pounds of marijuana for personal use is a misdemeanor, possessing marijuana for sale a Class 4 felony, and possessing marijuana you personally produced is a Class 5 felony. Note that medical marijuana is legal in the state of Arizona, with limitations.

Possessing cocaine is a Class 4 felony with a possible reduction to a Class 1 misdemeanor if no prior convictions exist. Other dangerous drugs can result in Class 4 felonies with possible reductions to Class 1 misdemeanors (for drugs other than meth or other amphetamines and for first offenses).

Simple possessions can turn into possession with intent to distribute if you are caught with a certain amount of narcotics. A skilled drug sales attorney in Scottsdale can help negotiate drug offense charges to lower classes, argue a plea bargain, and even convince the courts to drop the charges in best-case scenarios.

Potential Consequences for a Drug Charge in Scottsdale

Drug crimes can result in severe charges that increase based on the number of offenses, circumstances of the incident, and drug type. Consequences of a drug crime in Arizona are based on the drugs’ amount, nature, weight, type, and market value.

Marijuana possession is either a misdemeanor or a Class 6 felony, which is the lowest class of felony the court can charge a drug crime. It is punishable by up to two years in prison. In contrast, narcotics possession is a Class 4 felony offense, which is the highest felony for a drug charge. This crime is punishable by up to 3.75 years in prison.

Dangerous drug possession is also a Class 4 felony and is punishable by up to 3.75 years in prison. A drug paraphernalia charge is a Class 6 felony and is punishable by up to two years in prison. A Scottsdale drug crimes attorney can help keep simple possession cases and first-time offenders out of jail for these charges.

Common Types of Drug Crimes

Drug addiction is an unfortunately common reality for many Arizona residents. Dependence on illegal substances leads to the arrest of many people for possession, use, and transport.

Common types of drug possession crimes in Scottsdale include:

  • Marijuana possession for recreational use
  • Possession of narcotics, such as crack, cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs
  • Possession of dangerous drugs, including meth, PHP, mushrooms, LSD, and ecstasy
  • Possession of a false prescription for pharmaceutical drugs
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

In addition to drug possession and use, drug-dealing and trafficking are also serious and common offenses in Arizona. These crimes involve the possession and collection of several types of drugs to either traffic across the state or country borders or to sell to people in the local community.

Common drug crimes that involve the intention to sell and traffic include:

  • Possession of narcotics with the intent to sell.
  • The transportation or trafficking of narcotics.
  • Possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
  • Possession of dangerous drugs with intent to sell.
  • Transportation or trafficking of dangerous drugs.
  • Possession of any type of drug or mix of drugs with intent to sell.

The courts determine the severity of these crimes and their associated punishments based on the amount of the drugs, the nature of their use, weight, type, and the market value of the drug. People who are addicted to drugs and find themselves in legal trouble deserve a strong, compassionate defense to help them combat their charge. Contact one of our drug crimes attorneys now.

Drug Crime Statistics in Arizona

Every year, law enforcement officers in Arizona arrest thousands of residents on various charges related to drug crimes, including possession, trafficking, and transportation. These drug charges range from recreational marijuana use to the manufacturing of narcotics.

According to the 2017 Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Crime in Arizona annual report, officers made 31,811 arrests in connection to drug possession. Of these arrests:

  • 4,552 arrests involved opium, cocaine, and derivatives
  • 16,921 involved marijuana
  • 4,665 involved synthetic narcotics
  • 5,673 involved other dangerous non-narcotics

In contrast, officers made 3,561 arrests in connection with drug sales and manufacturing. Of these arrests:

  • 1,107 involved opium, cocaine, and derivatives
  • 1,008 involved marijuana
  • 543 involved synthetic narcotics
  • 993 involved other dangerous non-narcotics

How Can a Lawyer Help Defend Your Drug Crimes Case

It is possible to build a defense against drug offenses in Scottsdale, even if police found you in possession of an illegal drug. The prosecution will need to fulfill a burden of proof to bring a successful criminal case against you. The State will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly possessed the narcotic drug and that the substance was, in fact, a narcotic drug. Possible defenses exist to combat both of these elements, such as:

  • The defendant didn’t know the drugs were in his/her possession.
  • The drugs belonged to someone else.
  • Someone planted the drugs with the defendant.
  • The defendant had a prescription to possess the drug.
  • The defendant legally possessed peyote for religious purposes.
  • Law enforcement committed an illegal search and seizure of property. (Consult with an illegal search and seizure attorney in Scottsdale to discuss if a violation occurred.)
  • A crime lab analysis shows that the substance isn’t actually an illicit drug.
  • The prosecution cannot produce the alleged drugs.
  • The arresting officer is guilty of entrapment.

Get Strong Representation Today

The Hallam Law Group can discuss your particular drug crime case in more detail during a free case evaluation at our law office. Call (602) 237-5373 today for more information about what to expect during your criminal case, and how you might be able to defend yourself from a conviction or severe penalties.