Drug crimes are criminal acts involving narcotics or illegal controlled substances. They are usually very complex cases with numerous potentially severe penalties if the accused offender is found guilty. If you ever find yourself facing a drug-related charge, get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer right away. Choose a defense lawyer who can provide you with experienced legal representation.
Illegal drugs and the crimes related to them have been present in Arizona for a long time. Defense lawyers have been representing clients charged with violating drug laws for decades. Some of the most popular substances that are associated with the commission of a drug crime are heroin, crack cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, crystal meth, marijuana, and ecstasy. Drug-related criminal cases typically involve:
- Using or possessing an illegal drug.
- Using or possessing drug paraphernalia.
- Possessing drugs that are for sale.
- Transporting drugs that are for sale.
- Manufacturing an illegal drug.
- Cultivating marijuana.
- Distributing drugs.
- Faking a prescription.
- Being involved in drug trafficking.
Drug-related criminal charges are covered in both Arizona state law and federal law. The sentence for a felony drug charge is determined by considering these questions:
- What kind of drug was involved?
For federal drug cases, a reference to The Controlled Substances Act is necessary to determine the fitting sentence. There are five drug classifications based on their penalty groups. For instance, cocaine, which is a Group 1 drug, receives the most serious penalty. Prescription drugs, on the other hand, are Group 3, which warrant a lesser penalty.
- How much drugs were involved?
As expected, the higher the amount of drugs defendants are caught with, the higher the sentence as well. Fines or jail time increase according to the volume of drug possessed.
- What was the intent for those drugs?
The purpose for the drugs also has great influence on the sentence. A simple drug possession charge merits a lower sentence than possession with the intent to illegally transport, distribute, sell, or manufacture.
- Where did the violation take place?
Drug offenses receive more severe sentences if they were perpetrated in certain areas like within the vicinity of a daycare center or school.
- Was the drug offense committed with another criminal offense? Drug offenses often come hand in hand with other criminal acts such as theft, assault, or conspiracy. If other felonies are involved, especially if they’re violent crimes such as manslaughter or homicide, prison sentences understandably increase.
Take note that using a prescription drug or even over-the-counter ones for illegal purposes is also considered a crime. It can lead to conviction that comes with a wide range of possible penalties from probation, community service, and mandatory participation in a drug treatment program, to more serious legal consequences such as long-term imprisonment, large fines, driver’s license suspension, as well as a conviction on your criminal record.
The federal government has declared war on drugs to put a stop to the drug trade. The crackdown on drug users is integral to the campaign, but even law offenders have constitutional rights. That’s why the justice system allows criminal lawyers to defend them in the courtroom during their criminal trial.
If you are charged with a felony drug crime, research Arizona defense attorneys who have represented clients in narcotic and drug cases. Whether you are facing a simple possession charge or a more serious drug trafficking charge, call the Law Offices of Howard A. Snader, LLC for an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges for drug crime against you.