DRUG CHARGES DEFENSE ATTORNEYS IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA
According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, Arizona is considered a major drug distribution center due to the sheer number of highways, commercial airports, private and abandoned airfields, railways, and tunnels between Mexico and Arizona’s southern border. Drugs even make their way across the border by backpackers and people on horseback.
Arizona’s vulnerability to drug trafficking means it is closely watched by state and federal law enforcement. Those convicted on drug charges in the state have lost jobs, homes, personal relationships, and for many of them, their actual freedom.
If you are facing drug charges, or are being investigated for crimes involving the possession, sale, delivery, or manufacturing of drugs, you can expect the prosecution to be extremely aggressive. That’s why you need an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney in your corner to help you fight back.
At Faussette & Faussette, we provide tough and experienced legal counsel and representation for clients charged with drug crimes in Phoenix, Arizona and throughout the Valley and its surrounding cities, as well as across the state of Arizona including Glendale, Peoria, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Goodyear — so call or reach out today to get the help you need.
WHEN A DRUG CRIME
BECOMES A FEDERAL OFFENSE
Federal law prohibits anyone to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance or counterfeit substance. Those substances are defined under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Whether you are charged under Arizona law or federal law may depend on whether you crossed state or international borders to distribute the controlled substance, whether you committed the crime on federal property, or whether an informant provided information to a federal law enforcement officer. It also can depend on the amount of drugs involved.
FOUR KEY DRUG CHARGES IN ARIZONA
There are four key drug charges in Arizona. All of the following drug-related activities are considered illegal under Arizona law:
Manufacturing - This covers any step of drug production, including possessing ingredients and chemicals with an intent to manufacture drugs. This charge also includes the cultivation of plant-based drugs such as marijuana and peyote. Manufacture of drugs produced in a lab, such as methamphetamines, fentanyl, LSD, and ecstasy, usually carry more severe penalties.
Delivering - Also known as “distributing,” this is defined as the transfer of drugs from you to someone else either when money changes hands or if there is an intent to sell.
Selling - This is what you could be charged with if the amount of drugs you possess exceeds the particular drug’s threshold for personal use.
Possession - This is when you knowingly have illegal drugs in your possession, whether that means you are using them or have them on you or near you. State law also specifies the specific amount considered for possession charges which correspond with personal use.
DRUG SCHEDULES CLASSIFY
POTENTIAL FOR ABUSE & DEPENDENCE
Controlled substances are classified into five schedules, Schedule I through Schedule V. The lower the schedule number, the higher the potential for abuse and physical or psychological dependence.
For example, Schedule I substances have a high potential for abuse and have no accepted medical use for treatment in the United States. These drugs also lack accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.
At the other end of the spectrum, Schedule V substances have a very low potential for abuse, are currently accepted for medical use for treatment in the U.S., and have limited physical and psychological dependence liability relative to other substances.
Some examples for each Schedule include:
Schedule I: Heroin, Ecstasy, LSD, Peyote, and Marijuana
Schedule II: Methamphetamine, Fentanyl, Oxycodone, Adderall, Ritalin, and Methadone
Schedule III: Ketamine, Anabolic Steroids, Testosterone, and Drug Combinations with Hydrocodone
Schedule IV: Xanax, Darvocet, Valium, Ambien, and Ativan
Schedule V: Lyrica, Motofen, and Cough Medicines with Less than 200 Milligrams of Codeine
POSSIBLE PENALTIES FOR DRUG CONVICTIONS
Generally speaking, federal convictions often result in harsher punishments than state convictions. Under state and federal law, the lower the schedule number, the greater the penalties if convicted, and possession of a small amount of drugs for personal use typically results in milder penalties than those for selling. In any case, penalties become increasingly more severe for repeat offenders.
For example, in Arizona, possession of less than two pounds of marijuana could be a class six felony. If convicted, the offender could face up to one year in jail with no priors or anywhere from one to three years with prior convictions, and a fine of no less than $2,000 or up to three times the value of the substance, whichever is greater.
Possession of cocaine is considered a Class 4 felony with the same potential punishment; however, with two prior convictions, the jail term could be as long as 15 years.
HIRE AN EXPERIENCED
DRUG DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Drug charges are matters of degree, based on both the action (possession versus manufacturing) and on the type of controlled substances involved (Schedule V versus Schedule I). When you add prior convictions to the mix, the formula for charges and potential penalties can become complicated. The best decision you can make is to put a proven criminal defense attorney in your corner. Here at Faussette & Faussette, we will pursue every possible legal avenue as we work to defend your rights and get your charges reduced or dropped altogether. Regardless of the unique set of circumstances that led to your arrest, we will do everything we can to help you fight for your freedom. Don’t face the justice system on your own. Call or reach out to our office today for help
DRUG CHARGES DEFENSE ATTORNEYS IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA
At Faussette & Faussette, we are dedicated to delivering the best legal representation possible to our clients to give them a fighting chance inside and outside of the courtroom. Our firm serves clients charged with drug-related offenses in Phoenix, Arizona, and throughout the Valley and its surrounding cities. We’re also proud to serve clients across the entire state of Arizona including Glendale, Peoria, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Goodyear. So if you’ve been charged with a drug crime, call or reach out to our firm and put our experience on your side today!