Charges for Possession of Dangerous Drugs

In the state of Arizona, there are several dangerous drug charges you may face. You will need the help of a criminal defense attorney with Gurion Legal if you possess drugs, sell them, or use them. Most of the time, the penalties include jail or prison time and high fines, no matter the specific drug crime.

Drug crimes are on the rise, and law enforcement personnel are constantly seeking to make these arrests. An experienced drug crimes attorney can provide you the help you need to create a defense for your case. These attorneys will review all evidence against you to determine how to help.

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Examples of Dangerous Drugs

Dangerous drug charges in Arizona can concern any uncontrolled substance other than marijuana or narcotic drugs. They are more commonly called “controlled substances.”

Some examples of those substances include:

  • Psilocybin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD
  • PCP
  • Prescription Drugs like Valium and Diazepam
  • Xanax
  • MMDA or MDA
  • Anabolic Steroids

These are just a few of the illegal substances. In total, in the state of Arizona, there are over 200 on the list. Thankfully, a strong defense is that you have to know of possession or use of any of these drugs.

Types of Dangerous Drug Charges

In Arizona, ARS 13-3407 has specific actions that an individual must take to face a crime. Any of these actions are those that lead to penalties and other crimes.

They include:

  • Dangerous drug possession or use
  • Possession of any drugs that are up for sale
  • Possession or use of any of the equipment necessary to make a drug
  • Making a dangerous drug
  • Giving a dangerous drug to someone else
  • Taking a dangerous drug after someone gives it to you through a misconception
  • Transporting dangerous drugs for the sake of selling them

You have to know that you engaged in a drug-related crime to face a conviction for any action above. Though the list of dangerous drugs above has some of the most popular you can use or possess, know that any substance that can stimulate your nervous system could be classified as a dangerous drug or another type of illegal drug.

Penalties for Dangerous Drug Crimes Under ARS 13-3407

As mentioned, this code covers the seven dangerous drug actions above. Violation of this code by partaking in any of these actions leads to a serious crime. All of the time, you will be facing a felony.

Longer sentencing is available for many of the seven actions taken. Although some of the drugs on the list require mandatory probation for personal possession under Proposition 200, methamphetamine is specifically excluded from it.

When considering the penalties listed below, realize that these are all for ARS 13-3407. They also only apply to first-time offenders and to those who did not possess methamphetamines.

Penalties may go as high as:

  • Class four felony: 3.75 years of prison
  • Class three felony: 8.75 years of prison time
  • Class two felony: 12 and a half years spent in prison

There is one more important consideration concerning these penalties. Each drug has a certain statutory threshold of how much you can possess before facing mandatory imprisonment for possession for sale. If you exceed this amount, you may face harsher penalties.

Drug Thresholds

ARS 13-3401 is the code that defines the thresholds of any of the drugs aforementioned. Code 13-3407 may increase your penalty to a selling charge rather than a possession charge if you are above the threshold. It does not matter if you were actually selling or not.

Threshold amounts are:

  • PCP: four grams
  • Amphetamine: nine grams
  • Methamphetamine: nine grams
  • LSD blotter: 50 units
  • Liquid LSD: 0.5 milliliters
  • Other drugs: valuation over $1,000
  • Combination: exceeded threshold when adding all drugs possessed

Drug Possession and Use Charges

Drug possession and use charges are typically class four felonies.  Sales offenses are treated more harshly.   Penalties increase for repeat offenses or possession of methamphetamines. Penalties are also worse, again, if your drug amount is above the threshold.

Possession of Drugs for Sale

When you possess more drugs than the threshold, remember, this is evidence of possession of drugs to sell. These charges are often class two felonies. If you do not have more than the base amount, there must be something more suggesting sales.

Defining Intent

Officers and courts may take several steps to determine if you intended to sell the drugs in your possession. They will see if you had drug paraphernalia, for instance, or if any of the drugs came in packages. Often, officers will set up a spot in which they can watch to determine if multiple people come in and out of your home throughout the day.

The ways that police officers find this evidence is often through undercover agents or criminal informants. They need the proof to show the court that you were present where the police said you were and that you had possession of drugs. They also have to know how many substances you had, if you had paraphernalia, and the types of drugs you had.

Transportation of Dangerous Drugs

Another type of possession with intent to sell is if you transport drugs. Transportation can include importing drugs to the state or taking these substances to another state around Arizona. Transportation is also a class two felony, but often, the penalties you may face are much more severe.

Arizona Revised Statute 13-3408 – Narcotic Drugs

One type of drug that you can use and possess that is under another code is a narcotic. Possessing these drugs is a crime found under Arizona code ARS 13-3408.

Specific narcotic types include:

  • Fentanyl
  • Opium
  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine

Class two or four felonies are typically the charges related to this offense. The class two felony can bring as many as 12.5 years in prison. It does depend on how many narcotics you have in your possession, whether you intended to sell the drugs, and on your prior convictions.

Arizona Revised Statute 13-3406 – Prescription Drugs

ARS 13-3406 is another variation on possession and use charges. This code involves the illegal use of prescription drugs. The person who possesses the drugs must not have a prescription for them or must not be a prescriber, especially if you give the substances to another person.

Prescription drug charges under ARS 13-3406 face slightly less harsh penalties than the previous two codes. Depending on the prescribed drugs you have and a person’s record, someone could even receive a class one or two misdemeanors.

There are situations under this subsection in which you can be charged with Class 4 and 6 felonies.

Defenses for Use and Possession Charges

If you face a dangerous drug charge, you need to work with a drug crimes attorney who can defend you. The defenses that they will make will depend on your specific crimes and the circumstances surrounding them. Three of the more popular defense ideas, however, are in the information below.

Lack of Knowledge

Remember, to receive a charge of possession or use of a drug, knowledge is necessary. If you did not know that an illegal substance was in your presence, you have a strong defense. One example is if someone manipulated you to take a drug or slipped it in your drink. Others would be if a friend’s vehicle had drugs, you were unaware of it.

Drugs were Planted/Staged

If an attorney is able and there is suspicion, they can obtain information about the police officer’s arrest record. The documentation could provide information to showcase if the cop planted a drug in your house or car. If the evidence presents this as fact, the criminal defense attorney can even have the officer testify in court.

Police Search without a Warrant

Unless a specific circumstance arises, a police officer cannot search your home or vehicle without a warrant. If your attorney finds that this occurred, the court will throw out any evidence obtained from the search. Without ample evidence, you have a high chance of getting your sentencing overturned.

Hire a Drug Crimes Attorney You Can Trust

If you have any dangerous drug or narcotic drug charges against you, hire a drug crimes attorney as soon as possible. They will listen to your story, observe the evidence, and find defenses specific to your case.

The end goal will always be to shorten your sentencing, or completely dismiss it in a court of law. It will depend, however, on the specific defense tactic used. Though lower sentencing does not always happen, an experienced drug defense attorney with Gurion Legal can make such a difference in any drug-related case.

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