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Phoenix Drug Crimes Attorney

Arizona drug laws have significantly tightened as a direct result of the Mexican Drug War. Many criminal activities committed along the border of Arizona and Mexico have their ties in the Mexican drug cartel industry.  In 2009, the Department of Justice stated there were 267 kidnappings in Phoenix, compared to 299 in 2008.  These numbers have led to stricter drug laws throughout the border region.  If you have been arrested for a drug crime, do not despair: an arrest is not a conviction.  An experienced Phoenix drug crimes lawyer can assist you in creating a defense strategy.

Arizona’s Strict Drug Laws

Arizona has some of the toughest drug laws on record due to its proximity to the Mexican border. These laws to prevent drug trafficking across borders include the sale, use, and possession of: marijuana, crystal meth, cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin. Legislators and politicians have tried to combat the drug problems by instilling severe penalties for even first time offenses in small quantities. For example, if you are arrested with even a small amount of marijuana found in your possession, you will face felony charges. Felony charges involve years in prison and heightened fines.

Phoenix is unfortunately one of the stops of the drug trade from Mexico to the United States and has led the state to develop stricter laws to tackle the drug problem head on. These laws did not account for first time offenders who may have experimented one time, or maybe unintentionally had a friend’s drugs in their car. Furthermore, similar to a drunk driving offense, if you are caught driving with drugs in your system, you may be arrested. Arizona practices a “zero tolerance” law against drugged driving so if an officer has reason to believe you are under the influence, you could face charges. These laws leave little wiggle room, but an experienced Phoenix criminal attorney will be able to develop a successful defense strategy to protect their clients.

Drug Crimes in Arizona

Arizona law lists the following as drug crimes:

  • Possession (includes possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, methamphetamine, cocaine, crack, heroin, and narcotics obtained without a prescription)
  • Possession with intent to deliver
  • Distribution
  • Manufacturing (typically includes the growing of marijuana or creation of methamphetamine)
  • Cultivation
  • Trafficking
  • Involving minors in drug offenses
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Prescription Fraud; possession or manufacture of prescription drugs
  • Marijuana charges
  • Cocaine charges
  • Methamphetamine manufacture
  • Heroin charges

Each crime carries a different penalty range depending on the facts of the case, the quantity, and the type of drug involved.

Drug Possession in Phoenix, Arizona

If you have been charged with a count of drug possession in Phoenix, you understand the seriousness of the offense. Arizona drug laws have become more severe over the years in order to combat the rising amount of border violence linked to drug trafficking. However, it is important to keep in mind that an arrest does not equal a conviction, and regardless of the offense, we have an opportunity to keep it off your record with the assistance of an experienced Phoenix drug possession attorney.

Drug possession offenses in Arizona cover a wide range of drug types and punishment ranges. Most drug offenses are harshly punished as legislators have begun to tackle a rising drug problem within the state. As a result, even a small amount of drugs found on your possession has the potential to drastically impact your future.

Drug possession charges can be based in federal or state law, and each come with a different set amount of punishments and penalties. Federal crimes tend to include heightened fines and longer punishments, although both state and federal law involve similar charges.

Aside from solely possessing a drug, drug possession offenses can include the following:

  • Possession for sale
  • Sale of illegal drugs
  • Transportation
  • Manufacture and cultivation
  • Drug trafficking
  • Prescription forgery

Drug possession charges can usually be tacked onto other Phoenix drug crimes which in turn lead to heightened punishments, and may even lead to federal charges if the drugs have crossed state or international lines.

Drug Possession Punishment

There are several factors to be accounted for when assessing drug crime sentences in Arizona. A major determinant includes the type of drug an individual possesses.  Additionally, drug offenses can also be brought in either state or federal court.  Federal court often contain heightened penalties in comparison to state court; however, Arizona laws have become harsher over the years to prevent drug use from occurring.

Small possession of marijuana typically lead to misdemeanor offenses in most states.  However, in Arizona, possession of any amount of marijuana up to 2 pounds is a felony offense, which is punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment and a fine up to $750.  This is indicative of further drug laws throughout the state, as each drug charge becomes more serious depending on the type of drug involved.  Phoenix is unfortunately a hotbed of drug activity due to cross-border drug wars and therefore the penalties continue to rise depending on the level of drug involved.  Prescription drugs have become another hot topic in Arizona politics lately and therefore receive even greater punishments to curb the rising prescription drug trade.  Penalties for the distribution or sale of any illegal drugs could lead to years in prison, steep fines, and an inability to regain a normal life.

Orent Law Offices | Phoenix Drug Crime Attorney

If you have been arrested for a drug crime in Arizona, it may feel like your life is already over.  Do not panic; an arrest is not a conviction.  Contact Phoenix drug crimes lawyer Craig Orent, from the Orent Law Offices.  Craig Orent has over 25 years of experience in defending clients from drug crimes and drug possession offenses.  He understands the specific and intricate laws of Arizona relating to each type of drug and knows that drug offenses are often punished more severely than they should be.  Contact our law offices today for your initial free consultation.


  • Client Review

    Great experience. Craig was honest and upfront from the get go. Always easy to get a hold of and professional. I would highly recommend Craig Orent as your choice for representation."
    D.H.