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Glendale Drug Crimes Attorney

Glendale Drug Crimes AttorneyHave you been arrested for a drug offense in Glendale, AZ? Drug crimes carry harsh penalties that go far beyond prison time. Do not delay in seeking experienced legal counsel to help you fight for your freedom.

Orent Law Offices has been representing clients facing drug charges in Maricopa County for over 33 years. Contact our law office today for a free case review with a Glendale drug crimes lawyer who will give you the vigorous legal defense you need.

How Orent Law Offices Can Help After You’re Arrested for a Drug Crime

When you are charged with a drug offense, you face harsh prosecution and long maximum prison sentences. Prosecutors are rarely sympathetic, even in cases involving simple drug possession and addiction. Do not count on the prosecution to offer a reduced charge or probation. You deserve a Glendale criminal defense attorney prepared to fight for your rights inside and outside the courtroom.

Our Glendale criminal defense lawyer has represented Glendale residents facing drug offenses for over 30 years. Founding attorney Craig Orent is a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist. He has also worked with the Federal Public Defender’s Office to represent clients facing federal drug crimes.

Choose Orent Law Offices to represent you in your criminal case in Glendale, and our law firm will:

  • Carefully investigate potential police misconduct and civil rights violations
  • Craft the strongest possible legal strategy based on expert testimony, exculpatory evidence, evidentiary challenges, cross-examination, and more
  • Seek to have your charges dismissed or reduced 
  • Negotiate a plea deal if it is in your best interests
  • Present a compelling argument in court to seek an acquittal or not guilty verdict
  • Seek the most lenient sentencing possible if convicted 

You do not have to face serious drug charges in Glendale, Arizona, alone. Call Orent Law Offices today to schedule a free case review with an aggressive Glendale drug crimes lawyer prepared to do what it takes for the best possible outcome.

Overview of Drug Crimes in Arizona

Arizona is a key region for drug trafficking by cartels. Accordingly, Arizona has among the country’s harshest drug laws. 

The Arizona Uniform Controlled Substance Act classifies drugs into six categories:

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

The two categories with the most serious penalties are narcotic drugs and dangerous drugs. Narcotic drugs are covered ARS § 13-3408, and dangerous drugs are covered under ARS § 13-3407. In general, most non-marijuana drugs and prescription narcotics are classified as dangerous drugs. This includes methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, and mushrooms.  

Drugs are also scheduled in Arizona according to federal law. The five schedules are based on the perceived risk of dependency and abuse.

 Drug schedules include the following:

  • Schedule I includes heroin, LSD, ecstasy, peyote, mescaline, and psilocybin.
  • Schedule II includes cocaine, methadone, methamphetamine, oxycontin, opium, oxycodone, morphine, and hydrocodone.
  • Schedule III includes GHB and ketamine
  • Schedule IV includes Valium, Xanax, and Ambien
  • Schedule V includes substances with limited quantities of narcotics with at least one non-narcotic medical active ingredient 

The type, quantity, and schedule of the drug can influence the charges and penalties you face.

The following are the most common drug charges in Glendale, Arizona. 

Drug Possession

Drug possession is a Class 4 felony under ARS § 13-3408 (narcotics) and ARS § 13-3407 (dangerous drugs). Drug possession is the lowest level drug offense you can face for narcotics and dangerous drugs. Still, it is a felony, no matter the amount of drug.

These statutes make it a crime to “knowingly possess or use” a narcotic or dangerous drug. Depending on the amount of drugs involved, the charge can be upgraded to a more serious charge. Possession exceeding the statutory threshold can become drug trafficking.

Drug Trafficking

When you are arrested for drug possession and the amount exceeds the statutory threshold amount, there is a legal assumption of intent to sell or distribute. This will automatically upgrade the offense to possession with intent to distribute. The state does not need any evidence of intent, sale, or distribution to convict on this charge.

The threshold amounts for common controlled substances include:

  • Heroin: 1 gram
  • Cocaine: 9 grams
  • PCP: 4 grams
  • Methamphetamine and amphetamine: 9 grams
  • LSD: 0.5mL or 50 units
  • Drugs not listed: Value of $1,000 or more 

Drug possession with intent to distribute, or drug trafficking, is a Class 2 felony in Arizona.

Possession of a controlled substance for sale is treated in a similar fashion as drug trafficking. However, this offense is charged with evidence of a sale, regardless of the amount of drugs found.

Drug Manufacturing

Manufacturing, or possessing equipment or chemicals to manufacture a narcotic or dangerous drug, is a Class 3 felony in Arizona. If the offense involves prescription-only drugs, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, if you are charged with actually manufacturing narcotics or a dangerous drug, it becomes a Class 2 felony.

Prescription Drug Offenses

Prescription drugs are treated differently than dangerous drugs and narcotics. These drugs are legal for patients with a prescription but under ARS 13-3401 are classified as “not safe for use unless under medical supervision.” Under ARS 13-3406, you may face several charges related to prescription drug offenses.

Possessing or using a prescription-only drug without a valid prescription or obtaining a prescription by fraud or misrepresentation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Manufacturing, selling, or distributing a misbranded prescription-only drug is a Class 4 felony.

Possession of a prescription-only drug for sale or trafficking prescription-only drugs is a Class 6 felony.

Marijuana Offenses

Arizona has made medical marijuana legal, but recreational use is still illegal. In many states, possession of small amounts of marijuana is a misdemeanor. Arizona makes it a Class 6 felony to possess any amount of marijuana under 2 pounds.

What Are the Penalties for Drug Crimes in Glendale, Arizona?

The penalties for drug offenses in Glendale depend on the type of charge, the type and amount of the drug, and your criminal history. Certain offenses may affect the minimum sentence and whether you qualify for probation.

The Arizona Revised Statutes define sentencing ranges for drug crimes with a minimum and maximum sentence. A presumptive sentence is what most people receive.

The presumptive sentence can be increased depending on:

  • The schedule, quantity, and type of drug
  • Prior convictions
  • Whether it was a dangerous or non-dangerous drug
  • Aggravating factors like the presence of minors

Possession of a dangerous drug, for instance, is usually charged as a Class 4 felony. It can be reduced to a Class 1 misdemeanor for first-time offenders. Prop 200 even requires a sentence of probation only for first-time drug offenders. However, probation is not available if the amount of drug exceeded the statutory threshold.

Methamphetamine is specifically excluded from this protection under Prop 301. Methamphetamine is treated more harshly than any other drug. Even simple possession cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor and probation is not mandatory. A first-time methamphetamine possession conviction can result in up to 3.75 years in prison or up to 7.5 years with a prior felony conviction.

Possession of drugs for sale or transportation is a Class 2 felony. It can be charged for actually selling controlled substances or possessing more than the statutory threshold. For a first-time offense below the threshold amount, the sentence can be probation or up to 12.5 years in prison.

A first-time offense exceeding the threshold amount can be punishable with 3 to 12.5 years in prison. Probation is not available when the threshold amount is exceeded.

If you have one prior felony conviction, drug trafficking or possession for sale can result in a mandatory prison sentence of 4.5 to 23.25 years. Two prior felonies increase this sentence to 10 to 35 years in prison.

Trafficking or sale of methamphetamine is treated more harshly. A first offense has a mandatory sentence of 5 to 15 years with a presumptive 10-year sentence. With methamphetamine offenses specifically, offenders must serve 100% of their sentence before they can be released. With offenses involving other drugs, offenders generally only need to serve 85% of their sentence.

Because the penalties for drug offenses are so serious in Arizona, it’s crucial to consult with Glendale criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible. You may be eligible for probation or having a felony reduced to a misdemeanor. However, prosecutors are quick to upgrade simple possession charges to distribution whenever possible.

What Defenses Are Available if I’m Accused of a Drug Crime in Glendale, AZ?

A drug offense in Arizona means you are facing a felony charge, a potentially lengthy prison sentence, and other collateral consequences. It’s crucial to seek counsel from Glendale drug crime lawyers to work on your defense. There may be many legal defenses available to you depending on your criminal record, the charge, and the circumstances.

Are you accused of trafficking but the amount did not exceed the statutory threshold? You have the greatest number of defenses and legal strategies available. In the case of trafficking, the prosecution must prove trafficking in a more complex way rather than relying on a legal presumption. These cases are usually based on circumstantial evidence.

Are you accused of trafficking drugs exceeding the threshold amount? The prosecution must still prove you were in control of the drugs with actual knowledge of what they were. You may have a defense that the drugs were not yours if they were found in a shared area or vehicle. You may not have had knowledge they were drugs if you were deceived into transporting them.

Experienced drug lawyers in Glendale will also investigate whether your rights were violated. This can be used to have your charges dismissed or reduced or to weaken the prosecution’s case. We will seek to have illegally obtained evidence suppressed. This can raise reasonable doubt and make it harder to prove every element of the charge.   

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with Our Glendale Drug Crimes Lawyer

Even simple drug possession carries incredibly harsh penalties in Glendale, especially if you have any prior convictions. Do not delay in seeking legal counsel from an experienced drug crimes attorney to fight for your freedom.

Call Orent Law Offices today for a free consultation with a Glendale drug crimes lawyer ready to put 30 years of experience to work for you.

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