According to police statistics in the United States, the number of people arrested for drug offenses is quite high. The motives range from possession of illegal substances for personal consumption to attempted drug dealing.

The type of penalty for drug arrests can vary depending on the type of drug, the amount found in possession and the conditions under which the seizure is made. In addition, the criminal history of the person involved is taken into account.

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What To Do In Case Of Drug Arrest?

People arrested in drug possession cases often have concerns about what may happen in the future. While it is true that the type of crime that is adjudicated in each case is different depending on the amount of drugs in possession and other factors, it is best to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

At SOTO LAW we can help you even if you have previous charges or convictions for drug possession. Legal assistance is of vital importance, even more so in these types of cases when the penalties involve greater severity. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need specialized legal assistance in criminal law.

Criminal Drug Charges

In the state of Arizona, it is considered illegal to possess any type of paraphernalia related to the cultivation of illegal substances. The latter, as stated in ARS 13-3415. On the other hand, the regulation also indicates that it is a crime to possess equipment to manufacture, modify or combine illicit drugs.

Finally, the statute states that possessing any instrument used to store or conceal illegal substances also has legal repercussions. This also applies to prescription drugs obtained by illegal means.

The drug charges that exist in the state of Arizona are: drug possession, cultivation and manufacture of narcotics, possession with intent to sell, distribution and trafficking of illegal substances, and prescription drug offenses.

Drug Quantity Leading To A Drug Crime Arrest

Although drug possession and distribution is considered a crime in the United States, each state has different statutes for handling convictions and penalties for possession of the illegal substance.

In this regard, drug arrests are determined based on the quantity of the drug and the type of drug.

In the event that the amount of narcotics confiscated is minimal and it has been determined that it is only for personal consumption, the defendant receives only a fine instead of a custodial sentence. In either case, these fines are different depending on the type of drug found in possession.

What Types of Drug Offenses Are There in Arizona?

Drug possession charges in the state of Arizona include a wide range of offenses from simple misdemeanor charges for possession of less than 1 gram for personal consumption, to more serious charges such as marketing and distribution of narcotics.

The adjudication of offenses is subject to the jurisprudence of each state. In some states, less serious offenses may be considered more relevant than in others.

In the case of Arizona, any controlled substance considered dangerous is illegal and its possession implies the commission of a crime.

According to Arizona case law, some substances have different levels of risk and are defined as “dangerous drugs”. As such, the offense for this type of drug depends on the amount seized.

Drug Penalties or Sanctions

To begin with, it is important to keep in mind that a person found guilty of a drug offense can be severely punished under the laws of the State of Arizona. Basically, the sentences and other penalties applied to persons arrested for drug possession are as follows:

  • First time offenders with no prior criminal record: For possession of drug paraphernalia you can receive a sentence of 0 days to 1 year imprisonment. However, if convicted, the penalty ranges from 4 months to 2 years imprisonment.
  • Prior felony conviction: In this type of case, the term of imprisonment ranges from a minimum of 9 months to a maximum of 2.75 years in prison.
  • Two previous convictions for serious crimes: The sentence is increased in these scenarios. In this opportunity, a minimum prison term of 2.25 years and a maximum of 5.75 years is established.

It is necessary to keep in mind that even though the prior felony convictions for possession of drug paraphernalia ended in probation, they are still counted as “prior historically pleadable felony convictions.” This, as determined by the opinion based on the standard set forth in ARS 13-3415.

Also, the penalties and sentences may vary according to the amount of drugs seized in each case:

  • 1 kilogram of heroin.
  • 5 kilos of powder cocaine.
  • 280 grams of pure cocaine.
  • 1 ton of marijuana.
  • 50 grams of pure methamphetamine.

For these scenarios, the penalties for the person involved range from 10 years to life imprisonment. For any lesser amount seized, persons arrested for drugs receive sentences ranging from 1 to 20 years in prison. However, this depends on whether the possession is proven to have been for the purpose of marketing the drug.

Arizona Drug Trafficking Attorney

A drug possession offense is one of the most serious crimes in the world. First of all, it not only involves the distribution of drugs that are harmful to health and addictive to people. In addition, they favor the increase of criminal acts.

For this reason, it is essential that all lawyers involved in drug trafficking be professionals specialized in the subject. In other words, this means that they must be lawyers with experience and training to design legal strategies.

SOTO LAW is an experienced lawyer in all types of legal conflicts related to drugs.

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