Arrested For Drug Trafficking in Phoenix, Glendale, or Scottsdale?
Being arrested for drug trafficking is always a serious problem, but being accused of the offense in Arizona is especially troubling. Since Arizona is a primary center of drug trafficking in the United States, we have some of the most stringent drug laws in the country. If you have been arrested on this drug offense within Arizona’s state borders, especially in Phoenix, Mesa, and Glendale, it’s time to get yourself a tough, knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, one with a track record of success. It’s time to call on Arizona Lawyers.
Defining the Crime of Drug Trafficking
Drug trafficking refers to selling, distributing, or conspiring to sell or distribute, illegal drugs.
Because of the epidemic of drug use in the United States, and because the Arizona border is a focal point of drug trafficking, both state and federal law enforcement agencies are attacking the problem with full force. Not only are police and federal agents hypervigilant as they look for offenders; the penalties meted out by the criminal justice system for transporting drugs for sale are extremely harsh. Without excellent legal defense, a conviction on charges of drug trafficking can result in enormous fines and mandatory prison sentences.
What Many People Don’t Know About Drug Trafficking
Since the word “trafficking” implies transport, many individuals are unaware that you need not be crossing a border, or traveling at all, in order to be charged with drug trafficking. As long as you are arrested with an amount of drugs the law considers sufficiently substantial (“a threshold amount”) you are legally assumed to be planning to sell and distribute. In such cases, neither you nor your lawyer can effectively argue that the confiscated drugs were for your own personal use.
It is important to note, however, that state laws are subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in higher courts (including federal courts) on appeal, or even through ballot initiatives. This is another reason it is so important to have a criminal defense attorney who keeps current with even slight alterations in your state’s laws.
When does drug possession become drug trafficking?
The threshold amounts of drugs designated by Arizona law are as follows:
- 1 gram of heroin
- 9 grams of cocaine
- 4 grams or 50 milliliters of PCP
- 9 grams of methamphetamine, including methamphetamine in liquid suspension
- 9 grams of amphetamine, including amphetamine in liquid suspension
- 2 pounds of marijuana
If you are found to be in possession of one or more of these quantities of drugs, your best bet is to contact our office promptly. The sooner you reach us, the more likely we will be able to mount a successful defense.
How Drug Trafficking Convictions Are Obtained in Arizona
Even though the quantity of drugs in your possession will trigger prosecution based on the presumption of sales and distribution, the prosecution also has to prove your guilt by convincing the court of two things:
That the substance in your possession actually is, or contains, a drug that the law recognizes as dangerous. The confiscated substance must be scientifically tested to provide forensic evidence that it is, in fact, a narcotic, and the scientist who does the testing must be willing to testify to its illegal status.
That you are connected to the drugs in your possession and knew of their existence and that it is clear beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended, or actually did, import and/or transport the drugs for sale.
At Arizona Lawyers we know all the ins and outs of drug trafficking laws in Arizona, so we will be able to pinpoint any violation of your rights and find any mistake police officers or prosecutors may make that helps your cause.
The Price You Will Pay If You Are Convicted on Charges of Drug Trafficking
Drug trafficking in Arizona can be categorized a number of ways. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be charged with a class 6 to a class 2 felony. Whereas a conviction on drug possession may make you eligible for Arizona’s Proposition 200 diversion programs, if you are convicted of importing and selling illegal drugs, a diversion program will not be an option. The severity of your penalty will be determined in part by the kind and quantity of drugs involved.
Factors that Exacerbate Your Crime
As in other areas of the law, the court looks upon repeat offenders less favorably than those who are being arrested for the first time. The more drugs you are found with, and the more dangerous they are found to be, the greater the offense you will be charged with. Methamphetamine, for example, is regarded as an incredibly dangerous drug. If you’re found with this drug, you will not be eligible for parole, probation, or a suspended sentence. If you have sold drugs to a minor, or if have sold drugs in a drug-free school zone, a year is automatically tacked on to your sentence.
Ways Arizona Lawyers Can Defend You Against Charges of Drug Trafficking
At Arizona Lawyers we are well aware of how aggressive prosecutors can be, especially when it comes to drug charges. We have the know-how, however, to find the weak spots in their case and will tenaciously defend your constitutional rights. If we can prove, or insert doubt in the mind of the judge or jury, that any of the following occurred, we may be able to have the charges against you lessened or your case dismissed:
- You were subjected to illegal search or seizure (without a warrant)
- You were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, unaware of the presence of drugs
- You never had any intent to sell the drugs found in your possession
- You were used as a drug mule without your knowledge
- The confiscated drugs belong to someone else
- The substance found looked like drugs but was not, as lab analysis will show
- The confiscated drugs have been “lost” during processing
- Drugs were planted on you in an act of desperation or vengeance
- Entrapment took place, i.e. law agents induced you to commit the crime
As you can see, there are a number of possible defenses that can be used to get a dismissal or acquittal, even when the charges are as serious as drug trafficking. Having a talented criminal defense attorney beside you, one who is steeped in legal knowledge and deft at crafting innovative defense strategies, can mean the difference between your incarceration and your freedom. Protect yourself by choosing the accomplished attorneys at Arizona Lawyers to give you the best possible outcome. We can be reached by phone or by filling out a contact form on our website.
Arizona Lawyers serves clients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, and throughout the state of Arizona.