Chandler Drug Crimes Defense

The City of Chandler has evolved from an agricultural town to a city known for its high-tech employers. With a diverse population of about 240,000 and an average household income of $81,567, residents of Chandler often have comfortable lifestyles and a good quality of life. However, as in other communities across America, drug crimes are common there. If you are charged with a drug offense, you may be tempted to volunteer information to the arresting officer in the hopes that you will be treated with more leniency. Because Arizona takes drug crimes so seriously, it is important not to talk to an officer before you consult with an experienced Chandler drug crime lawyer. Attorney James Novak defended countless Arizona clients against a wide variety of drug charges, and stands ready to help you.

Drug Possession in Arizona

The Arizona criminal justice system treats possession of "controlled dangerous substances" in a very serious manner. Drug possession comprises not only possession of substances like narcotics, peyote, marijuana, and dangerous drugs like methamphetamine, but also unauthorized possession of prescription-only medication and substances that emit toxic vapors. Arizona Code Section 13.3401-13.3422 specifies what the prohibited substances are and defines the charges that a prosecutor may bring for various actions associated with those substances. There are 6 classes of drug felonies and three classes of drug misdemeanors. The latter are penalized less harshly in court, but there is a stigma attached to them, too, which can affect your employment prospects and personal life. The least serious types of felonies are class 6 felonies. An example of a class 6 felony is possession of peyote, a hallucinogenic drug. If caught with peyote, you can be punished with up to 2 years in prison. However, a knowledgeable drug crime attorney can potentially defeat a charge of possession by demonstrating that you used the peyote for a religious purpose while engaged in a religious exercise, and that possessing the substance did not threaten your community.

If you huff glue or consume aerosol sprays, you may be charged with possessing a drug that releases toxic vapors, which is a class 5 felony. This charge may be reduced to a misdemeanor by the court. However, if the court decides to let the charge go forward as a felony, you may be sentenced to anywhere from 6 months to 2.5 years of incarceration and fined up to $150,000.

A first-time charge for cocaine possession is treated as a class 4 felony. Someone who is convicted of cocaine possession may be sentenced to a maximum of 3 years in prison. The court may require a convicted defendant to pay the greater of $2,000 or three times the value of the cocaine possessed. If you are charged for carrying only a tiny amount of cocaine, the court may be willing to reduce your conviction to a class 1 misdemeanor.

On the other hand, if you have more than the statutory threshold of 9 grams of powder cocaine or 750 mg. of rock cocaine, you may be charged with possession for sale. This crime is punished as a class 2 felony. It may result in 3 to 10 years of imprisonment for a first-time offender. In these cases, the prosecutor need not prove your actual intent to distribute; proving the amount you possessed is enough.

Help When You Need it Most

If you or someone you love is charged with drug possession or another drug crime, there are a number of defenses a knowledgeable Chandler drug offense lawyer can raise on your behalf. Contact James Novak today at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.