East Valley Drug Crimes Defense

East Valley is an Arizona region in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The term "East Valley" emerged in the 1980s. The region includes cities to the east of Phoenix such as Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, and Chandler. Within a decade, it experienced a 30% population increase, for a total of approximately 1,325,000 residents in 2011. Arizona State University, East Valley Institute of Technology, and five community colleges serve a large student population in East Valley. Although this is an affluent region, the Bureau of Justice statistics show that drug use, particularly marijuana use, is prevalent in young adult populations between 18 and 25 years of age, and it is also more common among students than people in the workforce. East Valley drug crimes attorney James Novak can help you build a strong defense if you have been charged with a drug offense.

Marijuana Crimes in Arizona

In Arizona, medical marijuana use is permitted for those who have registered with a statewide registry and have been issued individual ID cards. However, marijuana remains regulated as a Schedule I controlled substance under Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. Section 36-2512. Those who are not registered medical marijuana users and who are convicted of marijuana possession for personal use can be penalized with jail time and may be required to pay a fine of up to $150,000.

The penalty a judge will impose depends on the quantity of marijuana that the prosecutor alleges you possessed. Possessing less than 2 pounds of marijuana is a class 6 felony that may be punished with anywhere from 4 months to 2 years of incarceration. Possession of 2 to 4 pounds of marijuana will be charged as a class 5 felony, and it may be punished by 6 months to 2.5 years of incarceration. Possession of 4 or more pounds of marijuana for personal use will be charged as a class 4 felony, punished by a sentence of 1 to 4 years. Regardless of quantity, penalties are more severe for those defendants who have prior convictions or who possess marijuana near a school.

Possession with intent to sell, marijuana cultivation, and trafficking are considered more serious crimes than simple possession. The punishment again depends on the quantity of marijuana involved. For example, cultivation of 4 or more pounds of marijuana is a class 3 felony that may be punishable by 2 to 9 years of incarceration. Transportation of more than 2 pounds of marijuana, a class 2 felony, may be punished with 3 to10 years incarceration.

Arizona laws are also strict about possessing drug paraphernalia — equipment or raw materials to produce drugs. This means that growing kits, scales, pipes, and separation sifters are not only evidence that can be used against you for a marijuana possession or cultivation charge, but may also constitute grounds for a separate charge. Possessing, selling, manufacturing or advertising the sale of drug paraphernalia is a class 6 felony that may be punished by anywhere from 4 months to 2 years of incarceration, plus a fine of up to $150,000.

Retain a Trustworthy East Valley Drug Crimes Attorney

If you or someone you love is accused with possession of a controlled substance or other drug crime, you should contact a knowledgeable East Valley drug charge lawyer to review the facts of your particular case and to develop a strong and strategic defense. An experienced attorney may find that the police have made errors in police procedure, or violated a provision of the Constitution. Where a careful defense is built by a tenacious criminal defense attorney, a prosecutor is more likely to engage in plea bargaining or to dismiss a case. Contact James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.