Tempe Drug Crimes Defense

Tempe is a thriving city in Maricopa County with a slightly higher crime rate than Arizona as a whole. Tempe's top employers include several universities and trade schools, as well as two Fortune 500 companies (US Airways and Insight Enterprises). The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Block Party is hosted here on New Year's Eve. Back in the 1980s and 90s, a number of famous alternative bands, including the Gin Blossoms and the Meat Puppets, were located in Tempe. In 2010, the Arizona State University Police Department reported an increase in drug and liquor-related arrests. It is common after an arrest to be embarrassed or to want to strike a deal just to avoid the hassle. However, a criminal record can have lifelong consequences. Contact experienced Tempe drug crime attorney James Novak if you have been arrested for an alleged drug offense.

"Party Drugs" in Arizona

Recreational drug use is common on Arizona college campuses. Some common party drugs are special K, crystal meth, ecstasy, speed, and butyl nitrate. Party drugs usually trigger feelings of pleasure and dissociation. They allow users to stay awake or dance for hours. They also have health risks; they cause distress to the nervous system and the respiratory system. Although they may seem harmless to younger users, party drug possession is taken seriously in Arizona.

Drug Possession

The penalties for drug possession charges vary depending on the type of drug and the quantity that's found on your person or on your property. Ecstasy is considered a "dangerous drug" in Arizona. In contrast to simple possession of marijuana, possession of ecstasy or any other drugs deemed "dangerous" in Arizona (including LSD or methamphetamine) may be subject to harsher potential penalties at sentencing.

Moreover, if you are caught possessing more than a threshold amount of ecstasy (4 grams), you will be charged with possession with intent to distribute, even if you were not intending to sell it. This is a class 2 felony. If you are convicted of a first offense of possession of ecstasy with intent to distribute, you face a presumptive criminal sentence of five years in state prison with a range from 3 to 12.5 years in prison depending on whether any mitigating or aggravating factors are present.

You should be aware that you don't have to actually "own" drugs to be guilty of possession in Arizona. If you share a house with someone who owns a pound of ecstasy and it is kept in the living room for house parties, you may be deemed to have constructively possessed the ecstasy, depending upon your knowledge and ability to control it. Or if thousands of ecstasy pills, many pounds of materials used to manufacture ecstasy, and a pill press are found in common areas of your apartment, you may face very serious charges, including conspiracy and manufacture for sale of dangerous drugs. An experienced attorney can try to build the defense that you did not have any ability to control these activities, or look at the circumstances under which the drugs were found to determine whether there was a Fourth Amendment violation.

Defending You Against Drug Charges in Tempe

Drug crimes, particularly when "dangerous" drugs are involved, can be serious, with impacts not only to your criminal record, but also your ability to secure employment, obtain a gun, or attend a university or graduate school. A knowledgeable Tempe drug crime lawyer can try to find weaknesses in the prosecution's case, including failures of the police to follow rules or uphold your constitutional rights. Contact James Novak today at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form to set up your free consultation.