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drug crimes lawyer serving phoenix, az

ALL ABOUT DRUG CRIMES IN ARIZONA

Arizona has some of the harshest drug laws in the country.   Arizona has many mandatory prison sentences for the possession, use, sale or transportation of drugs.  The most common arrests are for possession or sale of Cocaine, Methamphetamines, and  Marijuana.  


A large percentage of arrests for drugs result from a routine traffic stop by police.  Police may stop you for a traffic infraction.  The police officer may tell you that you were speeding, weaving outside of your lane, your headlights are not working, your taillight is broken, your registration is expired, or you have a G.P.S. device mounted on your windshield and it is obstructing your view of the road.  Whatever the initial reason for the stop, the police are trained to use this opportunity to search your car, especially if the officer suspects that you may have drugs in the car.  


Sometimes police officers have been tipped off in advance and make up a reason to stop you.  This is often called a "whisper stop" by police agencies.  The police officer has been contacted by another law enforcement agency or member of his own department and asked that a particular car be stopped.  The officer is told to look for any excuse to search the car.  Let me explain to you just how this stop will proceed.


First, the officer will approach your vehicle and ask you if you know why he stopped you.  He is looking for you to admit your offense.  Do not respond with an answer or excuse.  Tell the officer that you have no idea why he stopped you and ask him or her to tell you the reason for the stop.  Never admit guilt.  The officer may not have enough proof until you give it to him by confessing.  Your admission will make it very difficult to defend your case later if you decide to fight the ticket the officer gives you.  


The officer may ask you to step outside of your car and walk next to his patrol vehicle.  This is never a good indication.  This generally means the officer is attempting to investigate you more intensely.  The officer will then ask you for all your information, your driver's license, registration and proof of insurance.  He may tell you that he is only going to give you a warning ticket.  Do not be fooled that you have evaded arrest.  The officer will take his time writing this "warning " ticket.  As he completes his ticket, he will begin to ask you a lot of questions that have nothing to do with your stop.  He may ask you where you are going; where you came from; why you are traveling; what you do for a living; where you live; and eventually if you have drugs or weapons in the car.


Even if you say "no" he will ask if you mind if he searches you car.  Do not consent.  Tell the officer "no."  Do not consent to the search of your car.  It is never a good idea.  Even if you are innocent, you may regret allowing the police to search your car.  I once interviewed an Arizona D.P.S. Trooper who admitted that in at least 100 cases he searched a vehicle thoroughly and found no drugs or illegal contraband.  The problem, however, was that this officer substantially dismantled the cars looking for drugs.  I mean he took apart the dash, the backseat, the front seat, the trunk, the engine and everywhere else in between, leaving the poor motorist stranded on the side of the road, with car parts all around.  


If you consent, you will have a difficult time arguing later that what the officer did was illegal.   Unless the officer has probable cause that you have drugs, or unless he has already lawfully arrested you for some crime, he will have to get a search warrant, issued by a judge, to search your car.  If you consent, the officer does not have to obtain a search warrant.  You will waive a great many defenses you may have raised later in your criminal case.  


The officer will give you the warning ticket and obtain your consent to search your car.  He will then find the marijuana, the methamphetamines or the cocaine that you had in your console or hidden away in a secret compartment in your car.  You will be arrested and taken to jail.  In many cases, the officer may even ask you to sign a document that states you are consenting to the search and dismantling of your car.  Do not sign this paper.  The best response is always that you want to speak to your lawyer.  Do not admit anything.  Do not consent to any search and do not sign any paperwork allowing the police to search your car.  


Although there are many drug laws and sentencing laws, below are the most common that clients are charged in Arizona:

 

13-3405. Possession, use, production, sale or transportation of marijuana; classification; exceptions

A. A person shall not knowingly:

1. Possess or use marijuana.

2. Possess marijuana for sale.

3. Produce marijuana.

4. Transport for sale, import into this state or offer to transport for sale or import into this state, sell, transfer or offer to sell or transfer marijuana.


B. A person who violates:

1. Subsection A, paragraph 1 of this section involving an amount of marijuana not possessed for sale having a weight of less than two pounds is guilty of a class 6 felony.

2. Subsection A, paragraph 1 of this section involving an amount of marijuana not possessed for sale having a weight of at least two pounds but less than four pounds is guilty of a class 5 felony.

3. Subsection A, paragraph 1 of this section involving an amount of marijuana not possessed for sale having a weight of four pounds or more is guilty of a class 4 felony.

4. Subsection A, paragraph 2 of this section involving an amount of marijuana having a weight of less than two pounds is guilty of a class 4 felony.

5. Subsection A, paragraph 2 of this section involving an amount of marijuana having a weight of at least two pounds but not more than four pounds is guilty of a class 3 felony.

6. Subsection A, paragraph 2 of this section involving an amount of marijuana having a weight of more than four pounds is guilty of a class 2 felony.

7. Subsection A, paragraph 3 of this section involving an amount of marijuana having a weight of less than two pounds is guilty of a class 5 felony.

8. Subsection A, paragraph 3 of this section involving an amount of marijuana having a weight of at least two pounds but not more than four pounds is guilty of a class 4 felony.

9. Subsection A, paragraph 3 of this section involving an amount of marijuana having a weight of more than four pounds is guilty of a class 3 felony.

10. Subsection A, paragraph 4 of this section involving an amount of marijuana having a weight of less than two pounds is guilty of a class 3 felony.

11. Subsection A, paragraph 4 of this section involving an amount of marijuana having a weight of two pounds or more is guilty of a class 2 felony.


13-3407. Possession, use, administration, acquisition, sale, manufacture or transportation of dangerous drugs; classification

A. A person shall not knowingly:

1. Possess or use a dangerous drug.

2. Possess a dangerous drug for sale.

3. Possess equipment or chemicals, or both, for the purpose of manufacturing a dangerous drug.

4. Manufacture a dangerous drug.

5. Administer a dangerous drug to another person.

6. Obtain or procure the administration of a dangerous drug by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge.

7. Transport for sale, import into this state or offer to transport for sale or import into this state, sell, transfer or offer to sell or transfer a dangerous drug.


B. A person who violates:

1. Subsection A, paragraph 1 of this section is guilty of a class 4 felony. Unless the drug involved is lysergic acid diethylamide, methamphetamine, amphetamine or phencyclidine or the person was previously convicted of a felony offense or a violation of this section or section 13-3408, the court on motion of the state, considering the nature and circumstances of the offense, for a person not previously convicted of any felony offense or a violation of this section or section 13-3408 may enter judgment of conviction for a class 1 misdemeanor and make disposition accordingly or may place the defendant on probation in accordance with chapter 9 of this title and refrain from designating the offense as a felony or misdemeanor until the probation is successfully terminated. The offense shall be treated as a felony for all purposes until the court enters an order designating the offense a misdemeanor.

2. Subsection A, paragraph 2 of this section is guilty of a class 2 felony.

3. Subsection A, paragraph 3 of this section is guilty of a class 3 felony, except that if the offense involved methamphetamine, the person is guilty of a class 2 felony.

4. Subsection A, paragraph 4 of this section is guilty of a class 2 felony.

5. Subsection A, paragraph 5 of this section is guilty of a class 2 felony.

6. Subsection A, paragraph 6 of this section is guilty of a class 3 felony.

7. Subsection A, paragraph 7 of this section is guilty of a class 2 felony.


13-3408. Possession, use, administration, acquisition, sale, manufacture or transportation of narcotic drugs; classification

A. A person shall not knowingly:

1. Possess or use a narcotic drug.

2. Possess a narcotic drug for sale.

3. Possess equipment or chemicals, or both, for the purpose of manufacturing a narcotic drug.

4. Manufacture a narcotic drug.

5. Administer a narcotic drug to another person.

6. Obtain or procure the administration of a narcotic drug by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge.

7. Transport for sale, import into this state, offer to transport for sale or import into this state, sell, transfer or offer to sell or transfer a narcotic drug.


B. A person who violates:

1. Subsection A, paragraph 1 of this section is guilty of a class 4 felony.

2. Subsection A, paragraph 2 of this section is guilty of a class 2 felony.

3. Subsection A, paragraph 3 of this section is guilty of a class 3 felony.

4. Subsection A, paragraph 4 of this section is guilty of a class 2 felony.

5. Subsection A, paragraph 5 of this section is guilty of a class 2 felony.

6. Subsection A, paragraph 6 of this section is guilty of a class 3 felony.

7. Subsection A, paragraph 7 of this section is guilty of a class 2 felony.


There are, of course, many more drug crimes.  Arrests occur in many ways.  Car stops are only one of many.  Police conduct undercover operations, use confidential informants ("snitches"), obtain search warrants, pen registers, wiretaps, and even drone surveillance.   There are many ways to defend a drug case.  You may challenge the  legality of the stop of your car, the search of your car or home, the reliability and motive of a snitch, the validity of the search warrant or wiretap and even that you were entrapped by the police.  A good defense attorney will challenge the government's case and either obtain a favorable deal or go to trial.  


If you are charged with a drug case in city, state or federal court, call the Firm of Robert J. Campos & Associates, P.L.C.   Robert J. Campos has the experience and skill to obtain a favorable result.  


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