Drug Crimes

Possession, Use, Sale, Distribution, Importation, Production, Transporting What is a Drug Offense?

A drug crime can be anything from simple possession to large scale drug trafficking. The most commonly prosecuted offenses in Arizona, in addition to these two, are possession with the intent to sell, use, and sale of controlled substance. Arizona law divides drugs into three different categories: dangerous drug, narcotic drugs, and marijuana [1] in all forms.

What are the Consequences?

The Maricopa District Attorney devotes one of the largest units in its office to enforcing drug offenses. The Drug Enforcement Bureau conducts large-scale drug investigations, which often result in a myriad of arrests and prosecutions. Additionally, the Bureau reviews more than 3,000 cases each year, and secures prison time for just under 70% of the sentences. [2]

If you are being accused of possession of a controlled substance, the D.A. has the power to charge you with a misdemeanor or felony depending on the weight of the substance found, the type of drug involved (ie: dangerous vs. narcotic vs. marijuana), and your prior criminal record. If you are being accused of any drug offense involving sale, distribution, or importation then you will be charged with a felony. Each county has it’s own drug policy and may take certain types of drugs more seriously than others.

The Arizona Criminal Code mandates severe penalties for drug offenses with mandatory prison time for cases in which the weight of the drug meets the statutory threshold.[3] The average sentence for a drug offense is 48 months or 4 years. Other common sentencing terms include: probation, a search condition, registration as a drug offender, no possession or ownership of guns, drug laboratory fee, and court fines and fees.

What Diversion Programs are Available?

If you are a first-time drug offender and meet other eligibility criteria, you may be able to substitute jail time with a drug treatment program run by TASC[4]. The diversion program is available to suspects of crimes as an alternative to being charged with a crime (aka: pre-file) as well as to named defendants after charging, as an alternative to prosecution (aka: post-file). First, the suspect or defendant will be offered by the Court to be screened by TASC to see if they are eligible. After being into the program, TASC will propose a drug treatment program that meets the individual’s specific needs- including drug education, counseling, and other substance abuse support services. Those who successfully complete the program and pay the $1,000 fee can avoid criminal charges being filed against them or can have filed charges dismissed with prejudice to avoid a felony conviction.

How We can Help You

If you want to win your drug case, Lavy Law is the best law firm to help you. As a trial attorney who has tried drug possession, drug sales and drug DUI cases with every kind of defense, we know how to win your case before a judge or jury. As a former prosecutor who has worked on a multitude of drug cases, we have insider’s knowledge on how to get your charge reduced or dismissed. In fact, we have worked as a prosecutor in Stanislaus county, home of large scale methamphetamine laboratories. As a counselor at law who has helped many drug addicts through connecting them with free community resources, we know how to empower you successfully complete a drug treatment program like a coach would during a game.

We encourage you to view our Recent Cases to see that we have won a case just like your own.

If you are being accused of a drug or narcotic offense, Contact Us right away for a free consultation.


[1] Dangerous drugs commonly include: LSD, ecstasy, methamphetamines, steroids, hallucinogenic substances, clonazepam, and lorazepam. Narcotic drugs include: cocaine, heroin, opium, morphine, oxycodone. Marijuana includes: pot, weed, grass, and cannabis. A.R.S. §13-3401.

[2] https://www.maricopacountyattorney.org/155/Drug-Enforcement

[3] A.R.S. §13-3407(D) establishes a threshold weight for various illicit drugs.

[4] TASC stands for Treatment Assessment Screening Center.

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