What Drugs Are Legal In Arizona Introduction: Arizona’s stringent drug trafficking laws are rigorously enforced due to the influx of illegal drugs from Mexico. Individuals found guilty of violating these strict laws face severe criminal penalties. If you are facing drug trafficking charges or any other drug-related offenses, a skilled drug crimes attorney can provide a strong defense and work towards achieving the best possible outcome for your case.
Understanding Drug Trafficking: Drug trafficking in Arizona encompasses various actions associated with the illegal distribution of controlled substances, including:
- Drug manufacturing or cultivation.
- Drug transportation.
- Importation of drugs into the country.
- Possession with intent to sell.
- Possession of drug manufacturing equipment.
- Sale of drugs.
Individuals accused of any of these actions require the assistance of a drug trafficking lawyer to protect their rights and interests.
Distinguishing Drug Possession from Drug Trafficking: The primary distinction between drug possession and drug trafficking in Arizona is intent. Drug possession implies no intention to sell or distribute, whereas drug trafficking does. While proving intent to traffic can be straightforward in some cases, it can be challenging without direct evidence of selling or distribution. In such cases, other factors may imply trafficking intent, such as the presence of:
- Scales and packaging materials.
- Large sums of cash.
- Sales records and ledgers.
- Unusually large drug quantities.
- Witness testimony.
Prosecutors bear the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that intent to distribute or sell existed. Failure to do so may result in a charge of drug possession rather than drug trafficking.
Four Drug Categories in Arizona: Drug trafficking in Arizona is categorized into four types, each carrying the potential for felony charges: marijuana, prescription drugs, dangerous drugs, and narcotic drugs.
- Marijuana Drug Trafficking: The trafficking of marijuana is governed by ARS 13-3405, making it illegal to possess, use, or transport marijuana for sale. Penalties vary based on the quantity of marijuana involved, with more substantial amounts resulting in more serious felony charges. Arizona’s Prop 207 allows individuals over 21 to possess, transport, and process small amounts of marijuana for personal use.
- Prescription Drug Trafficking: Generally, only pharmacists are authorized to sell and distribute prescription drugs. The illegal sale of prescription drugs can lead to felony charges in Arizona. Penalties vary based on the circumstances, with possession for sale receiving less severe punishment than manufacturing for sale.
- Dangerous Drug Trafficking: Trafficking in dangerous drugs is considered a Class 2 felony in Arizona and can include possession with intent to sell, transportation for sale, and manufacturing for sale. Around 200 different drugs are categorized as dangerous under Arizona law, including amphetamines, methamphetamines, Xanax, Valium, PCP, and LSD.
- Narcotic Drug Trafficking: Narcotic drug trafficking is also a Class 2 felony, carrying substantial prison sentences. Narcotic drugs, often referred to as opioids, encompass substances like morphine, codeine, heroin, methadone, fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. The opioid epidemic has led authorities to aggressively pursue penalties for narcotic drug trafficking.
Commonly Abused Drugs in Arizona: Several drugs are commonly abused in Arizona, including:
- Heroin: Readily available due to Mexican cartels.
- Methamphetamine: Produced in Mexico and frequently trafficked into Arizona.
- Cocaine: Available in various forms and sourced from South America.
- Marijuana: Widely used and available in various strains.
- Fentanyl: Highly potent synthetic opioid responsible for many opioid-related deaths.
The Opiate Addiction Epidemic in Arizona: Opiate addiction has reached epidemic proportions in Arizona, impacting countless individuals and their families. The proliferation of opiates in Arizona can be attributed, in part, to Mexico’s drug cartels shifting their focus to cheaper drugs for U.S. consumers, such as heroin and methamphetamine. The affordability of opiates has resulted in more sales and a growing number of repeat customers, exacerbating the crisis.
Evidence in Drug Trafficking Cases: Prosecutors rely on various forms of evidence to prove drug trafficking, with the drugs themselves often serving as crucial evidence. Possession of drugs beyond specified threshold amounts can lead to an assumption of intent to distribute, even without direct evidence of sales. Other forms of evidence can include:
- Large sums of money.
- Text messages or emails indicating drug-related activities.
- Drug paraphernalia such as scales and bags.
- Drug manufacturing equipment.
- Witness testimony.
- Surveillance footage.
It is essential that law enforcement follows proper protocol when collecting evidence to protect the accused’s rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney can challenge improperly obtained evidence.
Threshold Amounts for Drug Trafficking in Arizona: The quantity of drugs found on a defendant is a critical aspect of drug trafficking cases in Arizona. When the amount of drugs exceeds a specific threshold, prosecutors can assume trafficking involvement. Threshold amounts vary for different drugs:
- Cocaine: Nine grams.
- Crack: Nine grams.
- PCP: Four grams or 50 milliliters.
- Marijuana: Two pounds.
- LSD: 0.5 milliliters or 50 doses.
- Heroin: One gram.
- Methamphetamine: Nine grams.
Exceeding these thresholds can lead to drug trafficking charges, even without direct evidence of sales.
Punishments for Drug Trafficking (First Offense): First-time offenders for drug trafficking in Arizona face strict penalties. Depending on the circumstances and drug quantities, penalties may range from probation to 3 to 12.5 years of incarceration. Skilled drug trafficking attorneys often work to secure more lenient sentencing for their clients.
Drug trafficking charges in Arizona carry severe consequences, impacting individuals and their families. However, being charged with drug trafficking does not equate to a guaranteed conviction. Experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Brandon White can provide a robust defense to help mitigate the consequences and seek the best possible outcome for your case. Don’t navigate your drug trafficking case alone; contact us for a consultation today.