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Arizona Narcotics & Dangerous Drug Laws

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Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Charges

When it comes to dangerous drugs, Arizona treats drug crimes very seriously. If the police charge you with distributing or manufacturing dangerous drugs, you potentially face life-altering penalties. If the people receiving the drugs are minors, the sentencing is even harsher and you could face many additional years in prison.

Drug distribution or manufacturing charges should prompt you to retain an experienced dangerous drugs defense attorney at the law firm of Colburn Hintze Maletta as soon as possible. We can review your case and help you to understand your options.

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Arizona Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Defense

What are Dangerous Drugs?

Dangerous drugs in Arizona include most scheduled drugs and substances other than marijuana. Some common types of dangerous drugs include the following:

  • Psilocybin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Amphetamine
  • Ecstasy
  • Anabolic steroids
  • PCP
  • LSD
  • Certain prescription drugs, including clonazepam, carisoprodol, and diazepam

If you are caught distributing these or other dangerous drugs or manufacturing dangerous drugs, you will face felony charges.

Manufacturing Drugs or Cultivating Drugs

If you are convicted of manufacturing or cultivating dangerous drugs (other than cultivating marijuana), it is a Class 2 felony carrying severe penalties. If you are convicted of manufacturing misbranded medications, it is a Class 4 felony under ARS 13-3406.

The penalties for drug manufacturing depend on multiple factors, including the following:

  • Type of drug and its classification
  • Quantity
  • Prior convictions
  • Prior drug convictions
  • Aggravating factors, including sales to minors or possessing dangerous weapons

Depending on the amount of drugs in your possession, you might also be charged with possession with the intent to sell the drugs. You can also be charged with manufacturing illegal drugs when you have certain types of precursors or equipment in your possession.

If you manufacture or cultivate drugs in someone else’s home, the property owner can face a loss of his or her property even if he or she had nothing to do with the offense.

The Job of a Criminal Defense Attorney

An Arizona criminal defense lawyer’s job involves fighting for their clients’ best interests and protecting their rights. Defense attorneys design and implement strategies to fight against the charges filed against their clients by the police and prosecutors.

When you retain an attorney at Colburn Hintze Maletta, PLLC, your lawyer will begin by thoroughly investigating your case. Our attorneys work closely with investigators and experts to find witnesses and evidence to bolster our clients’ defense cases so that they can secure the best resolutions possible under the circumstances.

Jurisdictional Considerations for Drug Crimes

Drug crimes may be charged in state or federal court. You might face federal charges if you are accused of bringing drugs across state lines to distribute in Arizona or have obtained precursor chemicals from out of state to manufacture them.

Federal charges generally carry harsher penalties than state charges. In certain situations, jurisdictional issues might also exist if the crimes were committed on a reservation.

What are the Penalties for Manufacturing Dangerous Drugs?

The penalties for a drug manufacturing conviction in Arizona are much more severe than the penalties for simple possession. If you are convicted of operating or owning a methamphetamine lab, you will face up to 15 years in prison for a first offense.

If a child under the age of 15 was physically injured during the manufacturing of methamphetamine, you could face a minimum of 13 years and a maximum of life in prison depending on the circumstances and age of the child.

Prosecutors may allege that a child was physically injured by inhaling toxic fumes or vapors created during the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Any person who is convicted of a felony in Arizona can also be assessed a fine of up to $150,000 by the court.

What to do if Charged with Drug Manufacturing?

If the police charge you with manufacturing dangerous drugs or distributing them in Arizona, you should seek legal help immediately. Since the laws in Arizona frequently change through new legislation, court decisions, and ballot initiatives, you should hire a drug crimes lawyer who works to stay current with changes in the law as they occur.

The drug crime attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta constantly read new court decisions and track legislative changes to remain up-to-date with sentencing trends, alternatives, aggravators, procedures, and potential defenses. Contact us at (602) 825-2500 to speak immediately with an attorney.

Categories of Drug Distribution Offenses

In Arizona, drug distribution offenses fall into the following three categories:

  • Distributing dangerous drugs
  • Distributing narcotics
  • Distributing prescription drugs

We will review each of these offenses below.

Distributing Dangerous Drugs

Under ARS 13-3401, there are many different substances and compounds that are listed as dangerous drugs, including the following common types:

  • Methamphetamines
  • Amphetamines
  • Psilocybin
  • PCP
  • LSD

If you are convicted of transporting or importing these types of drugs into Arizona, it is a Class 2 felony. If you have more than the statutorily defined amount of these drugs, you will not be eligible for probation or a suspended sentence.

A conviction for transporting methamphetamine can penalize you with 5 to 15 years in prison for a first offense.

Distributing Narcotic Drugs

Narcotic drugs include substances such as heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, opium, sufentanil, tramadol, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and others. Under ARS 13-3408(A)(7), transporting or importing a narcotic drug for sale is a Class 2 felony in Arizona.

If you have more than the statutory limit of these drugs in your possession, you will not be eligible for probation or a suspended sentence until after you serve your full sentence.

Distributing Prescription Drugs

If you are charged with transporting or importing a drug that is only available by a prescription without authorization, it is a Class 6 felony punishable by up to 2 years of prison.

If granted probation, you must complete a minimum of 240 hours of community service.

Charges for Drug Cultivation or Manufacturing in Arizona

Under ARS 13-3406, you can face the following penalties for manufacturing misbranded or prescription drugs:

  • Manufacturing a misbranded drug is a Class 4 felony with a penalty of 1 to 3.75 years in prison and a fine of at least $1,000.
  • Unauthorized manufacturing of a prescription drug is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail, 3 years of probation, and a fine of up to $2,500.

Under ARS 13-3407, you will face the following penalties for manufacturing dangerous drugs:

  • Class 2 felony
  • From 3 to 12.5 years in prison
  • Up to $150,000 fine

If you are convicted of manufacturing or cultivating narcotic drugs under ARS 13-3408, you will face the following penalties:

  • Class 2 felony
  • From 3 to 12.5 years in prison
  • Up to $150,000 fine

Potential Defenses to Drug Distribution or Manufacturing

The defenses that might be available to you will depend on the circumstances of your case. Some of the common drug crime defenses include the following:

  • The drugs were not yours.
  • You had no knowledge of the presence of the drugs.
  • You had a valid permit or license to manufacture prescription drugs.
  • The police violated your constitutional rights during the stop, search, or seizure.
  • The police used an unreliable confidential informant.
  • There was a breach in the chain of custody.
  • The substance was not the drug the police claimed.
  • The lab committed analytical errors.
  • The police committed entrapment.

When you retain an experienced drug crimes lawyer at Colburn Hintze Maletta, PLLC, we will carefully analyze the evidence and police reports in your case.

This analysis can help us to identify problems in the state’s case against you and identify the most appropriate defenses to raise under the facts of your case.

What Can an Experienced Drug Crimes Attorney Do for You?

When you hire an experienced drug crimes lawyer, he or she will complete an independent investigation, gather evidence, and thoroughly examine every aspect of your case. Your attorney will interview witnesses and the arresting officer to gain insight into your case and determine whether or not there was probable cause to support your arrest.

The attorney will examine your charges, arrest, and the procedures that were used to see if they were properly followed. He or she will then look at the chain of custody to determine whether the drugs were handled and stored correctly.

If your attorney believes that the police violated your constitutional rights, he or she will file evidentiary motions to challenge the admissibility of some or all of the evidence against you.

If your attorney succeeds with this type of motion, the prosecutor might be forced to dismiss your charges or to offer you a plea agreement to a reduced charge or sentence.

Your lawyer will also identify the available defenses, prepare for your court hearings or trial, and help to guide you throughout the process.

When you are charged with manufacturing or distributing drugs, you should take your case seriously. A conviction could result in years in prison and other severe penalties. The first step that you should take is to schedule a consultation with an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Get Help from the Drug Crimes Attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta, PLLC

The attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta, PLLC, have years of experience defending people charged with drug crimes, including serious felony drug offenses.

We understand the stakes involved when you are facing drug manufacturing or distribution charges and are prepared to fight for you. Our legal team can analyze the reports and evidence in your case and help you to understand the defenses and options that might be available.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment by calling us at (602) 825-2500.

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What People Say

Client Testimonials

Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“The calm in the middle of my storm…”

I, recently, consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again, however, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.

Frank - AVVO Review

Divorce / Reconciliation Client
Attorney David Maletta

“There is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David”

I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.

Jacob - AVVO Review

DUI Defense Client
Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”

Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!

Chris - AVVO Review

Child Custody & Support Client
Attorney David Maletta

“I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.”

Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trial… Watching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.

Gregory - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently”

I had an incident and was Given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at was answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future and as of right now they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.

Dylan - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Listens to every request that you make on a case”

I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.

Ben - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
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