If you find yourself facing drug charges, you need a knowledgeable Phoenix drug crimes lawyer. Drug crimes and the laws surrounding them are serious in Arizona. Crimes from possession to drug trafficking can lead to prison time, permanent criminal records, and ruined reputations. Even being in possession of another person’s prescription can lead to drawn-out legal proceedings.
Top Notch Drug Crimes Defense in Phoenix, Arizona
An experienced Phoenix drug crimes lawyer is essential for anyone who is anxious about facing the Arizona legal system or anyone who is innocent. The Stewart Law Group is an experienced drug crimes lawyer in Phoenix who understand the full scope of the law and how it will affect your unique circumstances. Scott Stewart understands what it means to aggressively defend his clients to provide the best possible legal outcomes no matter the circumstances. The Stewart Law Group provides free initial consultations to discuss your case and help you understand your options.
The Stewart Law Group knows that the burden of proof lies with the state to gain a conviction for drug-related crimes. Knowledge of the crime is a key factor in proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Under the expertise of Scott Stewart and his staff, many drug charges are dismissed on the grounds of:
- Drug possession in a borrowed vehicle: If you’re pulled over while driving someone else’s car and the police search the vehicle, law enforcement may arrest you for anything illegal found inside the car. Many people don’t realize that they aren’t automatically off the hook just because the car belongs to someone else.
Fortunately, we can help you in this situation. We can do this by presenting the obvious evidence, such as a title and vehicle registration showing that it belongs to someone else. However, we will also make more subtle arguments based on the circumstances. If the drugs were located somewhere hidden, like the trunk of the car or under the passenger seat, there’s a strong argument that the drugs weren’t yours and you didn’t know and couldn’t have known that the drugs were in the car.
- Insufficient evidence: Drug possession can be proven by showing actual possession – meaning you have the drugs on your person – or constructive possession – meaning the drugs weren’t on your person, but based on the circumstances, the drugs are said to be yours (for example, drugs were found on your bedside table). Whether it’s an actual or constructive possession charge, we can argue that the evidence is insufficient to prove your guilt.
One of the more common defenses to actual possession is police misconduct. Either the police lied about finding the drugs on you, and they actually found them somewhere else, or the police planted drugs on you. While not impossible, actual possession is quite difficult to beat if the fact that you had drugs on your person is presented in court.
There’s almost always a better chance of beating a constructive possession charge. The most common defense to constructive possession is mere presence; you were simply near the drugs, but they belonged to someone else on the scene. This argument can be made even if the drugs were in plain view. While it’s true that more than one person can be charged with possessing the same drugs, in many circumstances, the more people that are on the scene, the more difficult it is to prove that you possessed the drugs.
- Ignorance that a passenger in your vehicle possessed drugs: The fact that you’re spending time with someone who has drugs on them doesn’t mean you knew about the drugs or had any possession or control over them. Unfortunately, as most of us know too well, law enforcement and prosecutor’s often overreach – in some cases, charging individuals with crimes when there’s essentially no evidence to prove the allegations. We can make strong arguments that you had no control over the drugs and didn’t even know they existed; it’s the state’s job to prove these allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Police entrapment: Entrapment is a less common defense but can be used when an undercover officer is involved. The argument is that you wouldn’t have possessed the drugs had it not been for the officer’s actions. This is an affirmative defense, which means the defense must prove that you were entrapped; the burden is no longer on the state to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. To be successful, we must convince the judge or the jury that it was the officer’s idea to possess the drug, the officer provided the opportunity and influenced you to get the drugs, and before being influenced by the officer’s actions, you had no plans to commit this crime.
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Contact The Phoenix Drug Crime Attorneys at Stewart Law Group Today
Your future hangs in the balance when facing a drug charge in Arizona. The Stewart Law Group works tirelessly to give you the best chance at getting the charges dropped, reducing the penalties, and minimizing the overall impact of your case. We have thousands of satisfied clients who trust and respect the work we do in the Phoenix community and throughout Arizona.
If you or someone you know is facing a drug charge, contact The Stewart Law Group today. Our offices are located throughout Arizona in Phoenix, Chandler, Glendale, Peoria, Avondale & Surprise. We’re ready to put our expertise to work and get your life back.
Crimes relating to drugs that are illegal include misdemeanors and felony accounts for the possession, sale, manufacturing, or trafficking of the following:
- Marijuana (not medical)
- Dangerous drugs (e.g. methamphetamines, LSD, steroids, mescaline, clonazepam, ecstasy)
- Narcotics (e.g. heroin, cocaine, morphine, oxycodone, opium)
- Prescription drugs
- Drug paraphernalia
Drug Charges in Arizona
If you are facing a drug conviction as a first-time offender or a second non-violent offender, having the right drug crimes lawyer in Phoenix on your side can help. You may be able to receive a deferred prosecution, meaning the court will not prosecute until after a determined probationary period. If you attend the recommended probationary conditions and programs including drug and alcohol education classes, the charges against you may be completely dropped.
Being charged with a drug crime means facing a layered system of laws that take into account the type and amount of drugs involved in the crime. Meeting certain criteria is required to prosecute a drug crime as “possession” or “possession with intent to sell.” The threshold amount is often the determining factor in raising a misdemeanor charge to a felony.
For those who are facing a second or multiple drug convictions, the right attorney can provide the expertise and advice needed for the best possible outcome in court. Only an experienced drug crimes lawyer in Phoenix can navigate the complexities of drug crimes law in Arizona and pursue the right legal course of action for you.