Arizona has some of the strictest drug laws in the United States. While the laws are complicated, the legal system classifies them in three simple categories: Marijuana, Narcotics, and Dangerous Drugs. For substance-related convictions, the court considers the type of drug involved, its classification, the crime, quantity of substance, and your prior convictions or criminal record.
Drug trafficking crimes are common in Mojave county due to its location on I-40. If you’ve been accused of trafficking or another drug-related crime, it’s imperative that you seek legal counsel sooner than later.
Drug Crimes in Mojave County
- While medical marijuana is legal in Arizona, unauthorized use is still punishable by law
- Paraphernalia possession charges often come along with substance possession offenses
- The quantity of the substance involved in your crime will play a role in the severity of your sentence
- Drug trafficking crimes are common along Interstate 40, meaning that those caught are often Mojave county residents
- Seeking legal counsel is crucial if you’ve been accused of trafficking or other drug crimes
Drug Possession Crimes
Laws on drug possession and sentencing can be complicated, and the conviction you receive will depend on several factors. This includes whether the substance in your possession was for personal use or you intended to sell or transport it. The state will also look at your prior offenses (if applicable) and aggravating or mitigating factors in addition to the quantity of the substance involved.
Drug Paraphernalia Possession
If you’re caught in Mojave county with rolling papers, a syringe, bong, or pipe, you may receive a possession of drug paraphernalia charge. This crime is often charged in addition to drug possession. However, many times, those accused of paraphernalia possession aren’t aware that the offending item counts as paraphernalia.
Drug Trafficking in Mojave County
As mentioned, Interstate 40 is a hot spot for drug traffickers since it’s close to the Mexican border. Beginning in California and entering Arizona near Kingman, the highway has become one of the main corridors for smuggling marijuana and cocaine into the United States.
Transportation or trafficking crimes are often charged in addition to distribution and possession offenses. Some substances carry harsher consequences than others. For example, if you’re caught transporting methamphetamine, you won’t be eligible for parole, probation, or a suspended sentence.
Penalties for Drug Crimes in Mojave County
Drug crimes come in many forms and thus are punished in different ways. Prior convictions will almost always increase the severity of penalties for substance-related crimes.
Drug Possession Penalties
If you’re charged with drug possession in Arizona, you may receive fines as high as $150,000 (for each charge) in addition to probation and jail time. Enterprises may receive fines up to $1,000,000 for each possession-related charge.
Paraphernalia Possession Penalties
Drug paraphernalia possession is a class 6 felony crime in Kingman and other Arizona cities. Although this is the least severe class of felony crimes, you may still receive a prison sentence up to 2 years in length without any prior convictions. If you do have a criminal history, you may get up to 6 years behind bars.
Drug Trafficking Penalties in Mojave County
If you’re caught trafficking a drug in Bullhead City, Oatman, or other areas in Mojave county, it can range from a class 2 to class 6 felony crime. Again, your penalties will depend on the type and amount of substances involved in the crime. Selling heroin, for example, usually counts as a class 3 felony crime. If you were selling to a minor, this escalates to a class 2 felony and up to 12.5 years behind bars.
If you’re caught selling or importing illegal drugs, you won’t qualify for the state’s Proposition 200 programs for diversion.
Possible Defenses for Drug Crimes
Working with a skilled attorney is a good way to ensure that none of your rights were violated by law enforcement. A drug possession charge will only succeed if the state can prove undeniably that you were in possession of the substance. In some possession cases, with medical marijuana for example, an attorney can prove that the substance was medically approved.
For a drug trafficking charge, they may be able to show that the police had no probable cause to search you, didn’t obtain a warrant first, or that you had no intention of smuggling drugs.
FAQ on Drug Crimes in Arizona
If you’re in legal trouble, it’s important to understand all the facts that relate to your case. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding substance crimes in Arizona:
Q: Which drug crimes count as federal offenses in Mojave county?
If the crime involves moving drugs across borders (state or international), they may qualify as federal charges. Federal charges usually come with more serious consequences, and the investigation could involve the ATF, FDA, or FBI.
Q: How does law enforcement determine whether drugs were in “possession for sale”?
Usually, if the police discover a substance in large amounts, a simple possession charge can escalate to include possession for sale. If they find a scale or small bags, they may assume that you intended to sell the drug.
Q: Does getting a drug conviction mean I’ll go to jail?
It’s possible that you’ll have to go to jail if you receive a drug possession conviction. If the crime involved “hard drugs” like methamphetamine or cocaine or involved minors in some way, it’s more likely that you’ll receive harsher penalties. Having previous drug convictions on your record can also make it likelier that you’ll spend time behind bars for a substance crime.
What to Do if You’re Facing Charges
Substance crimes are among the most aggressively prosecuted of crimes in both the state and federal legal system. A drug conviction can come with prison time in addition to devastating financial consequences. Not to mention that this type of charge on your record can make it harder to find jobs or a place to live down the road.
Protect your future and speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They’ll review your case with you and help you come up with a suitable plan of action.