Arizona Drug Crime Lawyer

A criminal defense attorney for your drug charge

If you've been arrested or are under investigation for a drug-related crime, you need a Mesa drug crime lawyer on your side right away. Drug crimes range in severity, but many are often charged as felonies in Arizona. Nearly all drug crime cases involve harsh penalties such as jail or prison time, large fines and a criminal record. In some cases, law enforcement authorities may also seize your property and assets during an investigation or arrest. Recovering seized assets and properties can be very difficult.

Attorney Charlie Naegle of Brown, Naegle, Crider & Jensen knows how to take on the prosecution in these complex cases. Get a criminal defense lawyer you can trust to fight for the most favorable outcome.

Charlie Naegle and his legal team handle criminal cases involving all types of drugs, including:

When dealing with drug charges, it is crucial that you hire an attorney who has a proven track record of successfully tackling complex drug cases. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you could be facing a broad range of charges. Some of the types of charges we handle include:

Your advocate from start to finish

No matter the nature of your charge, we are prepared to fight for your future and freedom. Charlie and his team investigate and analyze every detail to identify whether your rights were violated by law enforcement at any point. In drug cases, it's often the small details that determine the outcome. We'll also explore a full range of legal solutions, which may involve entering a drug diversion program or working with prosecutors to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Don't try to fight your drug charge alone. We'll help you take control in your moment of crisis. Contact us online or call 480-378-9000 today.

Prescription Drug Crimes

Possessing, distributing or selling a legal prescription drug can be seen as a serious criminal offense under the right circumstances. Any sort of interaction with a prescription drug can be deemed illegal if the person charged does not have the prescription corresponding to said medication. In most cases, prescription drug charges revolve around a person who was in possession of a drug for innocuous purposes but could not produce the prescription when detained by law enforcement. Despite the nonviolent nature of drug crimes, and the prevailing sense that many arrests are misunderstandings, the consequences upon conviction are high.

If you're convicted of a prescription drug-related misdemeanor, the consequences could include:

  • Up to a year in prison
  • Several hundred or thousand dollars in fines
  • Hours of community service
  • Mandatory drug rehabilitation

The quantity and types of drugs found can escalate the charges to a higher level misdemeanor or even a felony, which carry worse penalties. That's why it's essential to get an experienced defense attorney on your side right away.

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Possession of Drugs for Sale

When law enforcement officials escalate your drug possession charges to drug possession for sale, you need to be aware that the stakes are also raised in the process. You could be convicted of a felony offense and be sentenced to a year or more in state prison with  thousands of dollars in fines. With so much force coming your way, you absolutely need a strong and reliable criminal defense lawyer on your side.

The truth of the matter is that it's tough for the prosecution to prove possession for sale. You could theoretically have six pounds of marijuana in your car and still intend to use it all for yourself. In order to seal a conviction in their case, the prosecution has to definitively show that you did intend to give or sell the illicit substances to another party. This is where many prosecutors flounder, especially when a confident and highly experienced defense attorney stands in their way.

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Drug Manufacturing

In Arizona, a conviction for manufacture of dangerous drugs is a class 2 felony and will result in a fine of three times the value of the drugs, or $1,000, whichever is greater. If the drug involved is not methamphetamine, the sentence range for a first-offense conviction is usually 4 to 10 years in prison, although the sentence may be as short as 3 years or as long as 12.5 years in prison. Offenses involving methamphetamine have separate, stricter sentencing guidelines: A first-offense conviction for the manufacture of methamphetamine will result in a sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison. Probation is not available in either case.

Depending on your circumstances, including the drug involved and any prior convictions, you could be looking at even harsher penalties for a drug manufacturing offense. Trust defense attorney Charlie Naegle to build an effective, aggressive defensive strategy against your drug manufacturing charge.

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Drug Paraphernalia

In the state of Arizona, it is illegal under A.R.S §13-3415 to possess any item or instruments that allow one to use, prepare, plant or manufacture illicit drugs. Nearly any item that is used in connection with illegal controlled substances can be considered drug paraphernalia and can expose a person to misdemeanor or even felony charges if found in their possession.

While objects such as small plastic bags or spoons are completely legal to be possessed on their own, if they are found in a person's possession in the same proximity as an illegal drug, such as marijuana or cocaine, they can be perceived by police as being drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia that is coupled with other drug charges such as possession of marijuana is usually prosecuted as a Class 6 felony, carrying up to one year in prison upon conviction. To fight back against those charges, you need a skilled defense attorney on your side.

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Drug Sales

In regards to illegally selling controlled substances and illicit drugs, the State of Arizona considers both the final product - the drug itself - and the individual compounds or chemicals used to create the drugs. To expedite its charge and prosecution process, the state has made seven categories:

  • Dangerous drugs
  • Marijuana
  • Peyote
  • Prescription drugs
  • Toxic-vapor emitters
  • Narcotics
  • Chemicals used specifically for drug manufacturing

Drug crimes in Arizona are splintered into different tiers of severity, making it unreasonably difficult for the accused to understand their own charges. One of the only common factors in drug charges across the state's legislation is that each charge will inevitably be considered a felony. This may be due to the fact that Arizona shares a border with Mexico, and local and federal law enforcement are eager to shut down drug trafficking in whatever way they can. By legal definition, a felony will include at least one year in prison, but your conviction could vary greatly, depending on numerous circumstances:

  • Substance: What was allegedly being sold? Certain controlled dangerous substances (CDS) will be punished more severely than others.
  • Quantity: How much was allegedly being sold? The more of a CDS found on your person or on your property at the time of your arrest, the heavier the consequences.
  • Quality: In connection to drug trafficking suspicions, the criminal justice system may penalize you further if they believe you are selling "high-quality" drugs for a cartel.
  • Location: Allegedly selling a CDS near a school zone or a place where schoolchildren are known to congregate can add one year of jail and thousands of dollars in fines to your sentencing.
  • Frequency: If you have been convicted of selling drugs, or any other related felony convictions, your next sentencing will increase and you will be labeled as a repeat offender.

Contact an experienced defense attorney today to fight back against this serious charge. Attorney Charlie Naegle has extensive experience seeking favorable outcomes for people accused of selling drugs in Mesa and throughout Arizona.

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Drug Transportation/Distribution

Transportation and distribution of dangerous drugs, drug trafficking, is a very serious offense in Arizona, likely because of the state's close proximity to an international border. A prosecutor will attempt to prove that the drugs were transported for sale by using evidence such as the quantity of drugs, the way the drugs were packaged, the presence of scales or ledgers, or other relevant evidence.

A conviction for transportation of drugs for sale is a class 2 felony and can result in a fine of three times the value of the drugs, or $1,000, whichever is greater. If the drug involved is not methamphetamine, and the total amount of drugs is less than the "statutory threshold," probation may be available for a first offense. Probation will require 360 hours of community service and up to one year in county jail. If the amount of drugs is equal to or greater than the statutory threshold, probation is not available. In that case, the sentence range for a first-offense conviction is generally 4 to 10 years in prison, although the sentence may be as short as 3 years or as long as 12.5 years in prison.

Drug offenses involving methamphetamine have separate, stricter sentencing guidelines. A first-offense conviction for transportation of methamphetamine for sale will result in a sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison, and probation is not available, even if the amount of drugs is less than the statutory threshold.

In all cases, if a defendant has any prior felony convictions, a conviction for transportation of dangerous drugs for sale can result in vastly increased punishment. For example, the sentencing range for a class two felony conviction with at least two prior felony convictions is 10.5 to 35 years in prison.

If you have been charged with distribution or transportation of an illegal substance, schedule your consultation with Charlie Naegle to learn more about cutting-edge defenses for your charges. Charlie and his team are ready to work hard for your future and freedom.

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Drug Diversion Program

The State of Arizona offers a unique Drug Diversion Program (DDP) to juveniles charged with drug possession and who have a clean criminal record. The purpose of the DDP is to allow youths to set themselves back on the right track of a drug-free life without carrying the burden of a conviction at such a young age. The DDP begins with extensive drug counseling to warn the child of the inherent hazards of drug use. The child will be assigned a diversion officer who they must meet with regularly for 6 months to 2 years, depending on the severity of the charges. If they pass all drug tests during this time and the program is completed, the charges may be dropped against the juvenile without ever turning into a conviction.

There are certainly real benefits to using Arizona's Drug Diversion Program. No parent wants their child to become addicted to a dangerous substance or face the long-term consequences that come with a conviction. Obtaining those benefits depends on whether or not you can convince the court that your child deserves that chance. Allow our Mesa drug defense lawyer to represent you and build a case that protects your child's best interests.

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3850 E Baseline Rd Suite 112
Mesa, AZ 85206
local phone: (480) 378-9000