Drug Possession

Drug Possession Attorney in Chandler

Arizona's drug laws are among the strictest in the U.S., encompassing a range of offenses from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute or drug sales. The severity of charges is influenced by the quantity of the drug found in possession, with larger amounts leading to more serious charges. Given the severity of potential penalties, having legal representation experienced in these matters can be crucial to the case outcome.

If you have been charged with drug possession in Chandler, AZ, please contact The Nava Law Firm to speak with an attorney. At the Nava Law Firm, you'll work with experienced attorneys familiar with Arizona's laws, defenses, court procedures, and the state's legal system. Navigating Arizona's drug laws can be challenging due to their complexity and severity, so having informed legal representation is important. Call us today for a free consultation to learn how our attorneys can help defend your rights.

What Factors Impact Conviction For Drug Possession in Arizona?

Convictions for drug-related offenses in Arizona, as in most jurisdictions, can result in a variety of serious penalties, the specifics of which depend on a range of factors, including the type of drug involved, the amount of the drug, and the nature of the charge. This complexity reflects the broad spectrum of drug offenses recognized by the legal system, ranging from minor possession charges to major trafficking offenses.

  1. Type of Drug: Different drugs are treated differently under Arizona law. For instance, marijuana is classified separately from other drugs like cocaine, or prescription drugs. These classifications are primarily based on their perceived harm and potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs, including heroin and LSD, are considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use, making offenses involving these drugs particularly serious.
  1. Quantity: The quantity of the drug involved in an offense is a critical factor in determining the potential penalties. Possessing a small amount of a drug may be treated as a minor offense and could result in misdemeanor charges while possessing a large amount could lead to felony charges. This is particularly the case if the quantity exceeds a certain "threshold" amount, which Arizona law defines for each type of drug. Exceeding these amounts can trigger mandatory minimum sentences, including imprisonment.
  1. Nature of the Offense: The specific charge also significantly affects the severity of potential penalties. For example, simple possession for personal use is generally treated as a less serious offense than possession with intent to distribute, manufacture, or traffic. These more serious charges can result in longer prison sentences, higher fines, and other penalties such as asset forfeiture.
  1. Criminal History: The penalties for a drug offense can also be influenced by an individual's prior criminal history. A first-time offender may receive a lighter sentence, while someone with previous drug convictions could face enhanced penalties under Arizona's repeat offender laws.
  1. Aggravating Factors: Certain aggravating factors can increase the severity of the penalties associated with a drug conviction. These might include committing the offense near a school, involving a minor in the offense, using a weapon in the commission of the offense, or having a significant amount of cash or weapons in connection with the drugs.

In Arizona, drug offenses are taken very seriously, and the penalties for convictions can be severe. However, several defenses are available to those charged with drug crimes, and a skilled attorney can often negotiate for reduced charges, alternative sentencing options, or even dismissal of the charges in some cases.

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Dealing with criminal charges in Arizona can be overwhelming and stressful. Receiving a charge of this magnitude in Arizona when you don’t live here adds an additional stress that you may not know how to handle.
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Penalties for Drug Possession in Arizona

Understanding the severity of Arizona drug possession charges and the penalties associated with each crime is important. Here is a breakdown of some common drug possession crimes and their penalties:

1. Nonviolent Drug Offenders:

  • Tends to have lighter sentences.
  • Likely probation and mandatory drug treatment.
  • Violating probation terms may lead to incarceration.

2. First Offense, Marijuana with less than 2 pounds:

  • Typically charged as a class 6 felony if for personal use.
  • The potential prison sentence of up to 5.75 years, depending on prior felonies.
  • Fines: $2000 or three times the value of marijuana, whichever is higher.
  • Likely sentence up to a year in jail without prior offenses.

3. Dangerous Drugs with less than the threshold amount, First Offense:

  • Usually charged as a class 4 felony.
  • It might be possible to get reduced to a class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Fines: $2000 or three times the value of the substance, whichever is higher.
  • Without prior convictions, the sentence could be up to a year in jail.
  • With prior convictions, up to 3.75 years in prison.

4. First Offense, Narcotics (e.g., Cocaine):

  • Generally charged as a class 4 felony.
  • Possibility of reduction to a class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Fines: $2000 or three times the value of the substance, whichever is higher.
  • Without prior convictions, the sentence could be a year in jail.
  • With prior convictions, the sentence could be significantly higher.

Threshold quantities for various drugs, as specified by Arizona law, are as follows:

  • LSD: 1/2 a milliliter or 50 dosage units
  • Crack: 3/4 of a gram
  • PCP: 4 grams
  • Heroin: 1 gram
  • Cocaine: 9 grams
  • Marijuana: 2 pounds

For certain other drugs not listed, the threshold is defined as any quantity with a street worth of $1,000 or more.

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Contact A Drug Possession Attorney in Chandler

Securing representation from an experienced attorney is essential if you have been charged with drug possession in Chandler, AZ. At Nava Law Firm, our commitment is to fiercely defend your rights amid drug possession charges, seeking justice for you. When you work with our firm, we will explore your options and mount a robust defense for your case.

Our firm primarily serves the areas of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and other areas around Arizona. If you are in need of an experienced Criminal Defense attorney in Maricopa County, please contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Our Case Results

Second Time DUI

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time. Result: Charge Reduced w/ No Jail.

Drug DUI

A man was pulled over by Salt River Police Department while visiting from out of town. Despite showing no signs of impairment, the officers arrested him and charged him with DUI Drugs. We investigated the case heavily and interviewed every officer involved. Ultimately, a motion to suppress was filed and granted after an evidentiary hearing before a Judge. Result: Case Dismissed.

Aggravated Assault

A man was charged with attacking a family with a knife. After reviewing the evidence, it was determined that the instrument used was not a knife at all. The Grand Jury had been misled, so we filed a motion challenging the grand jury presentation. The prosecutor, confronted with the truth, agreed to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor with no jail time. Result: Charge Reduced to a Misdemeanor.


A man was out on a walk and was stopped by police because he was in the area of an attempted vehicle theft. The man maintained his innocence, but the owner of the truck identified him as the man he saw attempt to steal it. We worked tirelessly to prepare a defense and get the prosecution to see reason. The State wouldn’t budge, so the case went to trial. Result: Not Guilty After Jury Trial

Resisting Arrest

A client was charged with resist arrest after being targeted by police during the protests of Summer 2020. Our firm developed a strategy with activists and members of the media that led to a dismissal of our client’s case and, eventually, all cases connected to the political prosecution of the protesters. Result: Case Dismissed.

Domestic Violence

A woman and her boyfriend were arguing over the cleaning of their apartment. The police were called after things escalated and the woman was arrested. The Mesa City Prosecutors originally wanted the woman to do jail time. After working the case and providing background information, we were able to get the prosecutor to allow the woman to complete classes in exchange for a dismissal. Result: Case Dismissed After Diversion.


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Legal Disclaimer:

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Many factors contribute to providing legal advice, including the specific facts of a situation. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Armando Nava is licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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1641 E. Osborn Rd, #8A
Phoenix, Arizona, 85016
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