Defending Against Illegal Substance Charges
The penalties for a drug crime conviction in Arizona are severe. If you have been charged with drug possession or illegal drug use, The Law Office of Karl A. Mueller, PLC, can help with:
- Drug possession cases: In Arizona, there are substances that you may not lawfully have in your possession. The quantity and circumstances of the possession can lead to a variety of charges with a wide range of mandatory punishment, including prison.
- Drug use cases: In Arizona, it is against the law to use illegal drugs or drugs that require a prescription if you do not have a prescription.
Our lawyer can help when you are fighting these and other drug charges.
Aspects Of A Drug Crime Case
Did the defendant knowingly possess the drug? One of the most difficult elements for the prosecution to prove in a drug possession charge is if a person “knowingly” possessed the controlled or illegal substance. The simple fact that a controlled or illegal substance was found in a person’s vehicle or residence does not mean that any given person in that vehicle or residence actually knew it was there or “possessed” it.
Challenging the warrant: Police officers must follow strict laws when they search you, your vehicle or your residence for drugs or paraphernalia. If they violate these laws, evidence may be suppressed or the case against you may be dismissed. If a search warrant was obtained by law enforcement, that warrant can be challenged. The police are not allowed to exceed the scope of the warrant. Depending on what information they used to obtain the warrant, the warrant and the search can be invalidated.
Was evidence preserved and protected? Assuming the search was valid under the law, the police officers must follow proper procedures to preserve and protect evidence. If the police do not preserve evidence or properly document the chain of custody of evidence obtained, evidence may be suppressed or the case against you may be dismissed.
Challenging police questioning: Your answers to questions asked by police officers can be used against you. In a criminal case, police officers must follow laws that govern questioning. If not, the answers may not be admissible in court. There are also laws that govern when an arrested person requests to speak with a lawyer. If these laws are violated, the case against you may be dismissed or evidence gathered may be inadmissible against you.
Challenging the drug recognition expert: Defending the “use” of controlled or illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine or meth can be very similar to a DUI. The police may use a drug recognition expert (DRE) trained officer. Having a lawyer who has been trained and successfully completed the DRE program is essential. Years of experience investigating and trying DRE cases make Mr. Mueller invaluable to you in a DRE case.
Understanding The Consequences
Depending on the charges and your criminal history, being found guilty of a drug crime can have many potential consequences, including:
- Mandatory prison
- Mandatory fines
- Mandatory drug treatment
- Community service
- Potential suspension or revocation of your license
- Conviction of a crime resulting in a criminal record
- Loss of the right to possess a firearm
- Loss of voting privileges
- Effects on immigration status, visas and passports
- Loss of employment and future employment opportunities
- Negative impact on credit applications
- Seizure of vehicles or other property
Contact An Attorney Who Knows What To Do
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana or other drug charges, contact a criminal defense attorney. We offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation where we will explain your case options. You can reach us by phone at 602-730-7857.