The Consequences of a Cocaine Conviction in Scottsdale
In recent years, the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, has seen a significant increase in drug arrests.
In fact, according to the Scottsdale Police Department, there were over 1,000 drug-related arrests in 2021 alone.
A substantial portion of these arrests involved cocaine possession or distribution.
Cocaine convictions carry severe consequences in Scottsdale and throughout Arizona, including potential jail time, fines, and a lasting impact on one’s life.
It’s crucial to understand the complexities of cocaine convictions in Scottsdale and how a criminal defense lawyer from the Shah Law Firm can help.
In this article, we will discuss:
- Scottsdale Jurisdiction and Courts
- Possession Amounts and Types of Felony
- Increased Penalties for Possession and Intent to Sell
- What is The Statute Of Limitations For Drug Charges In Arizona?
- Possible Defenses to Cocaine Possession in Scottsdale
- How a Criminal Defense Lawyer from the Shah Law Firm Can Help
Scottsdale Jurisdiction and Courts
When facing cocaine charges in Scottsdale, it’s essential to understand the jurisdiction and court system.
The Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) govern drug offenses, specifically Title 13, Chapter 34, which deals with drug-related crimes.
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be prosecuted under either state or federal law.
Cases involving small amounts of cocaine are typically handled in the Scottsdale City Court or the Maricopa County Superior Court.
However, larger quantities, distribution charges, or federal jurisdiction cases will be processed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.
Navigating the complexities of these various court systems can be challenging, so having a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer by your side is crucial.
Possession Amounts and Types of Felony
The severity of a cocaine conviction in Scottsdale largely depends on the amount of cocaine involved and the specific offense.
According to A.R.S. § 13-3408, possession of any amount of cocaine is considered a class 4 felony.
This can result in a prison sentence ranging from 1 to 3.75 years and fines up to $150,000.
If the possession amount of powder cocaine exceeds the threshold of 9 grams, the charges can be elevated to possession for sale or transportation, which is a class 2 felony.
In this case, prison sentences can range from 3 to 12.5 years, and fines can be significantly higher.
Increased Penalties for Possession and Intent to Sell
Arizona law imposes even harsher penalties for repeat offenders and those convicted of possession with intent to sell.
The penalties for possession with intent to sell can be significantly higher than simple possession charges.
Under A.R.S. § 13-3408, depending on the amount of cocaine and other aggravating factors, a person convicted of possession with intent to sell may face a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 to 12.5 years in prison.
In addition, if a person is convicted of a drug-related offense within seven years of a prior drug-related conviction, the penalties can be substantially increased.
This includes longer prison sentences, higher fines, and mandatory drug treatment programs.
Moreover, a cocaine conviction may also result in the forfeiture of assets or property believed to have been used or obtained through drug-related activities, as per A.R.S. § 13-3413.
It’s essential to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer from the Shah Law Firm to help minimize the consequences of possession or intent to sell charges. They have extensive experience in dealing with these cases and can develop the best strategy for your defense.
What is The Statute Of Limitations For Drug Charges In Arizona?
In Arizona, the statute of limitations for drug charges varies depending on the severity of the offense.
For cocaine-related charges, the statute of limitations is generally seven years, as specified in A.R.S. § 13-107.
This means that the prosecution must file charges within seven years from the offense’s date.
However, it’s important to note that certain circumstances, such as the suspect being out of state or having a warrant issued for arrest, can extend or tally the statute of limitations.
Are Drug Cases Harder To Defend Multiple Years Down The Road?
While the statute of limitations for cocaine-related charges in Arizona is seven years, it’s worth considering the potential difficulties of defending a drug case as time passes.
Defending drug cases that are five years old or more can be more challenging due to several factors.
Over time, evidence may be lost or degraded, and witnesses’ memories may fade, making it challenging to build a strong defense. Additionally, changes in laws or legal precedents can affect the strategies and arguments that were once applied to a specific case.
However, an experienced criminal defense lawyer from the Shah Law Firm can still effectively navigate these challenges by thoroughly investigating the case, identifying potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence, and employing innovative defense strategies.
In some instances, the passage of time may even work in favor of the defendant, as the prosecution may struggle to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt due to the same issues with evidence and witness testimony.
Possible Defenses to Cocaine Possession in Scottsdale
There are several possible defenses that a criminal defense lawyer from the Shah Law Firm can explore to help you fight cocaine possession charges.
Some common defenses include:
- Challenging the legality of the search and seizure: If the police obtained the evidence violating your Fourth Amendment rights, your attorney could file a motion to suppress the evidence, which may lead to the dismissal of the charges.
- Arguing a lack of knowledge or control: Your lawyer might argue that you were not aware of the presence of the cocaine or that it was not under your control. This defense could potentially result in a not-guilty verdict or reduced charges.
- Proving entrapment: If the police induced you to commit the offense, your attorney could use the entrapment defense, which might lead to the dismissal of the case.
- Challenging the chain of custody and the accuracy of drug testing: Your lawyer could question the procedures used by the police and the crime lab to handle and test the cocaine, which could raise doubts about the reliability of the evidence and potentially weaken the prosecution’s case.
- Presenting mitigating factors: Your attorney may present evidence of mitigating factors, such as a history of substance abuse or addiction, which could result in a more lenient sentence or the possibility of attending a drug treatment program in lieu of incarceration.
How a Criminal Defense Lawyer from the Shah Law Firm Can Help
A skilled criminal defense lawyer from the Shah Law Firm can make a significant difference in defending against cocaine charges in Scottsdale.
Our attorneys have extensive experience and knowledge of the Arizona Revised Statutes, local court systems, and effective defense strategies.
We are committed to providing personalized and aggressive representation to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
By choosing a criminal defense lawyer from the Shah Law Firm, you can expect:
- Thorough investigation and analysis of your case: We will examine all aspects of your case, including the legality of the search and seizure, the accuracy of drug testing, and the credibility of witnesses, to build the strongest possible defense.
- Expert legal advice and guidance: Our attorneys will explain your rights, the charges against you, and the potential consequences, helping you make informed decisions about your case.
- Aggressive representation in court: We will zealously advocate on your behalf, challenging the prosecution’s evidence and presenting a compelling defense to the judge and jury.
- Negotiation of plea agreements: Our attorneys have experience negotiating favorable plea agreements that can result in reduced charges or alternative sentencing options, such as drug treatment programs.
Facing cocaine charges in Scottsdale can be a frightening and overwhelming experience.
But with the help of a criminal defense lawyer from the Shah Law Firm, you can confidently navigate the complex legal process and increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.
Whether negotiating a plea deal, challenging the evidence against you, or presenting a solid defense in court, our attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights and fighting for your future.
Securing Legal Representation: How Arja Shah Can Help You With a Cocaine Charge
The consequences of a cocaine conviction in Scottsdale can be severe, with long-lasting effects on your life.
Understanding the intricacies of the jurisdiction, the varying penalties based on possession amounts, and the possible defenses available to you is essential.
The Shah Law Firm’s criminal defense lawyers have the expertise and commitment to help you through this challenging time and work tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome for your case. Don’t let a cocaine conviction define your future—contact the Shah Law Firm today to start building your defense.
Don’t let a cocaine conviction define your future—contact the Shah Law Firm today to start building your defense (602) 560-7408.