Criminal Defense for Cocaine-Related Crimes

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Phoenix Criminal Defense for Cocaine Offenses in Arizona

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Phoenix Criminal Defense for Cocaine Offenses in Arizona

Being arrested for drug offenses can come with devastating consequences, especially in Arizona. Because of its close proximity to the border and network of interstates, Arizona is a hot spot for drug trafficking. As such, Arizona law enforcement does not punish drug crimes lightly, even for first-time offenders. Many types of drug charges can result in felony convictions, which can permanently change your life. Cocaine offenses are among the most heavily prosecuted drug crimes in Arizona.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for cocaine offenses in Arizona, it’s time to contact Belén. At Belén Law Firm, we know the heavy consequences of drug-related offenses, and we know how to put up an aggressive defense against them. For a free consultation regarding your case, call us today at (602) 715-0908.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a white powder made from the leaves of the coca plant, commonly found in South America. Cocaine produces a euphoric high for its user and is often snorted, smoked, or injected intravenously. This stimulant drug has powerful addictive properties and it can even alter the structure of the brain. Cocaine was once used as an anesthetic since it can block pain, but the side effects of addiction make it incredibly dangerous.

Dangers of Cocaine Use

Cocaine is on a list of dangerous drugs for a reason. Even short-term use can result in severe health problems. Long-term cocaine use can alter brain structure and function. Brain pathways that involve stress become increasingly sensitive. This can lead to unhappiness, anxiety, and other negative moods when not taking the drug. This is why many cocaine abusers portray drug-seeking behaviors instead of seeking food, relationships, and other forms of dopamine.

As the body’s tolerance to cocaine increases, the amount of drug needed to produce the high also increases. At the same time, cocaine users develop sensitization. Lower amounts of the drug can cause anxiety, seizures, heart problems, and other toxic effects. This is what often leads to overdose.

Arizona Cocaine Laws

Arizona cocaine laws take a very serious approach and leave little room for leniency. 

Cocaine is classified as a narcotic drug, which are substances used in a medical setting to treat severe pain. Recreationally, however, they have psychoactive effects and are heavily addictive. Cocaine, opium, and heroin are all types of narcotic drugs. Narcotic drug offenses often result in the harshest penalties. 

What are the Penalties for Cocaine Offenses in Arizona?

Arizona Revised Statutes §13-3408 outlines the drug charges related to narcotic drugs. In addition to jail time, felony convictions for cocaine offenses can result in fines, community service, and other penalties. It’s uncommon for cocaine offenses to be a single charge; the prosecution will likely try to pursue as many cocaine-related drug charges as possible. The presence of bags, pipes, syringes, or other drug paraphernalia can escalate the charges against you. What’s more, repeat offenders are likely to experience harsher penalties and spend more time in prison. This is why it’s crucial to work with an experienced drug crime attorney like Belén Olmedo Guerra

Phoenix Criminal Defense for Cocaine Offenses

AZ Cocaine Possession Charge

Simple drug possession in Arizona typically carries the least harsh penalties. Use or possession of cocaine can result in a Class 4 felony conviction. This includes:

  • 18 months to 3 years in prison
  • A fine of at least $2,000 or three times the value of cocaine in possession, whichever is greater
  • Mandatory drug testing

AZ Cocaine Possession with Intent to Sell/Distribution

Possession with intent to sell is a Class 2 felony charge. Law enforcement officers don’t have to catch you in the act of a sale. Many times, the evidence comes from how the drug is packaged, the amount of cocaine in your possession, or the presence of large amounts of cash. A Class 2 felony can result in:

  • 4 to 10 years in prison
  • A fine of at least $2,000 or three times the value of cocaine in possession, whichever is greater
  • Mandatory drug testing

AZ Cocaine Trafficking Charge

Arizona law punishes drug traffickers harshly. Someone can be charged with drug trafficking in Arizona if law enforcement officers believe they are importing, exporting, or transporting cocaine for sale. This charge is often pursued if more than the “threshold amount” of cocaine is found. The threshold amount for cocaine is 9 grams, or 750 milligrams of cocaine base. Cocaine trafficking is a Class 2 felony charge in Arizona. 

AZ Cocaine Manufacturing

Possessing the chemicals/equipment to manufacture cocaine can result in severe penalties as well. A cocaine manufacturing charge is a Class 2 felony. Those convicted of a Class 2 felony are not eligible for probation or pardon, which means prison time is mandatory. 

Why Do I Need a Criminal Lawyer for My Cocaine Charges?

When you form an attorney-client relationship with an experienced Phoenix drug crimes attorney like Belén, she will work hard to protect your freedom and ensure your rights aren’t violated. Many people wrongly believe that a first-time offender will be given leniency, especially for the more minor offenses. In many cases, however, judges cannot provide leniency, even if they wanted to. Many drug charges don’t allow the possibility of parole or probation, nor can judges suspend the fines outlined under Arizona law.

Overall, having a criminal lawyer for your cocaine charges is critical for a positive outcome in your case. At Belén Law Firm, our team provides aggressive and proactive counsel for all types of drug crimes in Arizona. Getting your charges reduced or dismissed can also prevent prior felony convictions from being used against you in the future. 

Common Defense Strategies for Cocaine Offenses

Belén Olmedo Guerra is a tenacious and determined Phoenix criminal defense attorney who has what it takes to get your cocaine charges reduced or dismissed. At Belén Law Firm, we can craft a creative defense strategy tailored to your case. Some of the more common defense strategies for cocaine offenses include:

  • Miranda Rights violations
  • Illegal search and seizure
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Lack of constructive possession
  • Forensic issues

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Phoenix, Arizona Drug Crime Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one is facing Arizona cocaine possession charges, reach out to the 24/7 legal team at Belén Law Firm today. We know that arrests don’t follow a 9-5 schedule; neither do we! An experienced attorney like Belén will explore every possible legal defense strategy to protect your rights and your freedom. For a free consultation, give us a call at (602) 715-0908 or reach out to us online today to get started.

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