Drug-Related Crimes

Of all the arrests that are made nationwide every year, approximately 20 to 30 percent of those arrests are due to drug-related crimes. New drug laws are constantly being created and if you do not have proper legal protection in the form of a criminal attorney, you might be at risk of not receiving a fair and adequate representation.

Types of Drug Crimes

There are a number of different drug-related crimes that you can be charged with, but a good criminal lawyer can help get your charges reduced or dismissed, depending on several key components. The first component is, what type of drug-related crime have you been charged with:

  • Possession of illegal drugs or narcotics
  • Possession of illegal drugs or narcotics with intent to sell
  • Sale of illegal drugs or narcotics
  • Trafficking and smuggling of drugs or narcotics
  • Use of illegal drugs, narcotics, or pharmaceuticals while driving (DUI)

Possession of an illegal narcotic or drug is a common reason to hire a criminal attorney who can assist with drug-related charges, including possession of marijuana, hallucinogens, cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, and other controlled substances.


State laws categorize drug possession charges depending on the type of controlled substance the defendant allegedly possessed. These categories include marijuana possession, possession of a dangerous substance, and possession of narcotics. Drug charges are often classified as felonies, though the class of felony will depend on the type and amount of the substance involved. There are several charges that could accompany a simple possession charge, depending on the specific circumstances of your arrest. These additional charges might include possession with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, or possession for sale.

Penalties for possession charges vary and may include fines or jail time depending on the amount and type of substance. In some cases, first-time offenders may be able to avoid jail time through deferred prosecution programs. An experienced Phoenix drug crime lawyer can determine whether you qualify for such a program, and fight for lighter sentencing on your behalf.


What does a charge for manufacturing drugs mean? Essentially, state law permits prosecution against those who produce, process, or otherwise make illegal substances. Simply possessing the chemicals needed with the intent to manufacture drugs is illegal. Like possession charges, many drug manufacturing charges are felonies. The class of felony (or misdemeanor) depends on the type of substance made. For example, manufacturing dangerous drugs like methamphetamine or LSD is a serious class 2 felony. A first-time charge for illegally manufacturing a prescription drug is generally only a class 1 misdemeanor. Upon conviction, penalties for manufacturing charges vary from probation to fines to jail time.


Drug trafficking charges are perhaps some of the most serious drug charges under Arizona law. Manufacturing, possessing, and transporting illegal substances can result in drug trafficking charges. In addition to facing a state felony charge for drug trafficking, a defendant may also face federal drug charges in some cases. Arizona law is particularly strict on trafficking penalties, and a defendant may face a mandatory minimum prison sentence. Like all drug crimes, trafficking charges and subsequent penalties will depend on the circumstances of the case.

Punishment For Drug Crimes

Just possessing a drug usually does not come with the same harsh consequences that selling a controlled substance might. A drug crime is punishable by law in the form of monetary fines, prison sentences, probation periods, and mandatory recovery programs. Minimum penalties for drug possession apply to some U.S. territories and circumstance is often not taken into account.

How A Criminal Lawyer Can Help

Should you or a loved one have been charged with a drug crime, the best course of action is to hire a criminal attorney immediately to defend your rights. Your criminal lawyer can review evidence, conduct interviews, and assist with lessening the charges or dismissing others that might have been filed against you.

Do not put yourself at risk of being taken advantage of. A drug-related crime is a serious accusation and only a qualified and knowledgeable criminal lawyer should handle all the finite details of your case.