A drug-related case, if it’s a severe drug crime, is usually tracked like many other cases involving violent or dangerous felonies. However, in Maricopa County and other Arizona superior courts, there is what’s known as early disposition court, previously known as accelerated drug court. This court is designed to handle mostly first- and second-time drug offenses that are relatively minor cases by resolving them as quickly as possible. Eligible cases for EDC are identified at the initial appearance and set for a hearing within 10 days. The plea and the sentencing are sometimes combined at these hearings, and many defendants are ordered to substance abuse treatment programs in lieu of prosecution.

Can The Penalties Be Aggravated If Minors Are Somehow Involved In A Drug Case?

Yes. If it’s found that you personally possessed marijuana and children were around, then sometimes the state will charge you with endangerment of those children as a result. The facts of each case go a long way in determining whether or not the presence of minors will be used to trigger a new crime, but notwithstanding a new crime being charged, the presence of minors may just be an aggravating factor that the judge or the prosecution can take into consideration in either the charging or sentencing of the crime.

Are There Any Alternative Programs Available To First-Time Drug Offenders In Arizona?

In Arizona, there is a program known as TASC. TASC is a drug-testing diversion program offered by the Maricopa County attorney’s office. The program is designed to give defendants facing drug possession charges the opportunity to get sober, maintain sobriety, attend drug counseling classes and develop the strength and skills to lead a drug-free life. Individuals who receive TASC will have their matter dismissed without prejudice; and if they complete TASC and do not commit another crime within two years, then the case will be ultimately dismissed with prejudice and cannot be brought up again. Oftentimes, the Maricopa County attorney’s office, even in the event that a person fails to complete TASC on their first run, will give the option again, and it often helps to have an attorney in these circumstances, who advocates for that person and explains the circumstances surrounding why they failed to attend and complete TASC.

What Are The Defense Strategies Utilized In Drug Cases?

Common defense strategies that can be used in drug cases include, first, investigating the circumstances surrounding the drug arrest and determining whether or not the arrest violates the civil rights of the defendants involved. Another common defense strategy will be gathering prescription materials used by the accused and showing the prosecution why the drugs possessed are medical-related. Finally, in cases where the accused does not admit possession of the drugs, our firm can be successful in going to trial as a strategy to show why the drugs that were found in the proximity of the individual did not belong to them or why the individual was not aware of those drugs when they were arrested.

How Often Are You Able To Have Charges Dismissed Or Reduced?

With first- or second-time personal possession drug cases, we have a very good record of having those charges dismissed entirely. The Maricopa County attorney’s office provides first- or second-time drug offenders with the opportunity to participate in the TASC diversion program. We gather materials about the individual, their employment, whether they’re a homeowner, have family dependents or are in school and submit those to the prosecution in order to demonstrate why the individual is a good candidate for TASC. In those cases, if they successfully complete TASC, the charges will be dropped entirely, and they will have no criminal record at the conclusion of the case.

What Sets Your Firm Apart In Handling Drug Cases?

Our firm seeks to always keep a constant and open line of communication with our clients. We have 15 years of experience providing for individuals and have seen most, if not all, of the circumstances that could arise in drug-related cases. We try to take a compassionate stance for the individuals we represent while also pursuing their rights aggressively, particularly in cases involving civil rights violations.

For more information on General Timeline Of A Drug Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (602) 794-4480 today.