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Drug / Narcotics Offenses

Drug / Narcotics Offenses

Drug / Narcotics Offenses

If you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime in Mesa, you can possibly receive serious penalties, including a jail or prison sentence, fines, a criminal record, an inability to possess a gun or firearm, ineligibility to receive public benefits and/or an inability to pursue certain professional occupations or educational opportunities. Additionally, many drug offenses are also federal crimes, which generally can result in more serious punishments and repercussions. An individual can be charged with a federal drug offense in addition to, or instead of, an Arizona drug crime.

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Arizona, you do not necessarily have to face a conviction for the offense. The Arizona prosecutor must prove you committed every element of the drug crime beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be convicted. If the judge or jury has even the slightest doubt you committed the offense, the charges against you may be reduced or even dismissed. Therefore, it is essential to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in Mesa to help you create your best legal strategy for your particular situation.

Mesa Drug Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Mesa, or any of the surrounding areas in Arizona, including Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale or East Valley, contact the Law Office of James E. Novak. Attorney James Novak is knowledgeable in all areas of Arizona’s drug offenses and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense. Call the Law Office of James E. Novak for a free consultation at (480) 413-1499 about your alleged narcotics crime.


Arizona Drug Crimes Information Center


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Controlled Substance Examples in Mesa

According to the Arizona Uniform Controlled Substances Act (Chapter 27 of Title 36 of the Arizona Revised Statutes), controlled substances, including medications, chemicals, medications without prescriptions, prescription pills, street drugs, uppers, downers, narcotics, stimulants, hallucinogens, depressants, man-made substances and natural substances are classified into five different schedules. The schedules are as follows:

  • Schedule I – Substances in this schedule can include heroin, ecstasy, LSD, Acid, magic mushrooms, MDMA, peyote, mescaline, lysergic acid diethylamide, and Psilocybin.
  • Schedule II – Substances in this schedule can include codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, oxycontin, opium, methamphetamine, cocaine and methadone.
  • Schedule III – Substances in this schedule include, but are not limited to Ketamine, Special K, Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, GHB, lysergic acid, and the Date Rape Drug.
  • Schedule IV – Substances in this schedule can include, but are not limited to Xanax, Valium, Zolpidem, and Ambien.
  • Schedule V – Substances in this schedule can include substances with limited quantities of narcotics but that also contain one or more non-narcotic active medical ingredient.

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Mesa Drug Crimes

Chapter 34 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes defines drug crimes and penalties throughout Arizona. Some of the most commonly charged controlled substance offenses in Mesa can include any of the following:

  • Drug or Narcotic Possession – ARS § 13-3408(A)(1) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly possess or use a narcotic drug. This offense is punishable as a class 4 felony.
  • Drug or Narcotic Possession with Intent to Distribute – ARS § 13-3408(A)(2) – an individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly possess a narcotic drug for sale. This offense is punishable as a class 2 felony.
  • Drug or Narcotic Manufacturing – ARS § 13-3408(A)(4) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly manufacture a narcotic  drug. This offense is punishable as a class 2 felony.
  • Drug or Narcotic Trafficking – ARS § 13-3408(A)(7) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly transport for sale, import into Arizona, offer to transport for sale or to import into Arizona, sell or offer to sell or transfer a narcotic drug. This offense is punishable as a class 2 felony.
  • Possession of a Toxic Vapor-Releasing Substance – ARS § 13-3403 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly breathe, inhale or drink a vapor-releasing substance containing a toxic substance. This offense is punishable as a class 5 felony.
  • Drug Paraphernalia Possession – ARS § 13-3415 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they use or possess with the intent to use any drug paraphernalia used to plant, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, produce, process, prepare, pack, store, contain, conceal, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce a drug into the human body. This offense is punishable as a class 6 felony.

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Prescription Pill Offenses in Tempe

Some of the most commonly charged prescription pill offenses in Tempe are as follows:

  • Prescription Drug Possession – ARS § 13-3406(A)(1) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they possess or use a prescription-only drug without a valid prescription. This offense is punishable as a class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Prescription Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute – ARS § 13-3406(A)(2) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they possess a prescription-only drug for sale without a valid license or permit. This offense is punishable as a class 6 felony.
  • Prescription Drug Manufacturing – ARS § 13-3406(A)(4) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they manufacture a prescription-only drug without a valid license or permit. This offense is punishable as a class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Prescription Drug Trafficking – ARS § 13-3406(A)(7) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they transport for sale, import into Arizona, offer to transport for sale or to import into Arizona, sell or offer to sell or transfer a prescription-only drug without being authorized to do so. This offense is punishable as a class 6 felony.

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Tempe Dangerous Drug Crimes

Some of the most commonly charged dangerous drug offenses in Tempe are as follows:

  • Dangerous Drug Possession – ARS § 13-3407(A)(1) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly possess or use a dangerous drug. This offense is punishable as a class 4 felony.
  • Dangerous Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute – ARS § 13-3407(A)(2) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly possess a dangerous drug for sale. This offense is punishable as a class 2 felony.
  • Dangerous Drug Manufacturing – ARS § 13-3407(A)(4) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly manufacture a dangerous drug. This offense is punishable as a class 2 felony.
  • Dangerous Drug Trafficking – ARS § 13-3407(A)(7) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly transport for sale, import into Arizona, offer to transport for sale or to import into Arizona, sell or offer to sell or transfer a dangerous drug. This offense is punishable as a class 2 felony.

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Drug Crime Penalties in Tempe

Chapter 7 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes defines the sentencing range for drug crimes throughout Tempe. These penalties are given a minimum and maximum range, but are usually given a presumptive sentence. However, the presumptive sentence and penalties can increase, depending on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Whether the offense was aggravated;
  • Whether the offense was mitigated;
  • Whether the offense involved a child under the age of 18;
  • The quantity of the substance;
  • What schedule the substance was classified under;
  • Whether the offense was dangerous or non-dangerous; and
  • Whether the alleged offender has any prior convictions.

The statutorily provided penalties for misdemeanor and non-dangerous felony drug offenses with no prior convictions in Arizona are as follows:

  • A class 1 misdemeanor drug conviction can result in up to six months in jail, up to three years on probation and/or up to $2,500 in fines.
  • A class 6 felony drug conviction can result in prison term ranging from six months to 18 months.
  • A class 5 felony drug conviction can result in a prison term ranging from nine months to two years.
  • A class 4 felony drug conviction can result in a prison term ranging from 18 months to three years.
  • A class 3 felony drug conviction can result in 30 months to seven years in prison.
  • A class 2 felony drug conviction can result in a prison term from four years to ten years.

The statutorily provided penalties for misdemeanor and dangerous felony drug offenses with no prior convictions in Arizona are as follows:

  • A class 1 misdemeanor drug conviction can result in up to six months in jail, up to three years on probation and/or up to $2,500 in fines.
  • A class 6 felony drug conviction can result in prison term ranging from 18 months to three years.
  • A class 5 felony drug conviction can result in a prison term ranging from two years to four years.
  • A class 4 felony drug conviction can result in a prison term ranging from four to eight years.
  • A class 3 felony drug conviction can result in five years to 15 years in prison.
  • A class 2 felony drug conviction can result in a prison term from seven years to 21 years.

Additionally, regardless of the degree of drug offense, a convicted drug offender may be required to pay a fine of at least $2,000, complete community restitution hours, and serve a possible term of probation.


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Maricopa County Drug Court

The Maricopa County Drug Court program was established for nonviolent drug offenders in Arizona. The program provides outpatient counseling and drug monitoring, in addition to regularly scheduled court hearings, random drug testing, a deferment of fines, and a contract that delineates all conditions to the program.

An individual may be eligible for participation in the drug court if they:

  • Are guilty of drug possession or possession of drug paraphernalia;
  • Have no other criminal charges;
  • Did not use a dangerous weapon during the commission of the offense;
  • Are not on active supervised probation;
  • Do not have any previous occurrences of violent behavior;
  • Have a maximum of one other felony conviction; and
  • Are not currently using methadone.

An individual who successfully completes the drug court program will have their criminal charges dismissed upon completion. However, an individual who does not follow the terms of the program may face criminal prosecution for their alleged offense.


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Mesa Resources for Narcotics Offenses

Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) – The Drug Policy Alliance is national organization that aims to achieve less harmful alternatives to current drug policy that also uphold each person’s right to have control over their mind and body.

Students for a Sensible Drug Policy  (SSDP) –  The SSDP is a national organization that encourages young individuals to participate in the political process and attempt to achieve more sensible drug policies, in addition to fighting against Drug War policies that are generally more harmful than helpful to students and youth.

SSDP – Arizona State University Chapter – The Arizona State University chapter is located at:

Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona 85287
Phone: (623) 692-4771

Arizona Revised Statutes – Chapter 34 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes defines drug offenses and penalties throughout Arizona, including drug possession, drug trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia. This links is to drug and narcotic offenses in Arizona.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) – LEAP is an international organization made up of professionals in the criminal justice industry who believe existing drug policies do more harm than good.

Maricopa County Drug Court – This link provides information on the Maricopa County Drug Court program, including requirements to the program, eligibility requirements to the program and advantages of the program. The Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County is located at:

Central Court Building
201 W. Jefferson
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
Phone: (602) 506-3204

Narcotics Anonymous – This national non-profit organization assists individuals who suffer from drug addiction by providing an outlet for individuals suffering from substance abuse to meet and support other individuals who have the same addictions in order to maintain a sober lifestyle. Narcotics Anonymous meetings in Mesa, Arizona can be found on this website.

Drug Enforcement Administration - Federal Drug Penalties – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is a national drug investigative and enforcement agency. This website provides information on federal drug crimes, such as drug trafficking, drug manufacturing, possession of a controlled substance, and drug possession with intent to distribute, in addition to the penalties an individual can face if they are convicted of a federal drug offense.


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Law Office of James E. Novak, PLLC | Narcotics Defense Attorney in Tempe

Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak today for a consultation about your alleged drug charges throughout Maricopa County in Arizona. James Novak is an experienced Tempe criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to fight the allegations against you and help achieve the best possible outcome for your particular situation. Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak at (480) 413-1499 for a consultation about your aggravated narcotics offense throughout Maricopa County in Arizona.

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