The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) labels cocaine a Schedule II drug. Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.), chapter 34 of Title 13, specifies drug offenses. These offenses are grouped into three classes, which include narcotic drugs, dangerous drugs, and prescription-only drugs. Cocaine is a narcotic drug. Often it’s taken through snorting, but sometimes it is injected, smoked, or rubbed on the gums. Its effects can include decreased appetite, pupil dilation, irritability, restlessness, talkativeness, an increased body temperature, quickened heartbeat, increased alertness, and euphoria. Cocaine can be referred to as powder, snow, blow, or coke. If you are charged with cocaine manufacturing, an experienced Phoenix drug crimes attorney can help you evaluate your legal options.Cocaine Manufacturing
Under A.R.S. section 13-3408, it’s unlawful to knowingly use or possess a narcotic like cocaine, and you can be charged with a Class 4 felony simply for possession. However, if you don’t have prior felonies, you could get probation. Other cocaine-related drug offenses include cocaine trafficking and sale or distribution of cocaine.
In Arizona, manufacturing drugs carries harsher penalties than simply possessing or selling a drug. The penalties are different depending on what drug you’re making. Cocaine may be manufactured in a lab from a home or other structure. To prove cocaine manufacturing, the prosecutor will need to show beyond a reasonable doubt the following: (1) you knowingly, (2) manufactured a narcotic drug (such as cocaine). In some cases, it may be possible to raise reasonable doubt about whether you were acting “knowingly.” In other cases, it may be possible to raise reasonable doubt about whether you were actually making cocaine.
Cocaine manufacturing is charged as a Class 2 felony. If you’re convicted of cocaine manufacturing, you won’t be eligible for a pardon, probation, sentence suspension, or release from confinement for any reason until you’ve served the sentence the court has imposed, until you’re eligible for release under A.R.S. section 41-1604.07, or until your sentence is commuted.
A Class 2 felony can be punished by a term of 3 to 12.5 years in state prison and fines. Even if you aren’t the one actually making the cocaine, you can be charged as an accomplice. The implications of these charges can be significant.Defenses
There are defenses a seasoned drug crime lawyer may be able to raise on your behalf. You may be able to challenge the steps taken by the police that led up to your arrest for cocaine manufacturing. Police officers are supposed to safeguard your constitutional rights, and if they conduct an illegal search of your home that leads to the discovery of a cocaine lab and your arrest, you may be able to suppress any evidence of the lab seized in the illegal search.
In some situations, there may be substantive defenses available. For example, where entrapment is raised with regard to the cocaine manufacturing charge, you would need to show by clear and convincing evidence: (1) the idea of cocaine manufacturing started with police officers or their agents and not you, (2) the police officers or their agents convinced you to manufacture cocaine, and (3) you weren’t predisposed to manufacture cocaine prior to being convinced to do so by the police or their agents. The actions of the police can be considered in deciding whether you’ve proven entrapment.
Sometimes it’s possible to simply mitigate the penalties used in sentencing after a cocaine manufacturing conviction. The quantity of cocaine can affect the penalties, and there may be other factors that are also important.Consult an Experienced Drug Crimes Defense Attorney in Phoenix
It can be life-changing to be charged with cocaine manufacturing in Phoenix or elsewhere. Even if you know you are innocent of these charges, it is advisable to consult a skillful drug crimes defense lawyer. An experienced attorney can raise constitutional or substantive defenses depending on the situation. Our principal James E. Novak represents defendants charged with drug crimes throughout the Phoenix area including Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.