Psychedelic Drug Crimes

Phoenix Lawyer Handling Narcotics Offenses

While some people assume that psychedelics are harmless or simply a form of experimentation, Arizona prosecutors treat psychedelic drug crimes seriously. Depending on the type and quantity of psychedelics involved, persons arrested for drug crimes may face severe consequences. If you were charged with a psychedelic drug crime, you should discuss the charges with experienced Phoenix drug crime attorney James E. Novak. To his criminal defense practice, Mr. Novak brings years of experience as a prosecutor. He understands how prosecutors and courts think about psychedelic drug crimes.

Psychedelic Drug Crimes

Arizona law classifies certain drugs as "dangerous." These drugs include psychedelic drugs such as LSD, mescaline, hallucinogenic mushrooms, psilocybin, and PCP. When prosecutors charge psychedelic drug crimes as felonies, defendants may face a prison sentence that is set for a definite amount of time within Arizona's lawful range.

Different activities involving psychedelics are criminalized. These activities include actual or constructive possession, possession for sale, manufacturing, sale, administration, or transportation of drugs classified as dangerous. If you possess at least a threshold amount of a certain psychedelic, you may be charged with possession for sale. For instance, the threshold amount of PCP for which you could be charged with possession for sale is 4g. The threshold amount for LSD is 1/2 milliliter or 50 dosage units. If you were caught with 6g of PCP, you may be charged with possession with intent to sell PCP.

It is a class 2 felony to manufacture dangerous drugs under Arizona Revised Statutes section 13-3407. For a class 2 felony conviction, you may face a presumptive sentence of five years. Under Arizona Revised Statute section 13.3407(A)(3), the possession of equipment or chemicals for manufacturing a dangerous drug is a class 3 felony.

Different classes of felonies have their own maximum and minimum sentences. Probation is not allowed if the defendant committed a violent offense involved in a drug crime. Moreover, if the defendant had prior felony convictions for possessing dangerous drugs, the court may impose a mandatory prison term.

When determining a sentence, the judge starts with the presumptive sentence, but may increase or reduce it based on the presence of at least two aggravating or mitigating circumstances. For instance, if you were previously convicted for felony armed robbery three years ago and are being sentenced for possession of peyote, you may receive an aggravated sentence. 

Possession of the dangerous drug, including psychedelics such as LSD, is a class 4 felony for which you can face up to 3.75 years in prison or face a probation term of a maximum of four years. Additionally, you may face substantial fines.

If you have prior felony convictions, you may face a mandatory prison sentence from 2.25-15 years for possessing a drug that's considered dangerous, such as acid.

Certain psychedelics are classified a little bit differently under Arizona Revised Statute section 13–3402. You may be convicted of a class 6 felony if you knowingly transfer, sell, possess, or offer to sell peyote. The presumptive sentence for a class 6 felony is one year. Although the basic range is 6 to 18 months of incarceration, the sentence may be reduced if the judge believes a felony sentence is too harsh given the circumstances. In such a case, the judge may place you on probation or require you to complete probation.

Defenses to Psychedelic Drug Crimes

A criminal defense lawyer should mount the strongest defense based on the situation. For example, if you are charged with possessing or offering to sell peyote, it may be appropriate to raise the statutory defense that you were using peyote or intending it to be used as an integral part of a religious exercise, in connection with a bona fide religious practice, or in a way that’s not hazardous to morals, safety, or public health.

Sometimes, a constitutional or procedural defense should be raised. For instance, if the police found psychedelic drugs when they searched your home without a warrant or exigent circumstances, it may be appropriate to bring a motion to suppress evidence of the psychedelics that was obtained in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. As with other crimes, psychedelic drug crimes must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, the defense may focus on trying to raise reasonable doubt, first with the prosecutor in plea negotiations or efforts to secure a dismissal, and then with the jury.

In other cases, it maybe appropriate to raise reasonable doubt regarding Fifth Amendment concerns, the credibility of a confidential informant or witness to a psychedelic drug crime.

Hire a Seasoned Phoenix Attorney

If you’re facing charges for psychedelic drug crimes, you should discuss your situation with seasoned criminal defense lawyer James E. Novak. When strategizing how best to defend a client charged with psychedelic drug crimes, Mr. Novak brings to bear his experience as a former prosecutor. He represents clients in Phoenix, as well as Gilbert, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, and throughout Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.

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