Phoenix attorney Mark S. Williams provides criminal defense representation to clients accused of drug offenses in Maricopa County, Arizona. With over 30 years of experience, Mr. Williams has handled a range of drug cases, successfully advocating on behalf of clients found in possession of marijuana, meth, cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Potential penalties for drug crimes can be serious depending on how the controlled substance is categorized under Arizona's substance schedule, which mirrors the federal government's drug schedule. These schedules, or classifications, are as follows:
- Schedule 1 - These drugs, including heroin, LSD, and marijuana, have a high risk of abuse, a high tendency for dependency, and have no current medically accepted use.
- Schedule 2 - These drugs, including opium, PCP, cocaine, methadone, and methamphetamine, have a high potential for abuse as well as severe dependency, but do have some medically accepted uses.
- Schedule 3 - When compared to Schedule 2 drugs, these drugs, including anabolic steroids, Vicodin, and codeine, have much less potential for abuse and dependency. They also have medically accepted uses.
- Schedule 4 - These drugs, such as Valium and Xanax, are most commonly used as tranquilizers and sedatives. They have a limited potential for dependency and abuse, along with their accepted medical use.
- Schedule 5 - In the final category are the least severe drugs, which have a low potential of abuse, limited risk of dependency, and widely accepted medical uses. These drugs include simple medications such as cough syrup.
Along with classification, the quantity of the drug in possession, the purpose for which it is possessed, and any prior convictions determine the seriousness of the charges you may face if you are found with drugs. Producing, manufacturing, and selling illegal drugs are the most serious drug crimes. In some cases, you can be convicted of possession of drugs with intent to distribute based on the quantity of the drug alone, without any actual evidence of distribution.
Avoid Jail Time & Minimize the Consequences of a Drug Charge
Possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia for personal use is generally less serious than for production and distribution. In fact, Arizona law provides for a drug court diversion program that allows first time offenders to avoid a drug conviction. Also, you be eligible for a deferred sentencing arrangement, which means no jail time or conviction if certain requirements are met, such as mandatory substance abuse counseling. Mark S. Williams is knowledgeable about all of the treatment alternatives to incarceration, and whenever possible, he works to qualify his clients for such options. In many cases, Mr. Williams is able to work out a plea bargain calling for the dismissal of any disqualifying charges that prevent you from participating in these programs.
Seek Experienced, Knowledgeable Representation
If you were arrested for a drug offense, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight the charges. Contact Mark S. Williams, Attorney today for a free initial consultation.