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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Cocaine Possession: Penalties and Defenses

What Happens When You Plead Guilty To a Felony?

An explanation of the ramifications of being charged with cocaine possession or usage, the criminal penalties and punishment that may be imposed, and how a lawyer may be able to assist. Read on to learn more.

Cocaine is a powdered stimulant obtained from the leaves of the coca plant in South America. Possession of any amount of cocaine without a prescription is illegal under federal and state law. Under federal and several state regulations, possessing crack cocaine (a type of cocaine that has been processed even further than powder cocaine to produce a cheaper version) carries harsher penalties. See Drug Possession Laws for further information on state laws governing cocaine possession.

What exactly is cocaine?

Cocaine is on the federal government’s list of narcotic drugs with the potential for abuse and dependency but some medical use (Schedule II drugs). (Section 802 of the United States Code.) The statute (the Controlled Substances Act) is wide enough to include any coca leaf derivative or extract. Under reality, coca leaves are categorized as one of the “narcotic” cocaine narcotics in the legislation.

People eat raw, fresh coca leaves for a mild mood and energy boost in various sections of the Andes Mountains (and also in Peru, Ecuador, and other South American countries). Under US law, leaf eating would be considered illicit cocaine usage and possession.

Cocaine possession

While we are all familiar with the common sense of “possession” (having, owning, or controlling something), the phrase has a legal definition.

Possession that is “simple”

If a person knowingly has cocaine on his or her person (such as in a pocket) or under his or her personal, physical control, he or she is in possession of cocaine illegally (for example, in a purse). Knowingly means that the individual in possession of the cocaine was aware of its presence and was aware that it was prohibited. So, if someone takes a box labeled baking soda and has no reason to believe it contains cocaine, that individual does not knowingly possess cocaine. This is the most basic and evident type of possession.

When it comes to illegal narcotic narcotics like cocaine, however, the concept of possession does not end there.

“Possession with a purpose”

A person can be charged with “constructive possession” of cocaine and other banned narcotics in the United States. When the term “constructive” is used in this context, it refers to something that is suggested, inferred, or construed by the law. As a result, a person is in constructive possession of cocaine if the law considers him or her to have legal control over the drug. This term is far broader than physical control and encompasses a lot of territory. In the most obvious scenario, if a customs inspector discovers cocaine in a person’s suitcase, that person could be prosecuted with constructive possession of narcotics. The finding of cocaine under bushes beside where an individual had parked his vehicle led to a charge of constructive possession against the vehicle owner in a far less clear setting. Individuals have been charged with constructive possession of cocaine in the following locations:

  • a person’s home, vehicle, company, or other property that he or she owns or rents
  • a hotel room where the person was a guest
  • a social group run by a single person
  • an individual’s personal storehouse, and
  • a package addressed to a specific person

The prosecutor must show that the defendant had the power and intent to control the substance, as well as knowledge that the material was cocaine, in order to convict him or her of constructive possession of cocaine.

When an individual is intimately linked with another person who has cocaine, it is sometimes enough to demonstrate constructive possession by the first person. If a scheme to jointly possess the drug can be demonstrated, an individual could be charged with constructive possession for cocaine found in the pocketbook of a passenger in his or her car, or for cocaine found in the house of another person with whom the defendant was closely linked.

Common Counter-Attacks on Cocaine Possession

There are a number of defenses to simple and constructive cocaine possession. Listed below are a handful of them.

Insufficient knowledge

If the person accused of possessing a box of cocaine that she believes to be baking soda can establish that she honestly and reasonably believed the package did not contain cocaine, she will be acquitted. However, the circumstances surrounding the cocaine’s acquisition will be crucial to this investigation. If a woman gets a box of “baking soda” from a lover she knows is a drug dealer, her story will be less convincing than if she takes the box from a shelf at a friend’s house with the intention of baking bread.

Lack of power and a desire to exert control

The government must show that the defendant intended to control the cocaine even though it wasn’t in his physical possession to prove constructive possession. The offender may be acquitted if he can establish that he had no intent to control the substance.

Penalties for Cocaine Possession

A person convicted of a first offense of cocaine possession under federal law who has no prior federal or state convictions for possession of any narcotic may be sentenced to no more than one year in jail, a fine of no less than $1,000, or both. A person convicted of cocaine possession following a prior conviction of cocaine or any other drug in either federal or state court could face a sentence of 15 days to two years in prison, a fine of not less than $2,500, or both. Two or more prior convictions in federal or state court for possession of any narcotic may result in a term of at least 90 days in jail, a fine of at least $5,000, or both. The length of time spent in prison and the amount of the fine may be influenced by the amount of drugs seized. Possession with the intent to distribute (sell) cocaine carries more harsher penalties.

States may also impose penalties for cocaine possession. Start with Drug Laws and Drug Charges for further information on illicit drug possession, including state-specific articles.

As previously stated, the penalties for possessing crack cocaine may be more severe than those for powder cocaine.

Consult a Lawyer

Possession of cocaine is a criminal offense. If you are being investigated for or charged with a crime, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Only an expert criminal defense lawyer familiar with your state’s laws (or, if the case is in federal court, an experienced federal practitioner) can advise you on the strength of the case against you and the availability of any defenses. Only a local attorney who is familiar with the prosecutors and judges in your courthouse can provide you with a realistic evaluation of how the case will likely develop.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Drug Possession Defenses

Drug Possession Defenses

If you’ve been charged with drug possession, whether for personal use or with the intent to sell, a criminal defense attorney can help you figure out what defenses you have. Some defenses object to the case’s stated facts, testimony, or evidence. Others focus on procedural flaws. Some defendants use an affirmative defense to fight drug possession accusations, which means they present evidence that proves they were operating legally or that the prosecution doesn’t have a case.

This article examines drug possession defenses, which include everything from uncommon methods to more conventional ones like criticizing the prosecution’s case or using an affirmative defense.

Unauthorized Search and Seizure

The United States Constitution’s Fourth Amendment guarantees citizens protection against the government. Authorities are only allowed to search a person’s body or property under limited circumstances. In drug possession defense cases, search and seizure challenges are widespread.

Illicit substances discovered in plain sight can be seized and used as evidence in a drug case. Drugs or drug paraphernalia on a car’s dashboard as an officer conducts a legal traffic stop are an example of plain visibility. Another example is a marijuana field seen from a plane flying overhead.

Consider the case that a cop, without permission, prys open a car’s trunk and discovers drugs. A low-flying drone, for example, may be flown over a certain place and photographed a hidden marijuana field. Without a search warrant, here are a few examples of searches that would be illegal.

If authorities get evidence through illegal means, the evidence will be excluded from the trial. Because evidence discovered during an illegal search is generally crucial to the prosecution’s case, if officers violated your Fourth Amendment rights, the government will frequently withdraw its case.

Someone else owns the drugs.

Criminal defendants accused of drug possession frequently claim that the narcotics do not belong to them or that they were unaware that they were in possession of the drugs. However, this may not be as compelling an argument as you may believe.

To be convicted of drug possession, police do not need to detect drugs on your person or directly in your possession. Prosecutors typically only need to establish that you had control of or access to the drugs.

A defense attorney may argue at trial that there is a reasonable doubt that you were aware of the drugs. This can be difficult, though, if a passenger in your automobile, for example, was taking drugs soon before or during your arrest. That is why you should always consult with a criminal defense attorney before making any accusations or arguments to the police.

Analysis by a Crime Lab

Not all ostensibly credible evidence is what it appears to be. Just because something appears to be cocaine or LSD does not mean it is. By sending evidence to a crime lab for analysis, the prosecution must show that a confiscated substance is truly the prohibited narcotic it claims to be. A criminal defense lawyer can bring up flaws with the crime lab analysis report, such as inaccuracies or contradictions. The defense might demand that the crime lab analyst testify at trial if there are any difficulties.

Problems with the Chain of Custody

Another defense to drug possession is that the drugs have gone missing. Police commonly store narcotics confiscated during an arrest or during the execution of a search warrant in an evidence room or locker. A defense attorney can question whether the medications provided as evidence were actually taken from the defendant during the trial (and not from a different case).

This is commonly referred to as a chain-of-custody assault. Other chain of custody challenges include allegations that one of the policemen handling the medications during an investigation did so inappropriately. The success of such a strategy is determined by the number of officers who handled the drugs and how successfully the police created and maintained records of such activities.

Entrapment

While cops and informants are free to set up sting operations, entrapment happens when officers or informants persuade a suspect to commit a crime that he or she would not have committed otherwise. It is not always entrapment when an undercover officer obtains narcotics from or sells drugs to a suspect.

Entrapment may be a defense if officials go so far as to harass or scare someone into committing a drug offence. A drug crime defense lawyer will be able to assist you with this intricate legal problem.

Exception for Medical Marijuana

The use of marijuana for medical purposes is never a defense for federal drug possession charges, but it may be in states where medical marijuana is authorized. Typically, states that allow such exceptions to marijuana laws require a signed doctor’s recommendation. However, several of those states also allow persons arrested for marijuana possession to assert an affirmative defense if they can provide clear and persuasive proof of medical necessity.

Do you need assistance with drug possession defenses? Make an appointment with an attorney.

If you’ve been charged with drug possession, you may have defenses that aren’t immediately evident. There are additional other defenses that may apply to your case that aren’t mentioned here. For example, if you have more than a specific amount of a narcotic in your possession, the law presumes you’re selling it. You can, however, claim that the drugs are for personal use, which could result in reduced fines and the possibility of drug treatment as part of your sentence rather than more time in prison. Other possible defenses include saying you were forced to testify or that you were threatened by others.

A criminal defense lawyer can frequently expose flaws in the prosecutor’s case. It’s in your best benefit to call an experienced, local criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you’re dealing with a criminal case.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Right To Counsel

The right to an attorney for a criminal defendant is guaranteed under the United States Constitution’s Sixth Amendment, which mandates “aid of counsel” for the accused “in all criminal proceedings.” This indicates that a defendant has the right to be represented by an attorney during his or her trial under the law. It also means that if the defendant cannot afford an attorney, the government will nearly always appoint one for him or her at no cost to the criminal (this began in 1963 when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an indigent defendant facing the possibility of incarceration).

While the right to counsel is covered below in the context of a criminal trial, a suspect has the right to counsel at practically every stage of the criminal process, often from arrest to the first appeal following conviction. Criminal suspects, for example, have the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent when being interviewed by authorities.

Learn more about the constitutional right to counsel, including when it applies and the requirements that criminal lawyers must meet, in the sections below.

In a criminal case, how does an attorney assist a defendant?

The role of the defense counsel is critical in practically every criminal case, especially those involving the risk of incarceration, because it’s difficult to set a price on one’s freedom. While an attorney’s particular responsibilities vary based on the nature of the allegations and the case, any criminal defense lawyer should be aware of the following:

advising the defendant of his or her rights and describing what to expect at various stages of the criminal process;

  • Assuring that the defendant’s constitutional rights are not infringed upon by law enforcement or the court system; and
  • On behalf of the defendant, negotiating a plea deal with the government.
  • In addition to analyzing facts and evidence, a criminal defense attorney must also cross-examine government witnesses, object to incorrect questions and evidence, and provide any applicable legal defenses.

What are the expectations of a criminal defense lawyer?

The Sixth Amendment right to counsel has been interpreted by courts to provide criminal defendants “effective aid of counsel,” regardless of whether the attorney is retained by the defendant or appointed by the government. It’s crucial to remember that an attorney’s poor strategy decisions (and even major professional errors, in some cases) rarely result in a conviction being overturned. A conviction may be overturned if it is obvious that the attorney’s ineptitude influenced the case’s outcome.

This is especially problematic for people who are represented by public defenders, who are often very talented and dedicated, but who also have a lot of cases to handle and little resources (including the time needed to properly prepare a case). This incentivizes public defenders to seek plea bargains rather than pursuing each case to trial. Nonetheless, appointed lawyers must meet the same professional requirements as high-priced lawyers.

Find out more about your right to legal representation from an attorney.

Custodial interrogation triggers your right to counsel, while the term “custody” has multiple meanings depending on the circumstances. If you’re being investigated for a crime or have already been charged with one, it’s in your best interests to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Types of Drug Charges

Drug Cultivation and Manufacturing Charges

Federal and state laws make it illegal to cultivate or manufacture illegal narcotics like methamphetamine or marijuana (with limited exceptions for marijuana in certain states). In a criminal law context, drug “manufacturing” happens when a person is involved in any step of the unlawful drug production process. Those who sell specified precursor chemicals, specialist equipment, or just offer to assist in the production of narcotics may also be charged.

Drug manufacture is often charged as a felony, including penalties such as prison time, hefty fines, and probation. Those convicted of manufacturing illegal narcotics near schools and playgrounds might face doubled prison sentences and fines.

Although this article focuses on the criminal accusations of illicit drug cultivation and drug manufacturing, when drug manufacturing is part of a bigger organization, broader RICO charges may be brought.

Elements of the Crime: Drug Cultivation and Manufacturing

Prosecutors must typically prove both possession and intent to manufacture in order to convict someone of making (or intending to create) illegal substances. The tools and materials used to make illegal substances are frequently not considered contraband in and of themselves.

Pseudoephedrine, for example, was previously a popular cold remedy. However, it is also utilized in the production of methamphetamine. Even if authorities discover a package of the now-banned drug in a person’s car, that may not be enough to prosecute for a manufacturing charge. However, if the officer also discovered laboratory equipment often used to make meth in the backseat, it could be enough to justify an arrest.

Similarly, simply having marijuana seeds in your possession does not always imply that you intend to grow them. However, if investigators discover indoor grow lamps and hydroponic equipment, they may be arrested in places where cannabis cultivation is prohibited.

However, having a permit or authority to possess specific items that might otherwise be used to produce illegal substances could be a defense. Pharmacists, for example, have access to a wide range of ingredients that might be used to make illegal narcotics. Furthermore, many chemicals and industrial supplies typically utilized in the manufacture of illegal narcotics may have valid uses that would necessitate the issuance of a permission.

State Versus. Federal Laws on Marijuana Production

While there is little distinction between state and federal drug manufacturing regulations in general, marijuana is an exception. In terms of prosecution and penalties, the federal government treats marijuana growing similarly to the manufacture of other Schedule I substances, but has largely taken a “hands-off” approach to state legalization efforts.

Under federal law, growing less than 50 marijuana plants can result in a five-year jail sentence, or a life sentence if 1,000 or more plants are grown. Individuals in states that have legalized marijuana for medical use or recreational use are not free from federal enforcement, but it is unclear how federal prohibitions would be enforced.

Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use, but only Colorado allows non-medical users to grow it (six or fewer). States that allow medicinal marijuana usage have different rules about whether (and how much) marijuana can be grown by licensed patients. Patients in Hawaii are allowed to grow up to seven plants, however this is not allowed in Connecticut.

Many sorts of drug offences are covered by federal and state laws. State drug regulations can be stricter if they don’t contradict federal drug laws. Drug charges in federal court normally result in longer terms, although drug charges in state court may result in a shorter sentence or even probation. Having a drug conviction on your record, regardless of the sort of drug offense committed, can have serious ramifications. This page gives an outline of some of the most common drug offenses.

Syringes

The difficulty with drug paraphernalia is that many of them are constructed to appear as though they were created for legal purposes. Many bongs, for example, have warning labels stating that they should only be used with tobacco. Depending on where you bought the item or how it looks, you could be charged with drug paraphernalia even if it contains a label.

Possession

Substance possession laws differ from state to state, based on the sort of drug and the amount involved. Possession of any illicit controlled substance, such as marijuana, cocaine, or heroin, is, nonetheless, illegal under both federal and state drug laws. Possession of an illegal drug can result in charges of simple possession or possession with the intent to distribute. If you have a modest amount of narcotics, you’ll probably be charged with simple possession, but if you have a substantial amount, you’ll be charged with possession with the intent to distribute and face heavier penalties. The same drug paraphernalia regulations mentioned above may also be applied to a drug possession charge.

Manufacturing/Delivery

Another sort of drug crime is drug manufacturing, which involves any part of the illegal substance’s production process. Under federal and state regulations, the supply of any illicit narcotic is also a crime. In order to prosecute an alleged drug maker, prosecutors must usually prove both intent to manufacture and possession. A drug producer could face fines and prison time if convicted.

Trafficking

Selling, transporting, and importing unlawful controlled substances like marijuana and cocaine are all banned under drug trafficking and distribution regulations. Because it usually entails the transportation of a considerable number of drugs, drug trafficking and distribution is a more serious criminal than drug possession. Having huge amounts of an illegal drug, on the other hand, may cause police to suspect you meant to sell the drugs and charge you with distribution. If you are convicted of drug trafficking, you might face a term ranging from 3 years to life in prison.

Dealing

The term “drug dealing” refers to the small-scale sale of illegal drugs. It’s vital to keep in mind that the terms “trafficking” and “dealing” are defined differently in different states and under different federal laws. Because drug dealing usually involves a single person selling a little amount of drugs, the penalty is less harsh than selling bigger amounts. Selling less than 50 grams of marijuana can result in a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. This is according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which determines federal penalties for drug dealing and trafficking. A sale of 1,000 kg of marijuana, on the other hand, can result in a sentence of ten years or more.

Are You Being Charged With Growing Weed Illegally? An Attorney Can Assist You

Under federal and state law, drug manufacturing and cultivation are prohibited, but there are several exceptions, as indicated above. Even in states where cannabis cultivation is legal, you still face charges if you break specific rules and restrictions. If you have any further questions regarding the laws in your area, or if you’ve been charged with the offense, you should talk with a local criminal defense attorney to learn more about how the law applies to your circumstance.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Manufacturing Drugs Charges & Penalties

Manufacturing Drugs Charges & Penalties

Manufacturing any drug, commonly known as narcotics or controlled substances, is completely banned unless state and federal authorities have issued you a license.

Manufacturing

When a person takes part in any aspect of the process of making an illicit drug, this is referred to as drug manufacturing. Mixing chemicals in preparation for making LSD, “cooking” or synthesizing methamphetamine, and growing marijuana plants are all examples of manufacturing activity. It’s enough to offer to help with the drug manufacturing process to qualify as drug manufacturing.

Material Distribution

Anyone who knows or has a reasonable cause to know that chemicals, chemical combinations, components, or materials will be used to manufacture illegal narcotics is likewise prohibited from supplying them. Producing methamphetamine, or meth, for example, necessitates the use of specific chemical components. If the supplier knew or should have known the person would use the chemicals to produce methamphetamine, he or she might be prosecuted with drug manufacturing.

Cultivation

Plants that generate prohibited substances are likewise subject to manufacturing laws. Cultivation usually refers to the act of producing marijuana plants, hallucinogenic mushrooms, or other plants used in the drug-making process.

Is Possession Enough?

Even if you never create any illicit substances, you might be convicted of a drug production felony. You can be held guilty of manufacturing if you simply have the chemical components, manufacturing equipment, or other items needed to make unlawful substances.

Penalties

Drug manufacturing offenses can result in lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines, depending on whether the offense is committed on a state or federal level. Drug manufacturing is often a felony offense, though it can be punished as a misdemeanor in specific cases, such as when a person is found in possession of components necessary to create prescription medications rather than illegal drugs.

Prison. Convictions for drug manufacture can result in lengthy jail sentences. The minimum term for felony drug manufacturing convictions is one year in jail, although sentences can be as long as ten years or more. Misdemeanor drug production charges can carry a sentence of up to a year in prison.

Fines. Drug production fines might be rather high. Fines for misdemeanors can be as high as $2,000, and felony fines can be as high as $50,000 or more.

A court may impose a probation term in addition to or instead of fines and jail for someone convicted of drug manufacture. Probation durations are normally for at least one year, although they might be for several years. Probationers must obey a probation officer’s orders and adhere to specified probation conditions, such as avoiding committing additional offences, paying all costs and fines, and submitting to random drug tests.

Restitution. You may be required to pay restitution in addition to any fines imposed by the court in some states. In drug manufacturing cases, restitution refers to the amount of money you must pay to offset the costs of any damage caused by the drug manufacturing activity, as well as the costs of law enforcement cleaning up a drug lab.

Sentences for particular amounts and categories of drugs have been increased.

Charges of drug production apply to anyone who makes or attempts to make a controlled substance. If the amount of pharmaceuticals manufactured exceeds the level specified by state law, those who create them may face harsher penalties. If a person is found with more than 9 grams of methamphetamine, for example, a state may impose a heavier penalty. If a person generated less than 9 grams, the consequences would be less harsh. The degree of difference between less severe and more severe fines varies by state.

Circumstances That Make Things Worse

If you’re convicted of manufacturing drugs under certain circumstances, you could risk a harsher sentence. If you’re making narcotics around children, for example, you could be charged with a more serious offense than if no children were present. The larger the potential penalty, the more serious the crime.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Drug Cultivation Lawyers

Drug Cultivation Lawyers

Drug cultivation is a sort of drug criminality in which plants categorized as banned substances are grown. This mainly refers to the unlawful cultivation of intoxicants or hallucinogenic plants such as marijuana and opium.

Drug cultivation regulations are frequently grouped with, or in addition to, drug production laws. Most “drug cultivation and manufacturing regulations,” for example, make it illegal to:

Plants having naturally occurring compounds that are utilized in the creation of illegal narcotics and controlled substances are grown, produced, or possessed; and

Produce illegal compounds derived from plants, such as cocaine.

Is Drug Cultivation and Drug Possession the Same Thing?

No, because the person must possess the substances in order to cultivate or grow them, cultivation of narcotics usually entails some aspect of possession. Drug cultivation, on the other hand, is usually a more serious offense than drug possession. This is because drug cultivation is frequently associated with a desire to distribute the drugs or substances. Possession of a drug, on the other hand, does not always imply that the individual intends to distribute it.

What are the Legal Consequences of Drug Production?

Simple drug possession can result in petty misdemeanor charges, which are punished by a criminal fine and a term of less than one year in prison. Possession or cultivation with the purpose to distribute, on the other hand, is sometimes charged as a felony, punishable by heavier fines and a sentence of more than one year in jail.

What Kind of Proof Does It Take to Prove Drug Cultivation?

To prove drug cultivation, it’s usually essential to show that: 1) the suspect possessed the physical materials and substances needed to produce drugs; and 2) the suspect planned to cultivate the drugs for an unlawful and unlicensed purpose.

Thus, finding opium seeds, electric growth lights, and plants in huge quantities in a person’s house could be significant evidence of drug production with the intent to distribute.

Do I Need a Lawyer If I Have Legal Questions or Concerns About Drug Cultivation?

Charges of drug cultivation are among the most serious sorts of criminal offenses. They are frequently tied to other sorts of crimes, such as drug delivery. If you have any legal questions or concerns about drug cultivation, you should contact a drug lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can assist you with any issues you may have and, if necessary, represent you in court throughout the trial.

Are You Being Charged With Growing Weed Illegally? An Attorney Can Assist You

Under federal and state law, drug manufacturing and cultivation are prohibited, but there are several exceptions, as indicated above. Even in states where cannabis cultivation is legal, you still face charges if you break specific rules and restrictions. If you have any further questions regarding the laws in your area, or if you’ve been charged with the offense, you should talk with a local criminal defense attorney to learn more about how the law applies to your circumstance.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Drug Cultivation and Manufacturing Charges

Drug Cultivation and Manufacturing Charges

Federal and state laws make it illegal to cultivate or manufacture illegal narcotics like methamphetamine or marijuana (with limited exceptions for marijuana in certain states). In a criminal law context, drug “manufacturing” happens when a person is involved in any step of the unlawful drug production process. Those who sell specified precursor chemicals, specialist equipment, or just offer to assist in the production of narcotics may also be charged.

Drug manufacture is often charged as a felony, including penalties such as prison time, hefty fines, and probation. Those convicted of manufacturing illegal narcotics near schools and playgrounds might face doubled prison sentences and fines.

Although this article focuses on the criminal accusations of illicit drug cultivation and drug manufacturing, when drug manufacturing is part of a bigger organization, broader RICO charges may be brought.

Elements of the Crime: Drug Cultivation and Manufacturing

Prosecutors must typically prove both possession and intent to manufacture in order to convict someone of making (or intending to create) illegal substances. The tools and materials used to make illegal substances are frequently not considered contraband in and of themselves.

Pseudoephedrine, for example, was previously a popular cold remedy. However, it is also utilized in the production of methamphetamine. Even if authorities discover a package of the now-banned drug in a person’s car, that may not be enough to prosecute for a manufacturing charge. However, if the officer also discovered laboratory equipment often used to make meth in the backseat, it could be enough to justify an arrest.

Similarly, simply having marijuana seeds in your possession does not always imply that you intend to grow them. However, if investigators discover indoor grow lamps and hydroponic equipment, they may be arrested in places where cannabis cultivation is prohibited.

However, having a permit or authority to possess specific items that might otherwise be used to produce illegal substances could be a defense. Pharmacists, for example, have access to a wide range of ingredients that might be used to make illegal narcotics. Furthermore, many chemicals and industrial supplies typically utilized in the manufacture of illegal narcotics may have valid uses that would necessitate the issuance of a permission.

State Versus. Federal Laws on Marijuana Production

While there is little distinction between state and federal drug manufacturing regulations in general, marijuana is an exception. In terms of prosecution and penalties, the federal government treats marijuana growing similarly to the manufacture of other Schedule I substances, but has largely taken a “hands-off” approach to state legalization efforts.

Under federal law, growing less than 50 marijuana plants can result in a five-year jail sentence, or a life sentence if 1,000 or more plants are grown. Individuals in states that have legalized marijuana for medical use or recreational use are not free from federal enforcement, but it is unclear how federal prohibitions would be enforced.

Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use, but only Colorado allows non-medical users to grow it (six or fewer). States that allow medicinal marijuana usage have different rules about whether (and how much) marijuana can be grown by licensed patients. Patients in Hawaii are allowed to grow up to seven plants, however this is not allowed in Connecticut.

Are You Being Charged With Growing Weed Illegally? An Attorney Can Assist You

Under federal and state law, drug manufacturing and cultivation are prohibited, but there are several exceptions, as indicated above. Even in states where cannabis cultivation is legal, you still face charges if you break specific rules and restrictions. If you have any further questions regarding the laws in your area, or if you’ve been charged with the offense, you should talk with a local criminal defense attorney to learn more about how the law applies to your circumstance.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Do?

What Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Do?

During the course of a criminal case, a criminal defense lawyer plays a variety of functions. He or she is in charge of defending someone who has been accused with a crime.

The Case’s Assignment

The defendant may seek a criminal defense counsel personally or the court may assign the case to one. Many criminal defense lawyers work for the public defender’s office and are compensated by them. Local, state, and federal courts appoint them to cases. Private firms recruit other criminal defense lawyers. Some criminal defense lawyers have their own law firm that they manage. Due to the referral procedure and the payment coming from individuals other than defendants, public defenders are paid less than private lawyers and have a larger case load. In some situations, a court may appoint a private attorney to represent a client.

Interview with Regards to the Case

When the criminal defense lawyer has the opportunity to meet with the client in person, he or she should strive to learn as much as possible about the case. He or she can learn about possible defenses, as well as the case’s strengths and weaknesses, by asking specific questions regarding the case. This necessitates a detailed and rigorous interrogation of the defendant.

The Case Is Being Investigated

He or she must not only ask the criminal defendant pointed questions regarding the case, but also conduct more investigation into the case to determine any possible routes of acquittal. This frequently entails interrogating police officers about the processes they employed in the case. It could also entail speaking with witnesses who have information about the case and gathering data on the case. All of this material is used to try to put together a good case defensively. If an expert witness is called to testify in the case, the criminal defense attorney may question him or her about the testimony and evidence that will be presented.

Before the case is presented to the jury, a criminal defense counsel has the right to assess the prosecution’s case. This permits him or her to look for flaws in the prosecutor’s case and try to locate evidence that could disprove it, such as hiring an independent lab or expert to evaluate evidence in the case.

Evidence Evaluation

Analyzing the evidence against a criminal defendant necessitates a thorough examination of the facts and hypotheses of the case by a criminal defense attorney. He or she could have evidence evaluated by a third party. He or she may also study the material to see if there are any legal ideas that work against his or her client’s conviction.

Contact with the Client Continued

A criminal defense lawyer must communicate with his or her client on a regular basis to explain any developments in the case and to keep him or her up to date. The lawyer must ensure that the client’s conversations are kept private. The lawyer must also ensure that the client receives information regarding the case so that he or she has a better knowledge of the potential outcomes.

Selection of the Jury

The jury selection procedure is aided by a criminal defense attorney. He or she may seek to have jurors dismissed for cause if he or she believes they are biased against the defendant or simply has a terrible feeling about a possible juror.

Bargaining for a Plea

A criminal defense lawyer is also in charge of discussing the state of the case with the prosecution and negotiating any possible plea bargain. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help the defendant negotiate a good agreement that results in the charges or punishment being reduced.

Participation in the trial

During the trial, a criminal defense lawyer argues for his or her client. He or she interrogates witnesses, cross-examines state witnesses, and tries to persuade the jury that the prosecution has not met its burden of proof.

Sentencing

A criminal defense lawyer can represent the defendant during the sentencing phase if the criminal defendant is sentenced for the offense, whether he or she accepted a plea deal or was convicted by a judge or jury. He or she may discuss elements that will persuade the judge or jury to shorten the defendant’s sentence and discuss possible alternatives to incarceration.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

What is Criminal Defense?

What is Criminal Defense?

A defense attorney serves as the defendant’s adviser, guardian, and confidant in the complex criminal court system. (At least, that’s how it’s meant to work.) Court-appointed attorneys, who are paid by the government, and private attorneys, who are paid by the defendant, are the two types of defense attorneys.

Some criminal defendants have the financial means to engage a private criminal defense lawyer. The court may appoint counsel to represent criminal defendants who cannot afford an attorney (about 80% of all criminal defendants) (assuming certain qualifications are met). These court-appointed counsel are either government-paid public defenders or so-called “panel attorneys,” who are local attorneys picked from a pool. A small percentage of criminal defendants (about 2%), known as “pro se” or “pro per” defendants, represent themselves in court.

What is the definition of criminal defense law?

Criminal defense law refers to the legal safeguards provided to someone accused of committing a crime. Government prosecutors and law enforcement organizations have a wealth of resources at their disposal. The balance of power within the court system would become tilted in favor of the government if the accused were not adequately protected. As it is, fair treatment for criminal defendants often hinges on the skill of their defense attorney as much as it does on the law’s fundamental protections.

Defense attorneys understand how to employ constitutional provisions to their clients’ benefit. All criminal cases, for example, are based on evidence acquired by the government. Physical evidence, witness accounts, confessions, drug and alcohol tests, and so on are all examples of this. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution (applied to states by the 14th Amendment) prevents the authorities from gathering evidence through excessive searches and seizures. If they do, a defense attorney will request that the evidence be suppressed so that it cannot be utilized at trial.

Many more protections are provided by the Constitution in the sphere of criminal defense law. According to the Fifth Amendment’s “double jeopardy” provision, someone who has been tried and acquitted of a crime cannot be charged with that crime again. Criminal defendants have the right to a public trial and, in many situations, the right to have their guilt or innocence decided by a jury under the Sixth Amendment. It also gives you the right to confront opposing witnesses and use the court’s subpoena power to compel favorable witnesses to appear.

What is the Role of a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Criminal defense lawyers (both private and court-appointed) conduct research, investigate the case against their clients, and attempt to reach agreements with their opponents (prosecutors). Bail may be decreased, charges may be reduced, and sentences may be reduced as part of these agreements. Deal-making has grown in prominence and has become a crucial part in unclogging the criminal justice system as a result of a number of circumstances, including political and public pressure, overcrowded jails, and congested court calendars.

Criminal defense lawyers also interrogate witnesses, assist in the formulation of a plea, analyze the prosecutor’s case, evaluate potential penalties (and the possibility of a specific judge imposing such a penalty), review search and seizure procedures, ask witnesses, and gather evidence. A lawyer for the defense can also advise on the immigration implications of a plea, conviction, or criminal record.

Defense attorneys also give more personalized services by providing a realistic assessment of the likely results and assisting the defendant in dealing with the frustrations and fears that come with being thrown into the criminal court system. Of course, if a plea deal cannot be reached, the defendant is represented at trial by the defense lawyer.

Legal Representation Costs

When it comes to legal representation, the defendant’s financial situation and ability to afford private counsel are critical considerations.

Private criminal defense attorneys bill by the hour (expect to pay $150 or more per hour) or by a fixed or set price. They are not allowed to charge contingency fees, which are payments that are contingent on the case’s outcome. The court may appoint a government-paid public defender or panel attorney if the defendant is poor (unable to pay private counsel).

Some people—but not many—have enough money to hire a lawyer without it being a financial burden. Getting legal representation, on the other hand, is sometimes more difficult for those who fall somewhere in between these two groups.

The bottom line for courts is that once a destitute defendant faces a jail or prison term, the entitlement to free (government-paid) defense counsel generally kicks in. If incarceration is not a possibility—for example, if a judge announces on the record that she will not sentence the defendant to prison—then the defendant may not be entitled to free legal representation (depending on state law).

It’s important to note that the right to free legal representation does not imply the freedom to choose your own lawyer. A defendant who has been appointed counsel usually does not have the same freedom as a paying defendant.

Is Hiring a Private Lawyer Better Than Hiring a Court-Appointed Lawyer?

Defendants may assume that private counsel have an edge over the overburdened public defender’s office or panel attorneys who are paid a low fee. Do private attorneys, on the other hand, provide greater representation than court-appointed, taxpayer-funded defense counsel?

Many private lawyers have previously worked as prosecutors or public defenders. According to research comparing the outcomes of having a private attorney with a court-appointed attorney, the consequences for defendants are generally the same. According to one study, defendants represented by private lawyers and those represented by public defenders had identical conviction and sentencing rates (although those represented by panel attorneys fared worse). Because of confounding issues, such statistical evidence is not always reliable or obvious. Clients represented by private counsel, for example, are more likely to have little or no prior criminal records, but indigent defendants are twice as likely to be repeat offenders. What’s also unknown—and one of the criminal justice system’s biggest unknowns—is whether private attorneys can negotiate better plea offers than court-appointed counsel.

Ultimately, the expertise, talents, and devotion of the individual attorney on hand—whether a public defender, panel attorney, or private lawyer—are the best indicators of the quality of the counsel.

Representation of Oneself (Pro se)

It is undeniable that having a lawyer represent you is virtually always the best option. Despite this, some criminal defendants choose to represent themselves in court. The judge, not the defendant, makes the final judgment on whether or not a defendant can self-represent. The defendant’s competency must be determined by the judge. This is because, even if the defendant is insistent about not accepting the services of a court-appointed attorney, a defendant who cannot provide a competent defense will not be given a fair trial. A judge will examine the following elements while deciding whether a defendant can go pro se:

The gravity of the offence, the defendant’s language abilities and education, whether the defendant understands the nature of the proceedings, and whether the defendant is knowingly waiving his right to counsel are all factors to consider.

Locating a Lawyer

Look for a private defense lawyer that specializes in criminal defense and practices in the jurisdiction (city or county) where the accusations are pending. A local lawyer will be conversant with the local judges and prosecutors. Learn more about things to look for in a private criminal defense attorney in this post.

If you don’t have enough money to hire an attorney, you’ll need to ask for court-appointed counsel (either before or during one of your initial court appearances) and complete out our financial resources form.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Happens if You Get Caught with Coke?

What Happens If You Get Caught with Cocaine

In the United States, it is unlawful to possess cocaine for recreational purposes in any form. Arrest, driver’s license suspension, court fines, obligatory rehabilitation programs, and jail are among the legal and financial consequences of possession.

Cocaine is classed as a category II drug by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Cocaine is a stimulant drug that produces euphoria and is highly addictive. The criminal penalties for possessing and distributing schedule II restricted substances vary by state and are mostly determined by the amount of the substance in a person’s possession at the time of arrest.

State-level criminal sanctions for cocaine differ depending on the amount in a person’s possession, how the substance was obtained, and the demonstrated intent of possession. Misdemeanor charges for little amounts and significant criminal charges for large amounts, intent to distribute, and trafficking are among the penalties. Probation, court penalties, and brief terms of jail are common punishments for misdemeanor offenses. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, felony convictions can result in up to 20 years in jail.

Specific cocaine offenses, such as trafficking, are punished as federal felony offenses under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. These infractions can result in fines ranging from $1 million to $50 million, as well as jail sentences ranging from 20 years to life. Individuals who have been convicted of at least one prior trafficking offense face extra penalties ranging from $2 million to $75 million, as well as concurrent life sentences.

Possession of Cocaine Is Legal

Cocaine has a few medical applications as a Schedule II banned substance. Cocaine’s limited medicinal applications, however, do not include its usage as a prescription medicine. As a result, possessing cocaine for non-medical purposes is prohibited. Furthermore, every state in the United States considers the distribution, manufacturing, trafficking, or any other interaction with cocaine to be a criminal felony.

If you’re caught with cocaine in your possession, you could be charged with a state misdemeanor, felony, or federal felony, all of which carry substantial legal and financial consequences.

Cocaine Quantity Possessed

The amount of cocaine in a person’s possession impacts the categorization and severity of the charges that will be brought against him or her if they are detected. While state-level cocaine possession penalties are based on the amount of cocaine in possession, federal offenses are based on the nature of the criminal act and the individual’s criminal history. Each state has its own set of rules for the use, possession, and punishment of restricted substances. If you have any questions about specific state laws, you should see an attorney.

Prior Criminal Records

The severity of the legal and financial penalties that an individual faces is heavily influenced by their criminal history, as well as the amount of cocaine and intent of possession. For persons with a history of drug-related offenses, the penalties for each charge of possession are harsher than for first-time offenders. Individuals with a history of non-drug-related offenses are likewise susceptible to harsher punishments in possession instances. At the federal level, a person’s criminal past has a compounding effect in cocaine possession prosecutions. A first conviction for any amount of cocaine possession brings a $1,000 minimum fine and up to a year in prison, while a second conviction carries a $2,500 minimum fine and two years in prison.

Court-ordered Rehabilitation

Cocaine-related offenses carry harsh punishments under the law. Individuals can have their charges and punishments reduced or eliminated as part of pretrial intervention programs if they volunteer to participate in and complete court-ordered rehabilitation programs. Drug treatment courts, according to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, are the “…single most successful intervention in our nation’s history for leading people living with substance use and mental health disorders out of the justice system and into lives of recovery and stability.”

Getting Caught With Cocaine In Your System

There are a number of charges associated to the illicit use of cocaine, in addition to the statutory prohibitions on possession, trafficking, and distribution of cocaine. Furthermore, if random drug testing programs identify cocaine usage among people on probation, in pretrial diversion, or in other drug-related situations, they are likely to face far harsher punishments than for the original offense. Cocaine can be detected in people using urine, blood, and hair follicle testing, despite its short half-life of about an hour. Cocaine remains detectable in urine for two to four days after usage, in blood for up to ten days, and in hair follicle tests for up to 90 days.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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