Drug Crimes

Mesa Drug Crimes Attorney

Responsive and Results-Driven Representation Practicing for 30+ Years

Attorney Phil Hine is a responsive and results-driven attorney who has been representing clients for over 30 years. He is a hardworking legal professional who digs deep into the most minute details of every case to strategize an effective defense for you and exert pressure on the prosecution to attempt a favorable outcome on your behalf. Especially when you are facing drug-related charges, you will need a steadfast and dedicated trial attorney to champion your Mesa defense.

Illegal Drug Classifications in Mesa

In Arizona, controlled substances (CDS) are categorized into 6 individual groups:

  • peyote;
  • substances that emit toxic vapors;
  • marijuana;
  • prescription-only drugs;
  • dangerous drugs; and
  • narcotic drugs.

Note that medical marijuana is legal in Arizona, but recreational use, possession with intent to sell, and non-medical cultivation of marijuana are serious crimes punishable by law. To determine if possession constitutes an unlawful presumption of sale, Arizona law measures the drugs in possession against the following “threshold levels”:

  • 1 gram of heroin;
  • 9 grams of cocaine;
  • 4 grams or 50 milliliters of PCP;
  • 9 grams of methamphetamine;
  • 9 grams of amphetamine;
  • 2 pounds of marijuana.

Some CDS, such as codeine, which is a common painkiller, may be possessed legally if the person has a valid prescription. The classification of the drug and the amount in possession will largely determine an individual’s penalties upon possession.

Misdemeanor and Felony Sentencing

Arizona will penalize drug crimes as either felonies or misdemeanors. At the felony level, CDS possession can fall be either a Class 4, Class 5, or Class 6 felony. On the other hand, most misdemeanor possession of CDS will be a Class 1 misdemeanor.

State law sets out specific terms of sentencing for each of the six categories of illegal possession. Beginning with peyote, possession is a Class 6 felony punishable by 4 months to 2 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines. The defendant may be able to argue for mitigated or dismissed charges if they can prove that the peyote was used for a reasonable purpose, such as for a religious reason during a religious proceeding, and did not pose a threat to the community.

The possession or intake of any substance that contains or emits toxic vapors (e.g., glues, aerosol sprays, and isopropyl alcohol) is a Class 5 felony punishable by 6 months to 2.5 years in jail and up to $150,000 in fines. However, the offense can be reduced to a Class 1 misdemeanor in certain circumstances, carrying a 6-month jail term and up to $2,500 in fines.

The penalties and sentencing for marijuana are more nuanced and vary between the felony and misdemeanor levels depending on the nature and amount of possession. Possession of less than 2lbs of marijuana can be a:

  • Class 6 felony for personal use (but may be reduced to a misdemeanor);
  • Class 5 felony if personally produced;
  • Class 4 felony if intended for sale.

Possession of 2-4lbs of marijuana can be charged as a Class 5 felony, and possession of more than 4lbs is a Class 4 felony.

If a person has been charged with possession of a dangerous drug, they will likely face Class 4 felony penalties of at least $2,000 in fines (or 3 times the value of the substance, whichever is greater) and up to 1 year in jail if they have no prior convictions or up to 3.75 years in prison if they do have priors. It is possible to reduce the charge to a Class 1 misdemeanor if the individual was not previously convicted of a felony and the drug was not meth or an amphetamine.

Similarly, the consequences of possessing a narcotic like cocaine, a Class 4 felony, is a fine of either $2,000 or 3 times the value of the substance, whichever is greater, and up to 1 year in jail if the defendant has no prior convictions or up to 15 years if they have 2 priors. As with possession of a dangerous drug, it is possible to reduce these felony charges to a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Let a Mesa Attorney Defend You

If you are facing drug-related charges in Mesa, Arizona, contact a drug crimes lawyer immediately to get started on your defense. The consequences for a drug conviction could have long-lasting impacts on your life, such as years of your life in jail you can never get back. As a result, it is imperative that you enlist the help of an experienced professional like Attorney Phil Hineman, who has been defending clients for over 30 years.

Let the Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. defend you against harsh drug charges in Mesa, AZ. Schedule a free consultation with the firm online or at (928) 224-3230 today.

  • He aggressively, but tactfully, fought for my voice to be heard in court and he went the extra mile.

    “My experience was very positive and I found him and his associates to be well-prepared and knowledgeable.”

    - David K.
  • I highly recommend them if you need to file bankruptcy.

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    - Bob R.
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  • If you're in trouble, do not hesitate to call on Mr. Hineman's help.

    “Phil Hineman's a good lawyer. He helped me in my case, lowered my punishment by the judge, and got rid of a few charges like how I asked. If you're in trouble, do not hesitate to call on Mr. Hineman's ...”

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  • If you want a fantastic lawyer, Mr. Hienman is your man.

    “Mr. Hienman is the most understanding lawyer I have ever met. I prayed for Mr. Hienman to call me without even knowing him or meeting him.”

    - Belinda G.
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