Phoenix has been identified by national and local law enforcement as one of the main distribution centers for drugs that enter the United States from Mexico. In recent years, the government has cracked down on drug trafficking in Arizona and has organized drug task force units comprised of state and federal agents.
In many cases, federal drug trafficking will also involve:
- Drug possession
- Possession with intent
- Drug distribution
- Drug sales
- Money laundering
- RICO charges
You must seek the help of a knowledgeable attorney if you have been arrested for drug trafficking in Phoenix.
Drug trafficking describes the criminal activity of illegally transporting an unlawful substance or narcotic, especially when the amount of drugs in question is too large for one person to use recreationally. The drugs can be transported for sale, import, storage, or any other purpose in the lens of drug trafficking. Furthermore, drugs can be trafficked in various ways, such as being transported in a motor vehicle or a backpack.
Drug possession is the drug crime of keeping drugs in your sole possession and for your personal use. Suppose those drugs are moved from one location to another, especially if there is a quantity that is unfit for one person’s personal use. In that case, the drug possession charge can be changed or escalated to drug trafficking. Not sure what charges you are facing? Call (602) 842-6762 now to talk with our Phoenix drug trafficking defense lawyers.
According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the most commonly trafficked drugs in the country are:
- Cocaine (powdered)
- Cocaine (crack)
With drug trafficking cases, you could be facing harsh punishment at both the state and federal levels. The penalties may vary based on the type of substance, amount, and if other laws were violated in the process (such as money laundering).
In addition to increased drug crime awareness, mandatory minimum sentences have increased as well. For a first-time offense, defendants face anywhere from 4 to 10 years in prison. Meth-related crimes can bring 5, 10, or even 15 years in prison for a first-time trafficking offense.
You could face years or decades in prison and fines as high as $500,000 for the harshest offenses. In most cases, you may also have a felony conviction that results in losing employment opportunities and your right to bear arms, vote, and more.
If something doesn’t seem right, there’s a very good chance that the government is watching you. In drug trafficking cases, it often turns out that the accused was under surveillance for months before he or she was eventually arrested.
Federal agencies like the DEA watch potential defendants through various means, such as wiretapping and undercover agents. The government also works with confidential informants to gather information and evidence against suspected criminals.
The Phoenix drug crime lawyers at Suzuki Law Offices can ensure that your rights and freedom are always protected.
If DEA agents or local law enforcement ask to speak with you:
- Get a lawyer’s advice first. You can speak with an attorney if you are being questioned.
- Do not consent to a search. Unless the agents have a warrant, you can refuse to consent to a search in most circumstances.
- Do not submit to questioning with investigators; officers already believe you committed the crime and are merely looking for additional evidence to secure your conviction.
When it comes to defending a drug trafficking charge, hiring a criminal defense attorney is highly recommended, including by the prosecution. When you work with our law firm, we can fight to ensure that your rights as a criminally accused defendant are upheld throughout any investigation or trial. Thanks to our experience and knowledge of drug-related cases, we can navigate the criminal justice system to find a favorable outcome for you.
Our role will be to build you the strongest case possibly by:
- Thoroughly researching relevant laws and precedents.
- Collecting, reviewing, and using evidence.
- Interviewing witnesses.
- Ensuring you don’t miss any deadlines or case requirements.
Moreover, our defense attorneys can also assist you by negotiating plea bargains or sentence modifications with prosecutors and determining if any evidence used against you was obtained through unconstitutional means. We can also advise you on issues such as bail and how long a trial may potentially last.
Here are some of the possible defenses for drug trafficking in Arizona:
- Wiretap violations
- Witness Credibility
- Police Officer Credibility
- Lack of Evidence of intent to sell
- Challenging drug lab results
- Challenging chain of custody
These are merely a few defenses that your drug trafficking attorney may use to win your case. Contact our Phoenix drug trafficking lawyer for a FREE consultation.
Having an attorney on your side with direct experience as a prosecutor can be a deciding factor in the outcome of your case. There is no substitute for federal court experience when you are facing felony prosecution in U.S. District Court. Our lead attorney, Richard Suzuki, is a former federal prosecutor / Assistant United States Attorney who can apply these insights to your case. If you have been arrested, indicted or targeted in an investigation, contact Suzuki Law Offices
Case Highlight: Our client was allegedly caught with 162 lbs. of marijuana, firearms, and drug paraphernalia. Under Arizona’s sentencing guidelines, the client was facing 4 to 10 years in prison. Attorney Richard Suzuki took the case to trial and the client was found not guilty on all five counts (C.R. 2010-111266-002).
Federal drug trafficking charges often come as a result of intense investigations and months or years of planning by different government agencies. The DEA, ATF, and FBI often coordinate with state and local authorities. Hundreds of man hours go into building a case. Because we know how the feds think and are familiar with federal court procedures inside and out, we can help you fight a conviction or limit the adverse impact on your life. We know how to attack serious Phoenix drug charges.
At Suzuki Law Offices, our Phoenix drug trafficking attorneys do everything in our power to reduce the consequences of a drug trafficking arrest. We can work with you to help you achieve the best possible results in these serious matters.
If you are under investigation or have been charged with drug trafficking, you must seek the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you aren’t sure if charges will be filed, it is better to be careful and get legal advice. At Suzuki Law Offices, we can help you understand your rights.
What should I do if I have been charged with drug trafficking?
If you have been charged with drug trafficking, you should speak to a defense attorney as soon as possible. A qualified drug trafficking defense lawyer can provide guidance and advice on the best course of action for your case. You should also use your right to remain silent when in police custody by requesting to have your attorney present during any questioning.
Can I be charged with drug trafficking even if I did not physically transport drugs?
You can be charged with drug trafficking if law enforcement and investigators have plausible reasons to believe that the drugs in question had been or were going to be transported. They do not need to see you physically transporting the drugs to bring these charges in most cases. For example, if someone is arrested after several pounds of marijuana are found in the trunk of their parked car, then drug trafficking charges will be likely.
How do drug trafficking charges differ between state and federal law?
Drug trafficking charges can vary between state-level and federal-level laws. Typically, federal laws will only apply when the criminal suspect has been accused of trafficking large amounts of narcotics, certain types of narcotics, or any amount of narcotics across state or international borders. Also, federal charges are more likely to exact harsher sentencing requirements if convicted, like years in prison and significant fines.
What are the potential immigration consequences of a drug trafficking conviction?
A drug trafficking conviction can impact all corners of your life, including your immigration status. The immigration court can decide to start the deportation process against you following the conviction of certain felonies. If you are an immigrant and have been charged with drug trafficking, then you should talk to a criminal defense lawyer and an immigration attorney.