Due to our nation's current opioid epidemic, it may seem like more people than ever are being charged with drug crimes involving unlawfully obtained prescription painkillers, heroin and more. The penalties one would face if convicted of possessing, manufacturing or trafficking illegal drugs in Arizona varies depending on the type and amount of drugs at issue.
It can be very intimidating to be charged with a drug crime. Sometimes those charged with a drug crime have never committed any other crime in the past. They may think that the cards are stacked against them, particularly if the prosecution seems to have an airtight case. However, there are some defense arguments one might use when facing drug charges.
One defense is lack of knowledge. It is possible that a person did not know the substances at issue were illegal drugs. In addition, whether or not the search and seizure were lawful is another possible defense. When it comes to prescription drugs, one could argue that they had a legal, valid prescription for these drugs. In certain cases, one might be able to claim that they had a religious purpose for possessing these drugs. Finally, one might be able to argue that they were arrested due to police entrapment, although this defense can be very difficult to prove.
Whether any of these defenses are available depends on the facts of a person's unique case. The defenses that apply to one case may not apply to another. It is important to understand what defenses are available to you. This way, you can build a solid defense strategy to counter the charges you face.