If you need a drug possession lawyer in Arizona for a methamphetamine legal complication, it’s a good idea to understand some sentencing statistics and ethics. You should also be aware of the different forms and effects different varieties of street meth have. It’s the specific type methamphetamine in question that can lead to someone seeking the services of a drug possession lawyer to wind up with a much stiffer penalty than they actually deserved.
A look at the Statistics
The US Sentencing Commission reported more than 72,000 guideline offenses in 2006. About a third of those involved drug trafficking, and meth was the primary substance in more than 5,000 cases. It can safely be said that methamphetamine was also a factor in over 1,300 cases involving multiple types of drugs. Do the math, and you’ll find that methamphetamine were the subject of least 21% of all drug trafficking offenses, and 8% all guideline cases in 2006. Methamphetamine users often find themselves in need of a drug possession lawyer in Arizona.
How does Methamphetamine affect the User?
Methamphetamine is a synthetic controlled substance, a white, odorless, crystalline powder primarily consumed by snorting, smoking or injected intravenously. It goes by the names of crank, speed, chicken feed, crystal, glass ice, and strawberry quick. It’s a highly addictive substance that affects the central nervous system. It affects the neurotransmission release of dopamine, and also prevents the reuptake of excessive dopamine. Combined with a string of adverse psychological and physical effects, meth deforms and kills brain cells. Besides the related issues that could involve a drug possession lawyer, methamphetamine poses serious risks to your health.
Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Ask any drug possession lawyer. When it comes to methamphetamines, the prosecutor need only prove the existence of methamphetamine. She doesn’t need to prove what type was used. However, the type of methamphetamine can have drastic effects on the sentencing imposed. Federal guidelines classify methamphetamines into 3 types: ice, which has 80% purity; actual methamphetamine, which refers to the weight of the meth itself, contained in the mixture or substance or methamphetamine, which is a substance that contains methamphetamines.
The government bears the burden of proving what type of methamphetamine was found on a client of a drug possession lawyer. It must be more than just a descriptive effort, but a quantified, lab-performed test that justifies the stiffer penalties of higher classified substances.
What does it mean when the government imposes sentencing according to type? If meth is determined to be ice, the entire weight of the meth and remaining substances are used to determine the offense level, therefore punishing at a 10 to 1 rate in relation to a simple mixture containing methamphetamine. If the meth is treated simply as part of the mixture, it’s the entire weight that is used to classify the severity of the offense.
A drug possession lawyer can advise you on your rights when it comes to the determination of what type you were caught with. Though the categorization falls on seemingly minute factors, the type of meth found will have a very significant impact on your sentencing. The classification process may provide legal leverage of your attorney can argue that the sentencing overwhelms the nature of the offense.
About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona drug possession lawyer, call our offices at (602) 307-0808 to schedule a free consultation with a drug defense lawyer.