Whether in the Phoenix area, or anywhere in Arizona, Acquisition of a Narcotic Drug or Marijuana, per A.R.S. 13-3408 (A)(6), occurs when a narcotic drug is obtained by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge. We normally see this case when there is a claim that a prescription was forged in order to obtain a narcotic drug.
More recently we see this in relation to forged medical marijuana cards. It is not uncommon for this charge to be cited along with Identity Theft as an individual poses as a different person in order to secure a prescription of a narcotic drug/marijuana.
Possible Punishment for Acquisition of a Narcotic Drug/Marijuana
If the drug being sold is one of the narcotic or dangerous drugs that qualifies as a Class 4 felony, then that will be the level of felony that the Acquisition charge will be placed at. If the drug is one that falls under a 6, such as marijuana in flower form then it will match the designation of a 6 in the actual charge. Class 4 felonies carry a presumptive prison term of 2.5 years. The super-mitigated term is 1 year in prison, and the super-aggravated term is 3.75 years in prison or, the judge can sentence an individual to probation, which includes a jail term of anywhere from zero days in jail up to 1 year in jail.
If charged as a Class 6 felony, such as for flower marijuana, then the presumptive term in prison is 1 year, with a super-mitigated term being 4 months in prison, and the super-aggravated term being 2 years in prison. Again, the judge can determine that a probation sentence is warranted and sentence a person to probation with anywhere from zero days in jail up to 1 year in jail. Keep in mind, prison is day-for-day in custody, whereas jail time may be allowed to be served with work release or work furlough. Thereby allowing a person to be released 12 hours a day for 5 or 6 days during the week in order to attend work, school, or both.
Possible Defenses for Acquisition of a Narcotic Drug/Marijuana
One of the most common defenses we utilize when defending Acquisition of a Narcotic Drug /Marijuana is that the prescription was not forged by you. Many times we see prescriptions were given to a person under false pretenses. For example, a so-called “internet doctor” provides prescriptions when not licensed to do so. Sometimes, we’ve even seen situations in which a roommate claims they secured the script for the defendant, in order to “share” some of the drugs when they obtain them. Another possible defense is that of a “bad search warrant.” Many times, the police will need to obtain a search warrant in order to get the unused drug or prescription bottle which may be in your possession. If the “Affidavit” provided by the detective is deficient as to probable cause related directly to you, then we can suppress all of the evidence. It is important to have a skilled defense attorney who knows how to properly defend these charges.
Additionally, because our law firm fights convictions from all angles, we would assert a wide range of defenses and challenges regarding constitutional violations which can apply in all criminal cases. The possibilities are numerous and diverse. One of those we frequently assert is a “Miranda Rights Violation.” In Arizona, the standard of whether any incriminating statement, (i.e., a statement which intends to admit guilt) is only admissible into evidence based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or an inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read your Miranda rights, we can then suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements. In addition, “Denial of Right to Counsel,” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but is denied that request and the questioning continues.
Other defenses which can be used in more serious cases may include challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case. Depending on what else you have been charged with, this could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, urine testing; finger-print analysis; DNA testing; ballistics; gun-shot residue testing; computer analysis/cloning hard-drive procedures; forensic and financial accounting reviews; etc.
Lastly, one of the most common defense tactics is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which includes everything from misstatements, false statements and flawed photo lineups to witness identification procedures and inaccurate crime-scene reconstruction.
It is important to hire the right Acquisition of a Narcotic Drug/Marijuana defense attorney in order to have your charges reduced or dismissed. DM Cantor has handled numerous cases of this type and we have a very high success rate. Visit our case victory pages in order to view our Acquisition of a Narcotic Drug/Marijuana victories pages.