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Drug Charges Information Center

Arizona State and Federal Drug Charges

If you're facing drug-related charges in state or federal court — you need an experienced lawyer and a defense that won't rest.  At the Law Office of Sean C. Chapman, you'll find just that.  A conviction on a drug charge, any drug charge, will affect your life for a very long time — even if the crime you've been charged with doesn't require a mandatory minimum sentence.

At the Law Office of Sean C. Chapman, our attorney represents individuals who've been charged with drug crimes in the Tucson area and throughout Arizona as a whole, including the City of Phoenix. Our firm also handles federal cases nationwide. Here, you'll find the experienced legal representation and aggressive defense you need.  For specific information on defense lawyer Sean C. Chapman's practice, see the State Drug Offenses or Federal Drug Charge sections of this Web site.

The Topical Questions & Answers article below provides a broad overview of the legal issues associated with drug cases.

Frequently Asked Questions and Topics

T: Drug Crimes – An Overview

A: Drug crimes cover a broad range of offenses involving controlled substances, from possession and sale to manufacture and distribution. These crimes involve violations of federal or state law, or both. Depending on the particular circumstances of a case, these offenses can result in a broad range of potential criminal and administrative consequences, including probation, prison, property forfeiture and participation in a court-ordered drug treatment program.

Though more severe charges typically result in harsher penalties, even less serious charges, such as possession of a small amount of a controlled substance, may have severe consequences, especially if prior convictions, firearms, activity near protected zones (e.g., schools and parks), or minors are involved. If you have been charged with a drug crime, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney from Law Offices of Sean C. Chapman, P.C. in Tucson, Arizona to discuss your legal options. Read More »

Q: What are the common legal challenges raised in drug cases?

A: The most common challenges in drug cases relate to how the evidence was obtained. If the police violated the defendant's Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights or Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, the court will suppress the drugs or statements as being unlawfully obtained. Without this evidence, the prosecution may not be able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and the case may be dismissed as a result.

Q: How is drug court different from regular criminal court?

A: Drug courts combine criminal justice and medical treatment models to deal with drug crimes. They recognize that incarceration may not be the most effective method for breaking the cycle of drug addiction and crime, especially for first-time and low-level offenders. Drug courts emphasize a cooperative approach between the prosecutor, defendant and court, and they favor rehabilitation over jail. Successful completion of drug court programs can result in reduced charges or sentences, or dismissal of charges altogether.  Read More »

The serious consequences that can result from drug charges require immediate intervention from a criminal defense attorney who knows how to protect your rights and negotiate the best possible result according to the facts and applicable law. Don't delay. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney.

T: Federal Drug Crimes

A: The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, also known as the Controlled Substances Act, classifies narcotics, marijuana and other drugs into five categories, or Schedules. Besides establishing requirements relating to manufacture and distribution of drugs, the law also defines penalties for violations of the Act. Depending on the nature and quantity of the substance involved, as well as the presence of sentence-enhancing factors, the criminal penalties can be severe. If you are facing federal drug charges, consult with an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney at our firm for advice on the law, your rights and how to proceed. Read More »

T: Searches and Seizures in Drug Cases

A: The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. Particularly in drug cases, the legality of how law enforcement officials obtained the evidence used to support the State's case is a central and often-challenged issue. If the government's conduct violated the Fourth Amendment, the evidence is deemed inadmissible. Without the necessary evidence to prove the criminal charges, the State may have to dismiss its case against a defendant. If you have been charged with a drug crime, an experienced criminal defense attorney at our firm can advise you whether the evidence leading the charge may have resulted from an illegal search or seizure. Read More »

T: Criminal and Civil Forfeiture

A: Forfeiture is the government seizure of property connected to illegal activity. Utilized by the federal and state law enforcement in the ongoing “war on drugs,” the practice has not been without controversy. Law enforcement has asserted that it is a necessary and effective deterrent to drug crime, while opponents argue that existing procedural safeguards result in too many innocent parties having their property taken away, with little or no recourse for recovery. If your property or assets have been the subject of a criminal or civil forfeiture, it is important to consult with an experienced forfeiture defense attorney to understand your rights and options. Read More »

T: Alternatives to Incarceration in Drug Cases

A: Since the late 1980s, there has been a dramatic shift in the approach of the American justice system toward drug crimes. Drug courts, which operate or are being planned in all 50 states, offer an alternative to traditional incarceration. By providing a structure that emphasizes substance abuse treatment and on-going supervision, drug courts aim to rehabilitate and reduce repeat offenses. Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney at our firm to learn the range of alternatives to jail that may be available to you. Read More »

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