Penalties & Risks of Manufacturing Dangerous Drugs in Phoenix, AZ

by Aaron Black • February 21, 2019
Jail time, fines and more for manufacturing drugsArizona is tough on drug related crimes, and manufacturing dangerous drugs is considered by Phoenix lawmakers as a nefarious act because of the danger in making the drugs and placing others in harm’s way of potential death and health issues.

A conviction of manufacturing dangerous drugs is a life-changing event meaning harsh penalties including prison and hefty fines. A felony criminal record can dog you for the rest of your life making it difficult to get and keep a job resulting in financial ruin, loss of the right to vote, loss of the right to possess a firearm, an inability to enter college, and even the ability to rent a place to live.

Illicit drugs are streaming into Arizona and across the nation from China and Mexico and many times by mail coming through Canada. The establishing picture of the apartment building fictitiously occupied by television’s Seinfeld character Elaine was used in real life as a fentanyl stash house by a Sinaloa drug cartel lynchpin.

And remember that rock star Prince died from an over dose of fentanyl in April 2016.

Arizona’s dangerous drug manufacturing and related statutes

Arizona’s manufacture of dangerous drugs law, A.R.S. 13-3407, makes illegal the possession, use, administration, acquisition, sale, manufacture or transportation of dangerous drugs.

A.R.S. 13.3407(A) (3) outlaws possessing equipment and or chemicals for manufacturing a dangerous drug. This is a class 3 felony. But if the crime involved methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, a more serious class 2 felony can be charged.

Subsection (A) (4) specifies manufacturing a dangerous drug. Violation of this subsection is a class 2 felony.

Other subsections make it illegal to administer a dangerous drug to someone, procure a dangerous drug by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge as well as transport for sale, import into Arizona, or offer to transport for sale or import, or transfer or offer to sell or transfer a dangerous drug.

To earn a conviction the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the chemicals and or equipment necessary for manufacturing dangerous drugs and intended to use them to produce a dangerous drug.

Common dangerous drugs and equipment

Arizona considers methamphetamine (meth), pain killers, some antidepressants, cocaine, ecstasy and prescription narcotics as dangerous.

Manufacturing dangerous drugs requires a smorgasbord of chemicals including ammonia and acetone and equipment such as propane tanks used for barbeques, glass or ceramic containers, hoses and clamps, duct tape, thermos bottles for cold storage, and respiratory masks and rubber gloves.

Drug manufacturing risks

Manufacturing dangerous drugs if investigated or charged means entry into law enforcement and court systems. But those who manufacture dangerous drugs secretly in second bedrooms, basements, and enclosed suites in industrial parks run far greater risks – deadly fires and explosions.

Many of those who manufacture dangerous drugs are not trained in the process using hazardous chemicals that emit toxic fumes. It doesn’t take much, such as a pilot light or lighting a cigarette in such an environment, to ignite the fumes hurting the “cook” as well as any visitors and perhaps neighbors. Also cleaning up the mess is expensive and uses public funds. Environmentally, a pound a meth generates between five and seven pounds of toxic waste, reports the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Incidents in meth labs have increased dramatically as the drug has gained in popularity. In 2014 there were 9,338 meth incidents in the United States, reports DrugAbuse.com. In Arizona, eight or nine meth labs are discovered every year, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Importance of prompt legal representation

If you’re under investigation for this felony or have been arrested the risks you’ll be facing are great. You’ll need a veteran criminal defense attorney experienced in this area of law as early as possible.

If you’re under investigation it’s best to let the authorities do their work but you don’t have to help them. And you shouldn’t. That’s your constitutional right, to remain silent. Just be civil when you invoke your right against self-incrimination and ask to speak with an attorney.

Legal representation includes an independent investigation to develop mitigating factors and evidence that the authorities didn’t find, didn’t recognize, or ignored.

The investigation invcludes the following:
  • Scrutinizing the state’s evidence
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Additional steps in building the best defense possible and establishing reasonable doubt that you’re guilty
If the government has a solid case against you, the defense attorney can negotiate a plea agreement to reduce the seriousness of the charge and decrease the sentence allowed by law in return for your guilty plea. This is a common practice in criminal law. It’s used to shrink the case loads of courts and save the expense of a trial. However, it’s your decision alone whether to enter into a plea agreement or not.

Defenses to manufacturing dangerous drugs

These are common defenses available under law depending upon the circumstances and conduct of the case against you.
  • Lack of knowledge that dangerous drugs were being manufactured.
     
  • Authorities conducted an illegal search for evidence or illegally seized the evidence.
     
  • Authorities failed to advise you of your Miranda rights to remain silent, that anything you say can and will be used against you, that you have the right to an attorney and if you can’t afford one an attorney will be appointed to represent you.
     
  • Entrapment, meaning that authorities in some way pressured you into committing a criminal offense that you would not have done acting on your own volition without the interference of the authorities.
     
  • Someone falsely accused you of manufacturing dangerous drugs for a reason of their own making.

Free Legal Consultation

If you or a loved one is in trouble because of allegedly manufacturing dangerous drugs I encourage you to promptly take advantage of free my legal consultation by phone.

I can explain the law in your particular situation, the legal proceedings involved, and evaluate your case and your options without charge or any obligation to hire me.

Protect your legal rights by calling 480-729-1683 or contacting Phoenix, AZ criminal defense attorney Aaron Black.