Bentonville Drug Offense Attorney
Defending Against Drug Crime Charges in Rogers, Fayetteville, & Springdale, AR
Drug crimes are serious offenses in Arkansas courts. Convictions can result in steep fines and even life sentences in prison, depending on the severity of the offense. As a result, it is imperative to hire a knowledgeable drug crime attorney. Bertucci Law Firm has represented numerous clients charged with drug-related offenses throughout Bentonville and the surrounding area, and these are the cases we’ve handled most in the past.
Our firm is dedicated to defending clients against harsh accusations and will put our trial experience to use as we fight for your defense in court.
Speak with Bertucci Law Firm by calling (479) 227-2716 or submitting an online contact form. You can count on us to help you if you’ve been accused of delivering drugs, possession drugs with intent to distribute, or regular possession charges. Let’s discuss your case in detail in a free consultation today.
Schedules of Controlled Substances
Arkansas divides illicit controlled substances (CDS) into 6 “schedules,” where Schedule I has the highest likelihood of abuse and no accepted medical use. Some examples of certain drugs in the respective schedules are:
- Schedule I – opiates, hallucinogens
- Schedule II – raw opium, amphetamines
- Schedule III – pentobarbital, anabolic steroids
- Schedule IV – changed tramadol
- Schedule V – pseudoephedrine
- Schedule VI – marijuana, salvia divinorum
Note that there are certain substances like codeine (a common painkiller) that are legal to possess with a valid prescription.
Is It a Felony To Deliver or Sell Drugs in Arkansas?
Yes, it is a felony to deliver or sell drugs in Arkansas. Delivery refers to the transfer or attempts to transfer from one person to another a controlled substance in exchange for money or anything of value, though a completed sales transaction does not need to occur in order to be convicted of this trade.
Possession with intent to deliver is just as punishable under this statute, and a person’s purpose to deliver is based on evidence showing that the accused intended to sell the drugs and not possess them for personal use, such as:
- possessing weight scales and packaging materials;
- having records indicating drug-related transactions;
- being in physical control of a firearm; or
- possessing multiple controlled substances in any amount.
For the purposes of drug crimes, Arkansas divides felonies by severity into 6 offense classes – unclassified, Y, A, B, C, and D – with the most serious felonies being Class Y and the least serious being Class D, and the penalties range from 1 year to 40 years in prison, as well as significant fines.
In certain cases, a few delivery-related crimes may be charged as Class A misdemeanors that carry a maximum sentence of 1 year’s imprisonment.
Arkansas Enhanced Penalties For Drug Crimes
Note that special circumstances may lead to harsher penalties for delivery crimes in Arkansas on top of the standard penalties. For one, the law may order extended terms of imprisonment for repeat offenders who have prior felony convictions, and a judge can decide on a double sentence for defendants with prior drug convictions involving marijuana, hallucinogens, narcotics, depressants, or stimulants.
A controlled substance crime involving delivery to a minor (younger than 18 years old) can also lead to enhanced penalties, including twice the punishment or an additional 10 years of imprisonment.
Protected Areas That Could Enhance Charges
Arkansas law also designates certain protected areas, like schools and public facilities, that could impose enhanced sentencing if an individual commits a drug offense on the premises. For instance, a defendant may be punished by an additional 10 years’ incarceration for delivery of, or possession with a purpose of delivering a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a:
- city or state park
- public or private school, college, or university campus
- school bus stop
- skating rink, Boys Club, Girls Club, YMCA, YWCA, community center, recreation center, or video arcade
- public housing project
- drug or alcohol treatment center
- daycare center
- place of worship
- shelter as defined.
Group criminal activity related to such drug activity will also warrant significantly enhanced penalties. A “continuing criminal enterprise” where a defendant derives substantial income from an enterprise carried out with at least 5 other people and involves the commission of a series of 2 or more felonies is grounds for enhanced sentencing.
This activity is an unclassified felony, where defendants may face a sentence that is twice that of the underlying crime, and a second conviction could lead to incarceration for a period that is three times that of the underlying crime.
Contact Our Bentonville Drug Offense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a drug crime in Bentonville, consult an experienced attorney immediately for advice on your next steps in the legal process. Arkansas takes drug possession and distribution offenses very seriously, so it is advisable to enlist the help of an attorney to better navigate the legal consequences of a charge and champion your defense.
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