Janet Altschuler
Criminal Defense Attorney
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Nine Tucson residents charged with drug crimes

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, nine men and women from Tucson have been indicted on serious drug charges for attempting to possess and conspiring to possess illegal drugs. The case is in its early stages and the individuals have yet to be convicted of the charges.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says the charged individuals broke the law when they attempted to steal a large quantity of marijuana. The marijuana they allegedly tried to steal was located in a tractor-trailer that was being monitored by FBI agents, according to the charges. Details of the surveillance operations have not yet been reported.

A conviction for these charges carries extremely serious consequences, including up to 40 years of prison time and several million dollars in fines. In addition, if convicted of the drug charges, the future employment prospects of the nine Tucson residents would undoubtedly be affected.

As with any criminal defense case, defendants in drug cases can seek to reduce their charges or attempt to have their charges dismissed by fighting them. There are several defenses applicable to drug charges and the law provides criminal defendants with the right to legal representation. In addition, a diversion program may allow an eligible charged individual to walk away without a criminal record in particular circumstances.

The penalties associated with drug-related charges vary dramatically depending upon the type and quantity of drug or drugs involved. A thorough defense to any drug charge requires a concrete understanding of the criminal justice system, the charges brought and the options available.

Source: Arizona Daily Star, "9 Tucsonans indicted in drug-theft attempt," Veronica M. Cruz, June 13, 2012.

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