Many people in Phoenix who hear about arrests involving drugs or other illegal substances may often automatically assume that the defendant will receive a harsh sentence. However, it is always important to remember that the defense process can dramatically change the outcome of such a case. The stories of such drug crimes or related situations are often more complex than what is originally known and that can affect the ultimate outcome.
One story in the current media told about a surgeon who faced both drug theft and possession charges. If convicted, the man could have been sentenced to up to two years in jail. However, the defendant recently received a three-year probationary sentence instead. According to the news report, the judge indicated that the man’s lack of a prior record and participation in counseling for substance abuse contributed to the probation ruling as opposed to the requirement of jail time.
The plastic surgeon entered a guilty plea on two counts against him–one as a felony for possession of drug paraphernalia and the other as a misdemeanor for drug theft of medicinal cocaine. He is also able to request that the felony count be changed to a misdemeanor. A cleaning woman allegedly witnessed the theft which took place at a surgical center that shared space with the surgeon’s office. The defendant was not intended to have current access to the surgical center.
This story can be a good illustration and reminder about the importance of a criminal defense. Any person who faces charges for drug crimes, whether illegal or prescription drugs, may want to consult with a private lawyer to learn how to best guard against extreme penalties.
Source: AZFamily.com, “Doctor gets probation in medicinal cocaine theft,” Jacques Billeaud, April 7, 2014