What are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Arizona?

According to Arizona you cannot knowingly possess or use illegal drugs. If an officer discovers you under the influence, or with drugs on or near you, you will be charged with felony drug possession.
Drug possession penalties in Arizona mainly depend on the type of substance you have, your earlier criminal history, and if you’re being charged for personal-use, simple possession, or possession with intent to sell.

Potential Penalties

Dangerous Drug – This is a class 4 felony, if you weren’t previously convicted of a felony and the drug was not meth or another type of amphetamine, then you can have a possible reduction to Class 1 misdemeanor. You’ll have to pay a fine not less than $2000 or three times the value of the substance (whichever is greater). You can spend 0 to 1 year in jail if you previously weren’t convicted, or you can spend up to 3.75 years in prison if you have prior convictions.

Narcotic (cocaine) – Another class 4 felony if you weren’t previously convicted of a felony, with a possible reduction to Class 1 misdemeanor. Your fine won’t be lower than $2000 or 3 times the value of substance (whichever is higher). If this is your first conviction, you can spend 0 to 1 year in and up to 15 years with 2 prior convictions.

Marijuana (less than 2lbs) – This is a class 6 felony if it’s found to be for your personal use. It can be reduced to a misdemeanor; Class 5 felony if it was personally produced and Class 4 felony if it’s for sale. You’ll pay a fine not lower than $2000 or 3 times the value of a substance, whichever is greater. Jailtime is 0 to 1 year if you have no priors, or up to 3.75 with prior convictions.

Classification of Drugs in Arizona

According to the state law illegal drugs are divided into six categories: marijuana, peyote, prescription drugs, dangerous drugs, narcotic drugs, and substances that emit toxic vapors. Medical marijuana is legal in the state, the recreational use, possession with intent to sell, and the non-medical cultivation of marijuana are still crimes.

There are “threshold levels” for CDS, if met, create a presumption of sales. This exposes you to a mandatory prison even without further evidence of sales, even if you don’t have a prior criminal history. “Threshold amount” is defined by the law as a weight, market value, or another form of measurement of an unlawful substance as follows:

  • 1 gram of heroin
  • 9 grams of cocaine
  • 4 grams or 50 milliliters of PCP
  • 9 grams of methamphetamine, including methamphetamine in liquid suspension
  • 9 grams of amphetamine, including amphetamine in liquid suspension.
  • 2 pounds of marijuana

If you were arrested for owning any of the upper mentioned drugs, no matter if you were using them or had the intention to sell them, make sure you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney. You’re risking to face harsh penalties even if you don’t have previous criminal charges.

Our team is here to help you. Allow us to review your case and prepare your defense. Call us today.