Drug possession

Arizona Drug Possession Laws

The drug game is a dangerous one to play, especially in Arizona, where there are some of the nation's strictest drug possession and trafficking laws. If you are arrested for drug possession, it’s in your best interest to understand the laws so that you know what to expect following a charge and how to defend your rights.

Arizona Drug Possession Laws Overview

Arizona drug possession laws and sentencing are complex. The state divides illegal drugs into six categories: marijuana, peyote, prescription drugs, dangerous drugs, narcotic drugs, and substances that emit toxic vapors. Although medical marijuana is legal in Arizona, using it for recreational purposes, possessing, or selling it is considered a crime.

In many cases, a range of sentencing options is possible, including probation and diversion programs. However, this is not the case when the quantity of drugs involved meets or exceeds the “statutory threshold.” In that case, prison time is mandatory.

The threshold amount of each substance that is considered unlawful are as follows:

  • One gram of heroin

  • Nine grams of cocaine

  • Four grams of PCP

  • Nine grams of methamphetamine

  • Nine grams of amphetamine

  • Two pounds of marijuana

Possible Penalties for Drug Possession

Your sentence, if convicted, will depend on at least the following factors:

  • The specific crime or combination of crimes—particularly whether the offense is possession for personal use as it involves intent to sell/actual sale/transportation for sale, etc.

  • Any prior offenses

  • The number of drugs involved

  • Any mitigating or aggravating factors

Dangerous Drug

  • Class 4 felony, if not previously convicted of a felony and the drug was not meth or another type of amphetamine, possible reduction Class 1 misdemeanor

  • Fine of not less than $2000 or 3 times the value of a substance, whichever is greater

  • 0 to 1 year in jail if no priors or up to 3.75 years in prison if prior convictions

Narcotic (cocaine)

  • Class 4 felony, if not previously convicted of a felony, possible reduction Class 1 misdemeanor

  • Fine of not less than $2000 or 3 times the value of a substance, whichever is greater

  • 0 to 1 year in jail if no priors, up to 15 years with 2 prior convictions

Marijuana (less than 2lbs)

  • Class 6 felony if it’s found to be for personal use but can be reduced to a misdemeanor; Class 5 felony if it was personally produced; Class 4 felony if it’s for sale

  • Fine of not less than $2000 or 3 times the value of a substance, whichever is greater

  • 0 to 1 year in jail if no priors, up to 3.75 with prior convictions

Drug Possession Defenses

  • Lack of Knowledge

  • Illegal Search

  • Valid Prescription

  • Religious Purpose

  • Entrapment

Start Your Defense Now

Drug crimes are harshly punished in Arizona, and being found guilty could result in substantial jail time and high fines, among other penalties.

You have the right to an attorney, but the quality, experience, and reputation of your lawyer can make or break a case. Ensure that you are protected by a seasoned trial attorney with extensive experience in criminal court: It could mean the difference between a conviction and your freedom. At Oliverson & Huss Law PLLC, we have one goal in mind: win your case. With more than 40 years of combined experience and time served as a former judge and prosecutors, we have a unique insight into the legal system that will benefit you.

Start your defense now. Call Oliverson & Huss Law PLLC today at (480) 351-2228 to discuss your case.