Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes, the willful possession of a dangerous drug, classified as any prescription narcotic or other drug, other than marijuana, has serious legal implications for those who are accused. Specifically speaking, methamphetamine possession within the Grand Canyon State can result in significant jail time, fines, and the suspension of any professional licenses that the accused may hold upon conviction.
According to the provisions of A.R.S. §13-3407, these penalties can either be mitigated or enhanced based on extenuating circumstances. These circumstances can include such factors as: prior criminal convictions, amount of drug in possession, first time or repeat drug offender, or whether the possession is for personal use versus sale, and other mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
Possession of methamphetamines is a Class 4 felony in Arizona however; the charge escalates to a Class 2 felony when the amount in possession exceeds the allowable threshold amount of nine grams. At the nine gram mark, the presumption becomes that the amount is too large for personal use, and probably represents salable amounts.
Once past that threshold amount, penalties increase dramatically, and the accused forfeits the ability to participate in drug diversion programs or probation if convicted. Otherwise, first time drug offenders are eligible for deferred prosecution.
Under this program, the convicted serves a period of probation, which when completed leads to the possession charges being dropped. Typically, under the terms of probation, the accused is expected to maintain employment, participate in drug therapy, is subject to random testing, and remaining arrest free. Conversely, should the offender violate the terms of their probation, they are at risk of being prosecuted in the future, and serving the jail time they were hoping to avoid.
For first offenses, those convicted are eligible to receive 45 month terms, while second offenses can garner up to a 90 month prison term. Third offenses can see the convicted serving up to 15 years of prison times. Additionally, the court can order fines, fees, and assessment costs while mandating post-release parole or probation. Finally, as a result of a methamphetamine conviction, the convicted loses their right to bear arms and will forever carry the stigma of being a convicted felon.
In response to the uptick in illicit meth labs, A.R.S. §13-3404.01 criminalized the possession of the chemicals needed for the production of methamphetamines. Possession of the precursor chemicals and the equipment used to manufacture methamphetamines, are treated as a Class 2 felony and subject to incarceration of up to seven years.
If you have been charged with possession and would like to speak with a drug defense lawyer, please give us a call to schedule a free consultation at (602) 307-0808. You can also send us a confidential email too.