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Possession Or Use Of A Dangerous Drug in Arizona


Possession or use of a dangerous drug in Arizona is considered a Class 4 felony. It is defined and outlined under §13-3407 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, which prohibits the possession, use, administration, acquisition, sale, manufacture, or transportation of any dangerous drug.

The term “dangerous drug” refers to any narcotic or drug other than marijuana, which is prohibited by ARS §13-3405, and can include prescription medications, hallucinogenic drugs, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, a highly addictive pain killer or antidepressant.

Consequences of Possession or Use of a Dangerous Drug

The possession or use of a dangerous drug is classified as a Class 4 felony in Arizona. However, if it is a first offense and the drug is not methamphetamine or an amphetamine, then the charge may be reduced to a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Under Arizona’s Proposition 200, certain offenders may only face probation for a first offense instead of a prison sentence. However, if probation is violated, then the offender can be taken into custody for 2 – 4 weeks, until the probation is reinstated by a judge and the offender is ordered to be released.

Multiple offenses for possession or use of a dangerous drug will have harsher penalties. A first offense can lead to a prison sentence of up to 3.75 years. A second offense can lead to a prison sentence of up to 7.5 years, whereas a third offense can lead to a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

Threshold Amounts for Dangerous Drugs

The following thresholds have been put in place for different dangerous drugs in Arizona. Possessing any amount of these drugs greater than the thresholds will be considered intent to sale, instead of possession for personal use.

  • 4lbs of marijuana
  • 9 grams of methamphertamine
  • 9 grams of cocaine in powder form
  • 3/4 grams crack cocaine
  • 1 gram of heroin
  • 1/2 milliliter or 50 units of LSD in bottler for
  • 4 grams of PCP

Possession of Drugs for sale carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence, even for a first offense. A first offense below threshold can lead to 1 year – 12.5 years of incarceration, whereas a first offense above threshold can lead to mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years up to 12.5 years.

Repeat convictions for possession of drugs for sale can carry up to 25 years in prison.

Defending a Possession or Use of a Dangerous Drug Charge

A first or second offense of possession or use of a dangerous drug usually results in the punishment of probation. However, repeat offenses can lead to a prison sentence. Getting proper legal representation is important in these cases to have the punishments and sentencing reduced. The defendant can also plead guilty to a misdemeanor in most Drug Possession cases and have the prison sentence reduced to probation instead. However, violation of their probation can result in other penalties, including jail time, group counseling, drug and alcohol abuse education class, regular chemical testing, as well as fines ranging between $2,000 – $2,500.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing a possession or use of a dangerous drug charge in Arizona, you need to contact an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney right away. Without proper counsel, you can be looking at life-long consequences. Call the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor Drug Lawyers at (602) 307-0808 to schedule a free initial consultation and get the aggressive defense you need in these cases.

Author Bio:

The Law Office of Paul S. Geller is committed to provide aggressive and uncompromising DUI & Criminal defense representation throughout Los Angeles.


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