Drug Possession

Drug possession in Arizona is a very common criminal charge. In Arizona, the severity of a drug possession offense will depend heavily on the circumstances of the case. Although all drug possession charges are serious, they can be extremely serious under certain circumstances. Possession for personal use, for example, will be treated differently than possession for sale or distribution.

Arizona classifies controlled dangerous substances into six different groups: (1) peyote, (2) marijuana, (3) prescription drugs, (4) dangerous drugs, (5) narcotic drugs, and (6) substances emitting toxic vapors.

Personal use charges for marijuana are common. Under A.R.S. §13-3405(A)(1) “a person shall not knowingly possess or use marijuana.” Possession for personal use of marijuana is punished depending on the amount of marijuana possessed. Possession of less than 2 pounds is a class 6 felony. Of course, proper and appropriate use of marijuana for medical purposes that comply with Arizona law is not punishable as a crime under Arizona state law.

Under A.R.S. §13-3407, it is a crime for a person to knowingly possess or use a dangerous drug. Dangerous drugs are typically methamphetamine, cocaine, opium, or mushrooms. This is a class 4 felony. Additionally, possession for personal use of a narcotic drug is a class 4 felony. And possession of a prescription drug for personal use without a valid prescription is a class 1 misdemeanor. Class 4 felonies can be punished with one to 3.75 years in jail and a fine up to $150,000. Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine.

If you think you are going to be accused of any type of drug possession offense or are the subject of a drug possession investigation, it is critical to contact an attorney who can intervene early on in the process, before charges have been filed. Early intervention can reduce the possibility of a criminal charge being filed and can mitigate the severity of the consequences of the situation. The experienced Arizona criminal defense attorneys at Harlow Spanier & Heckele, PLLC can help. Call today for a consultation: (520) 433-9031. Or email us at info@reallawtucson.com