drug arrest

How Does Drug Sentencing Work in Arizona?

Getting arrested for drugs in Arizona can expose you to several charges and consequences. Even if you were arrested for a single violation, you will likely be charged with multiple offenses. The severity of your sentencing may depend on what type of drug you were carrying and whether or not it violated the statutory threshold amounts. Your criminal history (or lack thereof) will also be considered.

First Time Offenses

First time drug offenses involve a fine of $1,000 and probation. These “lighter” punishments can be waived if you have been convicted of a violent crime (as defined in section 13-901.03) or you were involved in the production, manufacturing, or sale of the drug you were carrying.

Non-dangerous offenses (defined in section 13-702 D) can be addressed using probation for first time offenses. Dangerous offenses, and serious, violent or aggravated offenses will be considered differently. In fact, the sale and trafficking of drugs is by definition a non-dangerous crime, but nearly every case ends with a prison plea offer. If you fight the charge and lose, prison time will be required. Penalties for drug trafficking and other felonies depend on the class.

Personal Use and Possession

If you are carrying or using drugs for your personal use, you will not be threatened with incarceration – as long as it is your first or second offense and you are not violating probation.

Drug Threshold Amounts

If you are not meeting or exceeding the threshold amount of a certain drug, the consequences you face may be less severe. You can find the thresholds for certain drugs below:

  • Marijuana – 2 pounds
  • Cocaine – 9 grams (powder), 750 milligrams (rock)
  • PCP – 4 grams or 50 milliliters
  • LSD – ½ milliliter (liquid), 50 dosage unites (blotter)
  • Amphetamine & Methamphetamine – 9 grams

Second Offenses by Class (Below Statutory Thresholds)

  • For a class 2 felony, the minimum sentence is 4 years and the maximum is 10. Aggravated offenses can justify 12.5 years in prison.
  • For a class 3 felony, the minimum sentence is 2.5 years and the maximum sentence is 7 years. Aggravated offenses can justify 8.7 years in prison.
  • For a class 4 felony, the minimum sentence is 1.5 years and the maximum is 3. Aggravated offenses can justify 3.7 years in prison.
  • For a class 5 felony, the minimum sentence is .75 years and the maximum is 2. Aggravated offenses can justify 2.5 years in prison.

* All offenses are eligible for probation.

Second Offenses by Class (Equal to or Above Statutory Thresholds)

See previous section.

Offenses that are equal to or in excess of statutory thresholds are not eligible for probation.

Third and Subsequent Offenses by Class (Below Statutory Thresholds)

The consequences for third and subsequent offenses are equivalent to Second Offenses by Class (Below Statutory Thresholds) – see above. However, the offenses are no longer eligible for probation.

Third and Subsequent Offenses by Class (Equal to or Above Statutory Thresholds)

  • For a class 2 felony, the minimum sentence is 4 years and the maximum is 12. Aggravated offenses can justify 15 years in prison.
  • For a class 3 felony, the minimum sentence is 2.5 years and the maximum sentence is 9 years. Aggravated offenses can justify 11.2 years in prison.
  • For a class 4 felony, the minimum sentence is 1.5 years and the maximum is 6. Aggravated offenses can justify 6.2 years in prison.
  • For a class 5 felony, the minimum sentence is .75 years and the maximum is 4. Aggravated offenses can justify 5 years in prison.

Criminal Defense for Drug Crimes in Phoenix, AZ

As you can see, Arizona has harsh penalties for those charged with drug crimes. To increase your chances of probation and pursue minimum sentences, you need a top-tier criminal defense attorney.

At Maria Jones Law Firm, we take your charges seriously and fight for your rights. Our lawyers are qualified, experienced, compassionate, and above all – dedicated to your case.

Call today for a consultation. We are available 24/7 at (602) 603-4032.

Categories