Drug possession often constitutes a felony charge in Arizona. Depending on the substance, the amount, the presence of intent to distribute and your criminal history, you could face considerable fines and jail time.
Before attending your court date, understand the penalties for drug possession in Arizona.
Fines and sentencing for cannabis
Arizona considers most controlled substances dangerous drugs, but places marijuana in a separate category. While possession for personal use of less than 2 pounds constitutes a felony, the court may downgrade this charge to a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of your case. Felony penalties include:
- Less than 2 pounds: A fine of $1,000 or the amount you earned for selling cannabis, along with four months to two years in prison or probation and 24 hours of mandatory community service.
- Two to 4 pounds and/or growing cannabis: The fine and probation term remain the same as for smaller amounts of marijuana, but the possible sentence increases to between six months and 2.5 years.
- More than 4 pounds and/or possessing marijuana for sale: The fine and probation term remain the same, but you could receive a sentence of one to 3.75 years in prison.
Penalties for other controlled substances
When an officer arrests you for possession of prescription antidepressants or opioids, methamphetamines, cocaine or heroin, you could receive a year in jail for your first conviction and 45 months for a subsequent conviction. The court charges fines of $2,000 or three times the value of the drugs in your possession (whichever is greater).
Arizona drug treatment
You may qualify for a state-approved drug treatment program if you have not committed a violent offense and you have no prior convictions. You must obey the terms of probation or risk six months in jail with the drug treatment program.
The court will review the circumstances in your case to determine an appropriate sentence. You have the right to defend yourself against the charges in court with the help of an attorney.