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“Dangerous” Drug Charges

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“Dangerous” Drug Charges

Possession of Dangerous Drugs for Sale: The term “dangerous drug” is defined under A.R.S. § 13-3401(6), and includes essentially all street drugs other than marijuana. Possession of dangerous drugs for sale is a more serious offense than possession of dangerous drugs for personal use. A prosecutor will attempt to prove that the drugs were possessed for sale by using evidence such as the quantity of drugs, the way the drugs were packaged, the presence of scales or ledgers, or other relevant evidence.

A conviction for possession of drugs for sale is a class 2 felony and will result in a fine of three times the value of the drugs, or $1000, whichever is greater. If the drug involved is not methamphetamine, and the total amount of drugs is less than the “statutory threshold,” probation may be available for a first offense

. See Statutory Threshold, below. If probation is granted, the defendant will be required to complete 360 hours of community service, and there is a possibility of up to one year in county jail.

If the amount of drugs is equal to or greater than the statutory threshold, probation is not available. In that case, if the drug involved is not methamphetamine, the sentence range for a first-offense conviction is generally 4 to 10 years in prison, although in exceptional circumstances, the sentence may be as short as 3 years or as long as 12.5 years in prison.

Offenses involving methamphetamine have separate, stricter sentencing guidelines. A first-offense conviction for possession of methamphetamine for sale will result in a sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison, and probation is not available, even if the amount of drugs is less than the statutory threshold.

In all cases, if a defendant has any prior felony convictions, a conviction for possession of dangerous drugs for sale can result in vastly increased punishment.

Manufacture of Dangerous Drugs: To obtain a conviction for this offense, the state must prove that the defendant manufactured dangerous drugs or packaged or labeled containers for dangerous drugs. The term “dangerous drug” is defined under A.R.S. § 13-3401(6), and includes essentially all street drugs other than marijuana.

A conviction for manufacture of dangerous drugs is a class 2 felony and will result in a fine of three times the value of the drugs, or $1000, whichever is greater. If the drug involved is not methamphetamine, the sentence range for a first-offense conviction is generally 4 to 10 years in prison, although in exceptional circumstances, the sentence may be as short as 3 years or as long as 12.5 years in prison. Probation is not available.

Offenses involving methamphetamine have separate, stricter sentencing guidelines. A first-offense conviction for manufacture of methamphetamine will result in a sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison. Again, probation is not available.

If a defendant has any prior felony convictions, a conviction for manufacture of dangerous drugs can result in vastly increased punishment.

Transportation of Dangerous Drugs for Sale: Transportation of dangerous drugs for sale is a very serious offense in Arizona. The term “dangerous drug” is defined under A.R.S. § 13-3401(6), and includes essentially all street drugs other than marijuana. A prosecutor will attempt to prove that the drugs were transported for sale by using evidence such as the quantity of drugs, the way the drugs were packaged, the presence of scales or ledgers, or other relevant evidence.

A conviction for transportation of drugs for sale is a class 2 felony and will result in a fine of three times the value of the drugs, or $1000, whichever is greater. If the drug involved is not methamphetamine, and the total amount of drugs is less than the “statutory threshold,” probation may be available for a first offense. If probation is granted, the defendant will be required to complete 360 hours of community service, and there is a possibility of up to one year in county jail.

If the amount of drugs is equal to or greater than the statutory threshold, probation is not available. In that case, if the drug involved is not methamphetamine, the sentence range for a first-offense conviction is generally 4 to 10 years in prison, although in exceptional circumstances, the sentence may be as short as 3 years or as long as 12.5 years in prison.

Offenses involving methamphetamine have separate, stricter sentencing guidelines. A first-offense conviction for transportation of methamphetamine for sale will result in a sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison, and probation is not available, even if the amount of drugs is less than the statutory threshold.

In all cases, if a defendant has any prior felony convictions, a conviction for transportation of dangerous drugs for sale can result in vastly increased punishment.

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