Drug Trafficking Laws in Arizona
Drug possession and drug trafficking in Arizona can lead to serious penalties. The severity of the penalties depends largely on the drug involved, your criminal history, and your intent for the drug. Without expert legal help, you could be facing extensive prison time, hefty fines, and other penalties.
What amount of drugs is considered trafficking in Arizona?
Contrary to popular belief, you can be charged with drug trafficking even if you are not trying to sell or move them – they can charge you with drug trafficking if you possess over a certain amount of drugs. The “threshold amount,” as it is known, depends on the type of drug. The threshold amounts of drugs in Arizona for various drugs include:
- 2 pounds of marijuana
- 1 gram of heroin
- 4 grams or 50 milliliters of PCP
- 9 grams of cocaine
- 9 grams of amphetamine, including liquid suspension
- 9 grams of methamphetamine, including liquid suspension
If the weight of drugs in your possession is greater than the listed threshold amounts, you could face serious drug smuggling charges up and above simple charges of possession – you could face a lengthy mandatory prison sentence and hefty fines, as well as lose eligibility for probation.
Arizona Drug Sentencing Guidelines
The law ARS §13.3408 describes Arizona State drug laws for the possession, use, administration, acquisition, sale, manufacture or transportation of narcotic drugs. Charges for trafficking an illegal substance in the state can range from a Class 6 felony up to a Class 2 felony. If a court convicts you of any crime relating to selling or importing illegal drugs, you would not be eligible for Arizona’s Proposition 200 diversion programs, which is an initiative that allows you to participate in a drug treatment or drug education program instead of doing time in jail or prison.
The court will determine your specific penalty by the type and quantity of drugs involved. Selling heroin is usually a Class 3 felony, for example, and the fine is usually $1,000 or three times the value of the drug, whichever is greater. The sale of heroin to a minor bumps it up to a Class 2 felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 12.5 years in prison for those without prior felony convictions.
Courts will typically couple drug trafficking charges with other charges, including possession or distribution. These charges carry additional penalties that the court may add to your overall sentence.
Selling marijuana under the 2-pound threshold is a Class 4 Felony, and carries penalties of incarceration up to 4 years and fines of up to $150,000. Peddling 2 to 4 pounds of marijuana is a Class 3 Felony, while selling more than 4 pounds is a Class 2 Felony. Selling narcotics carries a stiffer penalty. Classified at a Class 3 Felony, selling narcotics can result in up to 5 years in jail and fines of at least $1,000.
Penalties for Trafficking Drugs in Arizona
Penalties for trafficking or transport-for-sale are just as severe and can add to fines and jail time. Trafficking under the threshold amount of two pounds is a Class 2 Felony that can result in incarceration of up to 9 years. Trafficking more than two pounds of marijuana can lead to incarceration for up to 10 years. Both charges may carry fines of up to $150,000.
Trafficking narcotics is a Class 2 felony that can land you in prison for up to 15 years, and carry fines of at least $1000. Trafficking methamphetamine carries a minimum penalty of 5 years of incarceration without a chance of parole (early release) or probation.
Prior conviction and certain aggravating circumstances can increase penalties for both sales and trafficking, and they can lead to significant jail sentences. If the sales or trafficking involves methamphetamine, there is no chance of early release or parole.
Contact an Experienced Drug Crimes Lawyer in Arizona
If you face drug possession or drug trafficking charges in Arizona, contact a qualified drug defense attorney who understands Arizona drug trafficking charges.