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Possession of Dangerous Drugs in Arizona

In Arizona, possession or use of a dangerous drug is a class 4 felony, as outlined in ARS §13-3407.

Although “dangerous drug” may seem subjective, it generally refers to any narcotic or other drug that is not marijuana (which is prohibited by ARS §13-3405).

This includes methamphetamine, other types of amphetamines, hallucinogenic drugs, prescription medications and other drugs. A full list of dangerous drugs in Arizona is available at ARS §13-3401.

Have you been charged with possession of dangerous drugs?

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Possession of a Dangerous Drug in Arizona

In addition to prohibiting the possession and use of dangerous drugs, ARS §13-3407 also prohibits:

  • Possessing dangerous drugs for sale
  • Possessing chemicals and supplies used to create drugs
  • Manufacturing dangerous drugs
  • Administering a dangerous drug to someone else
  • Obtaining dangerous drugs by “fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge”
  • Transporting or transferring dangerous drugs into or within Arizona

The dangerous drugs outlined in ARS §13-3401 are broken down into several categories, including:

  • Various types of amphetamines, including meth
  • Hallucinogenic substances, including acid and mescaline
  • Drugs with “a depressant effect on the central nervous system”
  • Anabolic steroids, including testosterone

It’s important to remember that with any dangerous drug, the possession or use of the drug in any of its forms is illegal, including salts, isomers and other chemical compounds.

Punishment for Dangerous Drug Possession

The possession or use of a dangerous drug is a class 4 felony. However, if the defendant has not been past felony convictions and the dangerous drug was not meth or another type of amphetamine, the crime may be a class 1 misdemeanor. Also, those who qualify under Arizona’s Proposition 200, may face only probation instead of jail or prison time.

Possessing drugs for sale, manufacturing drugs or administering them to another person are all class 2 felonies. Transportation or transfer of dangerous drugs is also a class 2 felony. Possession of chemicals and supplies to make methamphetamine is also a class 2 felony.

Possession of chemicals and supplies to make other dangerous drugs is a class 3 felony, as well as procuring the administration of drugs by fraud.

A class 4 felony can include probation, up to 1 year in jail, or between 1 – 3.75 years in prison. These ranges increase if it is not the defendant’s first felony conviction. Punishments for class 3 and class 2 felonies are more severe than those for class 4 felonies.

First-time offenders may have the option of completing a drug treatment program such as TASC (Treatment Assessment Screening Center), which is a diversion program that focuses on rehabilitation rather than incarceration.

To learn more about the various penalties and punishments for a possession or use of a dangerous drug charge, including assets forfeiture in Arizona, call our offices today.

How An Experienced Attorney Can Help You with Drug Charges

If you’ve been charged with possession or use of dangerous drugs, whether it’s meth or another narcotic, you need an experienced defense attorney to represent your best interests in court. That’s why we take every effort to give you the best available defense in order to reduce your penalties and minimize the impact of your case. We can also help with other drug charges, like possession of marijuana.

The criminal defense team at JacksonWhite has years of experience defending clients in the Mesa and Phoenix area, and drug crimes are some of the most common offenses. Our approach to possession charges is to fully explore the legal options that are more likely to result in a favorable outcome to your case. Whether you’re facing a first-time charge, or have prior convictions, we can put our knowledge and experience to work for you.


Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.

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