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Criminal Defense

Drug Charges

From Drug Possession to Transportation and Sale

If you have been arrested for a drug charge, our attorneys know how important it is to keep your record clean and you out of jail. We know that there are ways to negotiate with the prosecutors. In many cases, drug charges can be resolved with diversion classes and/or misdemeanors.

When you retain our firm, before we even discuss plea agreements, our goal is to win your case.

We want you to be able to return to your normal life.   Call us now or scroll below for more information.  The consultation is free.

We handle marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and other schedule drug charges.  If it is a simple possession or more complicated transportation/sale case, we can help.

We Help People With Drug Charges

Drug cases can be complicated and technical matters. Experience matters. Our attorney for drug charges have handled thousands of drug cases in Arizona. With four former prosecutors on staff, we know exactly how the government prosecutes people and we know how to work to get the best result possible.

It seems that every day another state legalizes marijuana. This can give people the false impression that the war on drugs is abating. Even though Arizona has medical marijuana laws on the books, it is common for prosecutors to seek criminal convictions for simple marijuana possession.

Furthermore, those people facing possession of drugs for sale can face multiple years in prison for convictions. Arizona has some of the harshest drug statutes in the nation.

That being said, every drug charge is different. Our criminal defense staff includes a former police officer and multiple former drug prosecutors. We know the tactics that the prosecutors office uses and how best to defend a drug case.

Please feel free to contact our criminal defense attorneys for a free case evaluation.

More information below…

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Drug Crimes:

Drug crimes in Arizona include the possession, manufacture, transportation, and obtainment by fraud of controlled substances.

What is a drug crime?

There are six statutes defining the possession of common drugs in Arizona. A.R.S. §§ 13-3402; 3403; 3405; 3406; 3407; and, 3408. The possession of drug paraphernalia is also illegal. Possession of drug paraphernalia is defined in A.R.S. § 13-3415.

Possession of a controlled substance means possession of any drug without a legal prescription. This includes marijuana, peyote, vapor releasing substances, narcotic drugs, prescription drugs, dangerous drugs like methamphetamine, and chemicals used in the manufacture of any of those substances.

What the State must prove:

The State must prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1) That the person charged with possession; 2) did knowingly possess; 3) a usable quantity; 4) of a controlled substance.

That means that the State needs to provide evidence that the person charged with the offense is the same person who was arrested or cited by police, and that the person knew they were in possession of a controlled substance, and that there was a usable quantity of that substance, and that the substance was actually illegal to possess under Arizona law.

The State must provide evidence that the person charged with possession knew they were in possession of drugs and that the drugs were illegal. The State doesn’t need to prove that someone actually knew they had possession of drugs, they can prove that a person had constructive possession by demonstrating dominion or control over an object.

A person has constructive possession of a thing when they have power over it. For example, it would be difficult for a prosecutor to say that someone actually knew there were a bottle of pills in their medicine cabinet, but they can show that a person had control over the medicine cabinet because it belonged to them and they stored other things in it. It is possible for more than one person to have constructive possession over something.

In addition to possession charges, if a person is in possession of a certain amount of drugs, then the State can charge them with transportation or sale. This is called the threshold amount, and the actual amount varies by substance:

SubstanceThreshold AmountStatute
HeroinOne GramA.R.S.  § 13-3401(36)(a)
CocaineNine GramsA.R.S.  § 13-3401(36)(b)
Cocaine Base750 MilligramsA.R.S.  § 13-3401(36)(c)
PCPFour GramsA.R.S.  § 13-3401(36)(d)
MethamphetamineNine GramsA.R.S.  § 13-3401(36)(e)
AmphetamineNine GramsA.R.S.  § 13-3401(36)(f)
MarijuanaTwo PoundsA.R.S.  § 13-3401(36)(g)


If an unlawful substance is not listed in the table above, the threshold amount is any amount equal to a value of one thousand dollars or more.

The drug statutes in Arizona can be confusing. Below is a brief description of the various kinds of controlled substances.

Marijuana means any part of any marijuana plant, and its seeds, from which the resin has not been extracted. A.R.S. § 13-3401(19)

Peyote means possession of any part of the peyote plant. A.R.S. § 13-3401(23).

Vapor releasing substances means essentially any substance that releases a toxic fume or vapor. Examples include: Acetone, nitrous, and propane. A.R.S. § 13-3401(38).

Narcotic drug includes most opiates and derived cannabis. Examples include oxycodone, morphine, and CBD oil. A.R.S. § 13-3401(20)(21).

Prescription drugs means any drug that requires a prescription from a medical professional to possess legally. A.R.S. § 13-3401(28).

Dangerous drugs include drugs like methamphetamine, alprazolam, and testosterone. A.R.S. § 13-3401(6).


Penalties for drug crimes depend on the type of drug, the amount of drug, and the nature of the crime.

Possession of Marijuana:

Amount in PossessionStatuteFelony
Under 2lbsA.R.S. § 13-3405(B)(1)Class 6 Felony
2lbs to 4lbsA.R.S. § 13-3405(B)(2)Class 5 Felony
Over 4lbsA.R.S. § 13-3405(B)(3)Class 4 Felony


Possession of Marijuana for Sale:

Amount for SaleStatuteFelony
Under 2lbsA.R.S. § 13-3405(B)(4)Class 4 Felony
2lbs to 4lbsA.R.S. § 13-3405(B)(5)Class 3 Felony
Over 4lbsA.R.S. § 13-3405(B)(6)Class 2 Felony

Production of Marijuana:

Amount ProducedStatuteFelony
Under 2lbsA.R.S. § 13-3405(B)(7)Class 5 Felony
2lbs to 4lbsA.R.S. § 13-3405(B)(8)Class 4 Felony
Over 4 lbsA.R.S. § 13-3405(B)(9)Class 3 Felony


Transporting Marijuana:


Amount TransportedStatuteFelony
Under 2lbsA.R.S. § 13-3405(B)Class 3 Felony
More than 2lbsA.R.S. § 13-3405(B)Class 2 Felony


Possession or sale of peyote is a class 6 felony.

Vapor releasing substance:

Inhalation or consumption of a vapor-releasing substance is a class 5 felony.

Sale of a vapor-releasing substance to someone under the age of 18 is a class 5 felony.

Narcotic Drug:

Possession of NarcoticsA.R.S. § 13-3408(A)(1)Class 4 Felony
Possession of Narcotics for SaleA.R.S. § 13-3408(A)(2)Class 2 Felony
Possession of Chemicals or EquipmentA.R.S. § 13-3408(A)(3)Class 3 Felony
Manufacturing a Narcotic DrugA.R.S. § 13-3408(A)(4)Class 2 Felony
Administering a Narcotic DrugA.R.S. § 13-3408(A)(5)Class 2 Felony
Obtaining a Narcotic Drug by FraudA.R.S. § 13-3408(A)(6)Class 3 Felony
Transporting a Narcotic DrugA.R.S. § 13-3408(A)(7)Class 2 Felony


Prescription Drugs:


Possession of Prescription DrugsA.R.S. § 13-3406(A)(1)Class 1 Misdemeanor
Possession of Prescription Drugs for SaleA.R.S. § 13-3406(A)(2)Class 6 Felony
Chemicals or EquipmentA.R.S. § 13-3406(A)(3)Class 1 Misdemeanor
Manufacturing a Prescription DrugA.R.S. § 13-3406(A)(4)Class 1 Misdemeanor
Administering a Prescription DrugA.R.S. § 13-3406(A)(5)Class 1 Misdemeanor
Obtaining a Prescription Drug by FraudA.R.S. § 13-3406(A)(6)Class 1 Misdemeanor
Transporting a Prescription DrugA.R.S. § 13-3406(A)(7)Class 6 Felony
Possessing or Using a Misbranded DrugA.R.S. § 13-3406(A)(8)Class 2 Misdemeanor
Manufacturing, Sale, or Distribution of Misbranded DrugA.R.S. § 13-3406(A)(9)Class 4 Felony


Dangerous Drugs:


Possession of a Dangerous DrugA.R.S. § 13-3407(B)(1)Class 4 Felony
Possession of a Dangerous Drug for SaleA.R.S. § 13-3407(B)(2)Class 2 Felony
Possession of Chemicals or EquipmentA.R.S. § 13-3407(B)(3)Class 2 Felony
Manufacturing a Dangerous DrugA.R.S. § 13-3407(B)(4)Class 2 Felony
Administering a Dangerous DrugA.R.S. § 13-3407(B)(5)Class 2 Felony
Obtaining Administration of a Dangerous DrugA.R.S. § 13-3407(B)(6)Class 3 Felony
Transporting a Dangerous DrugA.R.S. § 13-3407(B)(7)Class 2 Felony


Prop 200:

Many drug possession cases fall under Arizona’s mandatory probation statute,

A.R.S. § 13-901.01. Commonly referred to as Prop 200, this statute requires the Court to place most people convicted of possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia on probation.

Prop 200 does not apply to anyone convicted of more than two drug offenses, anyone convicted of possession of methamphetamine, or anyone who has been convicted of a violent crime in the past. If someone is in possession of drugs over the statutory threshold amount for sale or transportation, they will not qualify for probation under Prop 200.

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Alcock & Associates P.C.
2 North Central Avenue, 26th Floor
Phoenix AZ 85004