Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Charges in Arizona

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jul 06, 2009 in Local

Even though the voices of opposition are growing in volume, the drug war rages on in Arizona. The state is known for its tough and strict drug laws, and if someone is arrested and convicted for a drug offense, he or she could face substantial periods of incarceration. Below is an overview of an important difference in the law the difference between possession and distribution of controlled dangerous substances. If you are looking for a skilled criminal defense attorney in Phoenix or near you contact the Philiips Laaw Group today for a free consultation. 

Definition of Dangerous Controlled Substance in Arizona

The Arizona criminal statutes define a dangerous controlled substance generally as compounds that contain hallucinogenic substances that can be mixed with dozens of other compounds. The statutes also publish an entire schedule of dangerous controlled substances as a separate legal category. Any possession or distribution of these substances places the offense in a different mode of classification.

Possession of a Dangerous Controlled Substance Defined
The Arizona statutes define and classify the offense of possession of a dangerous drug as follows:

A. A person shall not knowingly:

  1. Possess or use a dangerous drug.

B. A person who violates:

  1. Subsection A, paragraph 1 of this section is guilty of a class 4 felony.

There is an additional provision present whereby if the defendant is convicted of this charge and it does not involve substances including lysergic acid diethylamide, methamphetamine, amphetamine or phencyclidine, he or she could be eligible for a reduced charge of a misdemeanor if other factors are in place.

Distribution of a Dangerous Controlled Substance Defined
The Arizona statutes define and classify the offense of distribution of a dangerous drug as follows:
A. A person shall not knowingly:
7. Transport for sale, import into this state or offer to transport for sale or import into this state, sell, transfer or offer to sell or transfer a dangerous drug.
B. A person who violates:
7. Subsection A, paragraph 7 of this section is guilty of a class 2 felony.
If a defendant is convicted of this offense, the statutes also call for no option for a suspended sentence if the amount involved exceeds the schedules at the time.

Sentencing of CDS in Arizona

One of the main differences between possession and distribution of dangerous controlled substances, beside the crimes classification, is the length of sentence imposed upon conviction. If someone is convicted of possession, he or she would face the following potential sentences:

  • Misdemeanor Six months
  • Class 4 felony 1.5 3 years

However, if someone is convicted of distribution, the sentences are much longer. If the defendant is convicted of a class 2 felony, he or she will face a prison term between 4 and 10 years. If that conviction for distribution involves methamphetamine, the defendant will face 10 years with a possibility of a reduction to 5 years. If the defendant is involved with methamphetamine and has a similar prior conviction, he or she could face 15 years in prison.

CDS Charges in Arizona?
As you see, while both possession and distribution of dangerous controlled substances are serious crimes, a convicted defendant will face much stiffer penalties for distribution, particularly if the substance involved is methamphetamine. If you are facing such a charge, you need to take action to protect your rights. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Montano Arentz & Associates, PLLCimmediately to schedule an initial consultation.

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