Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 13-3406, 13-3407(A)(4) and 13-3408(A)(3) holds that it is unlawful to manufacture and/or possess equipment to manufacture prescription drugs, dangerous drugs and other narcotics. Regardless of whether any such drug has been manufactured, simply by possessing the items that are able to manufacture them is sufficient for such a charge, which is typically what the prosecution charges for being in possession of certain chemicals.
Punishment for Conviction of Manufacture of Dangerous Drugs
If a defendant is convicted for either manufacturing a prescription-only drug or possessing the equipment or chemicals necessary to manufacture a prescription-only drug, the defendant may face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $25 hundred. This is considered a misdemeanor and there is a separate fine of $1 thousand that the defendant must pay. However, if a defendant is convicted for possession of the manufacturing equipment for the purpose of manufacturing a dangerous drug or narcotic, such as to manufacture meth, it is considered a class three felony. The defendant may face a sentence range of probation without jail time or up to eight years and nine months in jail. If a defendant has served time previously, the amount of time of incarceration increases. For example, a defendant who has one or two previous felony convictions for the purposes to manufacture meth or other dangerous drugs may face up to sixteen years and three months or 25 years in prison, respectively.
A defendant who is found to have manufactured narcotics or dangerous drugs, such as methamphetamine, faces a charge of a class two felony. If the amount manufactured is above the “statutory threshold” amount, the defendant is no longer eligible for probation and must go to prison between three years and twelve years and six months. A defendant who is found to manufactured narcotics or dangerous drugs with a previous felony conviction faces incarceration of four years and six months to twenty-three years and three months. For a defendant who has had two previous felony convictions, they can be incarcerated between ten years and six months to thirty-five years.
The state’s “threshold” amount varies according to the drug one is convicted for and that requires mandatory incarceration is as follows:
• Methamphetamine—nine grams
• Cocaine—nine powdered grams
• “Crack” cocaine—three-fourths of a gram
• Heroin—one gram
• LSD—one-half of a millimeter
• PCP—fifty milliliters
Defenses for Manufacturing Dangerous Drugs
The issue for mere possession of chemicals and equipment that can be used to manufacture drugs comes into question over whether the defendant “knowingly” possessed the equipment. For instance, a defendant who shares living arrangements with others may not know that such equipment was within the home or may even not frequent of has access to the area of the home in which such equipment is stored. Further, the equipment might not contain the defendant’s fingerprints. In other circumstances, if it can be shown that the defendant knew that roommates were in possession of such equipment, the defendant did not engage in manufacturing drugs, provided that the defendant did not have exclusive access to such equipment. In addition, the “equipment” used which may have the defendant’s fingerprints on it was not used to manufacture of dangerous drugs and for other purposes altogether. All of these circumstances can help to assist a defendant with their charge. Depending upon the nature and circumstances of a charge, DM Cantor, can help to assist in several defenses.
If you are in the process of a “pre-charge investigation stage” for the manufacture of dangerous drugs or other charges, contact DM Cantor, for a criminal defense attorney to assist in your case. David Michael Cantor is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization and has been a criminal lawyer for over 25 years. As a drug defense lawyer, David has tried and won many cases for his clients in Arizona. To schedule a free consultation, please call (602) 737-2812, or send us an email using our secure and confidential form.