Cocaine is considered a narcotic in the state of Arizona. Cocaine possession and use of cocaine both carry steep consequences, which include jail time and fines. Arizona Revised Statutes §13-3408 (A)(1) holds that cocaine possession in any quantity is prohibited. However, in order to be charged with violating this statute, the question of what “possession” is needs to be determined in terms of this statute. Possession means that the individual knowingly is in possession and further, that the individual exercises control over the cocaine or has the ability to exercise control over the cocaine.
Depending upon the amount of the drug in possession, there are variable classes as to the charge and each carries a variable length of incarceration and fines to be paid. Possession of cocaine under 9 grams is considered a Class 4 felony. For a first-time offender, the duration of incarceration can be any time of up to three years in prison. Fines are also required of offenders. The fine for cocaine possession can be either $2 thousand, and depending upon the value of the cocaine, the fine can be three times that value. The amount of the fine is determined by which amount is greatest between the two. If the amount of drugs is minimal, the court may decide on convicting an offender with a Class 1 misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia.
In order to be convicted of possession for the purposes of “selling” cocaine, and not for use of cocaine, an offender must be in possession of a certain amount. This amount is determined by the state’s threshold amount. For rock cocaine, the amount of the threshold is 750 milligrams and the threshold amount powder cocaine is 9 grams. Despite the qualifications that an offender must knowingly be in possession of cocaine and have the ability to exercise control of it, there is no qualification that the offender had the intent to distribute it as long as the amount is above the state’s threshold amount.
Arizona Revised Statutes §13-3408 (B)(2) holds that the possession of cocaine for the purposes of selling it is considered a Class 2 felony. A Class 2 felony of this sort carries a punishment of incarceration between three years and ten years for a first-time offender. However, for repeat offenders, the conviction and incarceration time increases. Fines may also increase depending upon the circumstances. In addition, if distribution of cocaine occurred in a drug-free school area, the sentence time will be increased by one year.
There are many different defenses that we may use for your case. To find out more, please give us a call at (602) 737-2812 to schedule a free case review with a Phoenix Cocaine Lawyer. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, and you can send us an email if you like by using our secure form.
Have you been suspected of possession of cocaine in Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, Tucson, or anywhere in Arizona, give us a call for a free case review.