What Are Considered “Dangerous Drugs” Under Arizona Law?

Today, we’re talking about a classification of drugs in Arizona that are called dangerous drugs.

Arizona specifically has a definition of what constitutes a dangerous drug, and we’re gonna talk about it.

So some drugs are dangerous and some drugs are not. Marijuana, for example, if you’re using a small amount of marijuana, it’s for recreational use. It’s not a dangerous drug. If you get charged with possession of that, it’s not gonna be considered a dangerous drug.

It’s not gonna have the elevated penalties associated with dangerous drugs, but what is a dangerous drug?

Well, the statute where it comes from is right here. Okay, this is 12 pages of different statutes of different items that are listed here as dangerous drugs.

You can see all of the different kind of technical names there. If you go through it, you’ll see a lot of scientific names.

You’ll have a lot of kind of very sort of specific definitions that are listed out there. Now, I counted all of them, there’s 332 different drugs listed in the definitions here.

And they’ve got different variants, so really that list is a lot bigger than 332.

But really what we’re talking about are just a couple drugs that are really the main ones that we see, and I have them listed here.

So first, the big ones, meth and any amphetamines.

So any type of meth or methamphetamine or any of the amphetamines are going to be considered a dangerous drug. This includes a lot of the Adderalls or the drugs that are commonly used for studying or test prep, those are all gonna be categorized here, as long as you don’t have a prescription for them.

So if you don’t have a prescription, and you’re in possession of any type of amphetamine, that’s gonna be considered a dangerous drug.

This is very applicable to a lot of college students, law school students.

So that’s important that you know that if you’re in possession of that, it’s gonna be classified as a dangerous drug.

We’ll talk about what that means briefly. The other thing is hallucinogens.

So we see these with bath salts and in particular shrooms is the recreational drug. Anything that really is a hallucinogen is gonna be in this statute somewhere. The next that we see are prescription drugs. I’m sorry, I skipped steroids.

So any steroids, any testosterones, those are all also gonna be considered dangerous drugs as long as you don’t have a prescription for them.

And really, the big ones are the prescription drugs.

So if you do not have a prescription, and you have possession of any one of these, these are the big ones that I pulled out of the statute, you’re in possession of a dangerous drug.

So if a parent or a sibling or a spouse or whomever gave you some of these drugs, you are now in possession of a dangerous drug because you do not have a prescription for them. The big ones include Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Soma, and Ambien. Really, it’s any of the central nervous system depressants.

So any one of those drugs that will alleviate anxiety or depress your central nervous system, those are gonna be considered a dangerous drug so long as you do not have a prescription.

If you have a prescription, of course, you’re entitled to be in possession of that drug. But if you don’t, you now are in violation of the law.

So what does it mean? So if it’s a non-dangerous drug, like most marijuana offenses are class 6 felonies.

Arizona operates on a scale of felonies from a 2 at the very top, the most serious, down to a 6 which is the least serious.

So say you had a possession of marijuana violation, that’s gonna be a class 6, okay?

That’s very low. Usually you can get those dropped down even further into a misdemeanor. But if you are charged with a dangerous drug possession, so if you meet any one of these criteria, and you just have possession of it, you are now committing a class 4 felony.

So I said it’s a 2 to a 6, class 4 is right in the middle. So it’s significantly more serious than a non-dangerous drug type of an offense.

If you are selling that drug, if you are selling it to other students, if you are selling it to your friends or your family, you are now committing a class 2 felony, the highest felony that exists. So, it’s not a minor type of an offense.

Some people might just kind of take prescription drugs and pass them around like it’s nothing. If you’re in violation of these laws, you are charged with a felony regardless. It’s not the low-level felony either. It’s a class 4 or a class 6.

In other videos, I’ll talk about the defenses to possession of dangerous drugs. But for now I wanted to let you know that these are the drugs that qualify. If you’ve been charged with one of these, please give us a call.

As I said, it’s a serious offense. We’d be able to help you out. We offer free case evaluations. Look forward to speaking with you.

Thanks for watching.

Arizona has a specified definition of what constitutes a dangerous drug.

Some drugs are thought of as dangerous; others are generally not perceived that way. Marijuana is an example of a drug that is not commonly referred to as a dangerous drug. Regarding Arizona law, those who are charged with possession of marijuana are not being charged for possession of a dangerous drug. Consequently, the charges will not bring forward the elevated penalties associated with dangerous drugs.

“Dangerous drugs” are defined in the Arizona statute A.R.S. § 13-3401. The defined list of dangerous drugs is very lengthy, containing 332 different drugs and their variants. The names found on the list are generally very technical and scientifically oriented. This is because the law needs to be very specific in terms of which substances are illegal, and which are not.

While there are 332 different drugs listed, there are only a few that are commonly seen and dealt with.   

  • Meth & Amphetamines

Any type of meth or amphetamine is considered a dangerous drug. This includes drugs that are commonly used for studying and test preparation, such as Adderall. If you do not have a subscription for these types of drugs, you can be criminally charged for possession of a dangerous drug.

  • Hallucinogens & Salts

The common recreational drugs that fall under this category are mushrooms and bath salts. Anything that is a hallucinogen is in the statute.

  • Steroids & Testosterones

Again, if someone is in possession of any steroids or testosterones without a prescription, they can be charged with possession of a dangerous drug.

  • Other Prescription Drugs

Some common drugs that fall under this category are:

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Soma
  • Ambien

If you do not have a prescription and you have possession of any of the drugs listed above, you are in possession of a dangerous drug. A common occurrence is someone will get one of these medicines from a close friend or relative.

Most drugs in this category that are commonly used are central nervous system depressants. Generally, they are used to alleviate anxiety. However innocent your intentions may be, if you are in possession of any of these drugs without a prescription, you can be criminally charged.

So, how are the criminal charges different between a dangerous drug and a non-dangerous drug?

Possession of a non-dangerous drug, such as marijuana, is a class 6 felony.

In Arizona, there are varying degrees of felonies ranging from a class 6, which is the least serious, to a class 2, which is the most serious.

Possession of a dangerous drug is a class 4 felony.  If the drug is being sold, that bumps it up to a class 2 felony, which is the most severe criminal felony charge in Arizona.

People often make the mistake of assuming that the exchange of prescription drugs is a minor offense. However, there can be very serious criminal charges associated with it.

There are defenses to these criminal charges, which is why it is extremely important to contact an attorney immediately if you have been charged with possession of a dangerous drug.