Marijuana Crimes And Classifications

Today we’re talking about the penalties for marijuana crimes under Arizona Law, 13-3405. In a prior video, we had talked about the different types of conduct that is prohibited under Arizona law when it involves marijuana.

One, possession or use. Two, the sale, three, the production, and four, the transportation, or the importation, of marijuana into the state.

Those are all prohibited conducts. Now, the different classifications of felonies are somewhat based on the different amount of marijuana that’s involved, and each one of those different things. So, there are different levels of penalties based upon the different amount of marijuana that’s involved, and you can watch the video for that detail.

In Arizona, there are additional penalties if you’re convicted for any one of those violations, and the law provides some additional rules, and so we’re going to run through what those are. But as a reminder, if you’ve been charged with a marijuana violation, you’re going to want to watch the other video that talks about the different conduct, and the different statutory thresholds that will classify what level felony it is.

If you have been charged with a felony marijuana violation, you’re also going to want to look at the sentencing charge, the Arizona sentencing charge, if you’ve got prior felonies, so you can see what category you will fall into.

The sentencing rules can be a little bit complicated, it’s always good to make sure that you meet with an attorney, or at least a public defender, prior to making a decision on sentencing, but these are the other rules that generally apply to people who are charged or convicted of marijuana violations.

So let’s start at the top, so first and foremost. If you’re charged with a violation or a marijuana violation, you’re convicted of it, for something that’s for sale that’s two pounds and above, so anything two pounds to four pounds, or four pounds or above, or you produced the marijuana, two pounds to four pounds, or four pounds or above, or you transported it, anything that’s two pounds or above the rules say that you’re not eligible for probation, or a suspension of that sentence, if you fall into that category.

So this law is saying that you’re not eligible for probation, you’re saying that, if you’re within one of these categories, flat out, right outta the gate, you cannot get straight probation on that. The judge cannot suspend the imposition of the sentence.

The judge has to basically send you into custody in accordance with the law. It’s for high-volume, a lot of marijuana, for these different types of things. So you can see here that personal possession is not one of them, but it’s for sale, production, or transportation if the threshold is high. If it’s a lot of marijuana. Next, fines. So the government wants a fine of $750, or three times the value of the marijuana, whichever is greater. So no less than $750, but they can also do a calculation and say the value of that marijuana that was seized is x, and they’re going to multiply that by three, whichever one comes out higher, that’s what you’re going to be on the hook for if you’re convicted of one of these. If you’re also convicted of anything, whether it’s personal use, possession, if it’s for sale, transportation, production, you’re not allowed to have any drugs, and you’re going to have to apply with drug testing while you’re on probation or while you’re in custody, to make sure that you’re not on drugs.

You’re also going to have to do something in terms of community restitution, or classes, and it again depends on what the conviction is. Whether or not it’s something that’s more serious, or less serious, is going to impact the amount of time that you have to contribute towards community restitution or classes, and so that’s what these next three rules are. If you are convicted of, possession of marijuana for sale, so if you’re selling the marijuana, it’s less than two pounds, production, less than two pounds, or transportation, less than two pounds, and you’re convicted on one of those things and the court grants you probation, you are going to have to do 240 hours of community restitution.

That means you’re going to have to comply with whatever the probation department or the court is ordering you to do in terms of going to counseling, substance abuse screening, doing 240 hours of restitution with the program, that’s geared more towards drugs. And that’s, obviously, a lot of time.

If it is just for your personal use, so let’s say you’re not in one of these categories, sale, production, or transportation, it’s for personal use, that 240 hours drops down significantly, down to 24 hours.

So if the judge grants you probation, or the court grants you probation, for that personal use violation, it doesn’t matter what the amount is, it’s 24 hours of that community restitution. If you’re charged with a misdemeanor, so say this is designated a misdemeanor, the prosecutor designates it a misdemeanor, they will not ask you to do any of that community restitution, but you will have to take an eight hour drug class.

So you have to go to a class that’s going to teach you about drug use, drug abuse, substance abuse, those types of things. Obviously, it’s considerably less than 240 hours.

So you can see here just kind of reviewing the penalties that they are really criminalizing the sale, the production, and transportation, the personal use is a lot less criminalized. It’s still a felony in most cases, but it’s still something that is not nearly as serious, but it still is something that could really impact your life and your future.

So if you’ve been charged with a marijuana violation, any one of these things, use, sale, production, or transportation, you’re worried about these penalties, give our office a call, we’ll be happy to sit down with you and talk about how the process works, review your case individually, and make sure you have a good strategy to move forward.

Thanks for watching!

Arizona has varied criminalization regarding different conduct with marijuana. Essentially, there are four different ways that a person may be charged with a crime involving marijuana, and there are different statutory thresholds for each charge. 

All charges pertaining to marijuana are felonies. Therefore, any conduct regarding marijuana is very serious. However, in Arizona, there are varying classifications of felonies depending on what you are charged with. Class 2 is the most serious charge, and class 6 is the lowest level felony that we have (all felonies are serious charges). 

Under A.R.S. § 13-3405, there are four different types of activity that are prohibited if they involve marijuana. The following are the charges and classifications for crimes involving marijuana. All the following is outside the Medical Marijuana Act, meaning you can only be charged with these crimes if the Act does not apply. 

1. Possession/Use

If you have possession of marijuana for your own personal use, it is a felony. 

  • If the amount that you are in possession of is less than two pounds (2 lbs.), it will be classified as a class 6 felony, which is the low level. 
  • If the amount that you are in possession of is at least two pounds (2lbs.) but less than four pounds (4 lbs.), it is bumped up to a class 5 felony.
  • If the amount you are in possession of is four pounds (4 lbs.) or more, it is a class 4 felony.

2. For Sale

Possessing marijuana with the intention of selling it is also a felony, but it is charged differently. This can mean that there is evidence that you are going to be selling the marijuana or you are caught in the act of selling it. The charges for selling marijuana are more serious than simply having possession of it. 

  • If the amount that you have for sale is less than two pounds (2 lbs.), it is a class 4 felony.
  • If the amount that you have for sale is at least two pounds (2 lbs.) but less than four pounds (4 lbs.), it is a class 3 felony.
  • If the amount that you have for sale is four pounds (4 lbs.) or more, it is a class 2 felony.

3. Produce

It is illegal to produce marijuana without permission. Growing or cultivating marijuana in your home or some other location is also a felony. 

  • If the amount you are producing is less than two pounds (2 lbs.), it is a class 5 felony.
  • If the amount you are producing is at least two pounds (2 lbs.) but less than four pounds (4 lbs.), it is a class 4 felony. 
  • If the amount you are producing is four pounds (4 lbs.) or more, it is a class 3 felony.

4. Transport/Import for Sale

Transporting or importing marijuana into the state of Arizona without permission is also a felony. 

  • If the amount you are transporting is less than two pounds (2 lbs.), it is a class 3 felony.
  • If the amount you are transporting is two pounds (2 lbs.) or more, it is a class 2 felony. 

If you have been charged with a marijuana violation, contact our team immediately. We offer free case evaluations and will put together a plan that best suits your case.