What’s considered a Dangerous Drug in Phoenix, AZ?

by Aaron Black • March 26, 2020
Dangerous DrugsArizona law has a long list of drugs that are considered dangerous and they harbor harsh penalties for those convicted of possessing, consuming, manufacturing, selling, and transporting them to illicit markets here and to other states.

I don’t have the space to discuss all of them but the Arizona Revised Statutes does provide a complete list at ARS §13-3401.

A dangerous drug is generally defined in ARS §3407 as any type of narcotic, and Arizona law doesn’t consider marijuana in that category even though federal law lists it in the Controlled Substance Schedule 1 of 5 schedules.

According to the U.S., Drug Enforcement Administration, Schedule 1 classifies drugs that have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Schedule 2 drugs are those that have “a high potential for abuse” and “leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.'

Note that some legal prescription medications can become dangerous if misused. And driving while under the influence of them can get you a DUI charge in Phoenix and surrounding communities.

A Sampling of Dangerous Illicit Drugs

Dangerous drugs are those that are addictive and can cause death or dependency. These following drugs are some of the most abused:
  • Bath salts are a highly addictive designer drug that has nothing to do with what you use for taking a bath.

    This drug is manmade stimulates called cathinone, which is similar to amphetamines. It’s easy to acquire and hard to detect in drug tests. It comes in a crystalline powder and increases the dopamine level in the brain causing euphoria.
  • Chrystal meth, short for crystal methamphetamine, is usually smoked, swallowed or injected and users have a rush of euphoria but the drug can cause psychological issues and damage the body.

    Chrystal meth is also known as Ecstasy.
  • Cocaine comes as a powder, unless it’s crack cocaine, and releases a significant amount of dopamine in the brain causing euphoria but also paranoia, anxiety, dependency and depression and convulsions.

    Cocaine can damage the liver, lungs, and kidneys and can cause heart attacks and strokes.
  • Fentanyl is an opioid that has taken many forms and is a strong extremely addictive manufactured chemical to treat moderate and severe pain and had been used as an anesthetic.

    Misuse of the drug is more lethal when combined with other drugs.
  • Heroin is opium from the poppy flower and is extremely addictive and comes as a powder. It generates a feeling of a dream-like state and can be smoked but most often it’s injected. It can be addictive after just a couple of injections and overdosing is easy to do.
  • K2/Spice is a synthetic drug that has the effects of marijuana but the chemicals in this drug are far different and it is more potent and addictive than natural marijuana.

    There are many variations in the chemicals used. Regular use requires more to achieve the same “high.”
  • LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a highly potent hallucinogenic that alters the mind and can cause terrifying experiences as well as stimulating and pleasurable times.

    LSD is so potent that its doses are measured in the microgram range.
  • Methaqualone is a synthetic sedative-hypnotic drug similar to barbiturates in its effect of lowering anxiety and is addictive and has withdrawal symptoms.

    Methaqualone is commonly known as Quaalude. Overdoses can be fatal.
  • PCP (phencyclidine) is a mind-altering synthetic substance that causes hallucinations and distorts the user’s perception of reality.

    PCP causes psychological dependence. It was developed in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic but its side effects were so serious it was discontinued.
  • Peyote (lophophora williamsii) is a strong hallucinogenic that grows as a bud on two certain cactus plants and produces mescaline and phenethylamine alkaloids.

    Peyote alters the brain’s serotonin, which regulates thoughts, perception, and behavior. Users experience shortness of breath, increased blood pressure and heart rate and anxiety. Continued use causes severe anxiety that can last for two days.

Arizona’s Dangerous Drug Charges are Felonies

Arizona has six classes of felony charges with a class 1 felony as the most serious. Charges for dangerous drug offenses are:
  • Possessing or using a dangerous drug is a class 4 felony.
  • Possessing a dangerous drug for the purpose of selling it is a class 2 felony.
  • Possessing equipment/chemicals for making a dangerous drug is a class 3 felony.
  • Administering a dangerous drug to another person is a class 2 felony.
  • Having a dangerous drug by fraud, deceit, subterfuge, or misrepresentation is a class 3 felony.
  • Transporting a dangerous drug for sale or importing it, or offering to do so, or transferring or offering to transfer the drug is a class 2 felony.

How a Felony Conviction can ruin Your Life

Felony convictions require time in prison, hefty fines in four figures, a period of probation during which if any of the provisions, such as drug education classes, are violated means returning to prison.

Beyond incarceration a felony conviction means you won’t be able to vote in elections, you’re stripped of your Second Amendment right to own or possess a firearm and it will be difficult to keep or get employment or to rent an apartment. A felony conviction also will stay on your record for life.

Dangerous Drug Defenses

You had to knowingly violate the law to be guilty. Defenses begin at the traffic stop.
  • The officer didn’t have the necessary probable cause or a reasonable suspicion
  • The officer may not have had sufficient reason to search you or your vehicle or home.
  • Your right to remain silent or to have an attorney present during questioning may have been violated.
Other defenses allowed by law depending upon the particular facts of the case and you’ll need a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney.

Free Confidential Legal Consultation

Instead of guessing about your legal situation arrange for my free, confidential telephonic case review to assess the strength of the state’s evidence and I’ll explain the possible defense theories.

I’ll listen to your side of the event and ask and answer questions and explain the next steps. You don’t have to hire me to get my free legal advice.

Contact Phoenix DUI Defense Attorney Aaron Black or call (480) 729-1683. I am available any time, day or night, on weekends and holidays. I’ll promptly respond if I’m not in court.

I defend drug cases in Arizona’s justice, city, county, state, and federal courts.
In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, I wanted to inform clients and potential clients I am still available for consultations. I am always available by phone, text and/or email. We can also use Facetime for social distancing. The criminal justice system is not stopping due to COVID-19.

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