Narcotics Possession in Arizona

Narcotics Possession in Arizona

Just because the opioid epidemic is out of the news cycle doesn’t actually mean it’s getting any better. As recently as 2022, 5 Arizonans a day die from opioid overdoses, and another 9 suffered non-fatal overdose symptoms. In addition to just opioids, the number of seized narcotics at the Arizona border is tracking to be an all-time high this year. With narcotics very much a real problem across the US but also very specifically in Arizona, let’s take a look at the penalties involved for narcotics possession.

In Arizona, cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, MDMA, and fentanyl are all considered narcotic drugs. ARS 13-3408 makes the possession, production, distribution, or transportation of narcotics illegal, and all of these violations of the law are different degrees of felonies. Selling, manufacturing, administering a narcotic to another person unknowingly, and transportation of narcotics is a Class 2 felony, which carries a penalty of 3 to 35 years in prison. Possessing the equipment to make narcotics with the intent to make narcotics or procuring narcotics by means of fraud are both Class 3 felonies, which carries a sentence of 2 to 8 years. Simple possession of a narcotic is a Class 4 felony, which can carry a sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison.

While several of the drugs on the aforementioned list seem like obvious ones for legal intervention, it’s the possession of oxycodone that may have some people on edge. Rest assured, as long as the drug was prescribed to you and you filled the prescription as written, possession of oxycodone is legal. However, any actions you take under the influence of the drug are still subject to criminal investigation, such as driving. If you’ve been prescribed the drug for the first time, you’re best off using it at home initially until you know how the drug will affect you. As for the rest of the list, that’s a real use-at-your-own risk situation even before considering the legal ramifications.

It’s important to remember that narcotics are all inherently addictive. Even if you’ve never found yourself addicted to anything before, the extent to which narcotics affect your biology is miles removed from how caffeine or even exercise can affect you. However if that runner’s high isn’t enough for you and you find yourself chasing dragons, we here at Palestini Law are ready to take up your case. The only things we’re high on are life, liberty, and the pursuit of justice.


Originally from Toronto, Canada, James Palestini relocated to Arizona where he received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Studies with a minor in Criminology from Arizona State University. James then attended law school at Phoenix School of Law where he earned a Juris Doctorate degree. While pursuing his doctorate, James interned at a criminal defense firm in Scottsdale, Arizona. James handled a multitude of criminal cases there, including felony, misdemeanor and criminal traffic matters.