Drug Crimes Defense Attorney in Tucson Arizona

If you or someone you care about has been charged with a drug crime in Tucson, you need an experienced and knowledgeable drug crime criminal defense attorney on your side. Arizona has some of the harshest criminal drug offense laws in the country. The team of attorneys at the Rosenstein Law Group are skilled, knowledgeable, and aggressive drug crimes defenders. Our office successfully provides defense on drug offenses including:

  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (PODP)
  • Possession of Marijuana (POM)
  • Possession of a Dangerous Drug
  • Possession of a Narcotic Drug
  • Possession of a Prescription-Only Drug
  • Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute Illegal Drugs
  • Manufacturing Illegal Drugs

To speak with an experienced Tucson drug crime lawyer that can answer your questions, call (480) 248-7666 and learn what the seasoned team of aggressive criminal defense attorneys at the Rosenstein Law Group can do for you.

Commonly Charged Drug Crimes in Tucson Arizona

If you merely possess any illegal drug, including marijuana without a valid medical marijuana card, dangerous drug, narcotic drug, or any prescription-only drug without a valid prescription, you can be charged with a felony criminal offense. Most charges do not require a showing of “intent to use” as an element of the offense, making it much easier for the State to gain a conviction. Representation by a qualified and experienced defense attorney is critical to your defense.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (PODP)

Under Arizona law it is a class 6 felony to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or introduce into the human body a drug. A.R.S. § 13-3415. Possession of drug paraphernalia can be charged even when drugs are not present.

Possession of Marijuana (POM)

Under Arizona law it is either a class 6 felony or class 1 misdemeanor depending on the jurisdiction where charges are filed to knowingly possess or use marijuana. A.R.S. § 13-3405. If you are in possession of more than the threshold amount of 2 pounds or more of marijuana, there is a legal presumption that the possession is intended for sale and it will be charged as a felony with greater consequences.

Possession of a Dangerous Drug

Under Arizona law it is a class 4 felony to knowingly possess or use a dangerous drug. A.R.S. § 13-3407. A dangerous drug is defined as any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that contains any quantity of the following hallucinogenic substances and their salts, isomers, whether optical, positional, or geometric, and salts of isomers, unless specifically excepted, whenever the existence of such salts, isomers and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation. A.R.S. § 13-3401.

Common examples of this drug include clonazepam, ecstasy, methamphetamine, amphetamine, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, carisoprodol, alprazolam, diazepam, modafinil, mescaline, lorazepam.

Possession of a Narcotic Drug

Under Arizona law it is a class 4 felony to knowingly possess or use a narcotic drug (A.R.S. § 13-3408). Examples of narcotic drugs include, but are not limited to, natural or synthetic cocaine, fentanyl, opium, cannabis, heroin, morphine, oxycodone, codeine, and hydrocodone. A.R.S. § 13-3401(20).

Possession of a Prescription-Only Drug

Under Arizona law it is a class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly possess or use a prescription-only drug unless the person obtains the prescription-only drug by a valid prescription (A.R.S. § 13-3406).

These are all personal possession or personal use drug crimes that are commonly charged in the City of Tucson Municipal Court and Pima County Superior Court. There are also sale of drug crimes and manufacturing drug crimes (discussed below) that statutorily have more severe sentences and penalties than personal possession/use crimes.

Trust the Experienced Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys at Rosenstein Law Group

The Rosenstein Law Group (RLG) was founded in 2007 as a criminal defense firm with the end goal of freeing people charged with crimes from the criminal justice system. Since its founding, the firm has employed associate attorneys previously working for criminal departments at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, the County Attorney’s Office, and the Public Defender’s Office. The team of attorneys at RLG have over 100 years of combined criminal defense experience.

When you hire the team of attorneys at RLG you will receive a defense tailored to the circumstances, facts, and law of your case. Employing a tailored strategy to reduce the charges or avoid the maximum penalties under the law can significantly reduce the impact of Arizona’s harsh drug crimes laws. In some instances, it is possible to obtain a reduced charge, stipulated minimum sentencing, or much lighter plea deal – including pretrial diversion programs that result in no conviction.

Possible Tucson Drug Crimes Defenses

Most Importantly, in some cases, these are defense strategies that can be utilized to obtain a Dismissal or Not Guilty verdict:

  • Illegal Search & Seizure: The State (police officers or their agents) cannot infringe upon your 4th Amendment right of protection against unreasonable searches. Generally, searches of your private premises without a warrant are presumed to be illegal unless a specific exception to the law applies.
  • Unlawful Arrest: An officer must have knowledge of sufficient facts arising to a reasonable belief that a crime has occurred or will occur, and the person arrested committed or was going to commit a crime. The officer must be able to state specific facts that support their belief—they cannot just be suspicions.
  • Lack of Knowledge: Ignorance of possession, or the item’s illegal nature, can be an effective defense.
  • Lack of Evidence: A criminal allegation by the State against a defendant must be proved by the highest legal standard—Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. In some cases, the State’s evidence, no matter how hard they try, just does not meet this hurdle in the minds of jurors or a judge.
  • Prescription: In some cases, presenting a prescription can result in dismissed charges.
  • Entrapment: A difficult defense to prove and risky defense to employ. However, if it can be shown that State agents were the only reason for defendant’s actions then this is a possible defense.

Free Initial Consultation for Your Tucson Drug Possession Charges Today

Time is of the essence when defending against criminal charges. Your decision to get involved early in your case will assist your defense team to gather all the factual and legal information necessary to tailor the most effective defense for your case. You can speak with an experienced drug crimes defense attorney today by calling (480) 248-7666 or by filling out the consultation request form online.

Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute Illegal Drugs

In situations where police find large quantities of marijuana, narcotic drugs, dangerous drugs, or prescription-only drugs, charges for possessing with the intent to sell or distribute marijuana or other illegal drugs may be filed in the Pima County Superior Court. The charges will be serious felonies, for dangerous or narcotic drugs the charges will be class 2 or 3 felonies. Even in cases where large quantities of drugs are not found, but equipment used to sell (scales, baggies, configuration of drugs) or transport drugs are found, those facts alone can be readily used to up the charges from mere possession to possession with intent to sell or distribute. Even in cases where possession is merely for personal reasons, the surrounding circumstances in each case will drive what charges are ultimately filed between possession vs. sale/distribution charges.

How Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute Illegal Drugs is Determined

The penalties for possession to sell or distribute drugs are incrementally severe depending on quantities and type of drug. There are mandatory Department of Corrections (prison) sentences upon conviction for some charges. In some situations, personal or real property (House), may be confiscated by authorities. (A.R.S. § 13-3405, A.R.S. § 13-3406, A.R.S. § 13-3407, A.R.S. § 13-3408, A.R.S. § 13-701 et. seq.).

If the drugs found are above the statutory threshold, it is presumed by law, that possession is with the intent to sell or distribute. Threshold amount means a weight, market value or other form of measurement of an unlawful substance. A.R.S § 13-3401 Statutory Threshold Amounts:

  • Heroin – 1 gram
  • Cocaine – 9 grams
  • Crack / Base Cocaine – 750 milligrams
  • PCP – 4 grams, or 50 milliliters
  • Meth – 9 grams, including methamphetamine in liquid suspension
  • Speed / Amphetamine – 9 grams, including amphetamine in liquid suspension
  • LSD – One-half milliliter of lysergic acid diethylamide, or 50 blotter dosage units
  • Marijuana – 2 pounds

Manufacturing Illegal Drugs

Under Arizona law it is a felony to produce marijuana, or possess equipment or chemicals, or both, for the purpose of manufacturing dangerous drugs, narcotics, or prescription only drugs. Serious felony charges arise with manufacturing drugs (class 2 felony) or being in possession of equipment (class 3 felony) used for manufacturing drugs.

Call Rosenstein Law Group to Schedule A Free Initial Consultation

Craig Rosenstein, and the team of attorneys at the Rosenstein Law Group, will aggressively defend you against criminal drug charges in Tucson. Call the firm at (480) 248-7666, or fill out a consultation request online, and get your team set today.


  • All fields required *
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.