Under federal and state law, heroin and other illicit narcotic drugs are illegal, but many states now offer drug diversion programs to help drug addicts get treatment instead of going to prison. The powerful opiate is classified as a Schedule I drug in Arizona (making its possession a felony). However, if the defendant has never been convicted of a felony, the court has the option of making it a Class 1 misdemeanor. If this is the case, the fine must be at least $1000 or three times the value of the substance, whichever is higher. The following graph summarizes the various heroin offenses, with a more detailed breakdown below.
Section of the Code
13-3401 et cetera; 36-2501 et cetera
Class 4 felony, but the court can reduce it to a Class 1 misdemeanor if the offender has never been convicted of a felony; fine of not less than $1000 or three times the value of the substance, whichever is greater;
Class 3 felony punishable by a fine equal to three times the drug’s value or $1,000; Sale to a minor is a Class 2 felony punishable by a fine of $2000 or three times the value of the item, whichever is greater. For selling to minors in a drug-free school zone, add one year to the sentence and a fine.
Transportation/importation is a Class 2 felony (manufacture)
Heroin is in your possession.
Possession of heroin is a felony drug charge in Arizona. This means that a sentence of at least two years and six months in prison is expected. A court may be able to reduce the drug charge to a Class 1 Misdemeanor depending on the street value of the heroin in possession. If the defendant agrees, this is an option. In addition to the jail time, the fine is $1000, or three times the heroin’s street value, whichever is greater.
Heroin is being sold.
Selling heroin is a Class 3 felony, which means the penalty is more severe than simple possession, which is a Class 4 felony. If the sale is to a minor, the crime is elevated to a Class 2 felony, and if the sale occurs in a drug-free school zone, the sentence is increased by one year. A Class 3 felony carries a fine of $1000 or three times the value of the drugs, whichever is higher. The minimum fine is $2000 if the sale is to a minor.
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