Arkansas Drug Laws

Our Arkansas Drug Lawyer, Justin Eisele, has written about why you need an attorney for your Arkansas drug laws case. This post focused on the 3 things you need to know about Arkansas drug laws.

First, Arkansas Drug Laws = “Controlled Substance.”

If you or a loved one is charged with violating Arkansas Drug Laws, their ticket or charges will say “controlled substance.” That could be possession, possession with intent to delivery, delivery, or manufacturing of a controlled substance in Arkansas. The reason it is called controlled is because the the state has deemed certain drugs unlawful to possess and so they are “controlled.” Depending on the drug potency, or its potential medical use, can control where the drug is located on the schedule.

Drugs Are Classified and that Affects the Punishment for your Arkansas Drug Case.

Drugs are ranked from schedule VI-I. Schedule I being the most serious. If you would like to review the entire list of Controlled Substances in Arkansas, you can click here to see that list at the Arkansas Pharmacy Board. We will start with least serious and work our way to the most serious:

  • Schedule VI drugs (marijuana, marijuana synthetics, and salvia divinorum) are substances that have no acceptable medical use, are unsafe even under direct medical supervision, have a high likelihood of physical and/or psychological dependence, and their use poses a significant risk to public health.
  • Schedule V drugs (such as pseudoephedrine and Pregabalin) have a lower likelihood of abuse than Schedule IV drugs, have a currently accepted medical use, and can lead to limited physical or psychological dependence compared to Schedule IV drugs.
  • Schedule IV drugs (such as changed tramadol) have a lower likelihood of abuse than Schedule III drugs, have an acceptable medical use, and if abused, can lead to limited psychological and physical dependence.
  • Schedule III drugs (such as phenobarbital and anabolic steroids) have a lower likelihood of abuse than Schedule I or II drugs, have an accepted medical use, and if abused, can lead to low or moderate physical dependence and high psychological dependence.
  • Schedule II drugs (such as raw opium, codeine and amphetamines) have a high likelihood of abuse, have an accepted medical use, and if abused, can result in severe psychological and physical dependence.
  • Schedule I drugs (such as opiates and hallucinogenics) have the highest likelihood of abuse and no accepted medical use.

This schedule is found at (Ark. Code §§ 5-64-203 to -216 (2019).

Punishment can vary widely depending on the schedule of drug you are alleged to have possession in Arkansas. A good attorney knows the Arkansas Drug Laws and can advise you. We have included this helpful chart so that you can see the different punishments. These punishments for possession only are as follows:

Punishment for Possession of Schedule I or II Controlled Substances

Penalties for possession of schedule I or II drugs range from a class D to class B felony.

Cocaine or Methamphetamine

The punishment for possession of Schedules I or II controlled substances (cocaine or methamphetamine only) depends on the amount the police say you had.

  • Possession of less than two grams is a class D felony.
  • Possession of two grams or more but less than ten grams is a class C felony.
  • Possession of ten grams or more but less than 200 grams is a class B felony.

Not Cocaine or Methamphetamine

The punishment for possession of Schedules I or II controlled substance (not cocaine or methamphetamine) depends on the amount of the drugs the police say you had.

  • Possession of less than two grams is a class D felony.
  • Possession of two grams or more but less than 28 grams is a class C felony.
  • Possession of 28 grams or more but less than 100 grams is a class B felony.

(Ark. Code § 5-64-419 (2019).)

Possession of Schedule III Controlled Substances

The punishment for possession of Schedule III controlled substances depends on the amount the cops say you had..

  • Possession of less than two grams is a class A misdemeanor except, if the person has four or more prior convictions, the penalty increases to class D felony.
  • Possession of two grams or more but less than 28 grams is a class D felony.
  • Possession of 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams is a class C felony.
  • Possession of 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams is a class B felony.

(Ark. Code § 5-64-419 (2019).)

Possession of Schedule IV or V Controlled Substances

The punishment for possession of Schedules IV or V controlled substances depends on the amount of the drug the police say you had.

  • Possession of less than 28 grams is a class A misdemeanor except, if the person has four or more prior convictions, the penalty increases to class D felony.
  • Possession of 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams is a class D felony.
  • Possession of 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams is a class C felony.
  • Possession of 400 grams or more but less than 800 grams is a class B felony.

(Ark. Code § 5-64-419 (2019).)

Possession of Schedule VI Controlled Substances

The punishment for possession of Schedules VI controlled substances depends on the how much of the drugs the cops say you had in your possession and whether the you have any prior convictions for possession of Schedule VI controlled substances.

  • Possession of less than four ounces is a class A misdemeanor.
  • Possession of one ounce or more but less than four ounces, when the defendant has four previous convictions for possession of Schedule VI drug, is a class D felony.
  • Possession of four ounces or more but less than ten pounds is a class D felony.
  • Possession of ten pounds or more but less than 25 pounds is a class C felony.
  • Possession of 25 pounds or more but less than 100 pounds is a class B felony.
  • Possession of 100 pounds or more but less than 500 pounds is a class A felony.

(Ark. Code § 5-64-419 (2019).)

Possession with Intent to Deliver is Punished Much more Harshly.

The above penalties are for “simple possession.” That means that your charges don’t accuse you of intending to deliver or sell it in the future. Possession with Intent to Deliver is complicated and will be discussed in more detail in a future post. If you are charged with delivery, possession with intent to deliver, or manufacture, you are looking at substantially longer prison sentences. They do not have to “catch” you selling drugs to seek these enhanced charges. They can allege your intent through other means such as paraphernalia, amount, and cell phone records.

Free Consultation.

Our Arkansas Drug Laws attorney, Justin Eisele, has over 15 years of experience. You can schedule a free consultation with him by calling 301.513.7832 or by scheduling your own appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you.