What kind of penalty am I looking at for possession of Marijuana in Arizona?
My friend and I (Both San Diego locals) were stopped at the US Border Patrol checkpoint in Yuma, Arizona about 15 days ago. This checkpoint is located on the I-8 eastbound and is staffed by US Border Patrol and Customs agents. I had a small (about 2 to 3 grams), personal amount of Marijuana in my car, and the drug sniffing dogs alerted the agents to my car. They had me pull over and asked if they could search my car. They found the marijuana and 2 small pipe’s in the car. I was honest with the US Border Patrol and Customs agents about the location of the Marijuana in the car and that I had no intent to sell the Marijuana and that it was for person use only. He asked me if I was aware of the No Tolerance law in AZ, to which I responded No, as far as I was aware in California as long as you possessed less then an ounce of Marijuana with no intention to sell, it was a $100 max ticket. He said in AZ, I might as well have been caught with a Brick of Pot, as the law is different in AZ and all Marijuana possession in considered a major felony. They ended up giving my friend and I a ticket for felony possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The agent said that I was not the type of person I was looking for and actually apologized for delaying us for so long (we were at the check point fro close to 3 hours) . There was no DUI and after seizing the stuff and writing it up, they sent me on my way in my car. I have to return to Yuma in a few weeks to appear in court. We both have no prior Police records for anything, including no speeding tickets, etc. I have read that their is a $750 minimum penalty in AZ.
Does anybody know what I am looking at as a penalty? Or has anyone out there been through this in AZ, as the Customs agent informed me that they stop on average 5 to 10 people a day from CA on the same charge. THANKS FOR THE REPLY!!!