All states regulate and control the sale of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for sale. Arkansas classifies not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine as controlled substances, but also the compounds used to manufacture them.
This article discusses sale of CDS for only. The possession of CDS for personal use carries different penalties. For more information on possession of CDS for personal use, see Possession of Controlled Substances in Arkansas.
Arkansas divides its CDS into six “schedules,” according to their potential for abuse:
If you’ve been arrested for possession for sale of CDS, you’ll need to consult the Arkansas Code that list precisely which drugs, and in what amounts, fit into each group. Those statutes are Arkansas Code Sections 5-64-203 through 5-64-216.)
Some CDS, like codeine, a common painkiller, may be possessed legally so long as the holder has a valid prescription.
Arkansas treats its CDS crimes as either felonies or misdemeanors (which result in less jail time and lower fines than felonies).
Each of the felony and misdemeanor classes is punished based on the type of CDS, the amount of CDS, whether the CDS was delivered, or whether the CDS was in the defendant’s possessions with the intent to deliver. Below, each of the CDS possession offenses is explained and placed in a felony or misdemeanor class. The punishment ranges are explained first.
Felony convictions incur heavy fines and lengthy incarceration, depending on the class of felony committed:
Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year of incarceration and a fine of up to $2,500.
Possession with the intent to deliver or the actual delivery of methamphetamine or cocaine is punished based on the amount of the substance involved:
Possession with the intent to deliver or the actual delivery of Schedule I or II CDS other than methamphetamine or cocaine is punished based on the amount of the substance involved:
Possession with the intent to deliver 128 milligrams or more, or 160 doses or more but less than 200 grams of hydromorphone hydrochloride or LSD is a Class A felony.
Possession with the intent to deliver or the actual delivery of Schedule III CDS is punished based on the amount of the substance involved:
Possession with the intent to deliver or the actual delivery of Schedule IV or V CDS is punished based on the amount of the substance involved:
Delivery of 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams is a Class C felony. Delivery of 400 grams or more but less than 800 grams is a Class B felony.
Possession with intent to deliver 200 grams or more but less than 400 hundred grams of CDS that is not a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant, is a Class C felony.
Possession with the intent to deliver or the actual delivery of Schedule IV or V is punished based on the amount of the substance involved:
Even though nitrous oxide is not a scheduled CDS, Arkansas still punishes people who possess nitrous oxide for the purpose of intoxication. The unlawful possession of nitrous oxide is a Class A misdemeanor. (Arkansas Code Section 5-64-1201.)
Arkansas imposes additional penalties in certain situations, as explained below.
A defendant convicted of the sale of Schedule I or II CDS that is a narcotic or methamphetamine to a person under the age of 18, who is at least three years younger than the defendant, is punished at the next higher criminal classification.
(Arkansas Section 5-64-406.)
Sale of CDS near certain facilities
A defendant convicted of a Class C felony sale within 1,000 feet of these facilities will be punished by an additional ten years' incarceration:
(Arkansas Code Section 5-64-411.)
A continuing criminal enterprise is activity that includes the commission of two or more felonies, with at least five other people whom the defendant managed and from which the defendant derived substantial income. A conviction for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise is an unclassified felony. Defendants who are convicted of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise receive a sentence that is twice that of the underlying crime.
The penalty for a second conviction of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise is incarceration for a period that is three times that of the underlying crime.
(Arkansas Code Section 5-64-405.)
If a person has been convicted in any state for any crime that involved marijuana, hallucinogens, narcotics, depressants, or stimulants, Arkansas will punish a subsequent CDS conviction with a period of incarceration of up to twice the term of the underlying crime, and up to twice the amount of the fine. However, some subsequent CDS convictions are penalized more harshly. To see how Arkansas may treat your subsequent CDS related conviction you should refer to Arkansas Code Section 5-64-408.
Distribution convictions carry steep penalties and have a long-lasting impact on your life. If you have past convictions, you face even harsher penalties. To learn about your options and the possible outcome of each, you should consult an attorney who specializes in CDS defense.