In re Marquardt

In In re Marquardt, 161 Ariz. 206, 778 P.2d 241 (1989), the court addressed whether an Arizona judge who had been convicted of misdemeanor possession of marijuana in Texas had been convicted of a "crime punishable as a felony under Arizona or federal law" within the meaning of article 6.1, 2, Ariz. Const., and therefore was subject to disqualification for that offense. Marquardt, 161 Ariz. at 208, 778 P.2d at 243. The court concluded that although A.R.S. 13-702(H), the precursor to 13-604, see 2008 Ariz. Sess. Laws, ch. 301, 16, 24; 1993 Ariz. Sess. Laws, ch. 255, 11, gave prosecuting attorneys the discretion to treat and charge possession of a small amount of marijuana as a misdemeanor, that did not mean the offense was not "punishable as a felony." Marquardt, 161 Ariz. at 209, 778 P.2d at 244. The court stated: We do not believe the definition of what is "punishable as a felony" may vary with the policies and procedures adopted or discarded from time to time by the particular county attorney having jurisdiction over the offense and offender. In our view, the words "punishable as a felony" refer to the maximum punishment that might be imposed for the conduct involved and not to the usual routine of prosecutorial discretion on how or whether to charge at all. Id.