If you’ve been arrested in Arizona on charges of possession of drugs for sale (drug possession with intent to distribute), I’m sure you know you’ve been charged with a serious felony that could result in significant jail time if you are convicted.
You can be charged with intent to sell even if the drugs in your possession were for your personal use. The quantity of the drugs, configuration, and other circumstantial evidence (a scale, baggies, cash) can lead to this outcome.
However, we can challenge this in court. The police often overcharge intent to sell when a simple possession offense is all that the facts will support. As a defense attorney, I frequently argue that these charges should be reduced to simple drug possession, which at least takes some of the most serious possible penalties off the table.
were caught with enough of a controlled substance to warrant this charge, you may be facing some serious prison time. Call our office today for a consultation on your case and to see how a knowledgeable attorney can help you through the process.
How you will be charged and your potential sentence under Arizona drug laws depend on how much of a controlled substance you were caught with and what the substance was.
What Are Arizona’s Felony Drug Possession / Intent to Sell Laws?
Arizona classifies drugs into three main categories: dangerous drugs, narcotics, and marijuana.
Dangerous drugs include substances like LSD, ecstasy, methamphetamines, steroids, hallucinogenic mushrooms, GHB, mescaline, clonazepam, lorazepam, and more.
Narcotics are cocaine, heroin, opium, morphine, oxycodone, and more.
In order to be charged with possession with intent to sell or distribute, you must have had enough of the drug in your possession. The amount that determines this charge is called the statutory threshold amount.
The statutory threshold amount is the amount of the controlled substance in your possession. This amount is determined typically by weight and varies depending on the specific substance.
Some typical threshold amounts are:
- Cocaine– 9 grams
- Base (crack) cocaine– 750 milligrams
- Heroin– 1 gram
- PCP– 4 grams
- Methamphetamine– 9 grams
- LSD– ½ milliliter or 50 dosage units
If the amount you had on your person was greater than this threshold amount, you can be charged with possession with intent to distribute, even if your intent was not to sell the drugs.
Possessing a dangerous drug for sale
If you have enough of a “dangerous drug” in your possession to be over the statutory threshold for that substance, you can be charged with possessing a dangerous drug for sale.
Possessing a dangerous drug for sale is a class 2 felony under Arizona drug laws and carries a maximum sentence of 12.5 years in prison if convicted assuming you do not have any prior felony convictions.
Some drugs in this category have even stricter sentencing guidelines, such as sentencing for meth/methamphetamines If the substance you are caught with is methamphetamine, you will not be eligible for a suspension of your sentence, probation, or parole.
Ref: Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS 13-3407)
Possessing narcotics for sale
If you are over the statutory threshold for a narcotic you may be charged and convicted of this offense.
Possessing a narcotic drug for sale is a class 2 felony under Arizona drug laws and carries a maximum sentence of 12.5 years in prison if convicted assuming you do not have any prior felony convictions.
Ref: Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS 13-3408)
Are There Other Possible Penalties for These Charges?
Yes, if you are found guilty of possessing narcotics for sale, or possession of a dangerous drug for sale, and your sentence is suspended or you are placed on probation, you will have a number of strict conditions for probation.
One of the mandatory probationary conditions for these offenses is serving a minimum of 360 hours of community service.
In many cases, this is a good outcome for serious felony drug charges. As your defense attorney, I will work to get your charges reduced, and sentence suspended. My primary goal in fighting a felony drug offense is to keep you out of jail.
Of course, I will challenge the prosecution to prove all the facts required for a conviction, and make sure any evidence collected against you unfairly is thrown out. You are protected by constitutional rights against illegal search and seizure, and the police are certainly known to push these rights.
Free Legal Defense Consultation on Arizona Possession of Narcotics / Dangerous Drugs for Sale
Facing prison time is scary and can be very stressful. To help you figure out what to do next, contact our criminal defense lawyers to help work through your options. We know Arizona’s tough drug laws, we know what challenges are likely to work in your specific circumstances.
We will go over your case with you, discuss where the evidence is weak, and what we can do to challenge the courts and fight for you! When your freedom is on the line, you need the best drug possession defense lawyers in Arizona on your side.
Call us for a consultation today. There is no obligation for our advice.