Possession With Intent to Sell
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Arizona courts harshly punish individuals charged with any type of drug-related offense. Those penalties are much more severe if you’re arrested for drug possession with intent to sell. Those three words following a drug charge significantly increase a person’s punishment if found guilty. Not only is the criminal charge for selling drugs more severe but so are the prison sentences and fines that accompany these charges.
If you’ve been accused of drug possession with the intent to sell in Arizona, you have legal rights and can fight against those charges. Don’t mistake an accusation for a conviction. Just because you’ve been arrested doesn’t mean that you’re automatically found guilty. You need an experienced Phoenix drug crime attorney representing you against these charges. Belén Olmedo Guerra has the knowledge and experience to face any drug charge, regardless of its severity.
What is Possession With Intent to Sell?
To be charged with possession with intent to sell drugs, law enforcement must prove that not only were you in possession of illegal drugs, but you had those drugs in your possession so that you could sell them. Anyone in possession of drugs with an amount over the predetermined threshold amount is considered to have the intent to sell based on the mass quantity alone. If you are found in possession of dangerous drugs or any other illegal substances above the threshold, you will not be eligible for probation and will serve jail time if convicted.
The threshold amount for drug possession is significant when charged with a drug crime. Regardless of whether the drug was in your possession for your personal use, any amount over the threshold is considered intent to sell. Listed below are the threshold amounts in Arizona for some common drugs:
- Amphetamine: 9 grams
- Cocaine: 9 grams
- Crack: 750 mg
- Heroin: 1 gram
- LSD: 0.5 ml or 50 dosage units
- Marijuana: 2 pounds
- Meth: 1 gram
- PCP: 4 grams
Drugs that are not listed above are considered above the threshold amount if their street value is more than $1,000.
Other factors that law enforcement looks for when law enforcement arrests someone on possession of drugs with intent to sell are:
- Cell phone records
- Bank account information
- Scales and other drug paraphernalia
- Large amounts of cash
- Baggies, foil, etc.
A simple possession charge in Arizona can be changed to drug possession with intent to sell if police find any drug paraphernalia or other evidence linked to drug sales. Being arrested on drug possession charges with the intent to sell is not something to take lightly, as Arizona courts have harsh punishments for those found guilty.
If you’re facing a drug possession with intent charge, you need a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience to help lessen the charges and potential prison sentences. Belén Olmedo Guerra has represented clients in Maricopa County and throughout Arizona on all types of drug offenses and is prepared to represent you.
Arizona Drug Possession Laws
Arizona law is very straightforward when it comes to drug possession charges. When “intent to sell” is added to those charges, the individual is subject to maximum punishment, which includes hefty fines and jail time. Arizona drug laws vary based on the type of drug you’re found in possession of, the amount of the drug (whether it’s above or below the threshold amount), and if you have a criminal history or prior drug convictions. Anyone found in possession of drugs with the intent to sell is in violation of Arizona Revised Statute 13.3408. We’ll explain more about this Arizona law below.
It’s important to note that Arizona is the only state in the entire United States where a first-time offender found guilty of marijuana possession can be convicted of a felony unless they have a medical marijuana card. This is a powerful example of how strict the drug possession laws are in Arizona.
Arizona Revised Statutes § 13.3408
Arizona Revised Statute 13.3408 states that anyone found in possession of an illegal drug with the intent to sell that drug is in violation of this law. According to this statute, it is illegal for anyone to knowingly:
- Use or possess dangerous drugs
- Possess illegal druga with the intent to sell
- Possess any equipment and/or chemicals that are used for making drugs
- Manufacture illegal drugs
- Administer a dangerous drug to someone else
- Obtain the administration of a drug by fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation
- Transport or sell dangerous drugs in Arizona or offer to sell or transport a narcotic into Arizona
Actual Possession vs. Constructive Possession
In Arizona, a person can be charged with two different types of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. There are distinct differences between the two possession types, and one is more challenging to prosecute than the other.
Actual possession is when a person is found to have dangerous drugs or other illegal substances on their person or immediate possession. Constructive possession, however, is when drugs are discovered in an area over which the person has control or domain. For example, if a person is a passenger in a vehicle with three others and illegal prescription drugs are found inside that vehicle, it could be argued that all four people in the vehicle were in constructive possession of those drugs.
An experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney will be able to fight any drug possession charges, especially one that is as circumstantial as constructive possession. If you’ve been charged with selling drugs in Maricopa County or throughout Arizona, contact our Phoenix drug crimes attorney at Belén Law Firm today.
What Are The Penalties for Drug Possession With Intent to Sell?
Drug possession with intent to sell conviction penalties will vary based on the type of drug and the amount of the drug in their possession. Listed below are the drugs you can be charged for and their penalties.
- Marijuana: The drug offenses vary based on the amount that you are found in possession of.
- Less than two pounds can result in a Class 4 felony with a minimum sentence of one and a half years.
- Two to four pounds can result in a Class 3 felony with a maximum sentence of seven years.
- Over four pounds can result in a Class 2 felony with a maximum sentence of ten years.
- Dangerous Drugs: According to the Arizona government, certain drugs are considered “dangerous” and are outlined in Arizona Statute 13-3407. These drugs are basically anything other than marijuana, like methamphetamine, hallucinogenic mushrooms, clonazepam, mescaline, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and any other drugs with similar compounds. Most hallucinogenic substances, stimulants, benzodiazepines, and other drugs are considered dangerous.
- If charged with possession with intent to sell any of the above dangerous drugs can result in a Class 2 felony with a minimum sentence of four years.
- Narcotic Drugs: Arizona Statute 13-3401 lists over 100 drugs as narcotics. The most common narcotics in Arizona are cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, MMDA, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine.
- Possession with intent to sell conviction can result in a Class 2 felony with a minimum sentence of four years.
- Prescription Drugs: These drugs do not include dangerous drugs or narcotics. Drug possession with intent to sell any drugs that fall under this category can result in a Class 6 felony with a maximum sentence of one and a half years. To be considered prescription drugs, they must fall under at least one of the categories below.
- Drugs that can be potentially harmful when not labeled with directions for use
- New drugs that are pending approval and can only be taken under medical supervision
- Drugs are not considered safe unless taken under medical supervision.
- Any drug that is not available for dispensing without a prescription under federal law
Keep in mind that the penalties surrounding controlled substance/drug possession with intent to sell will also vary based on criminal history and prior offenses. As skilled criminal defense attorneys in the Phoenix area, the team at Belén Law Firm has represented clients that are first-time offenders and those with criminal records. Regardless of the drug charges you’re facing, an experienced attorney from our firm can increase your chances of reduced sentencing and may even be able to get your charges dropped.
Defenses To Possession With Intent Charges in Arizona
Drug possession with intent to sell carries severe penalties in Arizona. However, just because you’ve been arrested does not mean you will be convicted of a drug crime. At Belén Law Firm, we have experience fighting against possessing drugs and other criminal charges for Phoenix residents.
Belén Olmedo Guerra has extensive experience fighting drug possession with intent to sell charges. Listed below are the most common defense strategies used when representing a client charged with a possession with intent to sell drug crime:
- The defendant was unknowingly in possession of the drugs
- The accused had no intent to sell drugs
- Lack of probable cause
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Mistake of fact
You can rest assured that your Phoenix criminal defense attorney from Belén Law Firm will provide the best defense and create reasonable doubt surrounding your drug crime charges.
Call an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney From Belén Law Firm Today
Drug possession with the intent to sell is a crime harshly punished by the Arizona courts, which means you need the best Phoenix drug crime defense attorney representing you. At the Belén Law Firm, your legal team will evaluate your charges and build the most vigorous defense to help get your charges reduced or even dismissed. Call our law office today at (602) 715-0908 to schedule a free consultation with a Phoenix drug crimes attorney at Belén Law Firm.