Arizona Drug Possession with the Intent to Sell: What You Need to Know About ARS 13-3407
In the state of Arizona, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-3407, the technical meaning of drug possession refers to illegally or knowingly possessing any drug for sale that is considered dangerous. In summary, it means selling drugs that are considered dangerous.
Examples of what the statute considers a dangerous drug include methamphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, PCP, and even marijuana when the amount exceeds two pounds.
You Have Rights, and We’re Here to Help!
However, ARS 13-3407 fails to define what qualifies as “drug possession for sale” and leaves out the meaning of the important legal phrase “transportation for sale” of drugs.
Some would argue that these essential definitions have been left out of the statute because this gives the authorities the ability to charge someone with possession of drugs for sale even when the amount may objectively be considered an amount that would typically be defined as no more than enough for personal use.
And while it is certainly true that the drug possession of higher amounts of drugs for sale does give the prosecution a stronger case against a defendant, statutory threshold amount rules delineated in the statute are not always followed. Thus making it possible for the prosecution to argue the amount — no matter how far below the threshold — was intended to be sold by the defendant, because this is a far more serious crime than drug possession for personal use.
Some of the statutory threshold amounts of drugs that are supposed to be used to find someone guilty of possession of drugs for sale includes, but are not limited to:
- 2 pounds of cannabis (marijuana)
- 9 grams of methamphetamine, including methamphetamine in any form of a liquid suspension
- 9 grams of amphetamine, including amphetamine in any form of a liquid suspension
- 9 grams of cocaine, in powder or rock form, 1 gram of heroin
- 50 millimeters or 4 grams of PCP
The Prosecution Wants You Found Guilty: What They Look For in Addition to Drugs to Make It Happen
There are, of course, other things that authorities such as the police and the prosecution against you will suggest could only have been present because you possessed drugs for the purpose of selling them, and this is something they will argue most ardently when the amount of the narcotics or other drugs found is below — or even far below — the threshold that establishes the charge of possession of drugs for sale in Arizona.
Some of the things that could be present at the scene that could help the prosecution persuade the judge and jury that the defendant was involved in selling drugs include items such as:
- Drug paraphernalia Baggies, the prosecution will argue, is meant for separating the drugs into saleable amounts or packages.
- Cash, especially large amounts of cash, although the statute does not establish exactly what a “large amount” of cash constitutes, making it completely subjective and subject to an argument in court.
- Drugs, including drugs that may not be included in the charges associated with the charges of possession of drugs for sale, are found anywhere in a vehicle, in a backpack, stored in luggage, or even in a purse or other handbag.
- The presence of a scale, which the prosecution will argue could only have been present for the purpose of weighing drugs for the purpose of dividing them into portions later to be sold.
Penalties and Sentencing for the Possession of Drugs for Sale or Transportation in Arizona
Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-3407, the possession of drugs for sale or the transportation of drugs for sale is considered a class 2 felony, for which there are several hefty penalties and harsh sentencing.
- For first-time offenders found to be in possession of drugs for sale below the thresholds delineated above, sentencing may be as little as probation with anywhere from 0 days to 1 year in jail or as severe as a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 12.5 years in prison.
- Importantly, those who are sentenced to probation of any term must also complete 240 hours of community restitution.
- For those found guilty of possessing drugs for sale where the amount is above the legal threshold, there is no option for probation or jail. The minimum sentence is 3 years, and the maximum is 12.5 years in prison.
- For those convicted of possessing drugs for sale or transportation of drugs for sale who has one prior felony conviction — whether the number of narcotics found was above or below the legal threshold — the minimum sentence is 4.5 years with a maximum sentence of 23.25 years in prison.
- If the person found guilty of possessing drugs for sale has two prior felony convictions, s/he will face a minimum sentence of 10.5 years and a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison.
An Experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Who Understands Possession of Drugs for Sale Charges in Arizona
At the Law Office of Daniel Hutto, we understand that when you have been charged with possession of drugs for sale in Arizona, the stress and fear can be all-consuming. While we are absolutely here to meet your legal needs and fight aggressively for you in court to get your charges reduced or even dismissed, we’re also here to help you understand all your options and guide you through every step of the process.
We’ll work hard to build your defense and investigate every aspect of your case to ensure the best outcome for you and your family. No other criminal defense law firm in the state of Arizona will work harder for you. To learn more about the options available, give the Law Office of Daniel Hutto a call for your free legal consultation by dialing 602.536.7878 today.
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