The possession of drugs in the state of Arizona is a serious crime. However, when lawmakers determine a person carrying drugs had the intent to sell, consequences are much more severe. In Phoenix and Arizona as a whole, drugs are typically broken into four categories: dangerous drugs, narcotics, prescription drugs, and marijuana. The procedure for determining intent to sell depends on the drug, however, any charge of possession of drugs for sale or distribution is serious and an experienced attorney should be consulted.
Dangerous drugs include methamphetamine, hallucinogenic mushrooms, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), clonazepam, mescaline, and any drugs containing these or similar compounds. Benzodiazepines, hallucinogenic substances, and many stimulants are classified as dangerous drugs as well. Narcotic drugs are classified by their effect on one’s mood or behavior. Cocaine, heroin, opium, oxycodone, and morphine are all designated narcotics by the Arizona authorities.
Authorities have procedures for identifying an intent to sell. For marijuana, narcotics, and dangerous drugs, this is determined by a threshold amount. If in possession of drugs below the threshold amount, a person is said to have those drugs for personal use. Anything above that amount warrants intention to sell. This conclusion is made regardless of the individual’s actual purpose or history. Threshold amounts used by the state of Arizona include:
Intent to sell prescription drugs is measured differently. Because legal amounts of prescription drugs differ from person to person, authorities don’t refer to the threshold amount. Medical history, criminal history, the nature of the drug, and other considerations are taken into account when the court determines intent to sell these items.
Consequences for marijuana possession with intent to sell depend on the amount. A person carrying between 2 and 4 pounds is guilty of a class 5 felony. Possessing more than 4 pounds of marijuana is a class 4 felony. A class 5 felony has a maximum prison sentence of 2 years, and a class 4 felony has a maximum sentence of 3.
Intending to sell dangerous drugs or narcotics is a class 2 felony, carrying a minimum sentence of 4 years and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Intending to sell prescription drugs is the least serious of the possession-with-intent charges, as a class 6 felony. It carries a maximum prison sentence of 1.5 years. All prescription drug crimes come with a $1,000 fine.
When determining consequences for selling drugs, the Arizona courts take into account the amount of drugs, the type of drugs, and the history of the accused. Fines, community service, and probation are common consequences, and prison is a possibility for drug-related crimes. On the federal level, 50% of prisoners are incarcerated for drug-related crimes. However, for first-time offenders and those suffering with drug addiction, Arizona courts favor less extreme consequences. Many found guilty of drug offenses face probation and addiction treatment rather than prison time, provided they have good lawyers.
Being accused of possessing drugs with the intent to sell is a serious charge. However, prison time or a felony charge is not definite. To get the most lenient sentence, high-quality legal representation is a must. If you have been accused of possession of any kind of drugs with the intent to sell, contact the Stewart Law Group to speak with Attorney Scott Stewart today.