Possession of Drugs for Sale / Transportation (A.R.S §13-3407)
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In Arizona, per A.R.S §13-3407 (A)(2) and A.R.S §13-3407 (A)(7), it is unlawful to knowingly possess a dangerous drug for sale, or to transport a dangerous drug for sale. The statute however does not define what qualifies as “possession for sale” nor does it define what “transportation for sale” is. Usually, if the amount of drugs that the defendant was found with meets the threshold amount, it is assumed that the defendant had the drugs in order to sell them. The drug “threshold” amount also requires a mandatory prison sentence upon a first conviction of any drug offense involving this amount.
The threshold amounts for some common drugs are:
- Nine (9) grams for methamphetamine
- Nine (9) powdered grams of cocaine or three quarter (3/4) gram in rock (crack) form
- One (1) gram of heroin
- A half (1/2) millimeter of LSD or fifty (50) dosage units (blotter form)
- Four (4) grams or fifty (50) milliliters of PCP
- More than two (2) pounds of marijuana.
Watch this short video where David explains Possession of Drugs for Sale / Transportation of Drugs for Sale in Arizona:
Additional factors that the police and prosecution will look to if the threshold amount is not met, to prove intent to sell, include whether the defendant had a large amount of money in their possession, the drugs hidden in a vehicle or stored away in luggage, did the person possess numerous baggies or other items which could separate the drug into sale-able packets, was there a scale, etc..
Contact our firm if you have been charged with Possession of Drugs for Sale or Transportation of Drugs for Sale. Call Us Anytime 24/7 at 602-307-0808 or use our contact form for a Free Consultation.
Possible Punishment for Possession of Drugs for Sale / Transportation of Drugs for Sale
A Possession of Drugs for Sale / Transportation for Sale, is a class two (2) felony under Arizona law and can carry multiple punishments.
- If the amount was below the above thresholds, then a first offense sentence can range anywhere from probation with zero (0) days to 1 year in jail -or- prison of 3 years to 12.5 years of incarceration.
- If the defendant is sentenced to a term of probation, he will have to complete 240 hours of community restitution.
- If the amount of drugs is above the threshold amount, then prison is the only available sentence, and can range from 3 years to 12.5 years in prison.
- If a person has one (1) allegeable historical prior felony conviction (regardless if the current case is above or below the threshold amount), then the “prison only” range is 4.5 years to 23.25 years of incarceration.
- If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior felony convictions, then the sentence can range from 10.5 years to 35 years in prison.
Possible Defenses for Possession of Drugs for Sale / Transportation of Drugs for Sale
The key to defending against charges of Possession of Drugs for Sale and Transportation of Drugs for Sale is two fold. First, we must demonstrate that the defendant did not have “knowledge” of the drugs (i.e., “Lack of Knowledge”). For example, many times we see cases where an acquaintance, friend, or roommate asks the defendant if they will drive and drop off their vehicle at a certain location for another “friend” to pick-up and borrow. This is done without the defendant’s knowledge that there are drugs packed away in the trunk, in a false bottom gas tank, or some other area of the vehicle.
We have also defended cases where a defendant has had their suitcase packed / tampered with by a roommate who placed drugs inside it without the defendant’s knowledge. The second line of defense is presenting evidence that the drugs were not for sale, but rather they were for the defendant’s personal use. Although presumptions are created when the defendant has the statutory threshold amount of drugs, these presumptions can still be rebutted by presenting evidence to the jury or judge that negates any intention by the defendant to sell.
Additionally, because our law firm fights conviction from all angles, we would assert a wide range of defenses and challenges to constitutional violations that apply in all criminal cases. The possibilities are numerous and diverse. One of those we frequently assert is a “Miranda rights violation.” In Arizona, the standard of whether any incriminating statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence is based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read your Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements.
In addition, the “denial of right to Counsel” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but is denied and questioning continues. Other defenses may include challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case. Depending on what else you have been charged with, this could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints analysis; DNA testing; computer analysis/cloning hard drive procedures; forensic financial accounting reviews; etc.
Lastly, one of the most common defense tactics is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled Possession of Drugs for Sale/Transportation of Drugs for Sale lawyer to defend you who has knowledge of all the possible defenses to assert in your case.