Possession of Drugs for Sale/ Trafficking

Arizona Revised Status section 13-3407 makes it a felony to sell or traffic illicit drugs in Arizona. Drug sales and trafficking are serious offenses in Arizona and can result in life changing penalties. If you have been charged with drug sales or trafficking you need skilled legal experts on your side. Contact Cliff Hill today for a consultation and to learn more about your legal options.

Penalties for drug related crimes in Arizona are severe. Our proximity to the border puts law enforcement at heightened alert for drug trafficking and sales. Every year law enforcement seizes tens of thousands of pounds of drugs illegally coming through the Mexican border. Arizona residents also report slightly higher than average drug use compared to other states in the US, with roughly 9% reporting recent illegal drug usage in the past month compared to the 8% national average.

Arizona law defines certain “thresholds” for the quantity of drugs in possession that will change the charges and penalties against you. These thresholds define the difference between possession and possession to sell, and define the minimum quantity of drug possession that can be eligible for probation charges over jail time, meaning anything over these amounts equals immediate jail time. The thresholds are:

  1. 1 gram of heroin.
  2. 9 grams of cocaine.
  3. 750 milligrams of cocaine base or hydrolyzed cocaine.
  4. 4 grams or 50 milliliters of PCP.
  5. 9 grams of methamphetamine, including methamphetamine in liquid suspension.
  6. 9 grams of amphetamine, including amphetamine in liquid suspension.
  7. ½ milliliter of lysergic acid diethylamide, or in the case of blotter dosage units fifty dosage units.
  8. 2 pounds of marijuana

For any combination consisting solely of those unlawful substances listed in subdivisions (a) through (h) of this paragraph, an amount equal to or in excess of the threshold amount, as determined by the application of section 13‑3420.

For any unlawful substance not listed in subdivisions (a) through (h) of this paragraph or any combination involving any unlawful substance not listed in subdivisions (a) through (h) of this paragraph, a value of at least one thousand dollars.

 

Sales

A.R.S. 13-3407 makes it illegal to “possess a dangerous drug for sale”. Possession with intent to sell is usually determined by looking for factors like:

  • Quantities of drugs over the threshold limits
  • Presence of drug paraphernalia related to selling, like scales or bags
  • Pre-packaged drugs seemingly prepared for sale
  • Other sales-related activity like many people coming to and from your home

Law enforcement must prove certain facts to successfully charge for drug sales. It must be true that:

  1. You were in possession of an illicit drug; and
  2. You were aware of your possession and its illegality; and
  3. You possessed a high enough quantity of the drugs to show intent to sell; and
  4. You intended to sell the drugs

 

Marijuana

In 2014 there were almost 1,500 arrests in Arizona for marijuana sales and manufacturing.

Other Drugs

In 2014 there were about 2,300 arrests in Arizona for the manufacturing and sales of drugs other than marijuana.

Trafficking or Transport for Sale

A.R.S 13-3407 defines trafficking as the “Transport for sale, import into this state or offer to transport for sale or import into this state, sell, transfer or offer to sell or transfer a dangerous drug”

  1. You were in possession of an illicit drug; and
  2. You were aware of your possession and its illegality; and
  3. You possessed a high enough quantity of the drugs to show intent to sell; and
  4. You intended to sell the drugs

Penalties

Penalties depend on the defendant's previous criminal history, the quantity and type of drugs involved, the intent of possession, and the factors surrounding the arrest (did it involve weapons or was it near a state or national border?).

 

Sales

Penalties for selling marijuana under the threshold amount (2 pounds) will be charged as a Class 4 Felony and includes fines up to $150,000 and incarceration up to 4 years. 2-4 pounds of marijuana warrants a Class 3 Felony, and over 4 pounds warrants a Class 2 Felony.

Sales of narcotic drugs are charged as a Class 3 Felony and can result in incarceration up to 5 years, and fines of at least $1,000.

Sales of methamphetamine results in a Class 2 Felony conviction and a minimum of 5 years of flat time incarceration without chance of probation or parole (early release).

Trafficking or Transport for Sale

Penalties for trafficking are just a severe. For marijuana, trafficking under the threshold amount (2 pounds) is charged as a Class 2 Felony and can result in incarceration up to 9 years. Trafficking over the threshold amount (more than 2 pounds) can result in incarceration up to 10 years. Both charged are subject to fines up to $150,000.

Trafficking of narcotic drugs is charged as a Class 2 Felony and can result in incarceration up to 15 years, and fines of at least $1000.

If the trafficking involves methamphetamine, the minimum penalty for trafficking is 5 years of flat time incarceration without probation or parole (early release).

Penalties for both sales and trafficking can be increased with prior convictions and certain aggravated circumstances and can lead to significant incarceration terms.  If the sales or trafficking involves methamphetamine the term of incarceration is flat time meaning there is no early release or parole. 

Defenses

Cliff Hill understands what evidence goes into drug sales and trafficking cases and knows how to provide the best defenses. He can make sure that there was a valid arrest, search, and collection of information and evidence.

Cliff Hill has successfully defended clients across Yavapai County for drug-related crimes. He has the experience and investigative skills you need to help defend you. If you have been charged with drug sales or trafficking, contact Cliff Hill.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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