Dangerous Drugs for Sale
Any drug conviction on your record is going to seriously interfere with your life. However, a conviction for possessing dangerous drugs for sale will almost certainly land you in a jail cell. At the same time, overzealous police officers and prosecutors bring unjustified charges. Despite a lack of evidence or questionable circumstances under which the state’s evidence was obtained, police and prosecutors are known to pursue a conviction at almost any cost. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, our Maricopa County criminal defense attorney has more than 25 years of experience helping clients get out from under all types of drug cases. Attorney Novak has an in-depth knowledge of all the possible defenses that may apply in your case and will is dedicated to identifying the best possible defense in each of his clients’ cases.Arizona Drug Laws
Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3407, it is illegal to possess, use, manufacture, or sell drugs. Possession is typically reserved for those cases in which the prosecution believes the drugs found on you were for personal use. Thus, it would seem to be common sense that charges involving the possession of dangerous drugs for sale would require strong evidence that you actually sold the drugs. However, this is not the case.
Certainly, prosecutors will claim you sold drugs if they have evidence of a drug transaction. However, they don’t need that evidence to charge you with selling drugs. This is because state law permits prosecutors to rely on circumstantial evidence that you intended to sell the drugs, even if no one observed a sale.
When prosecutors review a case to determine whether they will bring drug-selling charges, they ask themselves the following questions:
- Was the person stopped with a large quantity of narcotics?
- Did they have a lot of money, especially small bills?
- Did the person have any way to consume the drugs they had?
- Did the person make any statements indicating they were selling?
- Were there any witnesses that heard or saw evidence of drug dealing?
Keep in mind that absent conflicting evidence, jurors tend to buy these arguments because, on some level, they appeal to their “common sense.” However, just because one or more of the following factors are present in your case doesn’t mean that there isn’t an equally plausible innocent explanation, and it’s a Tempe criminal defense lawyer’s job to remind the jury of that.Punishments for Possessing Dangerous Drugs for Sale
In most cases, possessing dangerous drugs for sale is a Class 2 felony, which is punishable by up to 12.5 years in jail. However, the presumptive sentence for a first-time conviction is five years in jail. This applies to all drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, crack, PCP, and most other street and prescription drugs. There are, however, two exceptions. Marijuana is not punished as harshly because the substance is legal to possess for recreational purposes (although it is still illegal to sell marijuana). The other exception is the possession with intent to sell methamphetamine, which is punished more severely than other drugs. Possessing methamphetamine with the intent to sell is still a Class 2 felony; however, the minimum sentence in this case is five years, the presumptive sentence is ten years, and the maximum sentence is 15 years.Are You Facing Serious Drug Charges?
If you were recently arrested and charged with possession of dangerous drugs for sale, reach out to the Law Office of James E. Novak for immediate assistance. Attorney Novak is a former prosecutor who, for the past two decades, has been defending the rights of clients charged with serious felony and misdemeanor offenses. He takes a strategic approach to every case he handles, ensuring that each of his clients receives the strong defense they need, deserve, and are entitled to. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call Attorney James Novak at (480) 413-1499. The Law Office of James Novak proudly defends clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler Scottsdale, Gilbert and other surrounding cities in Maricopa County.