Phoenix Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell Lawyer

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Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell Attorney in Phoenix, AZ

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS), the Drug Enforcement Agency Phoenix, and local police departments work together to conduct investigations of the sale and distribution of illegal or controlled substances like marijuana. Local Arizona police departments work closely with prosecutors to get as many guilty convictions as possible. What makes matters even worse is that with an intent to sell charge, the state has the right to maximize the sentence of those convicted of these charges. This includes more jail time and higher fines.

If you have been charged with intent to sell, your ideal defense is to exercise your right to remain silent and contact a lawyer as soon as you get a chance. A qualified and reliable criminal defense lawyer is the number one resource you can have to help optimize the outcome of your case. The Phoenix marijuana lawyers at Ryan Garvey Attorneys have the experience and knowledge you need to build a strong intent to sell marijuana defense that can make all the difference in how your life is affected by these charges. Our award-winning firm takes an aggressive approach to all our marijuana crime cases, and we have represented clients many times in successful marijuana possession cases.

When Possession of Marijuana Becomes Intent to Sell

The possession of marijuana in Phoenix is defined by three criteria that must be met beyond a reasonable doubt. These criteria include the following conditions:

  • The defendant knowingly possessed marijuana.
  • The substance is confirmed to be marijuana.
  • The defendant possessed the marijuana with the intention of selling it.

While state law defines threshold amounts that constitute the felony class for intent to sell charges and sentencing for convictions, it is not entirely about possessing a bulk amount of marijuana that constitutes intent to sell. The definition of intent to sell in this state is the evident intention or purpose to exchange marijuana plant for something of value (e.g., money) or advantage. Thus, when found alongside certain items like those listed below, the intent to sell becomes unmistakable, and the amount of the substance then determines the class felony charge associated with the offense. Some common items that indicate an intent to sell when discovered in proximity to bulk amounts of marijuana are:

  • Ledger with notes that could indicate sales including buyers, dollar amount pricing, and weight amounts
  • Scales for weighing marijuana, sometimes with marijuana on the scale bed
  • Text messages or phone records that implicate the sale of marijuana
  • Individual, small plastic bags, whether empty or full of portioned-out amounts of marijuana
  • Large amounts of money

Possession Of Marijuana For Sale

Being charged with possession of drugs for sale or transportation or drugs for sale can be very scary; after all, if you are convicted of this charge, you stand to face serious consequences that could have a huge impact on the rest of your life. Specifically, possession of drugs for transport or sale is a charge used when you are caught with a large amount of drugs on you that would lead a police officer to believe the amount found was beyond personal use. Finding large amounts of cash could also lead an officer to pursue this charge against you. If you are charged with possession of marijuana for sale or transportation of marijuana for sale, the thresholds are defined by A.R.S. § 13-3405.

What Are The Thresholds for Intent to Sell Marijuana in Phoenix, AZ?

Distinguishing between drugs for personal use and drug possession with the intent to sell can be tricky, which is why there are specific thresholds in place according to Arizona law. If you are found with drugs that exceed the threshold, there is a good chance you will be charged with possession or transportation of drugs for sale.

What exactly are the threshold amounts? These can vary from one drug to the next, and there are graduated amounts that carry a more severe charge depending on the drug in question. For example, the first threshold for marijuana is two pounds, and this carries a Class 4 felony. If you are found with any more than this amount on you, a police officer will likely assume that you intended to sell/distribute those drugs to others rather than using them for yourself. If the amount of marijuana is between two pounds and four pounds, it is a Class 3 felony. Possession of four pounds or more of marijuana with an intent to sell is a Class 2 felony.

Other drugs have different thresholds. For example, 9 grams of meth, 8 powdered grams of cocaine, or 750 milligrams of crack is all that is needed to reach the threshold, and one gram of heroin is enough to be caught with this charge.

Possible Punishments For Conviction

Unfortunately, if you are charged with possession or transportation of drugs for sale in an amount that exceeds the state’s thresholds, you will be forced to serve a mandatory minimum prison sentence if you are convicted. This remains true even if this is your first conviction, which is why having the proper defense in court is so important. The minimum prison sentences can vary, but for your first offense, it will likely be between one year and 12.5 years if the amount of drugs found on you is below the threshold. That sentence quickly increases to a minimum of three years if the amount of drugs found is above that threshold.

If you have had drug convictions in the past, regardless of whether they were above or below the threshold, you will serve up to 25 years in prison if you are convicted. With this in mind, it’s important to realize that possession or transportation of drugs for sale is one of the most serious drug convictions you can face.

Potential Defense Strategies for Marijuana With Intent to Sell Charges in Phoenix

Fortunately, in many cases involving intent to sell marijuana charges, there are some valid defense strategies you can use to minimize your charges or get your charges dropped altogether. The key to optimizing your case outcome though, is hiring a qualified and experienced marijuana crimes lawyer. In a drug possession case, the burden of proof for the prosecution is to build and prove a case against the defendant that stands beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the heaviest burden in the case, and a good attorney knows their job is to counteract the proof presented by the prosecution with as much doubt as possible on behalf of their client. This makes it more likely that a judge will rule in the defendant’s favor.

A smart defense attorney will employ one or more of the following actions to garner evidence to build a strong defense on your behalf:

  • Credible and professional testimonies
  • Eyewitness testimonies
  • Police investigation analysis
  • Interviewing the arresting officer and other law enforcement involved in the arrest
  • Questioning the validity and reliability of evidence
  • File legal challenges against the evidence
  • Aggressive cross-examination
  • Scrutiny of and challenge of the accuracy of chemical testing and forensic analysis

The verdict of your case is heavily dependent on whether you have prior convictions of similar charges and the unique circumstances of your case, but outside of these factors, there are several options for a strong defense that may apply to your case.  The most common criminal defense angles are detailed below:

  • Unlawful search and seizure. There are certain protocols for searching an individual even if a law enforcement officer finds illegal drugs, questionable substances, drug paraphernalia, or items associated with the sale of illegal drugs.If the search was not carried out legally or if evidence or some other factor in the process of search and seizure was not followed according to law, you may still have a chance of getting your charges minimized or dropped.
  • Improper arrest. Just as in the unlawful search and seizure defense, if your arrest was done improperly according to state laws, you may have a valid defense. For instance, if your arresting officer did not read you your rights or failed to carry out your arrest in accordance with state law, your case could be thrown based on an error made at the time of the arrest.
  • Lack of knowledge. If you can prove you did not know about the evidence in question at the time of your arrest, it can potentially affect the verdict of your case. This is sometimes hard to prove to a judge, but when it can be easily proven and applied to your situation, it can be a strong defense for charges of marijuana possession with intent to distribute.
  • A case might be able to be dismissed or acquitted if the crime in question was committed as a result of entrapment, or law enforcement coercing, forcing, or tricking the defendant.
  • Lack of evidence. In some cases, the arresting officer fails to produce actual evidence that you were breaking the law. If they arrest you based on the impression that you were breaking the law without any actual evidence or proof, your lawyer may be able to use this to defend your case.
  • Improper handling of your case by law enforcement. If errors occurred in the processing of your case, whether at the scene of the arrest or thereafter in paperwork or evidence submission, your attorney might be able to use this in your defense.
  • The substance in question is found to not be an illegal drug. In some cases, the crime lab analysis results come back indicating the substance in question was not, in fact, an illegal drug, and these cases are thrown out. There can be other analysis details that can constitute a possession with intent to sell case being thrown out.
  • Medical marijuana. This is a rare defense in most possession with intent to distribute cases. However, if you have less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana on your person, can prove that you are a medical marijuana patient, and can prove that the marijuana is from a certified marijuana dispensary, your case will have a good chance of being dropped.

Time To Work With A Phoenix Marijuana With Intent to Sell Lawyer

Fortunately, if you have been charged with possession or transportation of drugs for sale, you do have potential defense options. Whether you want to argue that you didn’t know about the drugs that were found in your possession or that you were not read your Miranda rights, you do have options. The key to taking one of these lines of defense, however, is having a drug crime attorney there to guide you through the legal process and make sure you have the evidence needed to back up and substantiate your claims in court. You should not attempt to represent yourself for such a serious charge, especially when there is so much on the line.

If you would like to find out more about how a drug defense attorney could help you, schedule a consultation and case evaluation by contacting Ryan Garvey Attorneys today at 602-296-3434. We will work with you on your possession or transportation of drugs for sale defense.

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