Cocaine Possession with Intent to Sell
If you are charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell in Arizona, you will need an experienced attorney. A conviction of this crime can carry serious penalties, including jail time, fines, a suspension of your driver's license, immigration consequences, and loss of reputation in the workplace as well as socially. Often, people are charged with this crime even if they had no actual intent to sell cocaine. At the Law Offices of James Novak, our Phoenix cocaine crime lawyer is a former prosecutor who uses his insights about drug prosecution in order to defend people charged with cocaine possession with intent to sell.Cocaine Possession with Intent to Sell
Cocaine is considered a narcotic. It is illegal to possess cocaine for sale. In order to prove this crime, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) you knowingly possessed cocaine, (2) the substance was actually cocaine, and (3) you possessed the drug for the purposes of sale. Possession with intent to sell a drug is usually determined by examining whether you possessed a drug over the statutory threshold limits. However, other indicia of intent to sell can include whether the police found drug paraphernalia related to selling, such as scales or pre-packaged drugs, and whether there is activity that suggests sales, such as many different people coming to and from your house.
The statutory threshold amount varies from drug to drug. The statutory threshold amount to be charged with intent to sell powder cocaine is nine grams. If you are caught with more than nine grams of powder cocaine, you can be charged with possession with intent to sell, even if you were truly planning to keep the drugs for personal use. The threshold amount of rock cocaine is 750 mg.
Cocaine possession with intent to sell is a class 2 felony. That means that you could face imprisonment for a maximum of 10 years (12.5 years if there are aggravating circumstances), even if this is your first offense. The potential imprisonment can increase if this is a repeat offense. For example, if this is your third offense, the maximum term is 18.5 years, or 23 years when there are aggravating circumstances. If you possessed the cocaine in that quantity in a school zone, you can face enhanced penalties as well.
You should not assume that a conviction is inevitable. While the penalties may seem quite harsh, there may be strong defenses that your attorney can raise. Any criminal charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and it may be possible to raise a reasonable doubt about possession or about the threshold amount.
Sometimes we can attack how the drugs were found or seized. For example, police must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity in order to pull you over for a traffic stop. A reasonable suspicion must be more than a mere hunch. It needs to be specific reasons that can be articulated by the police officer. If there was no reasonable suspicion in your case, it may be possible to file a motion to get some or all of the evidence of cocaine suppressed. Usually, the police must have a warrant to search your home. The warrant needs to be supported by probable cause. It may be possible to show that there was no probable cause for the warrant, or that there was no warrant at all. In that case, we may be able to get the evidence of the drugs suppressed.Consult a Cocaine Crime Attorney in the Phoenix Area
It can be stressful and unnerving to be faced with charges claiming that you intended to sell narcotics such as cocaine. If you are charged with cocaine possession with intent to sell, you are facing real potential for prison time, in addition to a criminal record that can make it challenging to find a job or rent a home. Depending on your situation, there may also be other penalties, such as deportation or the loss of a professional license. You should retain a tough, experienced lawyer to formulate a strong defense strategy. James Novak represents the accused throughout the Phoenix area, including in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and elsewhere in Maricopa County. Contact James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.