Heroin Possession with Intent to Sell

Drug Crime Lawyer Representing Defendants in Phoenix

Heroin is an opioid drug that people smoke, snort, sniff, or inject recreationally on the street. It is highly addictive, and people who use it often develop a tolerance, meaning that they need to use more of the drug to get the same effects. Heroin possession with intent to sell is a crime that is punished harshly in Arizona. Phoenix heroin crime attorney James E. Novak can build a defense on your behalf if you have been charged with this crime.

Heroin Possession with Intent to Sell

Many people are startled to realize that they can be charged with possession with intent to sell even if they did not actually have an intent to sell or any potential buyers in mind. In Arizona, you can be charged with possession with intent to sell a drug if you possess the statutory threshold amount for that particular drug. If you are charged, you face the possibility of incarceration, fines, and a driver's license suspension.

Heroin possession is a serious felony for which you may face 2½ years’ imprisonment to 5 years’ imprisonment. Simply possessing heroin can result in class 4 felony charges, which come with a presumptive 2½-year prison sentence. Trying to make heroin or getting a drug by deceitful means are more serious charges.

Possession of heroin with intent to sell or deliver is a class 2 felony. You can face automatic charges for simply having the statutory threshold amount of heroin; the prosecutor can establish the intent portion by showing that you had the threshold amount. One gram of heroin is the statutory threshold amount. If you have more than one gram, and you are using it at home, you can still be charged with intent to sell, even if you were planning to consume the entire amount privately.

If you are convicted of heroin possession with intent to sell, you face a presumptive 5-year prison sentence. When there are aggravating circumstances, you can face a term of 12.5 years in prison. Aggravating circumstances can include the infliction of serious physical injury, the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument while committing a crime, the taking of property, the presence of an accomplice, the perpetration of the offense in expectation of the receipt of something of pecuniary value, being a public servant when heroin possession was directly related to your employment, or committing possession with intent to sell in the presence of a child.

Although it can be distressing to be charged with possession with intent to sell, you should not assume that a conviction is assured. There are various defenses that an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to raise, depending on the circumstances. For example, there may be procedural or constitutional defenses. When the drugs are seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment, we can file a motion to suppress the evidence that was seized. Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is complicated. For example, in order to stop you while you are in your vehicle, a police officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you have committed, are committing, or are about to commit a crime. If heroin is found in an illegal stop, performed without a reasonable suspicion, it may be possible to get it suppressed. Sometimes there are more substantive defenses. For example, if you live in a house with other people, and the heroin is found in the house, the prosecutor will need to establish constructive possession, which means that you exercised dominion and control over the place where the drugs were found. It may be possible to raise a reasonable doubt about whether you actually exercised dominion and control over that place.

Consult a Heroin Crime Attorney in the Phoenix Area

You should not take a heroin-related charge lightly. If you are charged with heroin possession with intent to sell, you must consult a tough, experienced lawyer to present the strongest available defense. James E. Novak represents people charged with serious drug offenses 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.

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