Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance
Convictions for drug sales carry harsher penalties than simple possession of a small amount. If you’ve been charged with a crime related to heroin, PCP, cocaine, LSD, or another drug, you may be terrified for your future. However, there may be defenses available. If you were charged with sale or transportation of a controlled substance, you should consult seasoned Tempe drug crimes lawyer James E. Novak. It is vital to hire a firm that understands how prosecutors think and has the experience and instincts to evaluate your specific situation. Mr. Novak is a former prosecutor who builds the strongest available defenses for his clients.Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance
Controlled substances are divided into six categories in Arizona. These groups are narcotics, dangerous drugs, prescription drugs, marijuana, substances that put out toxic vapors, and peyote. Under A.R.S. §13-3407(A)(2) and A.R.S §13-3407 (A)(7), it is illegal to knowingly possess a dangerous drug for sale or to transport a dangerous drug for sale.
If you were caught selling drugs, the prosecution will examine the circumstances to determine the severity of the changes. Factors that could affect your charges include:
- The category of drug
- Your criminal record
- Amount of drug at issue
- The strength of the prosecutor’s evidence.
Drug sales charges may be taken especially seriously when certain circumstances surround them such as use of a dangerous weapon, selling drugs to minors, or other criminal charges.Penalties for Drug Sales Convictions
Knowingly selling dangerous drugs or narcotics is a crime in Tempe. If you are caught with any amount of dangerous drugs for sale, you could be charged with a class 4 felony. For example, if you are pulled over and the officer smells crack and on that basis conducts a search of your car and finds a box of crack you were taking to a sale, you could be charged for drug sales, and you may face prison time. Similarly, if the police were called to your house for a domestic dispute and you answered the door holding a bag of cocaine and scales, you could be charged with drug sales.
When the amount of drugs with which you were caught meets the threshold amount, it is assumed you had the drugs for the purpose of selling them, even if you do not intend to sell them in fact. There is a mandatory prison sentence for a threshold amount. When you are caught with more than a threshold amount, you could be charged with a class 2 felony.
Threshold amounts vary depending on the drugs involved. For instance, the threshold amount for methamphetamine is 9 grams. The threshold amount for heroin is one gram of heroin. Four grams is the threshold amount of PCP.
You may be convicted of a class 2 felony if a prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you engaged in drug sales. When what you’ve sold is below the threshold amount, you may face probation with no time in jail, but you could face up to a year of jail time. If you were sentenced to probation, you’ll need to perform 240 hours of community restitution. However, if you sold more than the threshold amount, the judge must sentence you from 3-12.5 years in prison. Prior convictions can result in an even harsher sentence.Our Lawyer’s Potential Defenses
There are various defenses we may be able to assert depending on the situation. These defenses may involve raising your constitutional rights including your Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights in a motion to suppress evidence. For instance, if the police found the drugs that were sold through an unlawful search of your home, office or car, we may be able to file a motion to suppress the evidence obtained through the search under the Fourth Amendment. Likewise, if you were not advised of your Miranda rights before a custodial interrogation, we may be able to get evidence obtained through the interrogation suppressed under the Fifth Amendment.
Sometimes drug sales are discovered through illegal wiretaps; in that case, it may be appropriate to bring a pretrial motion to make sure that evidence is not used. When a confidential informant provides information about drug sales to the police, we may be able to defend you by challenging your credibility, or the credibility of other witnesses. Like other crimes, drug sales must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high standard. We may be able to raise reasonable doubt. In some cases, the best strategy is to negotiate a plea; however, if you have a strong trial reputation, the deal you can negotiate is higher.Retain an Experienced Drug Sales Lawyer
Your future may be at stake if you are charged with sale or transportation of a controlled substance. Seasoned Tempe criminal defense attorney James E. Novak may be able to represent you if you face these serious charges. He represents those accused of drug sales in Phoenix, as well as Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.