In Arizona it is illegal to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. The court will look at whether the substance is classified as a dangerous drug, a narcotic, or marijuana. Some dangerous drugs include LSD, ecstasy, methamphetamines, steroids, and psilocybin mushrooms. Narcotics include cocaine, heroin, opium, morphine, and oxycodone. If a defendant is in possession of one of these drugs and meets a certain threshold quantity they may face charges of intent to distribute. Even if the defendant has a quantity below the threshold amount they may still be charged with intent to distribute. The court will look at whether the defendant had a large amount of cash on hand, the defendant was in possession of a scale, or the defendant possessed a large amount of baggies or containers that could separate the drug making it easy to sell.
Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute is a Class two felony. If convicted of a first offense and the threshold amount was not met, the prison sentence can range anywhere between one and twelve and one half years in prison. If convicted of a first offense and the threshold amount was met, the mandatory prison sentence can range from three to twelve and one half years. The sentence is increased if the defendant has prior felony convictions. If the defendant has one prior felony the sentence is increased with a range of four and one half years to twenty-three and one quarter years in prison. If the defendant has two prior felony convictions, the range of sentencing is from ten and one half years to twenty-five years in prison.
Matthew Lopez is an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to formulate defenses to drug charges in an effort to prove that his clients may have possessed the illegal drugs for personal use only. If a person possesses drugs for personal use, the consequences are not as severe. In fact, depending the type of drug, Mr. Lopez may be able to have his clients avoid prison and be placed on probation.
If you have been arrested for a drug possession with intent to distribute charge, it is crucial that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Mr. Lopez knows how to navigate Arizona drug laws and to challenge any evidence used against his clients. As an experienced attorney, Mr. Lopez does everything in his power to ensure his clients get the best possible outcomes. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation.