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Marijuana Possession: How Police Decide to Make an Arrest for Possession with Intent to Sell in Arizona

In Arizona, one primary factor for charging a suspect with possession of Marijuana with intent to sell is the quantity of a drug found in a person’s possession. In order to prosecute these charges there must be some additional evidence presented to support the charge. Examples may include proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you were intending to exchange something for the drugs such as cash, weapons, or other illegal drugs.

It could also include evidence of paraphernalia in close proximity to the drugs such as scales, ledgers, text or telephone records; baggies and other evidence that suggest the Marijuana was in a person’s possession for sale or intent to sell. Sometimes, co-defendant’s testimony in the same case or a different case leads to finding, arresting and prosecuting suspects for possession with intent to sell.

Classifications for Marijuana for sale or intent to sell

Under Arizona Drug law ARS § 13-3405 a person may be charged with a Class 2 (most serious), Class 3 or Class 4 felony if they knowingly possess marijuana in any form  for sale. The higher the quantity found in a person’s possession, the more severe the classification as follows:

  • Class 4 Felony:  Less than two pounds;
  • Class 3 Felony:  More than two pounds, but less than four pounds;
  • Class 2 Felony:  More than four pounds

Possession of Marijuana with intent to sell Sentencing and Penalties

All drug possession charges brought as conspiracy or intent to sell offenses are charged as felonies in Arizona. Possessing an amount of Marijuana that equal or exceeds 2 pounds or has a minimum street value of $1,000.00 or more exceeds Arizona statutory Threshold Amount. This means that if convicted, the penalties will be aggravated; more severe and include statutory mandatory prison terms as follows:

  • Class 3 Felonies: 18 months to 8.7 years;
  • Class 2 Felonies: 3 years to  12.5 years

Other penalties include fines of at least $750, or 3 x the street value of Marijuana, a found guilty of having in their possession. Fines may range as high as $150,000 per person. Additional penalties include fees; monetary assessments; drug counseling and treatment; community service; restitution; supervised probation; parole, and any others deemed necessary by the court.

Criminal Defense for Mesa AZ Drug Charges

If you were arrested for any Marijuana possession charges, you should consult an experienced criminal attorney regarding your matter, and discuss options for defense. It is important to retain experienced legal representation to defend your drug charges. You attorney will review your case, and determine what defenses may apply to obtain the best outcome on your behalf. They will make sure your rights are protected; look for evidence in your favor; or to suppress evidence that may have been obtained unlawfully by police.

If your constitutional rights were violated, the arrest or search and seizure was unlawful, it may lead to a dismissal of charges. Make sure you discuss you case with a qualified marijuana defense lawyer before pleading guilty to any felony drug charges.