Phoenix Drug Sale and Drug Distribution Lawyer
Have you been charged with the sale or distribution of illegal drugs? Understanding the specifics of these charges can be challenging. The potential penalties can vary according to the specific drug involved, the quantity alleged to have been sold or distributed, and your prior criminal history.
At The Feldman Law Firm, we are experienced criminal defense attorneys who understand the nature of drug sale charges, and how best to present to establish a realistic and effective defense again them. To speak to an experienced Phoenix drug sale attorney, call us today. Your initial consultation is free.
What is a “Drug Sale” in Arizona?
While we often refer to the offense of drug distribution as the “sale” of drugs, the statutes that deal with such activities are broader than they might appear. Under A.R.S. 13-3401(32), the terms “sale” and “sell” refer to exchanging something, in this case drugs, for something of value. On the other hand, the laws prohibiting illegal drug sales typically say that it is illegal to sell or transfer the drugs. And “transfer” includes furnishing, delivering, or giving the drugs away. As a result, the law prohibits providing illegal drugs to another person regardless of whether there is a payment or other consideration given in exchange for the drugs.
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Are All Drug Sales Treated the Same?
The answer to the question of whether all drug sales are treated alike is definitely NO! Here are some of the differences in the way these offenses are classified:
- Sale of Dangerous Drugs. “Dangerous drugs,” as defined in A.R.S. 13-3401(6), include LSD, mescaline, methamphetamine (and other amphetamines), phencyclidine (PCP), Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), angel dust, anabolic steroids, and others. Sale or transfer of a dangerous drug is a class 2 felony.
- Sale of Narcotic Drugs. Narcotic drugs include, among others, cocaine, crack, heroin, and other opioids such as fentanyl, morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone. Sale of a narcotic drug is a class 2 felony.
- Sale of Prescription-Only Drugs. Prescription-only drugs are those that are not narcotics or dangerous drugs but include those that require a prescription from a medical professional. Sale of a prescription-only drug is a class 6 felony.
- Sale of Marijuana. Sale or transfer of marijuana is classified according to weight. Sale or transfer (or offering to sell or transfer) under two pounds of marijuana is a class 3 felony. If the amount is two pounds or more, it is a class 2 felony.
Obviously, sale or transfer of illegal drugs is a serious crime under any circumstances, although the nature of the drug, and in some cases the amount, can affect the classification, and with it, the potential penalty if you are convicted. In addition, if you have a prior criminal record, this can also affect your sentence, particularly if you have two or more prior convictions.
What is a “Precursor Chemical”?
Arizona prohibits not only the sale of illegal drugs themselves, such as heroin, meth, cocaine, and others, it also prohibits the sale of certain “precursor chemicals.” A “precursor chemical” is defined under Arizona law as any material that contains a variety of substances that are used in the manufacture of methadone (for example, 4-cyano-2-dimethylamino-4, 4-diphenyl butane); certain opioids, including fentanyl (e.g., 4-phenylpiperidine); methamphetamine (chlorephedrine and chlorpseudoephedrine); and others.
The illegal sale of a precursor chemical can be classified anywhere from a class 2 misdemeanor to a class 2 felony. The level of the charge for the sale or transfer of a precursor chemical will depend, among other things, on issues such as:
- the particular precursor chemical involved.
- the amount of the chemical.
- transfers to those not legally entitled to possess the chemical.
These are just a few of the potential charges arising out of the transfer of precursor chemicals.
Defense of Drug Sale Charges in Phoenix, AZ
While many of these charges are serious felonies, the fact that you have been arrested for the sale of illegal drugs is the beginning – and not the end – of the matter. There are many possible defenses that may be available in your case. In some situations, the issue could simply be lack of possession, that is, that you did not physically possess the drug, and had no knowledge that it was in your home, office or other place which you might regularly inhabit or visit. Another may be faulty testing, leading to erroneous identification of the substance in question.
In addition, many of these cases arise out of “sting” operations by the police, which may raise numerous issues, including entrapment. Finally, as with many drug cases, illegal search and seizure, in violation of your rights under the Fourth Amendment, may also provide a defense which could prohibit the introduction of the evidence against you at trial. These are just some of the defenses that may apply in your case.
In order to ensure that you take advantage of all possible defenses, you want to be represented by an Phoenix drug crimes lawyer who understands the law, the possible defenses that may apply, and who has the experience to mount an aggressive and effective case on your behalf. Contact The Feldman Law Firm for a free consultation with an experienced criminal lawyer.