Lawrence Koplow: Arizona Possession of Narcotic Drugs For Sale, Attorneys, Arizona

Arizona criminal law makes a distinction between the actual sales of narcotic drugs and merely possessing the narcotic drugs for sale at a later time. The common scenario, which a person is charged with possession narcotic drugs for sale, is when the person is found in possession of large amounts of the drug. Moreover, law enforcement will also look for “indicia of sale.” Typically this means they are looking for items that show the person’s intent to sell the drugs. Items that law enforcement consider “indicia of sale” may include scales, plastic baggies, recipes, ingredients to manufacture drugs, etc..

The statute that criminalizes Possession of Narcotic Drugs for Sale is Arizona Revised Statute, Section 13-3408. Arizona law makes possession / manufacture of narcotic drugs for sale range from a Class 3 to a Class 2 (more serious) felony. The relevant portion of the statute states that a person shall not:

1) Knowingly possess a narcotic drug for sale;
2) Possess equipment or chemicals, or both, for the purpose of manufacturing a narcotic drug;
3) Manufacture a narcotic drug;
4) Administer a narcotic drug to another person;
5) Obtain or procure the administration of a narcotic drug by fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;
6) Transport for sale, import into the state, offer to transport for sale or import into this state, sell, transfer, or offer to sell or transfer a narcotic drug.

“Narcotic drugs” is defined by the statute. Arizona criminal law includes over 80 different subcategories in the definition of “narcotic drugs. The most common are cocaine, “crack,” and heroine. While first time offenders generally may receive probation for a conviction, drugs sales can be an exception. If the amount of the drugs exceeds what the government has deemed the threshold amount of the drugs, then a conviction requires a mandatory prison sentence.