We report on the intensity dependent supralinear photoconductivity in GaAs:Si:Cu material. The results of our measurements show that the effective carrier lifetime can change over two orders of magnitude with variations in the intensity of the optical excitation. A threshold intensity level has been observed and can be related to the occupancy of the deep copper level. Numerical simulations have also been carried out to analyze the trapping dynamics. The intensity dependent lifetimes obtained from the simulations match the experimental data very well. Finally, based on the nonlinear intensity dependence of the effective lifetimes, a possible low-energy phototransistor application for the GaAs:Cu material system is presented.