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Drug Possession Lawyer in Phoenix

When charged with drug possession, it doesn't automatically mean you have to face conviction. One thing is evident in these circumstances: Anyone accused of drug possession in Arizona has to contact a lawyer as quickly as possible. When you hire Benikov Law, we will provide you with an experienced attorney in drug possession cases who will fight to bring you the justice you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation of your case to discuss the most appropriate line of action.

Criminal Defense & DUI Attorney In Phoenix

What Drugs Are Considered Dangerous In Arizona?

Arizona law clearly states that you cannot intentionally possess or use illegal drugs or narcotics. However, the range of punishment for drug possession charges in Arizona can be ambiguous. Other factors, such as the person's lack of knowledge about the drugs, can serve as a defense to the charges brought forth.

Understanding how a controlled dangerous substance (CDB) is classified in Arizona is essential. A "dangerous drug" is a substance that can alter your perception or cause you to hallucinate. These drugs come in various forms, such as a powder or pill, and go by different names. Some of these drugs are illegal because they can be dangerous and harmful. ARS 13-3401(20) lists over 100 drugs classified as "narcotics."

Here are the classifications of controlled dangerous substances (CDB) in Arizona:

  • Marijuana
  • Peyote
  • Narcotics
  • Prescription drugs
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Substances that emit toxic vapors

In Arizona, marijuana possession generally falls under less severe drug possession charges. However, marijuana is a schedule 1 controlled dangerous substance which makes illegal possession of marijuana considered a felony.

How Does Arizona Determine Drug Possession?

Under Arizona law, it is illegal for a person to possess or use a controlled, dangerous substance knowingly. There are several ways you can be charged with drug possession, for example:

  • Physical Possession - Physically having or using drugs.
  • Constructive Possession - Having the drugs in possession, such as in a dresser or a location you have control over.
  • Shared Possession - Physically possessing the drugs with someone close in relation, such as a spouse or roommate.

Types of Drug Possession Charges

Drug Possession Charges are separated into two forms: simple possession and possession with the intent to distribute. 

  • Simple possession involves possessing the drug quantity in or under the "threshold level." 
  • When the threshold level is met, it creates a presumption of sales and is considered "possession with the intent to distribute."
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Mr. Benikov was very professional and extremely helpful. He made sure to walk me through the whole process and was always responsive whenever I had any questions. I recommend him to anyone with a legal issue.
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What Are The Penalties For Drug Possession In Arizona?

When convicted of drug possession, it can have significant adverse effects on your future, including financial consequences and loss of state-provided resources such as scholarships, tuition waivers, welfare benefits, and public housing. Factors such as the type of drug in possession, the quantity, and the number of prior convictions will determine the punishment.

The passing of Proposition 200 made it, so individuals convicted of nonviolent drug offenses for the first or second conviction were not sent to prison but instead given probation and required to undergo drug treatment. However, the court may impose jail terms if probation is not completed. Here are sentencing ranges for some of the most common drug possession charges.


In 2020, Arizona passed prop 207, which made recreational marijuana legal. Under prop 207, you can possess up to one ounce of marijuana if you are 21 or older. Possession of more than one ounce can result in you facing criminal charges. Penalties for a first-time offender include:

  • Petty Offense: If you have less than 2.5 ounces, it is considered a minor offense and punishable by a civil penalty of $100.
  • Class 6 Felony: If you possess less than 2 pounds but more than 2.5 ounces is a class 6 felony, and the sentence could include prison time between four months to two years, including a fine of at least $2,000 or up to three times the value of the marijuana.
  • Class 5 Felony: If you have between two and four pounds of marijuana, you can be charged with a Class 5 felony, which carries a prison sentence of six months to two and a half years and a fine of up to $150,000.
  • Class 4 Felony: If you are found to possess four or more pounds of a substance, it would be considered a Class 4 felony. This crime is punishable by a prison sentence of one year to three years and nine months and a fine of up to $150,000.


  • Class 6 Felony: Unless used for religious purposes, possession of peyote is illegal and considered a class 6 felony. Prison time for a conviction is about four months to two years, with possible fines of up to $150,000.


  • Class 4 Felony: Possession of narcotics such as cocaine and heroin could be charged with a class 4 felony. Depending on your prior record and the seriousness of the offense, prison time could result in up to one year in jail. 


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Contact An Experienced Drug Possession Attorney In Phoenix

At Benikov Law, we understand the level of stress that comes with drug possession charges. You will be provided with an experienced, committed, and dependable attorney when working with our firm. Don't hesitate to contact our firm if you have been charged with drug possession in Arizona. We serve the areas of Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler, and other locations around Arizona.

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Attorney Alexander Benikov


Mr. Benikov only practices in the areas of criminal defense and DUI defense. This means that all his knowledge is focused on one area of law. Hire an attorney that only practices the type of law that will help your case.


Mr. Benikov is known for his excellent reputation in the areas of criminal defense and DUI defense. A lawyer is only as good as his reputation. When you hire Mr. Benikov, he will put his reputation to work for you. No matter if Mr. Benikov is dealing with prosecutors, other attorneys, or Judges, they all know his word is his bond.

Knowledge of Current Law

Mr. Benikov is at the forefront of ever-changing laws and works closely with his clients. Every year there are significant changes to Arizona law and Mr. Benikov works hard to stay on top of all the changes. Mr. Benikov prides himself on attending the best seminars to give his clients the maximum advantage. Mr. Benikov is at the forefront of ever-changing laws and works closely with his clients. Every year there are significant changes to Arizona law and Mr. Benikov works hard to stay on top of all the changes. Mr. Benikov prides himself on attending the best seminars to give his clients the maximum advantage.

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Drug Possession

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Colin B.

A very intelligent and friendly, professional man to work with. He was hired in referral to me by a family member and all the great reviews are true! He worked hard for me on a case for a reasonable price and ended with the best possible outcome.

Thank you Alex
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Richard H.

He is a very confident and thorough lawyer and very helpful and knowledgeable, I would recommend him to anyone in need of legal advice and/or defense

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M V.

Outstanding character, exceptional legal knowledge of Arizona Law and a strong work ethic. Benikov Law will work tirelessly in their representation of their clients. I would never even consider another firm for any legal representation that I require.

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Ryan S.

Very knowledgeable, professional and trustworthy, I wouldn't hesitate to get Benikov on my side!

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Dustin F.

Mr. Benikov is highly professional and understanding of his client's needs. I will continue to use his law firm for all of my legal matters.

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Daniel R.

Mr. Benikov has always been exceptional at making himself available to answer any questions I’ve ever had with legal issues and never turns me away with even the smallest matters and I respect his genuine care for his clients!

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Patricia K.

Mr. Benikov is always professional and will take care of your matters in a professional manner and I would recommend him to anyone. 5 stars!

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Michael G.

Mr. Benikov helped me with a very complicated and dangerous case involving my daughter.   He was able to get the case dismissed, for which I'm eternally grateful.

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Jody S.

Alex Benikov and his law firm are definitely my first call. He’s knowledgeable, responsive and is a good lawyer to have in your corner

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Legal Disclaimer:

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Benikov Law Firm's legal team is licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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