Drug Possession Lawyer in Phoenix

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.

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.

What Drugs Are Considered Dangerous In Arizona?

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."

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.

Marijuana

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.

Peyote

  • 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.

Narcotics

  • 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. 

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.

CASE RESULTS

Extreme DUI
Case Result: Client found not guilty after jury trial
Client was charged with Extreme DUI after police found him asleep in his car in the parking lot. After long jury trial jury found client not guilty of all counts.
Domestic Violence Assault
Case Result: Client found not guilty at trial
Client was accused of hitting his wife and damaging property. After trial with several witnesses, the client was found not guilty of all charges.
Theft
Case Result: Client found not guilty after jury trial
Client was charged with taking expensive sunglasses. After months of working with prosecutor all charges dismissed when it was shown that clients friend was the responsible party.
Domestic Violence Assault
Case Result: Not guilty of all counts
Client was found not guilty of all counts on domestic violence assault after trial. State had alleged a serious injury to victim. Client was facing jail if convicted.
Threatening and Intimidating
Case Result: All charges dismissed
Client was charged with leaving threatening messages for his ex-girlfriend. After negotiating the matter with the prosecutor all charges against the client were dismissed. The Client was also given shorter domestic violence classes.
Felony DUI
Case Result: Charges reduced to misdemeanor
Client was charged with felony DUI for driving against traffic while impaired. Ultimately the case was reduced to misdemeanor from felony. Client had been facing four months in prison if convicted of felony.
Domestic Violence Criminal Damage
Case Result: Client offered a better plea with no jail at time of trial
Client was charged with damaging property belonging to him and girlfriend. At time of trial the state offered a much better plea than originally offered that included no jail instead of 30 days originally sought.
Super Extreme DUI
Case Result: Charged reduced
Client was charged with super extreme DUI but was offered a plea to regular DUI with much lower jail and lower fines.
Extreme DUI
Case Result: Client found not guilty after bench trial
Chose to have the Judge decide the case for strategic reasons. Judge found the client not guilty of all counts.
Domestic Violence Assault, 5 Counts
Case Result: All charges dismissed at time of trial
Client was facing 120 days in jail. All charges dismissed at time of trial when the state was not able to proceed without needed witnesses.
Extreme DUI
Case Result: Extreme DUI reduced to Regular DUI
The client was had their Extreme DUI reduced to a Regular DUI. Client was facing several weeks in jail.
Aggravated Assault
Case Result: Not Guilty on all counts
City of Mesa - Client was found Not Guilty on an all counts including assault. Client was facing 60 days jail.
Child Endangerment
Case Result: All Charges Dismissed
Mesa City Court - Defendant charged with child endangerment. All charges dismissed at time of trial. Client was facing 60 days in jail.
Child Endangerment
Case Result: Not Guilty after trial.
Scottsdale City Court - Client found not guilty of child endangerment after trial. Client had been facing 15 days in jail.
Marijuana DUI
Case Result: Charges reduced to reckless driving.
Mesa City Court - Client had their charges of a Marijuana related DUI reduced to Reckless Driving in the Mesa City Court.

Standard DUI
Case Result: Charges reduced to reckless driving.
Scottsdale City Court - Client had their charges of a Standard DUI reduced to Reckless Driving in the Scottsdale City Court.

Domestic Violence Charges
Case Result: Not guilty after trial
Mesa City Court - Not guilty after trial on domestic violence disorderly conduct. Client was facing 30 days in jail.

Felony Domestic Violence
Case Result: Reduced to misdemeanor with no jail
Maricopa County Superior Court - Client charged with felony Domestic Violence Disorderly Conduct. Client was facing prison time. Charge reduced to misdemeanor with no jail.

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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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