Getting Arrested for Meth in Arizona

As if methamphetamine use didn’t already have enough terrible consequences, the legal consequences can be severe. In Arizona, methamphetamine possession, distribution, or sale is seen as a serious offense. If you or someone you love is arrested for meth possession or sale, it’s not the end of the world. In this guide, we help you understand the law and what you can do to help yourself or someone you love charged with meth in Arizona.

Table of Contents

What Happens if You Get Caught With Meth in Arizona

Meth is listed under the law A.R.S. 13-3401, which is “Dangerous Drugs.” This law includes meth in any way of preparation, mixture, and quantity. Any part of the drug can abuse and acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system. Because meth is under the Dangerous Drugs section, its penalties are more severe.

If you are caught with meth, you will be arrested and charged pretty much immediately.

The Law

In short, the laws against meth in Arizona state that individuals cannot knowingly possess, use, sell, manufacture, acquire, or transport meth. This law is A.R.S. 13-3407.


The following are classifications for different meth charges. For instance:

  • Possession, or use, is a Class Four Felony.
  • Misrepresentation is a Class Three Felony.
  • Having the intent to sell is a Class Two Felony.
  • Administering the drug is a Class Two Felony.
  • Manufacturing is a Class Two Felony
  • Owning equipment or chemicals to make meth is a Class Two Felony.

Sentencing Factors

The court considers multiple factors for the sentencing of meth convictions.  Sentencing factors include:

  • Whether it is a first-time or a repeating drug offense
  • If the purpose of obtaining it was for personal use or sale
  • How much of the drug was in possession
  • If the amount possessed was the same amount or less or more than the Arizona Statutory threshold amount (The threshold amount is 9 grams)
  • Aggravated circumstances
  • Previous criminal record
  • Nature of the charges


These penalties can change based on varied sentencing factors. For instance:

  • Possession for sale, manufacture, or transport for sale is five to ten years in prison. If it is a repeat offense, the sentencing increases to ten to 20 years. If there were aggravated circumstances, then it would be 12 years.
  • Owning equipment to make the substance and manufacture it is two and a half to seven years. If there were aggravated circumstances, it would be 8.7 years.
  • If you have less than nine grams in possession at the time of arrest, it is one and a half to three years.
  • There are court-ordered fines and fees.
  • Court-ordered substance abuse counseling and treatment
  • Probation or parole
  • Loss of a specific civil right, which includes the right to bear arms
  • A felony will be on your criminal record in addition to other penalties ordered by the court.
  • If you have more than 9 grams of a substance in your possession, all prison terms can increase.

How Does the Arizona Justice System Help Meth Users?

In some cases, there is court-mandated addiction treatment for drug crimes. The Arizona Department of Corrections does have addiction treatment services. However, the offender has to say they need this intervention.

 They do a mostly self-reported screening process and a review of any available data. Those who go through the screening process rank according to their needs, time left to serve, and recidivism risk. In short, recidivism is the tendency for a convicted criminal to re-offend.

The first step is separating them into four categories, intensive treatment, moderate treatment, educational, or no need. Intensive therapy is a twelve-month program, and the average treatment is six months. Next, a licensed substance abuse counselor supervises all of these programs. Then, the counselor will incorporate curricula in cognitive behavior treatment.

In addition, driving under the influence treatment is offered at private prison facilities for male offenders and available through females’ contract services. Moreover, the prisoner will attend classes in various classes such as parenting, family dynamics of addiction, and stress management. These classes will need 100 percent completion for the length of their sentence.

Support Groups For Meth Users

The Arizona Department of Corrections values rehabilitation support groups. These programs are contingent on community volunteers. At the units where offenders can meet in groups, various support groups are every week.
Moreover, the court may offer treatment as an alternative or in addition to time served. They can do interventions as therapeutic alternatives to being incarcerated.

Furthermore, interventions provide offenders with a more beneficial transition from jail to the community. Through monitoring, supervision, and threats of legal sanctions, the justice system can give leverage to encourage drug abusers to enter and remain in treatment.

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What if I’m Arrested for Meth and I Have Children?

If your child(ren) is with you when you are getting arrested, the police officer will need to ensure that arrangements are made for their care in your absence. The police officer may allow you to arrange care before being booked.

 Should this happen to you, then call a trusted loved one to come and get your child or children immediately. If you cannot make a phone call or a loved one cannot come to get your child, then they may go to Child Protective Services.

It is also highly probable that CPS (Child Protective Services) will become involved and open an investigation into the well-being of your child.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, getting some type of treatment is crucial. To find options for drug and alcohol treatment, call us. Do not wait until it is too late. It is likely that the more proactive you are, the better the outcome for your case.

Child Protective Services and Meth Addiction

As mentioned above, when arrested for meth, Child Protective Services may be brought in to look after the welfare of your child. If you cannot take care of your child, you want to coordinate with a family member who can.

Child Protective Services will release your child to another parent, guardian, or responsible relative. The person that picks up the child must pose no risk or danger to the child.

Child Protective Services will then start an emergency assessment of relatives who come to take care of the child if there are multiple relatives. These evaluations include a criminal background check, verification of their relationship to the child, and a home visit.

The home visit is to be sure that the new environment they are going to is safe. However, if no relative is available, C.P.S. will need to care for the child temporarily, and they will file papers in court. These papers will make it so that C.P.S. has decision-making authority over your child’s care until you can meet the requirements.

What Can I Do To Help Someone Who Has Been Arrested for Meth in Arizona?

Finally, it is crucial for those that are suffering from addiction to have a healthy support system. Those that are a part of their support system can do many things to help. They can aid in finding treatment services and information. Above all, be understanding.

However, it’s important to note that support does not include enabling. You want your loved one to make real and tangible changes in their life. Sometimes, getting arrested is one of those pivotal moments that make people realize their need for change.

The first step to treating addiction is treatment! This is where we can help you. Our experts will work with you to make sure you get the proper treatment for your situation. Because of our judgment-free policy, never feel embarrassed or ashamed when talking to our specialists. We only care about getting you the right help and providing you with a happier and healthier life.

Call (888) 906-0952 now to speak to a treatment admissions specialist.

The First Thing You Should Do After Arrest

If you or someone you love has been arrested for methamphetamine use, possession, or sale, you want to act fast. The first thing you should do is ensure that legal counsel is retained. The second, is you want to call and find drug and alcohol treatment resources.

Many assume that the charges will stick as they are once an arrest has been made, and treatment will be difficult to get into. The truth is that individuals who face charges can get treatment either within the court system or outside of the court system.

Graduating treatment for meth addiction can make a strong and positive impact on how the judge views your case and therefore have an impact on sentencing.

Call us today for help finding treatment for methamphetamine addiction in Arizona.


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Our writers are experienced in everything related to addiction, mental health, rehab and recovery.

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