Handcuff rests on crime headline in pile of newspaper cuttingsThis is the second post in my series on the handling of methamphetamine charges in Phoenix, Arizona. My last post served as an overview of topics I will be discussing and also stressed the need to retain a criminal defense lawyer if you are facing such charges. In this post, I will be discussing the fact that “meth” related charges are taken very seriously in Arizona as well as the potential penalties for such an offense.

Arizona criminal law treats methamphetamine different than other drugs

Methamphetamine cases were not included in reform acts aimed at streamlining Arizona criminal matters relating to drugs. Our state passed a law known as “Proposition 200” in 1996. The effect of this law is that many first-time drug offenders, convicted of a low-level offense, automatically receive probation if convicted, and may not be sent to jail or prison. Methamphetamine cases, however, are not included in Prop 200. This means that one arrested with the drug could theoretically go to prison for a first offense. The threat of incarceration is not only theoretical, however, as those convicted can and do go to jail. This harsher stance is taken against methamphetamine as, like in many states, Arizona has seen an increase in the drug’s use over time which has caused significant societal problems. One caught with the drug is, therefore, facing significant penalties.

A common issue that arises in methamphetamine cases is the fact that they are usually charged in conjunction with other crimes. It is quite common for one arrested with methamphetamine to also be driving, to be carrying something to use with the methamphetamine (such as drug paraphernalia like pipes), or to be carrying a gun or other firearm. This can lead to other charges including DUI and aggravated weapon charges and enhance the potential penalties of the underlying drug offense. These facts, when taken together, mean that methamphetamine cases are being taken in a more serious light at a time when the public’s perception of other drugs, such as marijuana, is changing rapidly. If you are charged with meth possession in Arizona, then you are facing serious charges and you require legal representation. In addition to Phoenix, we service Maricopa County areas such as Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert as well as Pima County residents in Tucson.

Methamphetamine is seen as different than other drugs due to the properties and nature of methamphetamine

There are several reasons why the law treats methamphetamine different from other drugs. One of these is the fact that the narcotic is highly addictive. It is possible for one to become addicted to methamphetamine after just one use. This is due to the way in which the drug interacts with the brain’s chemistry and triggers dependence. This highly addictive nature means that one also be much more prone to depression when they “come down” from a high. The extreme struggles that people have with withdrawal, combined with the drive of an addict to acquire more, is one of the main reasons why this particular drug is treated differently than others under the law. Combine these facts with the ease of manufacture and it quickly becomes understandable why such matters are treated differently.

Our office understands that prison is likely not the best treatment for many addicts. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.