In the state of Utah, drug use, drug distribution, and drug possession are serious criminal offenses. If convicted, the defendant faces rehabilitation programs, fines, and possible jail time. In addition, the criminal defendant faces severe penalties depending on the circumstances, e.g. the amount of drugs, the intent to distribute, or the controlled substance type.
If you or someone you care about is accused of a drug crime, an arrest may lead to extended or complex litigation. Before you discuss the alleged matter with anyone else, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer. This step is in your best interests because your criminal defense attorney will assemble a defense to fight the charges made against you.
Utah Criminal Law Attorney
A criminal arrest in Utah will affect all parts of your life, including freedom, career, and family. The choices you make after an arrest are important ones. If you’re being investigated for a drug crime or you’re facing criminal charges, you need a knowledgeable Utah defense lawyer to help.
Utah Controlled Substances Act
The Utah Controlled Substances Act defines the types of punishable drug crime offenses in the state. The law prohibits individuals from intentionally committing certain acts, including:
- Possession, production, manufacture, or dispensing drugs with the intent to produce, dispense or manufacture a counterfeit or controlled substance(s)
- Distribution of counterfeit or controlled substances, or the agreement, offer, consent, or arrangement to distribute a counterfeit or controlled substance(s)
- Engagement in a criminal enterprise in which an individual directs or participates in actions that result in violations of any provision of Utah Title 58 (Chapters 37, 37a-37d), or when the violation is in part or a continuation of violations of Utah Title 58 in which at least five people assume management, organizer, or supervisory roles.
The Controlled Substance Act in Utah considers different groups of controlled substances depending on their medical use or potential for abuse. Penalties vary based on the controlled substance category, including:
- Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse, e.g. LSD, ecstasy, peyote
- Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, e.g. Vicodin, oxycodone, fentanyl, methadone
- Schedule III drugs have a moderate potential for physical-psychological dependence, e.g. anabolic steroids, Tylenol with codeine, ketamine
- Schedule IV drugs are considered to have a low risk of physical-psychological dependence, e.g. Xanax, Tramadol, Soma, Ambien
- Schedule V drugs have a lower risk of abuse than Schedule IV drugs, including Lyrica, Lomotil, Parepectolin
Drug Convictions in Utah: Penalties and Consequences
The consequences and penalties of a drug conviction in Utah vary according to the substance category. In addition, the law considers the individual’s intent, if they were part of a distribution or manufacturing drug group, the individual’s prior convictions, etc.
An individual convicted a first or second time of possession of a controlled substance faces a Class I misdemeanor that’s punishable by 12 months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. If the individual is found guilty a third time or more, they face a third-degree felony in Utah. This crime is punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fees. A second-degree felony charge adds up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Drug Crimes in Utah
There are many different types of drug crimes in Utah, including drug manufacture, drug paraphernalia, opioid crimes, prescription drug crimes, growing-cultivating Cannabis, or possessing Cannabis without a valid Utah medical card.
If you have a drug offense on your record, it will damage your future. If you or someone you love is facing drug charges, don’t go it alone. You need a Utah legal professional with experience in criminal law. An experienced drug crimes defense attorney will represent your best interests and do everything possible to achieve your best outcome. Contact Terry Spencer at TR Spencer & Associates at 801-566-1884 to request a case evaluation now.