Drugs crimes in Utah are on the rise. The I-15 and I-80 corridors are primary veins connecting Utah to many other large cities and the U.S. borders. The Utah Highway Patrol and other local police agencies are in continuous vigil for traffic violations which may eventually result in the discovery of drug law violations. Other agencies, such as the Forest Rangers, are also in pursuit of finding alleged violators of Utah’s drug laws to charge them with crimes. There are many factors and laws involved in a police officer’s stop of a vehicle or citizen encounters and the eventual discovery of alleged drug violations.
A person charged with a drug crime can find him/herself in a serious predicament involving procedures and laws that affect his/her rights from the beginning of the police encounter, through negotiation and trial and the sentencing process. It is of vital importance to be properly informed of these procedures and laws to determine if your rights have been violated and secure the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. Other laws and statutes are also implicated and affect a person’s rights or privileges upon being charged or convicted with a drug offense. For example, a person’s driving privileges may be affected, real or personal property may be forfeited or the person may be charged with additional crimes such as a DUI or child abuse or endangerment.
A drug crime conviction can carry very serious penalties. The penalties range from a class B misdemeanor to a first degree felony. The classification of the crime and the penalty may be enhanced depending on a number of factors. Some factors include previous convictions, the amount of controlled substance involved, the location of the violation, the use or possession of a firearm, and/or whether a minor witnessed the drug violation. In formulating a defense it is important to have an in-depth analysis of your case by an experienced criminal lawyer.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can identify whether there are probable defenses or challenges to the procedures employed by law enforcement that could result in a dismissal or acquittal of the charges; and, if not, whether there are exculpating or ameliorating factors that would reduce or aid your defense to the charge in any way or result in a shorter or more lenient sentence. A defendant is constitutionally entitled to have a competent attorney zealously represent him/her in criminal cases that may result in the loss of freedom. If you have been charged with a crime you must exercise and protect that right by associating with an experienced criminal defense attorney dedicated to protecting the rights of defendants charged with a crime.
As one can appreciate, a conviction for a drug offense in Utah requires serious attention and the expertise of a dedicated criminal defense attorney. Any delay or lack of knowledge of your rights, the law, and legal procedures may jeopardize your case.
If you have been charged with a drug crime-drug possession, distribution, sale, or manufacture, in Salt Lake City, St. George or throughout Utah, contact the criminal defense law firm of David Paul White and Assoc. immediately at 801-266-4114 for your free initial consultation.