In Utah, drug possession charges can result in costly fines and potentially even prison time, if you are convicted.
This is not an area of the law to be taken lightly, as a conviction can result in a host of collateral damages, including the loss of your driver’s license, a permanent criminal record and the kind of social stigma that can haunt you and your family for years.
Understanding the law is important, but hiring an experienced drug possession attorney is the most effective way to defend yourself.
Possession of a Controlled Substance in Utah
Under the Controlled Substances Act, Utah drug possession is addressed by a set of laws that defines and classifies controlled dangerous substances (CDS).
For example, a Schedule I CDS is the most serious category, and is reserved for drugs that have no medical benefit and a potential for abuse, such as heroin and hallucinogens, including mushrooms. Schedule II includes drugs such as opium, hydrocodone, cocaine and morphine. Schedules III, IV, and V contain most other controlled substances, including anabolic steroids and benzodiazepines.
Penalties for possession of drugs listed as Schedule III are below, as well as possession of small amounts marijuana, which begin as Class B misdemeanors. If you are found in possession of a Schedule I or II substance, however, charges typically begin at the third-degree felony level.
Utah Drug Possession Charge “Add-Ons”
If you are caught in possession of a CDS in a school zone or when children are present, this can result in additional charges for child endangerment. If you’re caught in a designated drug-free zone, a simple possession charge can become a first-degree felony.
If you have a sufficient quantity to warrant an intent to distribute or trafficking charge, you may face a $10,000 fine, seizure of your property and potentially a life sentence in prison.
As you can see, Utah takes the issue of drug possession very seriously.
Don’t Risk Your Future Over a Drug Possession Charge
Whether you face a misdemeanor or a felony drug charge, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights.
Because the Utah court system tries many drug cases each year, your case is likely to be pushed through quickly with the intent of imposing maximum penalties. An experienced drug possession lawyer can act even more quickly to uncover the facts of your case and work for a dismissal or a reduction in charges.
In many cases, law enforcement officers will attempt to press charges for constructive possession, which means the substance was not found on your person but perhaps in your car, bag or briefcase. This presents one of many opportunities we have to pursue legal options for dismissal or more favorable outcomes than you might otherwise face.
David Paul White understands the importance of quick, aggressive action in response to CDS possession charges in Utah. We have two offices to serve you, one in St. George and the other in Salt Lake City.
Contact The Law Office of David Paul White immediately if you or someone you care about has been charged with any form of Utah drug possession.