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Drug Crimes

drug crimes

In Utah possession, distribution, and drug use are all serious offenses. Imprisonment, hefty fines, and required rehabilitation programs are just some of the penalties which can result from a drug conviction. Penalties for drug crimes depend on the circumstances surrounding the act including the amount of drugs in possession, whether the actor had the intent to distribute, and the type of controlled substance.

Being accused of a drug crime can be stressful for any person. An arrest can lead to complicated litigation which requires an experienced defense attorney. Seeking the advice of a skilled lawyer is in your best interest.

Drug Crimes Information Center

  • Utah Controlled Substances Act
  • Drug Classifications
  • Penalties and Consequences for Drug Convictions
  • Possible Defenses

Utah Controlled Substances Act

Drug crimes in the state of Utah are governed by the Utah Controlled Substance Act §58-37. Under this Act, Utah details the specific types of offenses punishable as a drug crime. Listed below is one of the most common prosecuted subsections of the Utah Controlled Substance Act.

Utah Code §58-37-8 Prohibited acts A prohibits an individual from knowingly and intentionally committing any of the following acts:

  • Producing, manufacturing, or dispensing, or possessing with intent to produce, manufacture, or dispense, a controlled or counterfeit substance;
  • Distributing a controlled or counterfeit substance, or to agree, consent, offer, or arrange distribution of a controlled or counterfeit substance;
  • Possessing a controlled or counterfeit substance with intent to distribute; or
  • To engage in a continuing criminal enterprise where:
  • The individual participates, directs, or engages in conduct resulting in a violation of any provision of Title 58 Chapters 37, 37a, 37b, 37c, or 37d; and
  • Where the violation is a part of a continuing series of two or more violations of Title 58 Chapters 37, 37a-37d, on separate occasions which are undertaken in concert with five or more people with respect to whom the person occupies a position of organizer, supervisor, or any other management position.

Drug Classifications

Utah’s Controlled Substance Act categorizes controlled substances into different groups based on potential abuse and medical usage. Drug offense penalties will vary based on the category of the controlled substances. Substance categories are as follows:

  • Schedule I: Some substances in this category include marijuana, acetylmethadol, acetorphine, heroin, and niccodeine.
  • Schedule II: Substances include codeine, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and amphetamine.
  • Schedule III: Includes benzphetamine, chlorhexadol, and buprenorphine.
  • Schedule IV: This category includes barbital, petrichloral, and modafinil.
  • Schedule V: This group covers mixtures and compounds of limited quantities of narcotic drugs including codeine, dihydrocodeine, ethylmorphine, diphenoxylate, opium, difenoxin, and tramadol.

Penalties and Consequences for Drug Convictions

Consequences of drug convictions will vary by substance category. Other factors for consideration include the actor’s intent, whether the actor was part of a larger drug manufacturing or distribution group, whether the offense took place in the presence of a minor, prior convictions, and similar relevant information. Individuals convicted of a first or second conviction of possession of a controlled substance may be convicted of a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or up to $2,500 in fees.

For those individuals guilty of a third or subsequent conviction, the punishment is a third-degree felony punishable by zero to five years imprisonment and/or up to $5,000 in fees.

Individuals found guilty of a second-degree felony face anywhere from one to fifteen years imprisonment and/or $10,000 in fees.

Possible Defenses

A major part of the prosecution’s case in a drug crimes case is the evidence recovered from the individual. One way to fight the prosecution is to attack the method in which the evidence was acquired.

If a search, raid, or stop was performed without the proper protocol, filing a motion to dismiss the evidence may work in your favor. In addition, the prosecution’s credibility may be called into question with regards to the sufficiency of the evidence. Reasonable doubt may be established where the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence against the defendant.

Free Consultation with Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you need to defend against drug crimes, call the lawyer at Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506