Clearfield, UT Drug Possession Lawyer

Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer

Drug possession charges are in Clearfield are take very seriously. Even for minor possession charges, people should know that they can still face serious consequences if charged with illegal possession.

Facing drug possession charges in Clearfield without skilled legal representation can significantly impact your case’s outcome and your future. Our dedicated firm provides not only a strong legal defense but also a source of support and guidance through a challenging time. By employing effective defense strategies and leveraging our experience, our lawyers play a pivotal role in protecting our clients’ rights and fighting for the most favorable outcomes possible. Courts have begun to recognize the harm done by certain substances, making alternative solutions to punishment more possible than ever.

Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 for a free case evaluation with our drug possession defense lawyers.

How Drug Possession is Charged in Clearfield, UT

Drugs are classified into schedules, which are categories of controlled substances. Schedule I substances are considered the most dangerous without any recognized medical value, while Schedule V substances are considered to be the least dangerous with recognized medical uses.  However, Schedule IV and V drugs could also have some risk of addiction, despite their medical use, hence their regulation.

Misdemeanor charges are usually for drugs on the IV and V Schedule and for small quantities. Possessing a Schedule V substance in small amounts can result in a class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail and fines, as per Utah Code § 76-3-204.

On the other hand, possession of a Schedule I substance could result in a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense, but be upgraded to a felony for additional offenses, as per Utah Code § 58-37-8(2)(b)(ii). While the severity of the penalty for drug possession depends on various factors, such as the type, our drug possession defense attorneys can help devise a strategy that could reduce or dismiss the charges. Even minor charges can carry significant penalties.

Keep in mind that the charges for possession can be upgraded if they also prove you had the intent to distribute the drugs. Whether you are giving it to a friend or selling it for profit, having drugs you want to give to someone else will be considered possession with the intent to distribute by the state. Convictions for drugs possession with the intent to distribute will be upgraded to felonies under Utah Code § 58-37-8.

Penalties for Drug Possession in Clearfield, UT

As mentioned, it is illegal to either possess a drug for personal use or to distribute. The quantity of the substance you possess is not really the concern, but what schedule the drug falls under. What you plan to do with it will typically be the difference in misdemeanor or felony charges. Our attorneys can help argue that you did not intend to sell if you have been falsely charged with distribution.

For a first offense, the penalty is typically a Class A misdemeanor for the first and second charges, which can include up to 364 days in jail and fines up to $1,000, according to Utah Code § 76-3-204(1).

Subsequent offenses can result in even harsher penalties. If you are charged with a third possession offense with seven years, the charges will be upgraded to a third-degree felony. Penalties for a felony a much more significant, and can include up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines under Utah Code § 76-3-203(3).

On the other hand, Schedule III, IV, and V drugs are deemed to have a lower potential for abuse and accepted medical uses. For a first offense, the penalty is generally classified as a Class B misdemeanor, with penalties similar to those for Schedule I and II first offenses. Subsequent offenses will result in harsher penalties, such as class A misdemeanors or third-degree felonies, which carry significant fines and possibly jail time.

Intent to distribute charges will also seriously increase the penalties against you. For a Schedule I or II, you could face a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison under Utah Code § 58-37-8(1)(b)(i).

Intent to distribute a Schedule III or IV, including marijuana, can result in a third-felony for the for conviction and a second-degree felony for subsequent offenses, as per Utah Code § 58-37-8(1)(b)(ii). Our attorneys know that many cases include charges of distribution that do not fit them

Factors that Can Influence Drug Possession Charges in Clearfield, UT

Numerous elements can play a crucial role in shaping how your drug possession case is charged. Understanding these factors is important since they often lead to longer prison sentences if not properly addressed by your defense.

Location of the Offense

The location where drug possession takes place can also significantly impact the charges and penalties that follow. This is particularly true when the possession occurs in certain areas designated as drug-free zones under Utah Code § 76-3-203.2.

For example, drug possession in proximity to schools, parks, churches, and other specified areas can result in enhanced penalties, which might include doubling of fines, longer jail sentences, and other legal consequences. Drug-free zones are established to create safe and drug-free environments for children and other vulnerable populations. Therefore, it is important to be aware of such zones and to avoid possession or use of drugs in these areas.

Prior Criminal History

An individual’s previous criminal history will also play a significant role in determining the severity of the charges. Specifically, prior convictions related to drug offenses can result in harsher penalties.

Repeat offenders, in particular, will typically face more severe consequences, including longer jail sentences and higher fines. This is because of the fact that the legal system tends to view repeat drug offenses as more serious and, therefore, deserving of greater punishment.

The Presence of Aggravating Factors

Lastly, certain aggravating factors can significantly increase the severity of the charges. These factors might include possession of drugs in conjunction with firearms, evidence of drug manufacturing or trafficking, and circumstances suggesting the involvement of minors. When these aggravating circumstances are present, the charges and penalties can be enhanced to reflect the increased risk to public safety.

For instance, possession of drugs in conjunction with firearms can be particularly concerning because it suggests the potential for violent behavior.

Similarly, evidence of drug manufacturing or trafficking can indicate a higher level of involvement in the drug trade and a greater potential for harm to the community.

In cases where minors are involved, the consequences can be especially severe, as the law seeks to protect young people from the dangers of drug use and addiction.

Our Clearfield, UT Drug Possession Lawyers Can Help You Defend Against Your Charges

For a free case review, speak with our drug possession defense attorneys at Overson Law, PLLC by calling us today at (801) 758-2287.