Logan, UT Drug Possession Lawyer

Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer

Utah is a state that takes drug crimes very seriously. Although some neighboring states, like Colorado, have become more relaxed in their drug possession laws, Utah has not loosened restrictions very much in that regard. Moreover, the uptick of drug-related deaths from things like fentanyl across the country has made prosecutors more fervent in prosecuting and seeking convictions for drug possession. If you are convicted of drug possession or a related crime, you could face serious criminal penalties like fines, prison time, or the loss of some of your rights.

Since the consequences of a conviction are so dire, you need experienced legal counsel advocating for you, which we can provide. Our attorneys have dedicated their careers to defending people accused of crimes. Let us put that dedication to work representing you.

For a confidential, free analysis of your claim, call Overson Law’s drug defense lawyers at (801) 758-2287.

Actual Possession and Constructive Possession of Drugs in Logan, UT

When the law talks about possessing drugs, it further breaks down possession into “actual possession” and “constructive possession.”

The term “actual possession” refers to actually having drugs on you. For example, suppose you have in your hands a plastic bag with weed in it. That constitutes actual possession.

Constructive possession involves having possession of drugs without being in direct physical contact. The two things needed for constructive possession are knowledge and access. For example, suppose you have weed stashed away in your nightstand drawer because you put it there. Even though you are not in direct contact with the drug, you still have constructive possession of it, which is a crime.

Simple Possession and Possession with Intent to Distribute in Logan, UT?

There are a lot of different drug possession crimes in Utah. However, they all fall under the purview of two main crimes: simple possession and possession with intent to distribute (PWID). Of the two, possession with intent to distribute is seen as a more serious crime and, accordingly, has more serious penalties attached. Both crimes are explained in Utah Code § 58-37-8.

Simple Possession of a Controlled Substance

In Utah, it is unlawful to possess a controlled substance under Utah Code § 58-37-8(2)(a)(i). However, there are some exceptions. First, if you have a valid prescription for an otherwise controlled drug, you can possess it. Second, a medical practitioner acting in their profession can possess controlled drugs. So, a doctor can possess fentanyl while working at the hospital, but, of course, they cannot have it stashed away in their living quarters. Some drugs, though, do not have an exception for being possessed by a medical practitioner doing their job. For example, heroin does not have a recognized medical use, so it will not be afforded this exception.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

The majority of Utah’s drug-related crimes deal with possession with intent to distribute and its associated criminal acts. Under Utah Code § 58-37-8(1)(a)(i) and § 58-37-8(1)(a)(iii), it is illegal to possess drugs for the purpose of producing, manufacturing, or dispensing them. The statute also criminalizes actually distributing or selling drugs.

It is important to remember that distribution does not necessarily mean an organized drug enterprise. If you buy a little bit of weed and intend to give it to a friend the next day, you can be convicted of possession of a controlled substance and planning to distribute it. If you succeed in giving your friend the drugs, then that is the actual distribution of drugs.

What Are the Penalties for Possessing Drugs in Logan, UT?

Depending on the nature of your drug possession charge, you could be facing serious criminal penalties, many of which are felonies. You need to know exactly what consequences you are up against, so our drug crime defense attorneys have detailed various drug penalties below.

The seriousness of drug possession penalties can depend on what “Schedule” a drug is on. A drug schedule is a tier system that classifies drugs by their level of danger, addictiveness, and other factors. Drugs on a lower-numbered schedule are generally more addictive and dangerous than drugs on a higher-numbered schedule. For example, heroin and ecstasy are Schedule I drugs, while Xanax is a Schedule IV drug.

Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute Schedule I and Schedule II Drugs

If you are found to be in possession of Schedule I or II drugs – as well as some Schedule III drugs, it is a second-degree felony for a first offense per Utah Code § 58-37-8(1)(b)(i). For a second-degree felony, you can be put in prison for a maximum of 15 years. For subsequent offenses, the penalty is a first-degree felony, which can result in life in prison.

Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute Schedule III and Schedule IV Drugs

Individuals possessing Schedule III or Schedule IV drugs with intent to distribute them can be convicted of third-degree felonies per Utah Code § 58-37-8(1)(b)(ii). A third-degree felony carries the penalty of up to five years in prison. For subsequent offenses, the penalty is a second-degree felony.

Penalties for Possessing Schedule V Drugs with Intent to Distribute

PWID Schedule V drugs carries a penalty of a Class A misdemeanor under Utah Code § 58-37-8(1)(b)(iii). Class A misdemeanors have a maximum penalty of 364 days behind bars. Convictions for subsequent offenses result in a third-degree felony.

Simple Possession Drug Penalties

There are different penalties for simple possession of drugs in Utah. Under Utah Code § 58-37-8(2)(d), people convicted of simple possession can face class B misdemeanors, which have a maximum penalty of six months in jail. Subsequent offenses can increase the penalty to a Class A misdemeanor.

Marijuana Possession Penalties

Marijuana is technically a Schedule I drug. However, possession and PWID marijuana have different penalties than other Schedule I substances. Simple possession of Marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor. Possession with intent to distribute marijuana has penalties based on the amount. If you possess 100 pounds or more of marijuana with intent to distribute it, the penalty increases to a second-degree felony per Utah Code § 58-37-8(2)(b)(i). If you possess less than 100 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute, it is a third-degree felony.

Talk to Our Logan, UT Drug Defense Lawyers Now

Overson Law’s drug defense lawyers can examine your claim when you call us at (801) 758-2287.