Unfortunately for defendants, drug offenses are some of the most aggressively prosecuted and harshly penalized crimes in Utah and throughout the United States. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that as of 2011, narcotics convictions account for nearly half of the American prison population, while both state and federal laws such as the Anti-Drug Abuse Act mandate long sentences and expensive fines. Beyond the formal penalties imposed by the courts, drug allegations can also cause permanent reputation and career damage.
Our Ogden Drug Crimes Lawyers Offer Free Consultations
If you have been charged with possession, trafficking, or other offenses in Ogden, it is absolutely critical that you speak to an experienced attorney as soon as you possibly can. Depending on the details of your charges, you could be facing years or even decades behind bars, in addition to thousands of dollars in fines. You could also lose your eligibility for certain jobs and professional certifications, have your driver’s license suspended, and lose your gun privileges.
To schedule a completely confidential legal consultation free of charge, call Utah drug defense attorney Darwin Overson right away at (801) 758-2287. Don’t wait until it’s already too late: let’s start discussing your options.
The charges against you are serious, and a conviction has the power to negatively impact the rest of your life. After you serve your time, you will also have to contend with the ongoing challenges associated with having a criminal record on file. With so much on the line, you can’t afford to defend yourself against a trained prosecuting attorney. You need the support of a dedicated defense lawyer who will strive toward the best possible outcome for you.
Our firm has represented thousands of clients, and attorney Darwin Overson is equipped with more than 15 years of practical experience to bring to your case. He regularly handles a wide variety of criminal drug charges including but not limited to:
- Simple Possession (Personal Use)
- Possession with Intent to Distribute (Sales)
- Cultivation and Manufacture
- Possession of Paraphernalia
- Prescription Drug Charges
Penalties for Drug Crimes in Utah
In Utah, definitions and penalties for drug offenses are addressed by Title 58, Chapter 37, Section 8 (58-37-8) of the State Legislature. Narcotics crimes encompass a broad range of offenses, and the penalties can vary dramatically based on variables like:
- Aggravating/Mitigating Factors
- Drug Scheduling
Drugs are numerically “scheduled” by the DEA, or the Drug Enforcement Administration. Generally speaking, the lower the scheduling number, the more severe the consequences can be. A few common examples include:
- Schedule V: Maximum 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 grams or 100 milliliters, maximum 100 milligrams of opium per 100 grams or 100 milliliters, Tramadol
- Schedule IV: Xanax, Valium
- Schedule III: Ketamine, Anabolic Steroids, Vicodin
- Schedule II: Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Methadone, OxyContin, Adderall, Fentanyl
- Schedule I: Marijuana, LSD, Heroin, Ecstasy, Peyote, Mescaline
Special Sentencing for Marijuana
While marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, its sentencing laws are somewhat unique from other Schedule I drugs. Under 58-37-8:
- Possession, less than 1 ounce: B Misdemeanor, 6 months, $1,000
- Possession, 1 ounce to 1 pound: A Misdemeanor, 1 year, $2,500
- Possession, 1 pound to 100 pounds: 3rd Degree Felony, 5 years, $5,000
- Possession, more than 100 pounds: 2nd Degree Felony, 15 years, $10,000
However, the sale of marijuana is always classified as a felony. If the sale occurs within 1,000 feet of a designated school zone, the standard penalties can increase dramatically. Additionally, marijuana convictions can result in a license suspension of up to six months.
Utah Drug Paraphernalia Penalties
In some instances, a defendant does not even have to be in possession of any controlled substances: the possession or sale of drug paraphernalia is also sufficient to trigger charges. Under Title 58, Chapter 37a, also known as the Utah Drug Paraphernalia Act, all of the following items may be considered paraphernalia:
- Kits used (or intended for use) in “planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, or harvesting any species of plant which is a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance can be derived.”
- Kits used (or intended for use) in “manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, or preparing a controlled substance.”
- Scales and balances.
- Pipes and bongs.
- Needles, hypodermic syringes, spoons, and vials.
- Capsules, balloons, and envelopes.
Paraphernalia charges can be graded as a Class B or Class A misdemeanor, with sentences ranging from six months to one year, and fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.
If you or someone you love has been charged with the sale, manufacture, or possession of a controlled substance in Utah, a criminal defense lawyer can help. For your free and confidential case evaluation, call criminal attorney Darwin Overson right away at (801) 758-2287, or contact us online today.