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Does Utah Have Serious Drug Laws? 

Posted on May 25, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Salt Lake City Criminal LawyerThere is no question that drug laws in the United States can vary considerably from state to state. Each state, including Utah, has its own set of statutes and penalties regarding certain drug offenses. However, Utah does have strict drug laws in an attempt to dissuade people from using such substances. Today, we are going to explore Utah drug crimes and see what offenses like drug possession and possession with intent to distribute mean for those convicted. If you are facing drug charges in Utah, hire a criminal defense lawyer, as your freedom may be in serious jeopardy. 

What Are the Laws Regarding Drug Possession in Utah? 

Utah has strict drug possession laws that are enforced rigorously. Drug possession means possessing controlled substances, such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin, for personal use. For the first and second time you are charged with drug possession, both will likely be considered a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, you may be imprisoned for one year and receive a $2,500 fine. If you are charged a third time with drug possession, it will likely be categorized as a third-degree felony, bringing with it a potential five-year prison sentence and fines of $5,000.

What is Possession with Intent to Distribute?

In most drug possession cases, the amount of the drug you possess matters considerably. This is because smaller amounts of a substance will usually be considered possession for personal use. However, in situations where large amounts of drugs are discovered, the charge may change from regular possession to possession with intent to distribute. These two charges are distinct from one another in the sense that possession with intent to distribute is a much more severe offense than a charge of simple possession. 

Distributing or selling a drug is referred to as “distributing.” Distributing is when someone transfers or tries to transfer a drug to another person, regardless of whether they receive payment for the drug or not. Intent to distribute charges can be challenging to prove. However, intent to distribute charges may stem from not only a large amount of the drug being discovered by law enforcement but perhaps the presence of scales, baggies, and paraphernalia of that nature, which may hint at the alleged offender’s intention to distribute the drugs. Please be advised that distribution and intent to distribute are grave offenses, able to be charged as a first-degree felony, with the possibility of serving a lifetime prison sentence. 

Contact a Davis County Drug Crimes Lawyer

In short, Utah has serious drug laws; therefore, if you live in Utah and are facing drug charges, do not wait to contact the Davis County criminal defense attorneys with Collins Rupp, P.C.. Call 385-777-2753 for a free consultation. 



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