Drug Related Crime Attorney Utah
Drug related crimes cover everything from possession of a controlled medication to the distribution of an illegal substance. According to Utah State Courts, drug related crimes such as possession, distribution, or the manufacture of controlled substances are the most common crimes in the state and, in recent years, convictions for them have more than doubled. Due to the severe-nature of drug related crimes, you need an aggressive attorney who will defend your rights.
Contact the experienced drug lawyers at Wasatch Defense Attorneys today 801.980.9965.
Drug Crime Penalties
Depending on the classification of the drug involved and on what you were charged with, you could be facing serious jail time and hefty fines. The maximum penalties for drug related crimes are:
- Keep you out of jail,
- Class B misdemeanor: up to 6 months jail time and up to $1,000 in fines.
- Class A misdemeanor: up to 1 year jail time and up to $2,500 in fines.
- Third-degree felony: Up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
- Second-degree felony: 1-15 years jail time and up to $10,000 in fines.
- First-degree felony: 5 years to life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
These only reflect the maximum penalty and not the average penalty. Depending on whether or not it is your first offense, you could be facing a lower penalty than if it was your second or subsequent offense. For example, recent law changes have made possession of Schedule I & II drugs—for a first offense—only a Class A misdemeanor rather than a third-degree felony, which is what it used to be.
Drug Crime Defense Practice Areas
Wasatch Defense Lawyers have 100+ years of experience successfully defending various drug charges including:
Utah Drug Classifications
Different types of drugs are divided into a unique classification called schedules. These schedules begin at V and end at I. A drug’s classification is determined by how addictive it is and if it has any medical use.
Schedule I Drugs:
Have a high potential for abuse and no commonly accepted medical use in the United States. Some examples are Marijuana, Peyote, heroin, cocaine, opium and LSD.
Schedule II Drugs:
Have a high potential for abuse, but can be used for some medical purposes in the United States. Common examples are GHB and Ketamine.
Schedule III Drugs:
Have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I or II drugs, and have commonly accepted medical uses in the United States. An example is anabolic steroids.
Schedule IV Drugs:
Have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs and are commonly used for medical treatment in the United States. Examples include Xanax and Ambien.
Schedule V Drugs:
Have the least potential for abuse and are frequently used for medical treatment in the United States. Examples include medicines with small quantities of codeine or opium, such as prescription codeine cough syrups.
Frequently Asked Questions for Drug-Related Crime in Utah
What are the types of drug crime in Utah?
- Possession: This includes not only illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy but also any controlled substance you don’t have a prescription for.
- Possession of paraphernalia: One type of paraphernalia is the syringe, pipe or bong use to consume drugs, and another is anything designed for producing drugs, such as tools used in cultivating marijuana or manufacturing methamphetamine.
- Distribution: This is not only “street dealing” but also selling or giving away a controlled substance, even one you have a prescription for.
- Possession with intent to distribute: If you have sufficient quantities, you can be charged with this even though you claim it was all for yourself.
- Producing, manufacturing, dispensing: This applies not only to illegal drugs but also to counterfeit drugs and paraphernalia.
- Trafficking: Any form of manufacture or distribution can be construed as trafficking.
- Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs.
- Possession of a forged prescription for a controlled substance.
What makes a drug crime federal?
Drug trafficking is both a Utah crime and a federal crime. You are more likely to be charged with a federal offense if you are arrested by federal agents.
When is a drug case a felony in Utah?
Manufacturing and distribution are felonies as well as possession with intent to distribute. Most forms of simple possession are misdemeanors but become felonies on the third offense. Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs is a felony.
Is a drug possession charge serious?
Even a first-time misdemeanor possession charge can result in six months in jail. Penalties increase for subsequent offenses. Possession with intent to distribute, as well as possession of certain controlled substance, is a felony, and long prison sentences are likely. You need a drug attorney to help you avoid the worst case.
What does DEJ mean in court?
DEJ is also known as Deferred Entry of Judgment
Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ) is designed for drug offenders who enter a plea of guilty or nolo contendre (“no contest”) to legally-specified drug related charges.
The offenders are ordered to participate in a program of drug education and basic counseling.
Can drug charges be dropped?
Charges will be dropped if you can show they were inadmissible or without sufficient cause. We can help you determine if this is possible. Also, charges may be dropped after completion of your obligations under a DEJ.
Can drug charges be expunged? What about if it’s a felony/federal?
Drug misdemeanors and most drug felonies can be expunged in Utah. First degree felonies, which generally involve repeat offenses, cannot. The eligibility wait period can be years and the process is daunting and requires legal expertise. Federal expungement is possible for a narrower range of offenses and under more restricted conditions.
Can a drug charge get you deported?
IIf you are undocumented immigrant, even possession (other than a small quantity of marijuana) can result in deportation.
Is it important to have a criminal defense lawyer familiar with drug crime cases?
Absolutely. Utah is serious about drug law, and there is heavy political pressure to punish drug related crime as severely as possible. Your freedom is at stake, and the state isn’t going to protect you. Call us and we will aggressively defend your rights.
Drug Crimes Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, UT
If you or a loved one are facing drug related crimes, it’s important to speak with an experienced local attorney instead of facing the case alone. At Wasatch Defense Attorneys, our lawyers are experts at defending against drug charges and guide you through every step of the process.
Choose the attorneys who aggressively defend you – Wasatch Defense Attorneys 801.980.9965.
Guard Your Rights
Do NOT Waive Your Right to Legal Counsel! Authorities will try get you to incriminate yourself and suggest there is no need for an attorney. Stay calm and call us immediately: 801.980.9965
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