In the first place, with the complication of Utah’s drug laws, and with their recent revisions you will likely find a lot of confusing and conflicting information. In addition, while self-education is important, professional legal aid will ultimately save you time, money, and frustration. Additionally, Schmidt Law Firm provides expert legal counsel to clients currently charged with drug possession.
Of course, a person is charged with drug possession after found to have a controlled substance. In addition, keep in mind that a simple possession charge is different from possession with intent to distribute. And the latter typically involves a large number of doses and carries with it much stricter charges. Also, in both Utah and the United States in general, controlled substances can be either generally illicit drugs or pharmaceuticals obtained without a valid medical prescription. Comparatively, Utah divides controlled substances into five categories or “Schedules”:
This category is for drugs with a high potential for abuse that do not generally have a medical use within the US. Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, cocaine, and marijuana.
These drugs have both a high potential for abuse and a common medical use within the US. Examples of Schedule II drugs include hydrocodone and methylphenidate.
Abused less likely, drugs within this category commonly used for medical purposes within the US. Examples include anabolic steroids and medications containing low doses of codeine.
This designation is for drugs commonly used for medical purposes that have a lower likelihood of abuse compared to Schedule III substances. Diazepam (Valium) and zolpidem (Ambien) are two examples.
Drugs classified as Schedule V have very low abuse potentials while commonly prescribed for medical use. Schedule V mostly covers very low-dose narcotics.
Criminal charges for drug possession vary, dependent upon the Schedule involved:
First and second offenses generally considered Class A misdemeanors, while third and subsequent convictions Third Degree Felonies.
Although marijuana is technically a Schedule I substance, its possession incurs more lenient penalties. Possession of under one ounce is a Class B misdemeanor, one ounce up to one pound results in Class A misdemeanor, one to 100 pounds typically carries a Third Degree Felony, and 100 pounds or more is subject to a Second Degree Felony.
For Schedules III-V, the first and second offenses are considered Class B misdemeanors. A third offense is upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor, while fourth and subsequent offenses are classified as Third Degree Felonies.
Although the state of Utah has recently opted for more lenient drug possession laws, these charges still carry serious consequences. Those who have been convicted of drug possession are subject to the following penalties, dependent upon the applicable type of felony or misdemeanor:
Up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If you have been charged with drug possession, personal legal counsel is extremely important in securing the best possible outcome. Our team of experts is here for you to do just that. With over 20 years of experience, the Schmidt Law Firm offers quality legal aid to clients charged with possession and other drug-related offenses. If you find yourself in need of help or advice, be sure to call us at 801-990-6390 or Click Here for a consultation today!