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Drug Possession Defense Lawyer for Ogden

A drug possession conviction in Ogden carries potential consequences that can include time in jail or prison, thousands of dollars in fines, loss of a driver license, and a range of probation conditions and restrictions. Drug possession charges in Ogden can involve so-called "street drugs" (methampetamine, cocaine, heroin, etc.) or prescription drugs that have not been lawfully obtained. And the penalties for both can be equally harsh.

Criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard has extensive experience working on drug cases throughout Utah. He has been successfull in defending cases ranging from first-degree felony drug distribution to misdemeanor marijuana possession. He has a track record of winning real results for his clients. Contact us now to see how we can help you.

Drug Possession - Penalties for Conviction

The level of a drug possession offense is determined initially by what drug is involved. But other enhancements based on prior convictions or location can substantially increase the penalties associated with the possession charge.

Under Utah Code Ann. 58-37-4, if the case involves a drug classified as either a Schedule I controlled substance (e.g. heroin or psilocybin mushrooms) or a Schedule II controlled substance (e.g. cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, or other opiates), then the default for the charge is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. Charges for possession of most other controlled substances (Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V) start at the class B misdemeanor level, punishable by up to 180 days in jail.

Marijuana presents a significant exception to the "schedule" rules. Even though marijuana is classed as a Schedule I controlled substance, a charge for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana starts at the class B misdemeanor level. Charges for possessing between one and sixteen ounces of marijuana start as a class A misdemeanor, and charges for possession of more than sixteen ounces of marijuana can be filed at the felony level - even without any evidence of distribution or the intent to distribute. Although some states have legalized marijuana possession for medical use or even recreational use, prosecutors in Ogden and throughout Utah continue to file criminal charges for marijuana possession.

Ogden Drug Possession Enhancements

Although the Utah legislature has reduced the initial severity of many drug possession offenses to the misdemeanor level, prior convictions can result in felony-level enhancements. Enhancements can also be added if the offense takes place in a "drug free zone" or if a person has smuggled a contrtolled substance into a correctional facility. Some enhancements can also be "stacked," resulting in more serious consequences. If a child is present or even near by, possession of a controlled substance can also result in the additional criminal charge of child endangerment.

Stakes go up substantially when police or prosecutors in Ogden believe that a person has distributed drugs, or possessed drugs "with the intent to distribute." Distribution or possession with the intent to distribute can be filed as a second degree felony that carries with it the possibility of 1-15 years in prison. If enhanced , distribution or possession with the intent to distribute, under some circumstances, can be a first degree felony with five years to life in prison as a possible penalty.

Finding a Ogden Criminal Defense Attorney

If you find yourself facing criminal prosecution for drug possession in Ogden or anywhere in Utah, it is vital that you have an experienced defense attorney on your side. Criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has considerable experience working in Utah's felony drug court system, defending serious felony and misdemeanor drug charges, and working with clients who are struggling with addiction.

Contact us today to see how we can help.


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  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Contractor was charged with theft by deception for allegedly misusing customer funds and failing to complete work that had been agreed upon. A successful motion to quash on legal grounds following the bindover order at preliminary hearing resulted in a complete dismissal of all charges.
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  • Utah Expungement Attorney Expungement - Worked to restore client's expungement eligibility through 402 reduction process, then filed successful expungement petitions in multiple courts obtaining expungement orders and clearing client's official criminal history.
  • Felony Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony charge and possible life in prison for child kidnapping. Full defense analysis of the case revealed critical legal flaws in the prosecution's case. When confronted with the defense legal analysis, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case outright without trial.
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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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