Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409 now for help protecting your rights.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges

Salt Lake Drug Crimes Attorney - Drug Free Zones

Salt Lake County drug possession charges can be enhanced if the crime occurs within an area defined under Utah law as a "drug free zone." This enhancement can substantially increase the potential penalties for simple possession of a controlled substance, possession with the intent to distribute, or actual distribution. If you are facing drug charges in the Salt Lake area or elsewhere in Utah, contact Stephen Howard now to see what an experienced Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer can do for your case.

Salt Lake Drug Free Zone Penalties

Utah law provides for enhanced penalties for possession or distribution of a controlled substance in areas that are considered drug free zones. This enhancement increases the severity of the charge by one degree - a class B misdemeanor becomes a class A misdemeanor, a third degree felony becomes a second degree felony, and a second degree felony becomes a first degree felony. In Salt Lake, prosecutors can use this enhancement to increase the penalties for possession of marijuana from six months to one year in jail, or for other common drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin from five years to fifteen years in prison. Distribution charges can have an enhanced maximum penalty of up to life in prison.

Salt Lake Drug Free Zones Defined

Utah law defines a "drug free zone" to include schools, pre-schools, parks, libraries, churches, shopping malls, stadiums, theaters, parking lots, and an area extending 1000 feet (the length of more than three football fields) from the structures or grounds of those facilities. Because of the nature of development in Salt Lake County, drug free zones cover a substantial portion of the entire county. Except for a few undeveloped open areas, most neighborhoods and commercial areas are likely to be considered drug free zones. Small pockets also exist within more developed areas. But the majority of residential neighborhoods and commercial districts will be covered by a drug free zone.

Drug Free Zone Violation in Salt Lake - Burden of Proof

As with any criminal charge, the Constitution places the burden of proving a drug free zone enhancement on the prosecution. But a prosecutor does not have to prove that the defendant knew that he/she was in a drug free zone, or even that the defendant had reason to believe that he/she was in a drug free zone. Many schools, parks, etc. in the Salt Lake area have posted signs stating that the area is a drug free zone. But the absence of such a sign does not provide a defense to a drug free zone enhancement. Measurement of the 1000-foot distance from a designated drug free zone location is done by straight-line measurement. Even if there is no road, sidewalk, or other direct route between the drug free zone location and the place of the alleged offense, the enhancement may apply if the offense falls within the 1000-foot zone.

Finding the Right Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Utah Drug Case

The consequences of a conviction for a drug offense in Salt Lake can be substantial. The drug free zone enhancement increases those consequences. If you are facing prosecution for drug charges, trust your case to an experienced Salt Lake criminal defense attorney with a proven record of achieving results.

Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation.


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pointing handgun at and threatening another driver during a road rage incident. Defense investigation and analysis, combined with effective cross-examination at trial indicated the alleged victim was the initial aggressor and suported client's self-defense claim. Jury acquitted client at trial.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client was facing multiple cases involving first-degree felony drug distribution charges for allegedly selling to a confidential informant. Defense analysis of the case revealed fatal flaws in the prosecution case that ultimately resulted in a complete dismissal of all cases and charges.
  • Utah Probation Attorney Released - Client absconded for more than 10 years from felony probation with Adult Probation and Parole. At an order to show cause hearing, prosecutor argued aggressively for prison. Based on effective mitigation efforts by the defense, the judge agreed to release client without further jail.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Dismissal - Client was charged with first-degree felony home burglary and facing potential life in prison. Defense analysis revealed flaws in prosecutor's case which led to abeyance agreement intended to lead to a full dismissal of the case.
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

You want the best defense. Agressive is good. But results ultimately are what really matter. Creating an effective strategy for defending against criminal prosecution requires a thorough understanding of statutes, case law, and evidentiary and procedural rules. A successful outcome is more likely when....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer for you Utah criminal case will be one of the most important decision you make. Before hiring any lawyer, there are a number of important factors to consider. The person you select as your criminal defense attorney will be responsible to defend your case and protect your rights....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences in Utah Criminal Prosecutions

Even a single misdemeanor conviction in Utah can result in extended jail time and substantial fines. The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction can last a lifetime. Whether you are facing misdemeanor prosecution in a justice court or more serious felony charges in the district court, obtaining advice and assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney is....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. But just being charged can affect more than you may have imagined - jail, job, family, bills, rent or mortgage. It can feel like everything has gone wrong, and may you wonder if anything can go right. But facing criminal prosecution does not mean giving up hope....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

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

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.