Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
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Salt Lake Criminal Lawyer - Possession with Intent to Distribute

The Utah criminal code classifies possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute at the same level as actual distribution or sale of drugs. Both possession with the intent to distribute and actual distribution of a controlled substance are considered second degree felonies, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. With enhancements (for a drug free zone or for prior distribution convictions) the charge can be filed as a first degree felony with a maximum potential sentence of life in prison. Stephen Howard has extensive experience dealing with drug cases in the Salt Lake area. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation.

Defending Criminal Charges for Possession with Intent to Distribute

Under Utah law, a charge for distribution of a controlled substance requires proof that a defendant actually sold, delivered, shared, or otherwise distributed a controlled substance. Possession with the intent to distribute instead requires evidence only that the defendant "intended" to distribute the drugs. In determining the defendant's intent, police, prosecutors, judges, and juries may consider a variety of evidence, including the amount of drugs in the person's possession (is it more than what would be considered a "personal use" amount), whether scales, packaging materials, or other paraphernalia or items commonly associated with distribution were found along with the drugs, as well as statements made by the defendant or other witnesses.

Even if the evidence is not sufficient to support the "intent to distribute" element of the offense, a jury may still convict a person of the "lesser included offense" of simple possession of a controlled substance. For many drugs, this may still result in a felony conviction.

Contact a Utah Criminal Attorney in Salt Lake

With offices centrally located in Salt Lake City, criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard provides services to clients throughout Utah.  If you are facing drug charges, contact us today for an initial consultation.


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  • Criminal Appeals Defense AttorneyDismissed on Appeal - DUI case was dismissed after a successful appeal where the Utah Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's denial of the defense motion to suppress. Without the suppressed evidence, the prosecutor acknowledged that they did not have sufficient evidence to proceed to trial and the case was dismissed.
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  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahProbation - Client charged with aggravated robbery based on allegations he entered a store with a gun and mask and demanded cash. Client confessed to police before hiring a defense attorney. Defense mitigation efforts resulted in a negotiated resolution that removed life in prison as a possibility, and secured a probation sentence from the court.
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Utah Criminal Attorney - Reasons to Hope

An arrest is not a conviction. If you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, it can feel like your world is collapsing. But there are things you can do right now that can increase your chances of a good outcome. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you evaluate the various options available to you and help develop a strategy for success....

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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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