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Marijuana Charges in Salt Lake

Drug crimes in Utah can carry strict penalties. Although other states have passed laws decriminalizing marijuana, Utah law continues to provide for criminal prosecution of individuals found to be in possession of marijuana, distributing marijuana, or growing marijuana. Charges for relating to marijuana in Salt Lake can range from a class B misdemeanor (punishable by up to six months in jail) up to more serious felony charges that carries the potential for extended prison sentences. The level of a marijuana-related charge in Utah can depend on the amount of marijuana involved, whether there are allegations of distribution or production, and whether the charge occurred in a drug-free zone.

If you find yourself facing criminal prosecution for marijuana charges in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah, it is vital that you have the assistance of a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney. Prosecutors receive extensive training in the law and how to obtain convictions. You need someone on your side to ensure that your rights are protected. Attorney Stephen Howard has a record of winning real results for his clients. Contact us now to see how we can help you.

Defending Marijuana Charges in Salt Lake

Ogden Marijuana Charges LawyerSuccessfully defending against a prosecution in a marijuana case requires an understanding of complicated constitutional law issues, including in Fourth Amendment search and seizure law and the  protections offered under the Fifth Amendment. Legal issues relating to "constructive" possession and "innocent" possession can be critical to mounting a successful defense. And whether you intend to take your case to trial or hope to work out a negotiated resolution, it is critical to have an attorney who understands the complex procedural and evidentiary rules involved in Utah's criminal court system.

Defending against marijuana prosecution  in Salt Lake can require a detailed legal and factual analysis, motions to suppress evidence, and the complexities that may be involved in a jury trial. Thorough preparation for trial is important. But many cases will benefit from a negotiated resolution process. You and your attorney should engage in a frank discussion of the strengths and weaknesses or both the defense case and the prosecution case. A successful defense often depends on a criminal defense lawyer with the experience and skills to understand what strategy is most likely to help you to achieve your individual goals in the case.

Criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has successfully defended drug cases in Utah ranging from first-degree felony distribution to misdemeanor marijuana and paraphernalia charges. He has the experience and skills you need to help achieve the best results for your case.

Marijuana Convictions and Consequences in Salt Lake

Despite changing cultural attitudes toward marijuana, from a legal stand point, you still need to take seriously any criminal charges relating to marijuana possession.

Depending on the circumstances, a criminal charges for marijuana possession can be filed as either a misdemeanor or felony. At its lowest level, a marijuana possession charge will be filed as a class B misdemeanor that carries the potential of up to 180 days in jail and nearly $2,000 in fines and surcharges. Distribution of or possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute can be filed at the felony level and carries a possible prison sentence larger fines. Enhancements for possession or distribution in a drug free zone can significantly increase the penalties for any marijuana charge.

In addition to the consequences and penalties imposed directly by a Salt Lake court for a marijuana charge, drug convictions in Utah carry other "collateral" consequences that can include a suspended driver license, difficulty in obtaining employment, and other limited opportunities.

Most marijuana possession charges in Salt Lake County are handled through one of the municipal justice courts. But even at the misdemeanor level, a marijuana possession charge should not be taken lightly. It can still result in a criminal conviction that can stay on your record and affect your life in significant ways. At the felony level or class A misdemeanor level, marijuana charges in Salt Lake must be filed in the Third District Court in either Salt Lake City or West Jordan.

Legalization of Marijuana - Effects on Salt Lake Marijuana Cases

Some other states have made the possession of marijuana legal, both for recreational and for medical purposes. But Utah's criminal laws against the possession, use, or distribution of marijuana are still enforced by Salt Lake prosecutors and courts.

It is common for residents of states such as Arizona, Colorado, and California to be pulled over for traffic violations while traveling through Salt Lake on I-15 or I-80. Even if a person is using marijuana based on advice from a doctor, possession or use of marijuana in Utah can still result in serious criminal charges. If police find reason to believe that a driver is impaired or even just has THC metabolite in his or her body, a charge for driving with a measurable controlled substance metabolite (sometimes called a "metabolite DUI") can be filed.

Finding a Criminal Lawyer for Salt Lake Marijuana Charges 

If you are facing criminal prosecution for a marijuana charge in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah, you need a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer working on your side. Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has a record of successfully handling drug cases ranging from first degree felony distribution to misdemeanor marijuana possession. To see how Stephen Howard can help you with your case, contact us today.


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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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