Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Take the first step in securing a successful defense.
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what our team can do for you.
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 Criminal Defense - Drug Paraphernalia

Possession of drug paraphernalia in Utah is typically filed as a class B misdemeanor.  But if you are convicted, you could be facing substantial jail time, fines, losing your driver's license, and more.  Salt Lake criminal attorney Stephen Howard has extensive experience representing clients in drug cases in Utah.  He has represented thousands of clients, with a track record that speaks for itself.  If you are being prosecuted for possession of drug paraphernalia or other criminal charges, call now to schedule an initial consultation and learn what an experienced Salt Lake criminal defense attorney can do for you.

Utah Law on Drug Paraphernlia

Under Utah criminal law, the definition of drug paraphernalia can include many items that have innocent and perfectly legitimate uses: spoons, plastic bags, pens, razor blades, aluminum foil, scales and many more items.  If a police officer believes that you intend to use one of these items to use, package, weigh, transport, or manufacture an illegal controlled substance (drug), you may be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

More frequently, prosecutors will file drug paraphernalia charges based on alleged possession of items that are commonly associated with drug use (such as syringes or pipes). But even in such cases, the prosecutor must still prove the intent to use those items in connection with illegal drugs.

The intent element of a drug paraphernalia charge is sometimes overlooked by prosecutors. This element requires proof that the defendant intended to use the item of paraphernalia in violation of the Utah Controlled Substance Act. To illustrate, consider a pill cutter or pill crusher that could be used to crush or cut opioid pills that were either legally obtained or illegally obtained. In a case where the intended or actual use of the pill crusher involved pills that were illegally obtained, the pill crusher or cutter would be considered unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. But if the facts of the case were altered to involve pills that had been lawfully prescribed to the defendant, possession of that same item of drug paraphernalia would not be illegal.

Potential Defense Options

Under the United States Constitution, you are entitled to a presumption of innocence and to require that the prosecution prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Understanding your rights is critical to developing the best defense strategy.

A syringe may be used by a diabetic to inject insulin.  A pipe may be used to smoke legal substances as well as illegal controlled substances. If the prosecutor cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial that you intended to use the item in connection with an illegal controlled substance, you are entitled to be found not guilty.

Constructive possession often presents a possible defense in drug possession and drug paraphernalia cases. If police search a defendant's car and find a pipe with methamphetamine residue, the pipe may or may not have ever been possessed by the defendant. Merely owning a vehicle does not make the owner responsible for every item of property that might end up in the vehicle. Unless the prosecutor can show actual direct possession by the defendant (for example, the defendant was holding the pipe in his hand when police approached), then the prosecutor must prove constructive possession by showing knowledge of the item and the ability and intent to exercise control over the item.

Contact an Attorney

If you have been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia or other crimes in Salt Lake City, contact us for an initial consultation and case analysis with Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard.

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 AttorneyDismissed - Charges of insurance fraud were brought when investigators found reason to believe that client's claim of injury was fraudulent. Client was seen kicking a soccer ball, and investigators concluded that the injury claim was false. By obtaining medical records and other administrative records, and by pointing out to the prosecutor that the alleged injury interferred with the client's ability to lift - not his ability to kick a ball - the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

Aggressive is good. Effective is better. The best defense strategy in any given criminal case can require in-depth analysis of the facts and a thorough understanding of applicable statutes, case law, and complex procedural and evidentiary rules. Having an experienced attorney on your side....

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 - Utah Criminal Defense

A Utah criminal prosecution can result in a lifetime of consequences. Beyond jail and prison, a conviction can affect many areas of life, including employment, housing, finances, family, and much more. Never plead guilty without first consulting with an experienced criminal attorney. Understanding what is at stake is the first step....

Consequences »
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....

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.