Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what the right attorney 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.
  • 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 402 Reduction Attorney Felony Reduced - Client with prior felony conviction was granted a 402 reduction to the misdemeanor level over the objection of the prosecutor. Based on information provided to the court in support of the defense motion, the judge ruled in favor of the defense.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with residential felony burglary and theft charges. Effective cross-examination of alleged victim at preliminary hearing resulted in an admission by the alleged victim that the charges were based on a false report to police, made for the purpose of getting revenge against the defendant. Case was dismissed outright.
  • Recent Posts
  • What Constitutes Drug Parpahernalia in Utah How is drug paraphernalia defined in Utah? - The definition of drug paraphernalia under the Utah criminal code looks at both the nature of the object and also the intended use of the object in question. . . .
  • Utah Misdemeanor Attorney Salt Lake Can I handle a Utah misdemeanor from out-of-state? - Even if you do not intend to take your case to trial, a misdemeanor criminal offense in Utah can require multiple court appearances to reach a resolution. If you have been charged with a crime in Utah, but are not a Utah resident, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you resolve the case without returning to the state. . . .
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

The best outcome is more likely when the right strategy is employed. Developing the best strategy can require real courtroom experience, a thorough understanding of procedural and substantive legal issues, and a determination to ensure that important constitutional and other legal rights are protected. Choosing the right attorney....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Choosing the best criminal defense attorney for your Utah criminal case may be the single most important decision you make. The courtroom can be a hostile place. Prosecutors receive extensive training on legal and tactical issues. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side is critical to defending your case and protecting your rights....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

In Utah, even a "minor" misdemeanor conviction carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. A felony conviction carries the potential of lengthy prison terms and the various consequences that come with being labeled as a convicted felon. Never plead guilty without first finding out....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Never give up hope. Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. And it is usually not the end of the world. While the consequences of a criminal charge can be serious, there are often several options and strategies for handling your case. Understanding your options and how an experienced criminal lawyer can help....

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.