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Park City Drug Possession Lawyer - Utah Criminal Attorney

A conviction for drug possession in Utah carries potential penalties including prison or jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard provides legal services to clients facing criminal charges in Park City and Summit County, as well as throughout Utah. He has extensive experience defending drug crimes in Utah. He has successfully protected his clients' rights in cases ranging from first-degree felony drug distribution to misdemeanor marijuana possession. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

Drug Possession Penalties in Utah

The penalties for drug charges in Utah can range from simple probation to extended prison terms. The sentence imposed by a court can depend on a variety of factors, including the type of drug involved, the amount of drug involved, the location at which the offense occurred, whether there were indications of drug distribution, the defendant's past criminal record, the defendant's past or current involvement in drug treatment, and more.

Most common street drugs (other than marijuana) and most commonly abused prescription medications are classified as either Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances under Utah Code Ann. 58-37-4 (e.g. cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, heroin, other opiates, or psilocybin mushrooms). A simple possession charge of one of these Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances, regardless of the amount, begins as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. With enhancements, the penalties can be substantially higher.

Marijuana presents an important exception to the "Schedule" rules. Although marijuana is legally considered to be a Schedule I controlled substance, Utah law provides that the level of a marijuana possession offense will be based the amount of marijuana possessed. A possession charge for less than one ounce of marijuana begins at the class B misdemeanor level. Amounts between one and sixteen ounces be]gin at the class A misdemeanor level. A felony level charge can be filed for possession of more than sixteen ounces of marijuana, even without evidence that the defendant had any intent to distribute the marijuana.

Prosecution for possession of most other controlled substances (Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V) begins at the class B misdemeanor level.

Enhanced Charges for Utah Drug Possession

Drug possession charges in Utah can be enhanced (the penalties increased) based on prior convictions of a defendant, possession within a drug free zone, or possession within a correctional facility (typically a jail or prison). A prosecuting attorney may add multiple enhancements if the facts of the case support such enhancements. This can result in substantially higher penalties for a drug possession charge.

Other charges related to drug possession can also increase the potential penalties involved in a Utah drug crimes case. Child endangerment charges can be filed if it is determined that a child was exposed to or had access to the controlled substance in question. Distribution charges or possession with the intent to distribute be filed in cases where drugs were either intended to be or actually were sold, given, traded, or otherwise distributed. The penalties for such charges can be substantial.

Finding a Criminal Attorney in Utah

Stephen Howard is an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney. Based in Salt Lake City, he provides criminal defense services to clients facing charges in Park City, Summit County, and throughout Utah. His track record includes not guilty verdicts, dismissals, and appellate reversals in some of the most serious charges on the books in Utah. He is one of a few criminal attorneys in private practice with experience working inside Utah's felony drug court system.

Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.


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  • 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 facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • 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 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.
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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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