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Utah Drug Possession Attorney West Jordan

A conviction for drug possession can include substantial jail or prison time, thousands of dollars in fines, and much more. If you are facing charges for drug possession, paraphernalia, distribution, or other drug-related offenses, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard provides criminal defense services to clients in West Jordan and throughout Utah. Contact us today to arrange for an initial confidential consultation.

Drug Possession Penalties in West Jordan, Utah

Drug possession charges in West Jordan can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending partly on which drug is involved, where the offense occurs, and the defendant's past criminal history. Prior to October 2015, most drugs other than marijuana were charged beginning at the third-degree felony level. Following amendments made to Utah's drug laws by the 2015 legislature, drug possession charges begin at the misdemeanor level, but can still be enhanced to the felony level under certain conditions.

Criminal Defense Attorney Utah Prescription Fraud Salt LakePossession of a controlled substance classified by Utah Code 58-37-4 as either Schedule I (e.g. heroin or psilocybin mushrooms) or Schedule II (e.g. methamphetamine, cocaine, methadone, or other opiates), will be charged at a default level of a class A misdemeanor. Criminal charges for possession of most other controlled substances (Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V) begin at the class B misdemeanor level. Enhancements for possession in a drug free zone possession with the intent to distribute can increase the severity of these criminal charges to the felony level.  Class B misdemeanor charges are typically filed in the West Jordan City Justice Court. Criminal prosecutions for felony or class A misdemeanor charges must be handled through the Third District Court's West Jordan Department.

Marijuana charges are treated differently in Utah. Although marijuana is technically a Schedule I controlled substance, a charge for possession of marijuana begins at the class B misdemeanor level. Enhancements can be added, increasing the potential penalties, based on the amount of marijuana involved, the proximity to a drug free zone, and prior criminal record of the defendant. Although marijuana for medical or recreational use has been legalized in other states, possession of marijuana in Utah can still be prosecuted as a criminal offense.

Because of the broad definition of "drug paraphernalia" under Utah law, many drug possession charges are also accompanied by the additional charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. This increases the potential penalties of any drug case.

Drug Charge Enhancements in West Jordan

One of the more common enhancements used in West Jordan drug cases is for possession within a drug free zone. Utah law governing drug free zones provides for a one-step enhancement of a drug charge. This can include an enhancement from a class A possession charge to a third degree felony, or enhancement from a second degree distribution charge to a first degree felony charge. The differences in potential penalties can be significant - enhancing a one-year misdemeanor jail sentence to a five-year felony prison term, or turning a second degree felony one-year minimum prison term to a potential life prison sentence for a first degree conviction.

Potential penalties for West Jordan drug charges can also be increased based on enhancements for prior drug charges or for possession with the intent to distribute. Most of these enhancements will increase the charge by one step from its base level. But, as noted above, a single step enhancement can greatly increase the potential penalties.

Choosing a Drug Crimes Attorney for West Jordan

If you are facing criminal prosecution for drug possession or other drug-related crimes in West Jordan, Utah, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side. With offices centrally located in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard has extensive experience defending drug crimes in Utah. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.


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  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Contractor was charged with theft by deception for allegedly misusing customer funds and failing to complete work that had been agreed upon. A successful motion to quash on legal grounds following the bindover order at preliminary hearing resulted in a complete dismissal of all charges.
  • 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 Expungement Attorney Expungement - Worked to restore client's expungement eligibility through 402 reduction process, then filed successful expungement petitions in multiple courts obtaining expungement orders and clearing client's official criminal history.
  • 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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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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