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It is illegal to possess controlled dangerous substances (CDS) without a prescription in the state of Utah. Although the penalties for drug possession do vary according to how the drug is classified, penalties include fines and prison time. If you were charged or arrested for drug possession, your choice in legal representation determines everything when it comes to securing a favorable case outcome. With the help of an experienced attorney, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the consequences associated with a drug crime conviction.
Possession of a controlled substance in Utah is considered a serious crime that can result in severe penalties if convicted.
Drugs that are considered controlled substances include but are not limited to the following:
- Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
- Anabolic steroids
The laws for drug possession in Utah vary depending on the type and amount of drugs found. A small amount of marijuana will have considerably gentler penalties than the same amount of heroin, for example.
It is also important to note that this penalty will vary according to the defendant’s intent. The court will consider if the drugs were to be used for personal reasons or distribution. For instance, if the defendant had the intention to sell the drugs to potential buyers, he/she may be more likely to receive a felony charge.
Actual Drug Possession Versus Constructive Drug Possession
There are two forms of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession means that the drugs were found on an individual directly either in their pockets or concealed in their personal items, such as a purse or backpack.
Constructive possession means that the drugs were found in an area that the defendant could easily reach. An example of this would be finding drugs in the glove compartment of an individual’s car. This could lead law enforcement to believe that they belong to someone in the vehicle.
There are two different types of penalties that may happen after being convicted of drug possession: criminal penalties and collateral consequences. Criminal penalties are the penalties you receive for being convicted of a crime, such as jail time, fines, probation, and community service. Collateral consequences are a result of what happens when a conviction goes onto your criminal record.
These might consist of the following:
- Driver’s license suspension or revocation
- Drug treatment or rehabilitation
- Drug testing
- Loss of employment
- Loss of student financial aid
- Loss of the right to own a gun
- Loss of reputation in your community
What Are the Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Utah?
According to the law in Utah, it is illegal for an individual to possess any controlled substance “knowingly and intentionally” unless he/she has a lawful medical prescription. As such, the use of recreational cannabis is illegal in the state. Possession of small amounts is punishable by a misdemeanor. Any sale of marijuana outside of one of the authorized medical marijuana dispensaries or pharmacies is considered a felony.
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