Drug Possession Attorney in Salt Lake County, Utah
In recent years, Utah has seen a significant increase in drug-related offenses. From 2019-2020, the number of fentanyl-involved overdose deaths increased by 128% and has continued to increase. In 2022, there was a report of 541 drug overdose deaths, of which 74% involved Opioids. Because of the serious effect drugs have had in our Utah community, drug offenses are taken very seriously in the criminal justice system. Drug possession laws are stringent, and the penalties can be severe. Understanding these laws and their implications is crucial when facing such charges.
At Dave Clark Law, we understand the serious implications of these statistics and the impact they have on individuals like you who might be facing drug possession charges. We are well-versed in these laws and are ready to help you navigate through the process. It's a challenging situation, but we are here to offer our experience, knowledge, and advocacy. If you are in the Salt Lake County area—including Murray, South Jordan, Sandy, West Jordan, Midvale, Riverton, Taylorsville, and more—and need a professional drug possession defense lawyer, get in touch with us for support.
Understanding Utah Drug Possession Laws
Utah classifies controlled substances into different schedules based on their potential for abuse and dependency. The law prohibits possession of these substances unless prescribed by a licensed practitioner. It's important to note that even with a prescription, there are limitations to how much you can possess. Violation of these laws can result in serious penalties, which is why understanding them is key to building a robust defense.
Elements of Possession
To convict someone of drug possession in Utah, the prosecution must prove two elements: knowing and possession. 'Knowing' implies that the person was aware that the substance they possessed was a controlled substance. 'Possession' means that the person had control over the place or object where the drugs were found.
Possessing controlled substances like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and certain prescription drugs is illegal without a valid prescription. Even with a prescription, there are restrictions on how much you can legally possess. It's also illegal to possess drug paraphernalia, which includes any equipment used to prepare, store, inject, inhale, or conceal illegal drugs.
Levels of Scheduled Drugs
The drug scheduling system regulates the use of drugs based on their medical value, potential for abuse, and level of safety. The system categorizes substances from Schedule I to Schedule V, with Schedule I drugs having the highest potential for abuse and no accepted medical use, and Schedule V drugs having the lowest potential for abuse and accepted medical use.
Schedule I: These drugs have the highest potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Examples include heroin, LSD, marijuana, ecstasy, methaqualone, and peyote.
Schedule II: These drugs have a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. Examples include cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), and fentanyl.
Schedule III: These drugs have a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Examples include products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone.
Schedule IV: These drugs have a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Examples include Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, and Tramadol.
Schedule V: These drugs have lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Examples are cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, and Parepectolin.
These schedules are used to determine the legality of possessing, distributing, and manufacturing these substances. They also inform the penalties for violations involving these substances. These schedules serve to protect public health and maintain safety in our society. By understanding these schedules, individuals can better navigate the implications of drug possession laws.
The penalties for drug possession in Utah can be severe. These penalties vary based on the type and quantity of the drug, the intent of the possessor, and their previous criminal history. Having an experienced drug possession defense attorney like us on your side can greatly impact the outcome of your case. The potential penalties for drug possession include but are not limited to:
If you're facing drug possession charges in Salt Lake County, Utah, don't hesitate to reach out to our criminal defense attorney at Dave Clark Law. We are committed to providing strong and effective legal representation to help you navigate this challenging situation.
Drug Possession Defense Attorney in Salt Lake County, Utah
Serving areas across Salt Lake County, including Salt Lake City, Murray, South Jordan, Sandy, West Jordan, Midvale, Riverton, Taylorsville, and beyond, we pride ourselves on being accessible, responsive, and always available for our clients. We keep you updated regularly and take immense pride in what we do. If you're facing drug possession charges, don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to fight for you.