Utah County Jail Penalties

Drug Crimes, Laws and Penalties in Utah

If you’ve been arrested for a drug crime, it’s not uncommon to wonder how the charges, and potentially a conviction, will affect your life. Depending on the degree of the crime, and if you have a criminal record, you may be in jeopardy of losing some of your rights. Drug cases are complex and require various factors to determine punishment. Some questions that will need to be answered include:

  • What type of drug was in the defendant’s possession?
  • How much of the drug was in the defendant’s possession?
  • What was the defendant planning to do with the drug(s)?
  • Does the defendant have a criminal record?

Simple possession (carrying a small amount) can be the least severe drug crime, typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor. For these cases, it’s not uncommon to accept a plea deal for a lesser penalty or to be offered probation. If you are caught with a larger amount, law enforcement may determine there’s enough evidence to arrest you for intent to sell. This is why it’s important to hire an aggressive defense attorney if you’ve been charged with a drug crime.

Utah Drug Crimes

  • Drug Distribution
  • Drug Manufacturing
  • Sale of Drugs
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Drug Possession
  • Synthetic Drugs

Drug Distribution vs. Drug Trafficking

The two terms may sound similar, but the weight of the punishment depends on the destination of the drugs and how they will be used. If you are charged with drug distribution, you are accused of moving drugs from one location to another in order to sell the product. This crime will typically be prosecuted through the state. Drug trafficking involves the black market, and smuggling the drugs across borders for the purpose of sale or trade. Either of these crimes may result in federal charges. Minimum federal sentences can range from a year to life in prison, depending if anyone is hurt, a firearm is used, or if the defendant has a past criminal record.

Contact Rocky Mountain Defenders

When it comes to complex criminal cases, it’s best to rely on a criminal defense attorney who can stand up for your rights. It can be difficult to face the court system alone. With decades of experience successfully representing clients throughout the state of Utah, our experienced criminal defense lawyers will guide you through the legal process while aggressively protecting your legal rights. Schedule a free case review.