Penalties for Drug Crimes in Utah– Utah Drug Attorneys
Charges that involve a drug classified as a Schedule I controlled substance (e.g., heroin, opium, LSD, or psilocybin mushrooms) or Schedule II controlled substance (e.g., methadone, cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, or other opiates), under Utah Code Ann. 58-37-4, can be charged beginning at the class A misdemeanor level. Charges that involve most other controlled substances including Schedule III (Suboxone, Ketamine, Anabolic Steroids), Schedule IV, or Schedule V begin at the class B misdemeanor level.
Cases involving possession of marijuana present an exception to the “Drug Schedule” rules. Although marijuana is still (as of 2022) classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, being found in possession without a medical exception, (depending on weight, your location and time, and your prior criminal history) may result in charges that can range from a class B misdemeanor to a felony.
Enhancements for Utah Drug Possession Charges
In Utah, the level of a drug possession charge can be enhanced for several reasons. This may include whether the person has had prior convictions, if the offense occurs in a designated “drug-free zone,” or whether the person is in a correctional facility when found in possession of the controlled substance. Enhancements can be “stacked” – meaning a simple possession charge could result in a first-degree felony charge that can mean a maximum penalty of life in prison. If a child is present or nearby, possession of a controlled substance may result in an additional criminal charge for child endangerment.
If investigators believe a person has distributed drugs or possessed drugs “with the intent to distribute,” the consequences can potentially be more serious. A charge for possession with the intent to distribute or distribution can be filed as a second-degree felony. Under some circumstances, it can be enhanced to the first-degree level.