Drugs are prevalent in our society. Whether its the current opioid crisis or the increasingly common marijuana charge, drugs are everywhere. No where is that more than case then in court on a regular calendar day. Go into your nearest courtroom and watch for only a few minutes and you’ll see how common drug charges are. That being said having a drug charge on your record can still be a very serious thing. Drug charges often cause difficulty with background checks for jobs or other things. So make sure you take your drug charges seriously. Don’t just go plead guilty or take a deal without knowing your options.
There are two different ways drug charges are differentiated, first by drug type, and second by activity. There is a very long list of illegal drugs on the criminal books of Utah. These drugs are classified into different categories based on their usefulness. (i.e. schedule I = no medical use & high potential for abuse; schedule II = high potential for abuse & physical/psychological dependency, etc.)
The second differentiating line is what were you doing with the drug. The more egregious charge is distribution and the lessor charge is simple possession. Prosecutors usually charge individuals with distribution charges if they are carrying an excess amount of the drug, or if they have other items like a scale or baggies. So this means the state doesn’t need to catch you in the act of selling drugs to prosecute you for distribution. As for lessor charge of possession, the prosecutor can show you are guilty if you had the drug in your car, in your house, or on your person.
Additionally, the state can charge multiple individuals with possession of the same drug. For example if you are in a car with other people and some marijuana is found then everyone in the car could be found guilty of possession of that same marijuana. Prosecutors specifically use this in cases where no one in the car takes ownership of the drug.
Judges see drug charges and drug addicts everyday and one of their biggest concerns is recidivism. Or in other words judges don’t want to see you back in their courtroom. Due to that concern there are some things you should do before going to court or before being sentenced that may help reduce the damage of your drug charge. This is one of the reasons why its important to have dedicated and experienced legal representation. If you are facing drug charges or if you have a loved one facing drug charges then its very important you give me a call. I offer free consultations and I’d love to help you understand the process better so you can protect your future.