Possession of a Controlled Substance is defined in Utah’s Controlled Substances Act, in Chapter 37 of Title 58 of the Utah Code. It is illegal for an individual to knowingly and intentionally possess or use a controlled substance that was not obtained with a lawful prescription. Utah Code § 58-37-8
Possessing a controlled substance, or PCS in Utah, can result in very serious repercussions and harsh penalties, including prison sentences, fines, an inability to work in certain professional fields, a possibly permanent criminal record, and ineligibility for certain educational opportunities.
Salt Lake City Drug Possession Lawyer
If you have been charged with a possession of a controlled substance in Salt Lake City, call Darren Levitt of Levitt Legal at (801) 455-1743 for a consultation today. Darren Levitt is knowledgeable in all areas of Utah’s drug laws and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties for your alleged possession offense.
Possession Defined in Utah
An alleged PCS offender has to have actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance in order to be charged with the offense. If the prosecutor is unable to prove the alleged offender had either actual or constructive possession of the controlled substance, the charges will likely be dismissed because possession is a required element a drug possession offense.
Actual possession involves having actual, physical of the drug somewhere on your person, in clothing on your body or in a purse or wallet on your body.
Constructive possessionis usually harder to prove than actual possession and usually involves the following three requirements:
- The alleged offender knew the illegal substance was in their vicinity;
- They knew it was an illegal substance; and
- The drug was close enough to actually possess.
Utah’s Controlled Substance Schedule
The Utah Controlled Substances Act places all substances, drugs, prescription medications, and street drugs into schedules, ranging from Schedule I to Schedule V. Schedule I drugs are typically considered very addictive with no known medical use, and Schedule V drugs are the least addictive with commonly used medical purposes.
- Schedule I drugs have the highest likelihood for abuse and no used medical purpose in the United States. Examples of Schedule I substances can include marijuana, cocaine, LSD and heroin.
- Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, but are used for some medical applications in the United States. An example of a schedule II substance is GHB.
- Schedule III drugs have less likelihood of abuse than Schedule I or II drugs, and are commonly used for medical purposes in the United States. A substance in this schedule is anabolic steroids.
- Schedule IV drugs have a lower likelihood for abuse than Schedule III drugs and have common medical applications in the United States. Substances in this schedule can include Xanax and Ambien.
- Schedule V drugs have the least potential for abuse and have common medical uses in the United States. Substances in this schedule can include medicines that have small amounts of codeine or opium.
Penalties in Utah for Drug Possession Offenses
Possession of a controlled substance is punishable as a class B misdemeanor, class A misdemeanor, third degree felony or second degree felony, depending on the controlled substance, the amount possessed, and whether the offender has previously been convicted.
The degree of possession charge usually depends on the type of substance possessed, the amount of the drug possessed, whether the alleged offender has previous convictions, and whether the offender carried a weapon or firearm during commission of the offense. Additional factors can include whether the offense occurred in the vicinity of an elementary school, public park, house of worship, correctional facility, in the vicinity of someone under the age of 18, or if the alleged offender caused death or serious bodily injury during the commission of the offense. The following are the basic minimum punishment ranges for drug possession in Utah:
- A class B misdemeanor can result in imprisonment for up to six months and/or fines up to $1,000.
- A class A misdemeanor can lead to imprisonment up to one year and/or a fine not exceeding $2,500.
- A third degree felony can lead to a prison sentence for up to five years and/or a fine not more than $5,000.
- A second degree felony can result in imprisonment for up to 15 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Levitt Legal, PLLC || Salt Lake City Attorney for Possession of a Controlled Substance
Contact Levitt Legal today for a consultation about your drug possession offense in Salt Lake City, Utah. A knowledgeable Salt Lake City drug crime attorney will make every effort to fight the allegations against you and help you avoid the most serious punishments for your alleged drug offense. Contact Darren Levitt of Levitt Legal at (801) 455-1743 for a consultation about your drug offense in Salt Lake County and the surrounding counties, including Box Elder, Tooele, Utah, Cache, Weber, Summit, Davis and Wasatch Counties in Utah.