Utah courts have restrictions on the ‘offering’ component of this particular charge. The specific elements necessary to levy this charge require that a prosecutor prove that the defendant’s offer to sell drugs was sincere and genuine.
Could I Be Charged With Distribution In Utah Even If I Didn’t Sell Any Of The Drugs?
Utah criminal law is thorough and specific and as such there are multiple ways an individual could find themselves charged with drug distribution even if the individual never sold any actual drugs at all.
In accordance with Utah law, distribution (which is a felony) of a controlled substance does not actually require proof of a consummated drug sale. The term ‘distribution’ is defined to include almost any kind of distribution, which of course includes selling drugs for money. It should be noted however that the charge of distribution can also encompass activities such as trading drugs for other types of property or services, buying any drugs for other individuals, giving drugs to another individual, or even—simply sharing a joint.
Utah state laws also include possible avenues for enhanced punishment for possession of any controlled substances ‘with the intent to distribute.’ As such, if someone is found in possession of any drugs, and the investigating officer, police person, or a prosecutor believe that there was an actual intent to sell, give, share in any way, or otherwise distribute those drugs, that person can thus be charged with a crime on equal level to the actual distribution of a controlled substance.
Additionally, drug distribution charges can be levied without even selling any drugs under what is referred to as mistaken identity or sometimes, false accusation. It is possible that someone could identify you as the drug dealer, but in fact, it was actually someone else who simply resembles you in some way. There are times when an individual may be falsely accused by another of selling or distributing drugs.
No criminal charges related to drug distribution in the state of Utah should be taken lightly as they all can be quite serious. Additionally, most of all drug distribution charges are filed as second-degree felony charges, which could carry a 15 years sentence and $20,000 in fines. Worse yet, with select enhancements, a distribution charge could result in a life sentence.
What If I Sold Drugs To An Undercover Police Officer? What Would My Charges Be?
The action of selling drugs or offering to sell any drugs, or perhaps simply informing an undercover police officer where he or she can purchase drugs could possibly result in a second-degree felony charge in the state of Utah. In accordance with Utah criminal law, the distribution of any controlled substance, or the possession with an intent to distribute, or offering or arranging to distribute any controlled substance all may be charged as second-degree felony offenses that are punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Utah police do participate in undercover operations in order to arrest people who are dealing drugs. As undercover police drug operations are usually attempts to catch high-level dealers, some who are caught in these undercover operations are simply low-level dealers or individuals who work for a dealer because they have a drug habit or addiction of their own, and this is a means of feeding their addiction affordably.
Savvy prosecutors and judges alike have a thorough knowledge of the drug trade and as such make the distinction between high-level drug dealers and individuals who are caught up in the illegal business in order to feed their addiction. Sentences for distribution charges can vary greatly depending on circumstances and may range from incarceration, to probation, drug treatment, or a combination of options.
Drug distribution charges are serious and it is always in your best interest to be represented by an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney in order to maximize your options and possibly avoid conviction.
For more information on Time Limits For Offering Statute In Utah, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 455-1743 today.