Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Take the first step in securing a successful defense.
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what our team can do for you.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges

Drug Possession Attorney - Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

Consequences of a Utah drug possession conviction can include in jail or prison time, thousands of dollars in fines, losing your driver's license, and a variety of probation conditions and restrictions. Stephen Howard is a Utah criminal defense attorney with extensive experience dealing with Utah drug cases. He has successfully defended cases ranging from first-degree felony drug distribution to simple misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He has a track record of achieving real results for his clients. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

Penalties for Drug Possession Charges in Utah

Drug possession charges in Utah can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending mainly on what drug is involved.

If case involves a drug classified under Utah Code Ann. 58-37-4 as either a Schedule I controlled substance (e.g. heroin or psilocybin mushrooms) or a Schedule II controlled substance (e.g. cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, or other opiates), then the default level for the charge will be a third-degree felony. Charges for possession of most other controlled substances (Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V) begin at the class B misdemeanor level.

Charges for possession of marijuana presents a significant exception to the "Schedule" rules. While marijuana is technically a Schedule I controlled substance, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana begins at the class B misdemeanor level. Possession of between one and sixteen ounces of marijuana begins as a class A misdemeanor. Possession of more than sixteen ounces of marijuana can be charged as a felony, even without any evidence of distribution or the intent to distribute. While marijuana possession for medical use or even personal recreational use has been legalized in some states, Utah continues to prosecute marijuana possession.

Enhancements for Utah Drug Possession Charges

The level of a drug possession charge in Utah can be enhanced for a number of reasons, including prior convictions, if the offense occurs in a "drug free zone," or if a person is found in possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility. These enhancements can be "stacked" - which could result in a first-degree felony charge with life in prison as a maximum penalty for even a simple possession charge (not distribution or the intent to distribute). Possession of a controlled substance when a child is present or even just nearby can also result in an additional criminal charge of child endangerment.

If police or prosecutors believe that a person has distributed drugs, or possessed drugs "with the intent to distribute," the stakes go up substantially. Either distribution or possession with the intent to distribute can be filed as a second degree felony (1-15 years prison) and can be enhanced to the first degree level (five years to life in prison) under some circumstances.

Choosing a Criminal Attorney in Utah

If you are facing criminal prosecution for drug possession, you need an experienced drug defense attorney on your side.  Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has extensive experience defending drug charges, working with clients who are struggling with addiction, and in working with Utah's felony drug court system.

Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pointing handgun at and threatening another driver during a road rage incident. Defense investigation and analysis, combined with effective cross-examination at trial indicated the alleged victim was the initial aggressor and suported client's self-defense claim. Jury acquitted client at trial.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • Utah Expungement Attorney Salt Lake Davis Expunged - Client with prior conviction for violent felony was ineligible for expungement through the courts. A successful 2-step reduction restored expungement eligibility and ultimately led to the court's decision to grant the requested expungement.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with residential felony burglary and theft charges. Effective cross-examination of alleged victim at preliminary hearing resulted in an admission by the alleged victim that the charges were based on a false report to police, made for the purpose of getting revenge against the defendant. Case was dismissed outright.
Best Utah Criminal Defense Strategy

Successfully defending against criminal prosecution requires more than just an 'aggressive' defense. The best defense attorneys understand that a sophisticated defense requires a thorough understanding of a variety of nuanced legal issues, real experience in the courtroom, good negotiation skills, and much more. Fighting hard is good. Fighting smart is better....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

With decades of combined experience, our criminal defense team attorneys have the knowledge, skill, and determination to help you achieve the results you need. Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can have serious consequences. Choosing the best attorney to defend your case may be one of the most important decisions you will ever make....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

In Utah, even a "minor" misdemeanor conviction carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. A felony conviction carries the potential of lengthy prison terms and the various consequences that come with being labeled as a convicted felon. Never plead guilty without first finding out....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Never give up hope. Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. And it is usually not the end of the world. While the consequences of a criminal charge can be serious, there are often several options and strategies for handling your case. Understanding your options and how an experienced criminal lawyer can help....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.