Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Veteran Criminal Defense Attorney / Former Prosecutor
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what our team can do for you.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Canyons Law Group - Solutions Start HereSM

Contact Us

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
Contact a Lawyer
** All fields are required. **
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
  • Utah Burglary Defense Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with second-degree felony residential burglary and facing potential prison time. Investigation by the defense revealed multiple witnesses, missed by police and prosecutors, who supported client's claim of innocence. At trial, the jury returned a "not guilty" verdict on all charges.
  • 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.
  • Felony Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony charge and possible life in prison for child kidnapping. Full defense analysis of the case revealed critical legal flaws in the prosecution's case. When confronted with the defense legal analysis, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case outright without trial.
  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahDismissed at Preliminary Hearing - Client charged with aggravated robbery and facing life in prison. Full case analysis and consultation with client allowed the development of a strong defense strategy. Effective cross-examination of the alleged victim at the preliminary hearing resulted in an outright dismissal of all charges by the judge.
  • Utah Probation Attorney Released - Client absconded for more than 10 years from felony probation with Adult Probation and Parole. At an order to show cause hearing, prosecutor argued aggressively for prison. Based on effective mitigation efforts by the defense, the judge agreed to release client without further jail.
  • Recent Posts
  • What to Do When Arrested for DUI What should I do if I am arrested for DUI? - Many DUI cases begin as minor traffic stops. But the consequences of a DUI conviction are much more serious than an ordinary traffic citation. If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you have specific important constitutional and statutory rights that can protect your. . . .
  • Utah Misdemeanor Attorney Salt Lake Can I handle a Utah misdemeanor from out-of-state? - Even if you do not intend to take your case to trial, a misdemeanor criminal offense in Utah can require multiple court appearances to reach a resolution. If you have been charged with a crime in Utah, but are not a Utah resident, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you resolve the case without returning to the state. . . .
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

Aggressive is good. Effective is better. The best defense strategy in any given criminal case can require in-depth analysis of the facts and a thorough understanding of applicable statutes, case law, and complex procedural and evidentiary rules. Having an experienced attorney on your side....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Choosing the best criminal defense attorney for your Utah criminal case can be the single most important decision you make. Before hiring any lawyer, there are a number of important factors to consider. The person you select as your criminal defense attorney will be responsible to defend your case and protect your rights....

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

Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. But just being charged can affect more than you may have imagined - jail, job, family, bills, rent or mortgage. It can feel like everything has gone wrong, and may you wonder if anything can go right. But facing criminal prosecution does not mean giving up hope....

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
340 East 400 South, Suite 25, 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.