Utah law considers intent when classifying marijuana possession charges. It typically assumes that individuals with smaller quantities have it in their possession for personal use. However, once the quantities increase to 16 ounces or more, the law assumes the offender intends to distribute it. Regardless of the quantity of marijuana involved in an arrest, a defendant needs an experienced marijuana possession defense lawyer to help obtain the best possible result for his or her case in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah.
First and second offense possession of up to 16 ounces of marijuana remains within the classification of misdemeanor crimes, although second offenders face more severe misdemeanor charges. However, marijuana possession becomes a third-degree felony with a third offense, or even for a first offense when the quantity exceeds 16 ounces. Once the quantity exceeds 100 pounds, the crime becomes a second-degree felony, which can carry from one to 15 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines or both, according to guidelines set within the Utah State Courts.
Utah law treats any type of drug charges seriously, imposing harsh penalties upon conviction. Even the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana can result in penalties that include jail time and significant fines. Anyone facing these charges needs to seek support from experienced Salt Lake City drug possession attorneys after arrest and before talking with law enforcement officials.
Even possession of drug paraphernalia carries serious consequences in Utah, so you need to seek experienced legal support for any type of drug-related charges. The defense lawyers at Larsen, Larsen, Nash & Larsen work with clients to unravel the facts behind the charges before providing an honest assessment of all available legal options. We offer free consultations to individuals throughout northern Utah. Contact us to learn how we can help.