Criminal defendants could face serious penalties if they are arrested for drug crimes. The circumstances of the crimes could introduce harsher penalties and additional criminal charges. Where the defendant was arrested could also play a role in what penalties are applied to their conviction. Criminal defendants who are facing drug charges need legal representation quickly after they are arrested.
Drug Abuse is a Crime
According to criminal statutes in Utah, abusing any controlled substance is unlawful, and residents could be charged if it is discovered that they have been abusing any controlled substances. If convicted, the defendant may be required to enter into a drug rehabilitation program as a part of their penalties. If they are arrested with controlled substances in their possession, the state can charge them according to what drugs they have and how much.
Possession of Illegal Drugs
Possession of illegal drugs starts with a class B misdemeanor with a penalty of no more than six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. When it comes to possession charges, the quantity and type of drug in the defendant’s possession play a vital role in determining the classification for the crime. More lethal drugs such as cocaine and heroin present higher classifications even with a smaller quantity. If the defendant was around children when they were arrested, the classification could be increased. If the defendant had drugs in their possession while their children were present, or they were using drugs in front of their children, child protective services are called.
Distribution of Controlled Substances
The distribution of controlled substances is among the more profound drug charges in Utah. Typically, law enforcement sets up a sting operation to catch anyone selling controlled substances in hopes of finding the supplier. However, anyone who is selling controlled substances is subject to prison sentences and hefty crimes.
Criminal defendants facing drug crimes review penalties with an attorney and determine what could happen if they are convicted. When assessing the circumstances of the crime, the attorney could determine what defense could apply to the defendant’s case. Defendants who want to learn more about building a defense can visit ariccramer.com for more information today.