Drug Offenses Can Carry Harsh Penalties
A conviction for a drug offense can cost you thousands in fines, land you in jail, and you can lose your drivers license for six months even if no vehicle was involved. This is why drug charges are never to be taken lightly. Utah drug laws are complicated and convoluted, and different circumstances result in different charges, so it’s crucial that you hire an attorney knowledgeable in defending those charged with drug offenses.
In Utah, possession of a schedule I or II drug, which includes heroin, LSD, ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetmine, prescription pain relievers and marijuana with intent to distribute, is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. A small amount of marijuana for personal use or possession of paraphernalia such as a bong or syringe is a misdemeanor and carries lighter penalties, but intent to distribute any controlled substances increases the seriousness of the charges significantly. These charges can result in dire consequences, and even if you avoid jail time, the potential for fallout at your place of employment and in other areas of your life is high.
If it is your first offense and you have a skilled lawyer, you might end up with fines, probation, community service and/or placement in a drug rehab program. Things begin to look much direr, however, on a second or third offense. With a prior conviction, you are likely looking at much harsher penalties. It is important at this point to retain an attorney who is experienced in dealing with repeat drug offenders.
Search and Seizure
With any drug charge, the case rests almost entirely on the physical evidence — the drugs themselves. How this evidence is collected is of critical importance. If your attorney can prove the search and seizure of your person, car or home was unreasonable, the evidence itself can be suppressed, basically destroying the state’s case. Laws protect citizens against illegal search and seizure, and any holes that can be poked into the state’s case can result in a better outcome for you.
A conviction on a drug offense can lead to the loss of your job, livelihood, business, family and more. If you know you are guilty, you still need counsel to protect your rights and get you a fair result in your case. If you have been arrested and charged with a drug offense, retain an experienced attorney on your side. Call the Law Offices of Robert B. Breeze for a free consultation.