Drug Charges

Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah

Utah Drug Charges:

The Utah Controlled Substances Act.

Surprisingly, Utah’s illegal controlled substance act is found in the “Occupations and Professions,” Title 58 of Utah’s Code.   Chapter 37 is Utah’s “Controlled Substances Act.”  See Utah Code Ann. 58-37-1 et seq.

This statute is large and lists each illegal drug and how it is illegal to possess it, use it and sell it.  It covers heroin, cocaine methamphetamine, marijuana, prescription drugs and many other less know illegal controlled substances.

The Utah Paraphernalia Act.

You can also find the Utah Paraphernalia Act at Utah Code 58-37a-1 et seq.  The Utah Paraphernalia Act lists what items can be considered illegal drug items, such as Bongs, joints, syringes, spoons, etc.

What is or can be Utah Drug Paraphernalia.

“’Drug paraphernalia’ means any equipment, product, or material used, or intended for use, to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, package, repackage, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or to otherwise introduce a controlled substance into the human body . . . .”  See definitions section, 58-37a-3.

The key is that you have to intend to possess or use these items.  Accidental possession, or possession without intent to use these items is not legally sufficient.  A guilty mind is needed along with a guilty act of possession for a crime to be committed.

Who Determines if it is Drug Paraphernalia or Innocent Items?

Considerations the jury takes into consideration on whether the item is drug paraphernalia are as follows:

(1) statements of ownership when questioned by the cops.

(2) prior convictions of the defendant on trial for past drug paraphernalia charges.

(3) where the item is found in location to you as the charged criminal defendant.

(4) the existence of any illegal drug residue of a controlled substance on the object.

(6) drug labeling instructions for prescriptions drugs.

(7) descriptive materials accompanying the object which explain or depict its use.

(8) expert testimony concerning its use.

(9) and lots of other persuasive evidence hopefully presented by your Utah criminal defense attorney.

Basically any item, whether innocent or not, can be considered drug paraphernalia if you intend to use it for ingesting or using drugs.  You will need a good trial lawyer in Utah when you are falsely accused of possession of drug paraphernalia when they either were not yours or were simple, innocent items that the police mistook at drug paraphernalia.

Contact the Utah Criminal Defense Attorneys at Howard, Lewis & Petersen to represent you if you are facing drug charges.