Being charged with drug distribution in Utah is a serious charge with serious consequences. While distribution drug laws were created to impose severe punishments on high-level drug dealers, many prosecutions involve low-level drug distributors or individuals with drugs intended for personal use. It can be extremely frightening to face drug distribution charges and severe penalties. Having an experienced Salt Lake City drug distribution defense lawyer from Conyers & Nix in your corner can make the process less frightening.
Why Choose a Salt Lake City Drug Distribution Defense Lawyer from Conyers & Nix?
If you’ve been arrested or believe you may be under investigation for drug distribution in Utah, it is extremely important that you have a knowledgeable Salt Lake City drug distribution defense lawyer from Conyers & Nix assisting you. Attorneys Kate Conyers and Jesse Nix will provide an honest, thorough evaluation of your case. Kate and Jesse work as a team for each and every client. We believe two legal minds are better than one. We prepare every case as though it were going to trial.
While we are always 100 percent prepared, we are highly skilled negotiators who never take a first offer from the prosecution. We know there is always a better offer when we are persistent and prepared. We are passionate about ensuring your rights. We offer professionalism, experience, and zealous advocacy throughout the process. The exceptional representation you will receive from Conyers & Nix allows us to achieve your goals and fight for your best interests, even when the fight is challenging.
What Is Drug Distribution?
The crime of Distribution of a Controlled Substance in Utah requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of each of these elements:
- Your actions were knowing and intentional
- You distributed a controlled substance under Schedule I-IV, or
- You agreed to, consented to, offered to, or arranged to distribute a controlled substance in Utah.
What Are the Drug Distribution Laws in Utah and Penalties for Drug Distribution?
The drug distribution laws in Utah are especially harsh and dependent on several factors, including the quantity of drugs, type of drugs, prior offenses of the defendant, and any other aggravating factors, including the involvement of minors. A drug distribution conviction can bring jail or prison time, heavy fines, lost employment, social stigma, and family turmoil. Marijuana distribution is one of the most common drug distribution crimes in Utah.
Distribution of any amount of marijuana is charged as a third-degree felony and punishable by up to five years in prison and fines as large as $5,000. If the marijuana is sold within the presence of a minor or within 1,000 feet of a church, mall, public park, public parking lot, and other specified areas, the penalties are increased. Selling marijuana paraphernalia is a misdemeanor in Utah but becomes a felony when the sale is to a minor. Marijuana sales convictions will also result in your driver’s license suspension.
The specific criminal charges are dependent on the type of drug you are charged with distributing:
- A Schedule V drug (antitussives and analgesics) distribution charge is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail and fines as large as $2,500 for a first-time conviction. If this is your second or third conviction of drug distribution of a Schedule V drug, it will be charged as a third-degree felony, with penalties of up to five years in prison and fines as large as $5,000. A Schedule III drug (Tylenol with codeine, anabolic steroids, testosterone, ketamine) or Schedule IV drug (Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Ambien, Tramadol) distribution charge is punishable as a third-degree felony with a sentence of up to five years in prison and fines as large as $5,000 for a first-time offense. For a second or third conviction of distribution of a Schedule III or IV drug, you will face a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and fines as large as $10,000.
- A Schedule I drug (heroin, LSD, Ecstasy, Methaqualone, or peyote) or Schedule II drug (Vicodin, cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, Demerol, OxyContin, fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin) distribution charge is punishable as a second-degree felony for a first-time offense, with penalties of up to fifteen years in prison, and a fine as large as $10,000. If this is your second or third conviction of distribution of Schedule I or II drug distribution, you could be charged with a first-degree felony with penalties as severe as life in prison and a fine as large as $10,000.
What Are the Most Common Defenses for Charges of Drug Distribution?
The specific defense used by your attorney for your Salt Lake City drug distribution charges will depend on the amount and type of the drug you are accused of distributing as well as whether you have priors for this offense. The prosecutor has the burden of proof and must show that you acted knowingly and purposely with the intent to distribute. Some of the more common defenses to charges of drug distribution include:
- Evidence was obtained during an illegal search and seizure
- There was no probable cause for the traffic stop that resulted in the search
- The police implemented improper procedures during the stop, the search, or the arrest
- You were not advised of your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney
- You asked for an attorney but were denied that right
- You were not in possession of the controlled substance; or if you were in possession, you were not knowingly in possession of the controlled substance
- There is a question regarding the validity of the test results and/or lab equipment
- There is a dispute regarding your intent to sell or distribute the drugs
- There were biases in place that caused the police to stop and search you and/or your vehicle or residence
- There is proof that the evidence was tampered with
How a Salt Lake City Drug Distribution Defense Lawyer Can Help
A Salt Lake City drug distribution defense lawyer from Conyers & Nix will make a difference in your charges. Attorneys Kate Conyers and Jesse Nix are a team—when you hire Conyers & Nix, you are hiring both of us. We work on your case together to trial to ensure all bases are fully covered. Contact Conyers & Nix today!