If you’ve been charged with possession and you’ve already been convicted once, then there are some things you need to know going forward. The rules change somewhat for subsequent offenses, so you should know what sort of penalties you might be facing and how best to avoid them. Here are the facts from experienced SLC criminal defense attorneys at InfiniTeam Legal Solutions.
What Are the Penalties?
In short, a third offense can be punished one degree harsher than a first and second offense. For example, possession of a small amount of marijuana is normally a class B misdemeanor that carries up to six months in jail and up to $1000 in fines. However, if it’s your third offense, then it could be charged as a class A misdemeanor. A fourth offense can result in the crime moving from a class A misdemeanor to a third degree felony, accompanied by a significant increase in jail time and fines.
It’s also important to note that penalties and charges scale dramatically with the amount possessed. A small amount is only a class B misdemeanor for a first offense, but 100 ponds is immediately a second degree felony.
Charges can also be increased by combining past convictions for drugs other than marijuana. In addition to your history, and the amount of marijuana you have, the penalties for possession can increase based on the location of where you are found with the drugs and your intended use of the drugs.
Utah also has a charge called Driving with a Measurable Controlled Substance which people are often charged with if you are found in possession of marijuana while driving. If you are stopped while driving and the officer detects or finds marijuana in the vehicle, the officer will often investigate your use of the drug. If any trace of the drug is found in your system during a chemical test, you can be charged with this crime. Because marijuana often stays in your system for up to 30 days or more, this is an easy way for officers to try and get a DUI type of conviction. Driving with a Measurable Controlled Substance is very similar to a DUI offense and can be used to increase the penalty on future DUI charges. Do not admit to using drugs when stopped by a police officer. Remember to exercise your right to remain silent and ask for your attorney. Attorneys at InfiniTeam Legal Solutions are available 24 hours a day by cell phone.
How Can an Attorney Help You?
If you are facing a repeat offense, then an attorney can give you the insight and expertise you need to avoid those heightened penalties. The last thing you want is to have to deal with paperwork, court dates, and unintuitive legal terms without the years of education that the prosecution has on their side. If you want to stand a chance of arguing your case and beating the charge, then you need experts like the SLC criminal defense attorneys at InfiniTeam Legal Solutions.
Our offices in Salt Lake City, UT provides legal services to the following counties: Davis, Weber, Cache, Morgan, Tooele, Summit, Iron and Washington Counties.
299 So. Main Street # 1300
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Cell Phone / Text Messaging — 801-712-8990