Understanding Drug Laws: Regarding Simple Possession and Possession With Intent to Sell

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WorldExecutivesDigest.com | Understanding Drug Laws: Everything You Need to Know Regarding Simple Possession and Possession With Intent to Sell | Drug laws apply to the possession, sale, and distribution of controlled substances. There aren’t any legal controlled substances in the state of Utah at this time outside of lawful prescriptions issued by a doctor. Any conviction of drug possessions or the intent to sell a controlled substance is serious crimes with hefty penalties. Reviewing everything you need to know regarding a simple possession and possession with intent to sell charges shows what defendants can expect when charged with a drug crime.

What Is Simple Possession of A Controlled Substance?

Simple possession indicates that the defendant had a controlled substance in their possession that they intended to use themselves. It applies to any type of controlled substance including prescription medications. If the individual had prescription medication in their possession, they are charged with a drug offense if the defendant doesn’t have a prescription for the medication.

If the controlled substance is a schedule I or II drug and the defendant doesn’t have more than one conviction, the crime is classified as a class A misdemeanor. If the controlled substance was a Schedule I or II drug and the defendant has two or more convictions the crime is classified as a third-degree felony. For offenses involving schedule IV controlled substances, the defendant faces a class B misdemeanor. Criminal defendants who are facing a simple possession charge can visit ariccramer.com for more information about building a defense.

What are the Penalties for Simple Possession?

The penalties for simple possession start with a maximum of six months in jail and a fine of no more than $1,000 for any class B misdemeanor. It is a maximum of five years and a fine of no more than $5,000 for a third-degree felony. If the individual has a previous conviction, they face a maximum of one year in prison and a fine of no more than $2,500.

The possession of marijuana that doesn’t exceed one pound incurs a six-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine for the offense. Possession of quantities over one pound requires a sentence of up to 15 years with fines that max out at $100,000.

What is Possession With Intent to Sell?

Possession with the intent to sell indicates that the defendant had a quantity that implies that the controlled substance wasn’t for personal use, but it was intended to sell for a profit. The criminal offense could be increased to a different classification based on the age of the individual to who the defendant sold the drugs or if they were near a school or playground at the time of the sale. The classification can also be increased if the defendant has ties to a gang.

The intent to sell a schedule V drug is a class A misdemeanor. The intent to sell marijuana, or schedule III or IV controlled substances or a previous conviction is considered a third-degree felony. The intent to sell schedule I or II controlled substances is a records of two convictions for selling schedule III or IV drugs is a second-degree felony. The intent to sell any schedule I controlled substance is a first-degree felony.

What are the Penalties for Possession With Intent to Sell?

Possession with the intent to sell presents penalties according to the classification of the crime. A maximum prison sentence of 15 years and a fine of no more than $100,000 are applied to a second-degree felony possession with intent to sell charge. A maximum of five years in prison and a fine of no more than $5,000 applies to a third-degree felony possession with intent to sell charge.

Understanding Classifications and Increases in Penalties

Where the defendant tried to sell or possessed the controlled substance defines if the state can increase the classification of the crime or impose additional penalties. For example, the drug laws indicate that if the sale or possession arrest occurred within 1,000 feet to schools, daycares, playgrounds, or any establishment where children are more likely to be present, the state could increase the charge to a felony offense. If the individual attempted to or sold drugs to a minor successfully, the state could increase the classification of their drug offense and the penalties that apply if the defendant’s charge.

Could a Defendant Facing a Drug Crime Receive an Additional Murder Charge?

When investigating a drug crime, the findings could indicate that drugs sold or provided by the defendant to a client caused a fatality. Under the circumstances, the defendant could face a murder charge if the investigators can provide adequate evidence that connects the defendant to the exact drugs taken by the victim. The age and identity of the victim define what penalties the defendant faces. If the victim was a minor, the defendant could face life in prison. The exact circumstances of the crime determine what penalties are applied and what classifications are used when charging and convicting the defendant.

How Will the Criminal Charges Affect the Defendant?

Once the defendant is convicted of a drug crime, it will become difficult for them to obtain gainful employment. If the conviction was a felony, this could limit their chances of employment significantly considering that a majority of employers will look over an applicant who has a felony on their criminal background history. The drug conviction could also affect their personal life and cause difficulties in forging relationships due to these past mistakes. If the individual was also suffering from a drug addiction, this history could affect their ability to work in certain environments such as pharmacies and establishments where narcotics are stored.

Drug laws impose hefty fines according to the classification of the crime and the quantity the defendant has in their possession. The state of Utah can increase the classification of any drug crime according to who the defendant sold the drugs to and where they were when selling or possessing the drugs. Marijuana hasn’t been legalized in Utah, and anyone in possession of the drug could face drug charges according to the quantity in their possession. Reviewing drug laws helps defendants determine what to expect when building a defense case.