Cocaine-related criminal charges in Utah are felony charges. Even simple possession of cocaine in this state is a felony, which makes it vital for anyone who is accused of a cocaine-related criminal charge to prepare a vigorous defense.
How are cocaine charges classified in Utah?
Cocaine possession for a first offense is a third-degree felony. Convictions after the first offense are one degree greater. A first offense charge for selling cocaine is a second-degree felony. Any convictions after the first are a first-degree felony.
What are the possible sentences?
Cocaine possession might mean that you face five years in prison if you are convicted. Convictions for selling cocaine can lead to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000 with longer sentences and higher fines possible for subsequent convictions. The severity of the penalty you might face depends largely on any prior drug convictions, as well as the amount of cocaine claimed in the case.
Are there any enhancements?
Enhancements are possible for cocaine charges. If you are accused of selling cocaine to a minor or within 1,000 feet of a school, you can face an enhancement. That might lead to a mandatory 5-year minimum sentence. Some enhancements are charged as a felony that is one degree higher than the primary charge.
When you consider the penalties of a conviction on cocaine-related charges, you can see why a vigorous defense is so important. Make sure that you consider all defense strategies, as well as any possible deals that might be offered. Understanding every option you have might help you to make a decision about your defense.
Source: FindLaw, "Utah Cocaine Laws," accessed Oct. 08, 2015