Marijuana Possession

Utah may have legalized medical marijuana, but it’s still illegal to possess it recreationally. In Utah, it’s unlawful to own, use, distribute, sell or manufacture cannabis. Marijuana is still considered a schedule I drug, so you can face serious penalties if convicted.

If you or someone you know has been charged with possession of marijuana, it’s important you have secured legal counsel. You may be able to have your charges reduced or dismissed with an effective defense plan. Don’t agonize over this any longer and contact an experienced attorney. 

Defense Attorney for Marijuana Possession in Salt Lake City, Utah

Marijuana possession is a serious drug crime under Utah law. If you’re convicted, you could face stiff fines and even spend time behind bars. In addition, a drug conviction will not look good on your criminal record. You may have issues obtaining employment or housing because of the conviction.

Call Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law to speak to a knowledgeable attorney who can help you. Susanne Gustin is not only experienced in defense law but has a passion for fighting for her client’s rights. Contact her today at (801) 243-2814 to set up a free consultation. Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law accepts clients throughout the greater Salt Lake County and Weber County area including Salt Lake City, Ogden, Roy, and Pleasant View. 

Overview of Cannabis Possession in Utah

Elements for Marijuana Possession in Utah

Even though it’s a nonviolent crime, possessing or using cannabis recreationally is still a crime in Utah. According to Utah Code § 58-7-8(2) you’re guilty of possessing marijuana if: 

  • You knowingly used or possessed cannabis without a valid prescription;
  • You’re a landlord, tenant, licensee or person in control of a building and knowingly allow others to use, possess or distribute marijuana; or
  • You knowingly possess a forged prescription for medical marijuana

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Penalties for Possessing Marijuana in Utah

The penalties for marijuana possession have drastically changed in the last five years. Before, the penalties for marijuana possession relied on your criminal history and the amount found. However, changes were made to marijuana sentencing in 2017 as a response to justice reform in Utah.

Now, the penalties for possessing marijuana depend on your criminal history unless you have 100 pounds or more. Possessing cannabis is a class B misdemeanor if this is your first or second conviction, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 6 months in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $1,000 

A third possession-related conviction is a class A misdemeanor. The penalties for a class A misdemeanor include:

  • Up to 12 months in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $2,500

A fourth or subsequent conviction will result in a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to five years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $5,000

Possessing more than 100 pounds of marijuana is a second-degree felony, even if it’s your first arrest. The penalties associated with a second-degree felony include:

  • Up to 15 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Your penalties will be enhanced by one degree if you possessed marijuana in a public jail or any state corrections facility. For example, if you were originally charged with a class A misdemeanor and possessed cannabis in jail or prison, then your penalties will be enhanced to a third-degree felony.

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Aggravating Factors in Marijuana Possession Cases

If certain situational factors are found in your crime, then your penalties could be elevated. These are referred to as aggravating factors and if they’re present in the crime, they can raise your charges up by one degree. For example, if you’re caught possessing weed near a public school, you will be charged with a class A misdemeanor rather than a class B misdemeanor. 

The penalties of your crime will be enhanced if you possessed marijuana in or near: 

  • A private or public school from 6 A.M through 10 P.M;
  • A public or private vocational school or postsecondary institution between the hours of6 A.M through 10 P.M;
  • A child care facility or preschool during hours of operation;
  • An arcade, public park, amusement park or any place open to the public;
  • A state corrections facility or public jail to transport or deliver it to an inmate

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Additional Resources

Utah Chapter for NORML – Visit the official website for the non-profit and non-partisan organization called the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws, otherwise known as NORML. Access the site to learn more about cannabis laws, movements to legalize it in Utah and how to get involved. 

Utah Marijuana Laws – Visit the official website of the Utah State Legislature to learn more about their marijuana-related legislation including possession, sale and manufacturing of cannabis. Access the statutes to learn the penalties, admissible defenses and mitigating factors for possessing or selling marijuana in Utah. 

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Marijuana Possession Lawyer in Salt Lake County, Utah

Have you or someone you know been arrested or charged for possessing marijuana? If so, it’s imperative you secure trusted legal representation. Utah’s legal system can be confusing and the penalties for cannabis possession are incredibly serious. Make the right decision today by calling Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law.

Susanne Gustin is an experienced attorney skilled in criminal defense law. She’s handled numerous marijuana possession cases by providing sturdy defenses. Call (801) 243-2814 to set up a free consultation today. Attorney Gustin accepts clients throughout the Salt Lake City metropolitan area including Sandy, Murray, West Valley City, and Taylorsville.

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