Prescription Drug Crimes

Another type of common drug offense is the illegal distribution of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs include those typically administered by physicians and psychiatrists. These drugs, while legal when distributed in their proper regulated fashion, are illegal when distributed or manufactured by an unauthorized individual. Utah has strict laws for distribution of prescription drugs, which if violated may lead to harsh penalties including fines and imprisonment. 

It is common knowledge that the possession of meth, cocaine, opioid, or heroin is an illegal, however, many people do not understand the consequences of being in possession of a prescription medication that he and/or she does not have an authentic prescription for. A prescription drug offense such as committing prescription fraud can lead to a criminal record, imprisonment, hefty fines, and collateral consequences. Prescription drug crimes are very common and happen fairly easily. For instance, when an individual takes and/or accepts prescribed medication from another person to treat a headache or some form of ailment, the individual could face charges for illegal possession of a prescription drug. In the event that you are charged with illegal possession of a prescription or prescription fraud an experienced defense attorney can help mitigate these charges.

Salt Lake City Prescription Drug Defense Lawyer

Susanne Gustin works diligently to provide her clients with solid representation. She has earned a reputation for zealously defending her clients from charges dealing with violent crimes, theft, and drug related offenses. The penalties associated with an illegal possession of a prescription drug can crumble your future prospects. Without proper representation a defendant is vulnerable to receiving the maximum penalties. Having an experienced lawyer by your side can help you build a strong defense, understand the allegations against you, and provide you with resources.

Being prepared and equipped with the necessary legal resources and representation can alter your freedom, opportunities, and much more. Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law will provide you with high quality and adequate representation. Susanne Gustin will keep you updated on the status of your case, every step of the way. Call Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 or submit an online form to schedule your consultation.

Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law serves Salt Lake City, Davis County, Riverton, Cottonwood Heights, Midvale, Holladay, Layton, Bountiful, Taylorsville, Clearfield, and surrounding areas.  

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Utah Prescription Drug Offenses Information Center

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Prescription Drug Crime in Utah

Under Utah Code §58-37-8, an individual commits a prescription drug crime when he or she knowingly and intentionally makes or dispenses or possesses with intent to make or dispense a controlled or counterfeit substance. This includes distributing a controlled or counterfeit substance and engaging in a criminal enterprise. When an individual is in possession of a drug without any indication that the individual intends to sell, distribute, and/or manufacture the substance can be classified as “simple possession.”

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Penalties for Prescription Drug Crime

Many drug related offenses like illegal possession of prescription drugs are charged under Utah Code §58-37-8(2)(a)(i), because it is unlawful for a person to “knowingly and intentionally to possess or use a controlled substance analog or a controlled substance, unless it was obtained under a valid prescription or order, directly from a practitioner while acting in the course of the person’s professional practice, or as otherwise authorized by this chapter.” Penalties for prescription drug crimes will vary based on the circumstances.  There are various penalties for being charged with possession of a controlled substance and for other related offenses. Below are some of the penalties:

  • First degree felony: Prison sentence of 5 years to life and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Second degree felony: Imprisonment of 1 to 15 years and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Third degree felony: Imprisonment of 0 to 5 years and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Class A misdemeanor: Jail sentence of up to 1 year and up to $2,500 in fines.
  • Class B misdemeanor: Jail sentence of up to 6 months and up to $1,000 in fines.
  • Class C Misdemeanor: Jail sentence of up to 90 days and up to $750 in fines.

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Collateral Consequences for Prescription Drug Crime

Prescription drug offenses in Utah may result in a loss of good reputation, imprisonment, and expensive fines. However, these penalties are just a part of the consequences accompanied with a prescription drug offense. Additional consequences as a result of a conviction from a prescription drug crime include having to attend a drug evaluation programs, loss of employment, and loss of licenses. Even if there was no motor vehicle involved in the circumstances surrounding your case, if convicted it can result in a six-month suspension of your driver’s license.

While imprisonment is a possibility for drug offenses, the state’s focus is rehabilitation. With rehabilitation being Utah’s top priority, it is common for drug offenders to have their cases prosecuted in the Utah drug courts or mental health courts rather than the criminal court system. Where criminal court focuses on penalizing offenders, drug courts and mental health courts focus more on the recovery of an offender and seek to prevent individuals from becoming repeat offenders. Although the option of drug education treatment programs will allow an individual to forego jail, this is more likely to happen with an experienced attorney advocating on your behalf.

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Prescription Drug Conviction Resources in Utah

Utah Code §58-37-8 – In the state of Utah the penalties for drug offenses and related crimes are under Utah Code §58-37-8. Utah’s Controlled Substance Act details definitions, list of controlled substances, licensing procedure to manufacture, distribute, administer prescriptions, and much more. If you are facing prescription drug charges, knowing the penalties and laws associated can help you understand the legal implications you are facing. It is always important to obtain legal expertise regardless of what legal matter you are up against.

Narcotics Anonymous World Services – The global community-based organization was founded in 1953, its purpose is to provide communication, information, guidance, and other services to group and members wanting to recover. The website provides resources to find an NA meeting, resources in your community, and more.

Adult & Juvenile Reentering Programs & Services – Follow the link to the United States Probation and Pretrial Services for the District of Utah. The page includes information as to the eligibility requirement for the RISE Drug Court Program. The program is meant to rehabilitate the offender by addressing addictive behaviors and emotional distress. Also, there are other resources available to help individuals overcome barriers as they try to re-enter into society and rebuild their lives. Some resources include affordable housing application, homeless shelter in Utah, where to find a soup kitchen or a food bank, and more.

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Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law Prescription Drug Conviction Attorney

If you are charged with a prescription drug offense, call Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 for a free consultation to discuss your options. Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law services individuals in Davis County, Layton, Bountiful, Clearfield, Kaysville, Farmington, Salt Lake City, West Valley City, West Jordan, Sandy, Taylorsville, South Jordan, and Riverton.

Susanne Gustin is a defense attorney with years of experience handling drug and other related offense cases such as juvenile drug crimes, possession of drug paraphernalia, and more. Susanne Gustin is a trial proven criminal defense attorney and is well respected in Utah Courts for her skilled compassionate defense of those accused. When facing any legal challenge, it is crucial to have a skilled and knowledgeable defense attorney by your side. If you are facing charges for a prescription drug offense contact Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 or submit an online form to schedule a consultation.

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