Unlike a handful of other Western states, Utah has not legalized marijuana in any form. Even medical marijuana is still banned in Utah. Senate Bill 73, an initiative to provide a low-THC grade of cannabis to sick people in need of medical help, failed to get out of a Senate committee in 2016 and therefore no vote was taken.
So it goes without saying that possession of any type of drug paraphernalia in conservative Utah is also illegal. Depending on the circumstances, pipes, bongs, scales — even straws or pieces of tin foil — can be construed as "drug paraphernalia" by law enforcement authorities resulting in an arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Utah is serious about drug crimes. In Utah, crimes for possession of drug paraphernalia are based on whether the item was simply possessed or offered for sale. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum sentence of six (6) months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Sale of drug paraphernalia in Utah is a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of up to one (1) year and a fine of up to $2,500. Sale of drug paraphernalia to a minor under 18 years old is a third-degree felony, with a maximum prison sentence of up to five (5) years and a maximum fine of $2,500.
If you were arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia in Salt Lake City or anywhere else in Utah, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case.
The experienced attorneys at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP fight drug charges throughout Utah. Our clients come to us from all over the State of Utah including Salt Lake City and the surrounding communities including Provo, Orem, West Valley City, West Jordan, and Sandy.
Many paraphernalia possession charges in Utah also involve the alleged illegal possession of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, or ecstasy, which can result in additional and even more serious criminal charges.
The smart thing to do if you were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia is to consult with an experienced Utah attorney to assist you with your case. Call (801) 532-5297 to contact the criminal defense lawyers at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP today.
Overview of Drug Paraphernalia Possession in Utah
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Under the Utah Code Sections 58 and 76, the mere possession of drugs and the mere possession of drug paraphernalia are both illegal in Utah. In fact, Utah Code Ann., §§ 58-37A(3-5) makes it unlawful for any person to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale or otherwise introduce a controlled substance into the human body in violation of the law.
Depending on the circumstances, the possession of drug paraphernalia can be charged as follows:
It is notable that possession of less than one ounce of marijuana in Utah is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by fines of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The sale of drug paraphernalia to a minor or in the presence of a minor, or within 1,000 feet of a school or other designated public drug-free area is subject to increased penalties under Utah Code Ann. § 58-37-8.
Utah's harsh drug laws also impose driver's license suspensions for persons convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia. Any conviction could result in a driver's license suspension of up to six (6) months under Utah Code Ann. § 53-3-2201(1)(c)(i)(A).
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The crime of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia requires proof beyond all reasonable doubt of the following elements:
The standard jury instructions include an instruction on the definition of “drug paraphernalia.” The definition provides that the term drug paraphernalia means:
The definition of "drug paraphernalia" in Utah includes but is not limited to:
Drug paraphernalia also includes hypodermic syringes, needles, and other objects used, or intended for use to parenterally inject a controlled substance into the human body, except as provided in Section 58-37a-5.
Additionally, the definition of drug paraphernalia can include objects used, or intended for use to ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce a controlled substance into the human body, including but not limited to any of the following:
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The standard jury instructions also include factors relevant to identifying drug paraphernalia. The jury instruction provides that when determining whether an object is drug paraphernalia, the jury should consider relevant factors such as:
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Utah Drug Paraphernalia Act — Read the text of the Utah Drug Paraphernalia Act, Title 58, Chapter 37(a), Sections 3-5, to learn about the laws related to Utah's drug paraphernalia laws.
Utah’s Drug Paraphernalia Act under Section 58-37a-1 - Visit the Utah Legislature’s website to find the purpose of the Act, the definition of “drug paraphernalia,” considerations in determining whether an object is drug paraphernalia, unlawful acts, and sentencing requirements for minors.
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If you were arrested for a crime in Utah related to possession of drug paraphernalia, then you should call to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP are prepared to assist you, no matter what criminal charges you face.
Our familiarity with the courts and the resources available for people accused of crimes may help you avoid the most serious criminal penalties and keep you out of jail. We may be able to assist in helping you find a court-approved program that can lead to a reduction or dismissal of the original charges.
Contact the dedicated criminal defense lawyers at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP today by calling (801) 532-5297 to discuss your case.
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