Utah Criminal Defense Attorney–Jake Gunter


Being charged with even small amounts of marijuana is still illegal in Utah. A petty marijuana conviction in Utah carries mandatory driver’s license suspensions, fines, court probation and possible a substance abuse evaluation.

Marijuana Possession Penalties.

Simple possession of marijuana is a Class B Misdemeanor and carries a first time offense maximum of six months in the county jail, along with a maximum $1,000 fine. Additionally, the sentencing judge will place you on court probation for 12 months where you may be drug tested.

Substance Abuse Evaluations.

Many times a sentencing court will require you to conduct an initial substance abuse evaluation and follow through with any treatment recommended from that evaluation. This costs money and a good drug criminal defense attorney can help alleviate these costs and time requirements.

Marijuana Driver’s License Sanctions.

If you are convicted of marijuana possession your Utah driver’s license may be suspended automatically for six months under the Utah Driver’s License Act, Utah Code Ann. 53-3-220(1)(c). Drug laws are popular in the legislature and you should hire a Utah criminal defense lawyer to review the latest marijuana possession statute and how it relates to you. Frequently drug laws change along with driver’s licensing sanctions for marijuana possession.

Marijuana Possession Enhancements.

Like many crimes, Marijuana possession is an enhanceable Utah criminal offense. A first time offender is charged with a Class B Misdemeanor. A third offense can be charged as a Class A Misdemeanor, and a fourth marijuana possession charge can land you a third degree felony.  Utah’s marijuana enhancement laws can be found at Utah Code Ann 58-37-8 (2017). Call Utah criminal defense attorney Jake Gunter, at Howard Lewis & Petersen, PC.    He has nearly 20 years helping people accused of crimes.

Common Marijuana Defenses.

Many times a prosecutor will not know whose drugs were in the car and will charge up everyone in the car with possession. It can happen. Additionally the police will not know which conflicting story to believe when drugs are found in the center console of the car.

As a result, you can be wrongfully charged with marijuana possession for marijuana that was not yours. The more appropriate charge may have been marijuana use, but not possession. In these circumstances, this is where an experienced criminal defense trial attorney can help you defend against these wrongful marijuana possession charges.

Marijuana Possession Pleas in Abeyance.

Sometimes, for first time offenders, your Utah criminal defense attorney can obtain a Plea in Abeyance. A Plea in Abeyance is where you plead guilty to the marijuana possession charge, but the conviction and licensing sanctions are not entered with the State of Utah.

You can see our more-detailed article about Pleas in Abeyance here:  Utah Plea in Abeyance 

If you successfully complete your Plea in Abeyance probationary period your case will be completely dismissed. Then, you can move for a Utah expungement after a 30-day waiting period to have it completely removed from your record.

Hiring experienced Utah criminal defense attorneys to defend against your marijuana possession charges makes a difference. Having handled hundreds of drug cases, the trial lawyers at Howard Lewis & Petersen, PC can fight the charges outright or alleviate the situation.

TXT/Call for a free initial consultation at (801) 373-6345.