Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
A common drug case in Utah involves both possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. If you were caught with marijuana and rolling papers, for example, you will probably be charged with two crimes: possession of a controlled substance for the marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia for the rolling papers.
Drug Paraphernalia in Utah
This is not to say, however, that you cannot be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia as a standalone offense. A single charge for possession of drug paraphernalia can result when police find the residue of a controlled substance on a pipe, syringe, or other tool commonly used for ingesting drugs.
What counts as “drug paraphernalia” is not limited only to things like rolling papers, pipes, and syringes either. Objects used to grow, manufacture, and package controlled substances like high-powered electric lights, hydroponic systems, scales, and plastic baggies can be considered drug paraphernalia if used in association with illegal, controlled substances.
Penalties for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Before you can be convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia, the prosecutor must prove that you did, in fact, possess the object in question and that object was, in fact, used or meant to be used to ingest, grow, manufacture, or package a controlled substance. Possession of drug paraphernalia is most commonly a class B misdemeanor and if you are convicted, a judge can sentence you up to 6 months in jail and up to $1000 in fines.
If you are caught giving drug paraphernalia to a person younger than 18 years old and that person is three or more years younger than you, you can be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia as a 3rd degree felony. In Utah, a 3rd degree felony carries a maximum of 5 years imprisonment and up to $5000 in fines.
As you can see, Utah treats drug cases of all kinds very seriously. If you face drug charges, you should seek a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights through the legal process.