The Salt Lake City law firm Intermountain Legal provides exceptional criminal defense representation to clients charged with drug crimes in Utah, including cocaine possession and distribution.
Cocaine Use in Utah
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that maintains popularity across a wide demographic in Utah and nationwide. In its powder form, cocaine (also referred to as “coke” or “blow”) is usually associated with a glamorous 24-hour party lifestyle. The development of “crack” cocaine (or “rock”), a smokeable, lower purity form of freebase cocaine, introduced the substance to a generally poorer inner-city market.
Potential Penalties for Cocaine Possession & Distribution
Under the Utah Controlled Substances Act, cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug. Possession of a Schedule II drug may be charged as a third degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. In certain situations, however, a cocaine possession charge can be elevated. For example, if you have a prior conviction for distribution or manufacturing and are now facing a possession charge, you may face second degree felony charges punishable by one to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. In the most serious cases, cocaine distribution may result in a first degree felony charge, carrying a sentence of five years to life in prison and possible fines up to $10,000.
Despite these sentencing guidelines, there are many ways to fight a drug possession or distribution charge, or at least minimize potential consequences, for example:
- Reasonable Suspicion – Law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion of a crime before detaining someone. We will examine the circumstances surrounding your arrest, specifically looking at what led police to suspect you had cocaine in your possession.
- Probable Cause – Law enforcement must have probable cause to search you or your car for cocaine or other drugs. We will thoroughly analyze all available evidence, such as witness testimony, police reports, and surveillance footage, to determine if police had sufficient cause to search you or your vehicle.
- Negotiating Charges – We understand how to successfully negotiate with the prosecution when it is in our client’s best interests. Through negotiation, our attorneys have achieved elimination or reduction of charges, fines, or prison sentences in numerous cases.
- Rehabilitation & Alternative Sentencing – In many situations, Utah’s drug courts support rehabilitation rather than punishment. We help our clients take advantage of sentencing alternatives, such as drug counseling, diversion programs, or home detention.
At Intermountain Legal, we are well versed in all aspects of Utah’s drug laws, ensuring that our clients have the best chance of achieving optimal results even when faced with the most serious cocaine-related charges.
Seek Experienced, Dedicated Representation
If you have been charged with cocaine possession or distribution, please contact Intermountain Legal today for a free initial consultation. An experienced criminal defense attorney will provide valuable insight into your case, helping you protect your rights and your future.