Marijuana possession charges in Utah come with heavy-handed penalties, and paraphernalia charges are no different. Since marijuana is legal in neighboring Colorado and several other US states, these harsh penalties in the Beehive state often come as a shock to residents and non-residents alike. When you factor in the lesser-known consequences for marijuana or paraphernalia misdemeanors, like the mandatory suspension of your license, the repercussions from such charges can quickly become detrimental.
Illegal paraphernalia is a far-reaching term. The statute defines paraphernalia as, “any equipment, product, or material used, or intended for use, to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, package, repackage, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or to otherwise introduce a controlled substance into the human body.” So there are a lot of ways that people can be charged with possession of paraphernalia.
Marijuana Paraphernalia Penalties
In Utah, the first-time charge for possession of marijuana paraphernalia is considered a misdemeanor B offense, which comes with a minimum fine and the potential for jail time. Typically, jail time can be avoided for first-time offenses, but the rest of the penalties are harder to fight. Here are the specific penalties that you face when you’re charged with first-time paraphernalia possession:
- A $1,000 fine
- The potential for up to 6 months in jail
- Suspension of license
While first-time offenders are subject to the above penalties, repeat offenders are faced with harsher consequences. Second-time offenses are considered class A misdemeanors, and third-time offenders are charged with felonies.
While hefty fines and jail time are heavy-handed consequences compared to other states, the greatest challenge seems to come from the lesser-known, but equally taxing consequences. For example, when you’re convicted for possession of drug paraphernalia, you mandatorily receive a 6-month license suspension. Even for those with out-of-state licenses, Utah courts can suspend your driving privilege, which often leads to a suspension in your home state.
Another unforeseen consequence when you have a Misdemeanor B offense on your record is that it can be difficult to find new employment. When you look at all of these penalties together (i.e. the $1,000 fine, 6-month license suspension, and a misdemeanor on your record,) it becomes clear that this heavy-handed approach is problematic. Fortunately, those facing paraphernalia charges in Utah can often mitigate some of these penalties with the help of an experienced criminal law attorney.
Have You Been Charged With Paraphernalia?
If you’re facing marijuana paraphernalia charges in Utah, you will benefit from experienced legal counsel. With Clayton Simms’ knowledge and experience with Utah criminal court, the outcome of your case could be turned in a more favorable direction. If you’ve been charged for paraphernalia possession in Utah, don’t hesitate to contact Clayton Simms today!