Under Utah law, possession of prescription drugs without a valid prescription from a doctor is a serious offense. Prescription drugs are a controlled substance, and Utah treats the possession of prescription drugs as severely as it treats the possession of illegal street drugs such as meth or cocaine. But while most people know that the possession of meth or cocaine is illegal, they do not understand the legal consequences of possessing even a very small amount of a prescription medication for which they do not have a valid prescription. Even a seemingly innocent situation such as accepting one prescribed pain pill from a friend to treat a headache can result in a criminal charge for possession of a controlled substance. If you have been charged with illegal possession of Oxycontin, Lortab, Percocet, Valium, Xanax, or any other prescription drug, the most important thing you can do is to consult with a Utah criminal defense lawyer who has experience defending against charges. A criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the Utah legal system so that one mistake with prescription drugs does not define the rest of your life.
Prescription Drug Laws
In Utah, it is illegal to take any prescription drug for which you do not have a legally obtained prescription from a medical professional. In order for the prescription to be legal, the doctor who prescribes if for you must be treating you for a legitimate medical condition. Not only is it illegal to take an unprescribed medication, it is also illegal to merely be in possession of a prescription drug for which you do not have prescription. Utah is notorious for having the highest rate of abuse of prescription drugs in the United States. The majority of deaths in the state resulting from drug abuse are related to pain killers such as oxycodone or methadone. In an effort to combat these statistics, Utah has enacted extremely harsh laws against the possession without a valid prescription from a doctor. These laws are part of the Controlled Substances Act, the same set of laws that are used for prosecuting the possession of street drugs. These laws allow Utah police to make an arrest without knowing all the details of a why you have a prescription drug with you. Therefore, even if you have a legitimate prescription for a medication from a medical professional, you can be arrested if you happen to have your pills loose in your pocket or in a container other than the original pharmacy container labeled with your name, your doctor’s name, and the name of the prescription drug.
Consequences of a Drug Possession Conviction
Utah courts impose severe penalties for illegal possession of prescription drugs. The specific consequences of a conviction differ depending on the controlled substance that was involved as well as the amount of the drug in your possession. These consequences can include prison or jail time, fines, community services, drug testing, and drug treatment programs. Additionally, even if there was not a motor vehicle involved in the circumstances surrounding the charge, a conviction will frequently result in a six month suspension of your driving privileges. Also, having a conviction on your record can be an obstacle to future employment and can impact your ability to get or keep certain types of licenses or certifications.
Contact a Dedicated Attorney in Salt Lake City To Learn More
If you have been charged with illegal possession of a prescription drug, contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. Our lawyers offer a free consultation and can help you determine what steps need to be taken in your case. You will talk directly to a lawyer who has the knowledge and the experience to answer your questions. We have helped hundreds of people with controlled substance charges in Utah and we will put that experience to work for you. Our defense attorneys have a background of prosecuting these same charges in Utah drug courts, which puts us in a unique position to help you get the best possible results. Don’t let a conviction for possession or prescription drugs haunt your future. Contact Intermountain Legal today.