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Utah Criminal Defense Law Blog

Utah man faces enhanced drug possession charges

There are a variety of factors that can enhance drug charges in Utah. Not all drug possession charges are created equal. Therefore, it is important that people facing charges for drug crimes understand the specific charges that they are facing so that they can properly fight the charges. Some factors that can enhance drug charges were present in a recent case.

In this case, a 35-year-old man was arrested when his parole officer showed up at his residence to check-in. According to the officer, the man arrived home and took an unusual path outside the home. Therefore, the officer went to look in the area the man walked. The officer alleges that he found a glass pipe on the ground on the path. The glass pipe apparently had a burnt end and white residue inside.

What are the penalties for refusing a breath test in Utah?

In the United States, people like to believe that they are free to make their own decisions. While this is often the case, there are times when people have limited choices. When interacting with police officers, Utah residents may think that they have the ability to make choices about how they will respond to officers. This is true in many cases -- since people have the right under the Constitution to remain silent -- but when a person is suspected of drinking and driving, their options become more limited.

Under Title 41 Chapter 6a Section 520 of Utah's code, people cannot refuse chemical testing to determine their blood alcohol content level. If an officer suspects that you are drunk, and you refuse to undergo chemical testing -- including either a blood, breath or urine test -- then you can face additional penalties.

Drug trafficking charges can be serious -- protect your rights

Unlike some other areas of the law, the criminal code governing drug laws is very complex. These laws vary greatly depending on a wide number of factors. These factors can include a person's intent, the amount of drugs a person has, the type of drug a person has, whether the person has a criminal record, where the person was found with drugs, who the person was with and so on. Depending on the answer to these questions, prosecutors can choose a different type of drug charges, with different consequences for the accused.

One of the most serious drug charges available is for drug trafficking. In these cases, prosecutors are accusing you of distributing or selling drugs. These charges often carry the most severe penalties. Again, however, the specific charges you face will depend on the amount of drugs you are found with and the type of drugs. Penalties for trafficking marijuana may be different, for example, than the penalties for trafficking heroin.

Salt Lake City police seize 31 pounds of heroin

Charges for drug trafficking are very serious. Unlike charges for drug possession charges, drug trafficking charges are almost always serious felonies that result in long prison sentences, large fines, probation and more. These penalties can make it difficult for the accused to find employment or stable housing. Convicted felons also lose their right to vote, right to own firearms and often need to report their status on school, work and housing applications.

In response to an alleged heroin problem within Salt Lake City, law enforcement officials have recently cracked down on the supply of the drug. Police say that the drug has become cheaper than many other street drugs because of the over-abundant supply from Mexico. Therefore, heroin has become a problem in many of Utah's cities and towns.

When does the Fourth Amendment protect against Utah searches?

In order to bring drug charges, police must have evidence of drug possession. This means that they actually have to find drugs in a person's possession as evidence that a crime had occurred. To do this, police will often search people and their belongings.

Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, Utah residents are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures by governmental officials. Generally, a search is unreasonable if it is conducted in a place where people have a legitimate expectation to privacy. The definition of a reasonable search is very complicated, and many exceptions exist to the general rule. Therefore, those facing charges for drug possession need to have a basic understanding of what is and is not allowed under the law.

What are the time limitations on Utah sex crime charges?

Recently, this blog discussed a case where a Utah man was arrested in another state on sex crime charges in Utah. In this case, the charges were several years old, but the man was still arrested and going to be tried in Utah on the crimes. This case could lead you to wonder -- how long can prosecutors pursue charges against those accused of sex crimes?

Under Utah laws, this question depends on the specific charges that are brought against a person. Under Utah Code section 76-1-301, many sex crimes -- including aggravated sexual assault, sexual abuse of a child, forcible sodomy, rape and others -- have no time limitations. This means that prosecutors can bring charges against a person at time after the commission of an alleged crime.

Man accused of sex crimes in Utah found after 2 years

Authorities have tracked down and arrested a man accused of sex crimes. This man has supposedly been on the run from authorities for the last two years. Reports claim that the man has been suspected of aggravated sexual abuse of a child since 2012. Details about why the man faces these charges are unknown.

However, authorities claim that he was found in a nearby state and arrested at his workplace. Police allege that the man may have committed similar crimes in the area where he had been living since fleeing Utah. The man will likely be extradited to Utah to face criminal proceedings on these charges.

What are the requirements for a valid breath test in Utah?

When Utah police suspect that a person has been driving under the influence, they must have proof in order to make an arrest. One common test that police use is a breath test. This test measures the person's blood alcohol content level to determine if it is above the legal limit or not. However, if the test is not used correctly then the results can be affected and a person could be wrongly accused.

Under Utah Administrative Code R714-500-7, analytical results of breath alcohol concentration tests will only be valid if certain requirements are met. Under this rule, the person administrating the test must by a certified operator or technician. Under Administrative Code R714-500-8, this means that the officer must have completed at least eight hours of training on DUI laws, the effect of alcohol on a person's body, how the breath test works. The officer must also perform several simulated tests. This certification must be redone every three years in order to be a certified operator.

Failed sobriety test results in charges for Utah man

A field sobriety test is often used by police officers to determine if people are under the influence of drugs or alcohol while they are driving. During the test, the officers will have the person perform a number of physical and mental tests to determine possible impairment. These can include having a person stand on one foot, walk in a straight line and others. If a person fails a field sobriety test, police may have the probable cause they need to make a drunk driving arrest or administer a blood alcohol content test. Utah police claim that one man recently failed a field sobriety test prior to his arrest for DUI. In this case, police officers claim that they were alerted to an accident that had occurred on Interstate 15. According to officers, a man was driving a Ford F-150 when he lost control of the truck. The truck left the roadway and hit a traffic sign before coming to a stop. Police allege that following the accident, they became suspicious of the man's behavior. The man consented to the field sobriety test, police claim, and failed. He was then taken to a local hospital for a blood test and arrested on several criminal charges including DUI. His bail was set at $1,950.

Field sobriety tests must be completed accurately according to standardized guidelines in order to be admissible. If police make mistakes while giving these tests, the evidence may not be used in court. In these cases, the accused could see their charges dropped. Therefore, it is important for those facing DUI charges to ensure that any tests -- including a field sobriety test -- are performed accurately by police.

Drug trafficking charges filed against Ogden man

Many people understand that it is illegal for Utah residents to use, possess or sell illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine or heroin. However, it is also illegal for people to sell or use prescription drugs without a prescription from a licensed doctor. The penalties for selling prescription drugs are similar to selling any other type of illegal drug and can be severe.

Recently, a Utah man was arrested on drug trafficking charges after police claimed that he was selling prescription drugs illegally. Police claim that the 24-year-old man was subject to a police investigation led by the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force, the Weber County Sheriff's Office, the Ogden Police Department and the FBI. According to police, they used a wiretap to monitor 18 different deals between the man and others over a two week period.



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Greg Smith & Associates, Criminal Law Attorneys
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