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Roger
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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my 18 yr old son was arrested yesterday for carrying

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my 18 yr old son was arrested yesterday for carrying 1/2 oz. marijuana (the pot was in 6 separate baggies) and charged with possession, intent to sell, and contributing to the deliquency of a minor as there was a 17 yr old in the car with him. They were stopped just outside of their high school as they were skipping class. This is his first offense. What typically happens in a case like this, what kind of sentence is typical and what would the max sentence be according to Utah law?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Roger replied 6 years ago.

Utah Code Ann. § 58-37-8 says:

(1) Prohibited acts A -- Penalties:

(a) Except as authorized by this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to knowingly and intentionally:

(i) produce, manufacture, or dispense, or to possess with intent to produce, manufacture, or dispense, a controlled or counterfeit substance;

(ii) distribute a controlled or counterfeit substance, or to agree, consent, offer, or arrange to distribute a controlled or counterfeit substance;

(iii) possess a controlled or counterfeit substance with intent to distribute; or

(iv) engage in a continuing criminal enterprise where:

(A) the person participates, directs, or engages in conduct which results in any violation of any provision of Title 58, Chapters 37, 37a, 37b, 37c, or 37d that is a felony; and

(B) the violation is a part of a continuing series of two or more violations of Title 58, Chapters 37, 37a, 37b, 37c, or 37d on separate occasions that are undertaken in concert with five or more persons with respect to whom the person occupies a position of organizer, supervisor, or any other position of management.

(b) Any person convicted of violating Subsection (1)(a) with respect to:

(i) a substance classified in Schedule I or II, a controlled substance analog, or gammahydroxybutyric acid as listed in Schedule III is guilty of a second degree felony and upon a second or subsequent conviction is guilty of a first degree felony;

(ii) a substance classified in Schedule III or IV, or marijuana, is guilty of a third degree felony, and upon a second or subsequent conviction is guilty of a second degree felony; or

(iii) a substance classified in Schedule V is guilty of a class A misdemeanor and upon a second or subsequent conviction is guilty of a third degree felony.

(c) Any person who has been convicted of a violation of Subsection (1)(a)(ii) or (iii) may be sentenced to imprisonment for an indeterminate term as provided by law, but if the trier of fact finds a firearm as defined in Section 76-10-501 was used, carried, or possessed on his person or in his immediate possession during the commission or in furtherance of the offense, the court shall additionally sentence the person convicted for a term of one year to run consecutively and not concurrently; and the court may additionally sentence the person convicted for an indeterminate term not to exceed five years to run consecutively and not concurrently.

(d) Any person convicted of violating Subsection (1)(a)(iv) is guilty of a first degree felony punishable by imprisonment for an indeterminate term of not less than seven years and which may be for life. Imposition or execution of the sentence may not be suspended, and the person is not eligible for probation.

The charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a misdemeanor and is not a bid deal. The main concern is the possession charge. Because this is his first offense, I would not expect jail time, but he may be given a deferred sentence subject to probation - this means that if he makes it through probation without another incident, he'll be past this.

My best suggestion is for you to get an attorney for your son. The best asset is an attorney that can negotiate well with the prosecutor and get your son a good deal.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
To clarify your answer, I think you are saying that typically a first offender of this nature does not get jail time but likely gets probabtion and then has to pass to put this behind him. Correct?

does the fact that he was leaving school and within 1000 yards of a school weight into the severity of the crime?
Expert:  Roger replied 6 years ago.

You're correct about the probable sentencing. For instance he may get a 1 year sentence, with one year suspended subject to a one year probation. This means that your son would be on probation for one year, and if everything goes well, then this will be all over. If he violates probation, the court will revoke his sentence and he'll have to serve the jail time.

If the charge did not include an enhancement because of his proximity to school grounds, it is likely that the prosecution is not charging him with an enhanced offense.

Roger, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26157
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by West
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