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P. Simmons
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Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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I was pulled over for a minor traffic violation and my car

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I was pulled over for a minor traffic violation and my car was searched. I was charged with paraphenelia in a drug free zone. I was actually 1500 feet from a church but the officer said that he had followed me for some time and I had driven through the drug free zone earlier. Is a drug free zone from where I was pulled over or anywhere I might have driven?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to assist


In Utah paraphernalia possession is illegal and there is the possibility for a stiffer sentence if possession in certain areas

Here is the law on that


(4) Prohibited acts D -- Penalties:

   (a) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, a person not authorized under this chapter who commits any act declared to be unlawful under this section, Title 58, Chapter 37a, Utah Drug Paraphernalia Act, or under Title 58, Chapter 37b, Imitation Controlled Substances Act, is upon conviction subject to the penalties and classifications under this Subsection (4) if the trier of fact finds the act is committed:

      (i) in a public or private elementary or secondary school or on the grounds of any of those schools;

      (ii) in a public or private vocational school or postsecondary institution or on the grounds of any of those schools or institutions;

      (iii) in those portions of any building, park, stadium, or other structure or grounds which are, at the time of the act, being used for an activity sponsored by or through a school or institution under Subsections (4)(a)(i) and (ii);

      (iv) in or on the grounds of a preschool or child-care facility;

      (v) in a public park, amusement park, arcade, or recreation center;

      (vi) in or on the grounds of a house of worship as defined in Section 76-10-501;





And here is the law for paraphernalia in general


Utah Code Ann. § 58-37a-5 (2008)

§ 58-37a-5. Unlawful acts


   (1) It is unlawful for any person to use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale or otherwise introduce a controlled substance into the human body in violation of this chapter. Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(2) It is unlawful for any person to deliver, possess with intent to deliver, or manufacture with intent to deliver, any drug paraphernalia, knowing that the drug paraphernalia will be used to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce a controlled substance into the human body in violation of this act. Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(3) Any person 18 years of age or over who delivers drug paraphernalia to a person under 18 years of age who is three years or more younger than the person making the delivery is guilty of a third degree felony.

(4) (a) It is unlawful for any person to place in this state in any newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publication any advertisement, knowing that the purpose of the advertisement is to promote the sale of drug paraphernalia.

   (b) Any person who violates this Subsection (4) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(5) A person may be charged and sentenced for a violation of this section, notwithstanding a charge and sentence for a violation of any other section of this chapter.




I think that they likely have you on possession, but the way I read the law on drug free zone, I think the cop must be high. I dont believe driving by a church will violate that statute. That is made to keep drugs out of church, and unless you were in the church (and not driving by) you should not be convicted of this


Talk with your lawyer and I suspect you can get that charged dropped



Please let me know if you have further questions; if so I will do my best to answer them. If not please hit the accept button, its the only way I get paid.









P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience: 16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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