All states regulate and control the sale of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for sale. Utah classifies not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine as CDS, but also the compounds used to manufacture them.
This article discusses the illegal manufacture and sale of CDS only. Illegally possessing CDS for personal use carries different penalties. For more information on possession of CDS for personal use, see Possession of Controlled Substances in Utah.
Also, while marijuana is considered a CDS, this article does not cover Utah’s marijuana possession and sale laws. To learn more about that topic, see Utah Marijuana Laws.
How Utah Classifies CDS
Utah divides CDS into five “Schedules”. Schedule I lists the most dangerous drugs, which have a high probability of abuse and addiction, and no recognized medical value. Schedules II, III, IV, and V decrease in dangerousness and probability of abuse, and increase in recognized medical uses.
If you’ve been arrested for illegal CDS production or sales, you’ll need to consult the Utah Code that lists precisely which drugs fit into each group. Go to the statute (Utah Code Ann. § 58-37-4) and find the substance you're charged with selling -- it will be listed under one of the five schedules.
Penalties for Making or Selling CDS
It is illegal in Utah to make or sell CDS (or possess CDS with the intent do these things). Penalties vary according to the type of CDS involved, and whether the offense was a first or subsequent violation. (Utah Code Ann. § 58-37-8.)
Schedule I and II CDS, and GHB
Making or selling Schedule I or II CDS, or gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is a second degree felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, at least one (and up to 15) years in prison, or both. Second and subsequent convictions are first degree felonies, incurring a fine of up to $10,000, at least five years (and up to life) in prison, or both.
Schedule III or IV CDS
Making or selling a Schedule III or IV CDS is a third degree felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, up to five years in prison, or both. Second and subsequent convictions are second degree felonies, incurring a fine of up to $10,000, at least one (and up to 15) years in prison, or both.
Schedule V CDS
Making or selling a Schedule V CDS is a class A misdemeanor. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both. Second and subsequent convictions are third degree felonies, incurring a fine of up to $5,000, up to five years in prison, or both.
Carrying a Firearm During an Offense
In addition to the fines and prison terms described above, the judge may sentence a defendant who carried or used a firearm during the offense to an additional one to five years in prison. This additional prison term will run consecutively (one after the other) to the otherwise applicable prison term described above. (Utah Code Ann. § 58-37-8(1)(c).)
Continued Criminal Enterprises
A defendant who engages in two or more separate violations described above, with five or more other people whom the defendant is supervising or managing, may be convicted of engaging in a “continued criminal enterprise”, a first degree felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, at least seven years (and up to life) in prison, or both. (Utah Code Ann. § 58-37-8(1)(d).)
Increased penalties apply to violations committed in drug free zones. This includes violations committed on or within 1,000 feet of a school; public park, arcade, or recreation center; house of worship; shopping mall, sports facility, or movie theater; a library; or in the presence of a minor (someone younger than 18) regardless of where the violation occurs.
The defendant will be sentenced to the fine and jail term applicable to an offense one degree higher than those for the underlying crime. For example, if the underlying crime was a third degree felony, but the offense occurred in a drug-free zone, the harsher fine and prison term for a second degree felony would apply instead. (Utah Code Ann. § 58-37-8(4).)
Talk to an Attorney
CDS manufacture or sale convictions can incur harsh fines and long periods of incarceration. A local lawyer who practices CDS defense will review the facts of your case, explain your options, and advise you of the possible consequences.