Legal Consequences of a Drug Conviction

Drug-related crimes can carry heavy penalties and other legal consequences. The most common arrests include:

These all vary in degrees of seriousness and repercussions, so it’s important to understand all possible outcomes. A skilled drug defense lawyer can help you achieve the best result in your case. To understand what could result from your arrest, here are the possible legal consequences of a drug conviction.

Drug-Related Crimes and Driver’s Licenses

If you attempt to commit or are convicted of a drug-related crime, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for a period of six months if you were operating a motor vehicle at the time of your arrest.

Additionally, under Utah law, there is no provision for a limited or restricted driver’s license that will allow you to drive to work or school during the suspension period. If you are caught driving during your suspension period, you will be charged with Driving on Suspension While Drug or Alcohol Revoked, which is a Class B Misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,850.00 fine. If you are convicted, your driver’s license will be suspended for an additional six months for the first offense and an additional one year for each subsequent offense.

Long-Term Consequences of a Drug Conviction

In addition to driver’s license penalties, a drug-related conviction can affect other important areas of your life. In some cases, these consequences can be permanent.

1. Citizenship and Legal Status

For those who are not U.S. citizens, a conviction for an offense, even a simple possession of marijuana, can affect citizenship status. For example, if your drug-related crime results in a felony conviction, you are deportable, even if you have a green card. Other levels of conviction can result in visa denial and deportation. Overcoming a drug conviction is no easy feat, but can be more difficult if citizenship is in question. An experienced drug defense lawyer can help you combat these charges.

2. Government Aid

Drug-related convictions can also make a person ineligible for certain forms of government aid. This includes financial aid for higher education. A drug conviction while receiving financial aid can result in loss of finances and, in some cases, you could be liable for returning the funds you received during a period of ineligibility.

3. Additional Consequences

Unfortunately, driver’s licenses, citizenship, and government aid aren’t the only areas of your life that can be affected by a drug conviction. This also includes:

  • Loss of your professional license – Drug-related convictions can result in losing a license, for example, if you are a doctor or teacher.
  • DNA sample – If you are convicted of an offense involving a felony or class A misdemeanor, you will be required to give a DNA sample that will be placed in a law enforcement database for the rest of your life.
  • Public stigma – It’s no secret that these types of convictions carry a significant public stigma, which may cause problems when seeking employment.

How a Drug-Related Conviction Affects Your Record

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor drug crime such as possession of marijuana or paraphernalia, you cannot apply to have the conviction expunged from your criminal record for at least four years after your probation has been terminated (probation for a misdemeanor drug offense is typically 12 months from the date of sentencing). If you are convicted of a felony drug crime, you cannot apply to have the conviction expunged from your criminal record for at least five years after your probation has been terminated (probation for a felony drug offense is typically 36 months from the date of sentencing).

With such steep penalties for drug-related convictions in place, having the best drug defense lawyer in your corner can make the difference between years of strict consequences and avoiding a conviction on your record. If you are concerned about drug-related charges against you, contact Schatz Anderson & Associates for a free consultation.

Take Action Now. Call Our Drug Crime Lawyers Today.

If you want to increase your chances of getting the outcome you desire, you need an experienced drug defense attorney to represent your case now. Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys today. We’ll go over your situation, answer any questions that you have, and discuss the options as to how best to handle your case.

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Note: We only handle Utah cases. If you have a case or charge in another state, please contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that state.

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