Unfortunately, the opioid epidemic continues to sweep across the country – and Colorado is not immune to its reach.
Police in Colorado Springs recently intercepted over $100,000 worth of narcotics, including over three pounds of heroin. The people arrested face some serious drug trafficking charges, but their charges underscore just how serious Colorado takes possession of drugs like heroin.
Here’s what you need to know about the laws surrounding heroin in Colorado and what types of penalties you can face if you’re convicted.
Unlawful Use of Heroin in Colorado
Heroin is a Schedule I drug. Because of this, it has no accepted use in the United States, which means that there is no reason for anyone to have or use heroin legally.
Colorado prides itself on trying to help those who are addicted to drugs like heroin and not punish them as harshly, as long as their involvement with heroin is for use and not for sale.
Penalties for Heroin Use
In Colorado, the use of heroin is a level 2 drug misdemeanor. It can be punished by up to one year in jail and fines up to $750. However the court may decide to act more leniently and sentence someone found guilty of use of heroin to probation for one year, up to three months in jail, and fines up to $500.
Colorado Laws on Possession of Heroin
Penalties for Unlawful Possession
Possessing four grams of heroin will result in a level 1 drug offense if found guilty. This can result in up to 18 months in jail and fines up to $5,000. A judge may decide, in lieu of jail, to impose a sentence of up to six months in jail and fines up to $1,000 with the addition of probation.
If you are found in possession of more than four grams of heroin, then you can be charged with a level 4 drug felony. A conviction can result in up to one year in jail and fines up to $100,000.
A judge may also impose probation, which comes with conditions such as not using drugs, completing court-ordered drug treatment, and that you refrain from committing any additional crimes while on probation.
Unlawful Sale of Heroin
It is a felony in Colorado to do any of these things with heroin:
- Possesses for sale
- Induce to do any of the above with others
- Possess one or more of the supplies, equipment, or chemicals used to manufacture heroin with the intent to do so
Penalties for the Sale of Heroin
If you are convicted of the sale of heroin, then the penalties depend on how much heroin you were in possession of for sale and the age of the person you intended to sell it to.
- For more than 112 grams of heroin for sale or sale to a minor, you can face a level 1 drug felony. That can be punished by up to 32 years in prison and fines up to $1 million.
- For more than seven grams but less than 112, you can face a level 2 drug felony. You can face up to eight years in prison and fines up to $750,000.
- Under seven grams of heroin for sale is a level 3 drug felony, it can result in up to four years in prison and fines up to $500,000.
About the Author:
Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.