Colorado Springs Drug Possession & Trafficking Charges Demand a Strong Defense
Colorado may be a state where prosecutions for drug crimes have changed for the better, but that does not mean that being arrested for drug possession is no big deal.
Small quantities of some drugs may not lead to felony charges, but crimes like drug possession can still have a major impact on your life. The Law Offices of Andrew Bryant understand how these types of charges can disrupt your personal life, your professional life and even alter your reputation in the community.
Colorado drug laws have changed quite a bit over the last several years, making them even more complex to understand. That is why you need an experienced and skilled lawyer to help you navigate drug possession charges and ensure you get the aggressive defense to which you are entitled.
Defining Controlled Substances in Colorado
Under Colorado law, a controlled substance is defined as a drug that is illegal to possess because it has been determined to impact the welfare and health of the user adversely. The state and federal governments strictly regulate the use of these substances due to their dangerous nature.
How Controlled Substances are Classified in Colorado
In our state, controlled substances are placed in one of five “schedules” to classify how dangerous they are. Drugs in lower numbered schedules have a strong potential for abuse and no known medical use. Substances in higher numbered schedules pose some risk to a person’s health and well-being but have accepted medical uses.
These schedules are:
Substances on Schedule I include ecstasy, heroin, and LSD. They have no currently accepted medical use and are considered dangerous because of the high possibility of abuse.
The substances on this schedule still have a high potential for abuse and dependence but also have some accepted medical uses. Cocaine, oxycodone, and methamphetamine can all be found on this schedule.
Substances on this schedule are considered a low-to-moderate risk for dependence or abuse. Anabolic steroids, codeine, and ketamine are on this schedule.
Low risk for dependence and abuse defines the substances on this schedule. Ativan, Xanax, Ambien, and Soma are a few of the drugs you can find classified on this schedule.on this schedule are considered a low-to-moderate risk for dependence or abuse. Anabolic steroids, codeine, and ketamine are on this schedule.
Schedule V is reserved for substances with the lowest risk for dependence and abuse. Lomotil and cough medicine with small amounts of codeine are found under the schedule.
What About Marijuana in Colorado Springs?
Under the federal government’s drug schedules, marijuana is a Schedule I substance. However, since 2014 marijuana has been legal to use recreationally in Colorado for those over the age of 21. This is why it is not found on the state’s drug schedules.
Even though marijuana is legal, there are limits to how much each person can possess at one time, who can grow it, and where it can be purchased. It is also illegal in the state to drive under the influence of marijuana. Doing so can lead to a charge of driving while impaired or driving under the influence.
Drug Possession in Colorado
When you are charged with drug possession in Colorado, it is generally a misdemeanor if you are found in possession of a substance from Schedule I or II on your person. However, felony charges can stem from possession of the substance if the police believe you had the intent to distribute or manufacture it.
Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony drug possession, you need the Law Offices of Andrew Bryant on your side.
Penalties for Drug Possession in Colorado
In our state, your drug possession charges depend on what substances you have in your possession when arrested and the amount. The State Legislature amended the drug sentencing laws in 2013 and created new sentencing guidelines for drug crimes. They further amended the laws in 2020.
Drug Petty Offenses
There are only three Drug Petty Offenses in Colorado. Possessing Drug Paraphernalia or possessing a prescribed controlled substance that you cannot show ownership for are both punishable by up to $100 in fines and court costs. Possessing less than two ounces of marijuana in public is also punishable by up to $100 in fines and court costs, but the court can also impose up to 24 hours of community service.
Drug Misdemeanor Offenses
You can face a Drug Misdemeanor 1 or a Drug Misdemeanor 2. DM1s are punishable by up to 18 months in jail and fines of as much as $5,000. For DM2s, you can face up to 12 months in jail and be responsible for fines of as much as $750.
Drug Felony Offenses
There are four categories of Drug Felonies in Colorado. For Drug Felony 4s, you can go to prison for up to one year and be responsible for fines of as much as $100,000. A Drug Felony 3 can result in up to four years behind bars and fines of $500,000. A Drug Felony 2 can result in incarceration for up to eight years and payment of fines of $750,000.
Finally, a Drug Felony 1 can result in a potential prison sentence of 32 years and a fine of up to $1,000,000. While you can receive probation if you’re convicted of or plead to any lesser drug felony, if you are convicted of a Drug Felony 1, the court must sentence you to a minimum sentence of eight years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.
With felonies, just as with any other drug possession case, your charge depends on the type of substance involved and the amount found on you at the time of your arrest.
Do Not Let Colorado Springs Drug Possession Charges Ruin Your Life
Colorado may have reduced the penalties for drug crimes over the last several years, but you still need an experienced attorney to help you fight the charges. The truth is that being charged with drug possession can significantly impact your personal and professional life.
If you are convicted of a drug crime like possession in Colorado, penalties can go beyond incarceration and fines. A criminal record can have an impact on:
- Your career
- Your financial situation (since it can make getting loans more of a challenge)
- Child custody disputes (drug convictions can be used against you)
- Where you live (a landlord can deny you after a background check shows a drug conviction)
It can even result in the revocation of your driver’s license if you were charged with driving under the influence of drugs.
Drug convictions’ stigma is real, but you do not have to fight it alone. Contact the Law Offices of Andrew Bryant today for a free consultation.