Are drug crimes the most heinous offenses? Of course not, but they are still considered severe crimes with steep consequences. Were you recently arrested and charged with a drug crime in Aurora, Colorado? If so, meet with one of our drug charge attorneys immediately. Drug charges can be difficult to shake and stay on your record for years. Whether this is your first offense because of a brief lapse in judgment or you have prior convictions, our drug offense lawyers are top-notch, with three decades of litigation experience under our belts. Contact us now.
Colorado Drug Laws
The Colorado legislature implemented the Uniform Controlled Substances Act to address the illegal manufacture and distribution of substances that may otherwise have accepted medical purposes but are subject to abuse and harm to users.
Drugs are scheduled according to their accepted medical use and risk of dependency and abuse. The schedule is as follows:
Schedule I drugs are most dangerous because they have no accepted medical use and have a high risk of dependency and abuse (e.g., LSD, heroin).
Schedule II drugs also have a high risk of dependency and abuse but have some accepted forms of medicinal use. (e.g., oxycodone, fentanyl).
Schedule III has a lower moderate risk of abuse and dependency and has accepted medical use. (e.g., steroids, ketamine).
Schedule IV drugs have medically accepted use and a low risk of abuse. (e.g., Ambien, valium).
Schedule V drugs are the least dangerous classification and are generally available without a prescription (e.g., over-the-counter drugs).
If you are unsure what schedule your charged offense falls into, contact our drug charge attorneys to learn more.
Colorado Law and Marijuana
Colorado is one of the handful of states that allow the purchase and consumption of marijuana for recreational use. It is legal to buy and possess small amounts of marijuana in Colorado. However, it is still stringently regulated and controlled by the state. Like any other laws, there are penalties for violating them.
Laws still apply to each aspect of marijuana sale and consumption. For instance, not just anyone can legally sell marijuana. Only a licensed dispensary can lawfully sell marijuana or marijuana products (e.g., edibles). Licensed sellers also do not have free reign and must abide by specific regulations. Those who break the law can face penalties of up to six years imprisonment and up to half a million dollars in fines.
There are also restrictions on individual possession of marijuana. You can not simply possess any amount you desire. Under Colorado law, an individual can legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana at any time.
Drug Conviction Consequences
A drug conviction may result in anticipated penalties such as fines, fees, jail time, and probation. However, it can also lead to:
- Mandatory drug counseling and rehab,
- Community service, and
Of course, there are social repercussions as well. A drug conviction could cause you to lose your job, make it challenging to obtain a new one, ruin your reputation among your social circles, and hinder future educational applications.
Drug Crime Penalties
The specific penalties will vary depending on several factors, including:
- Type of scheduled drug,
- Quantity of drugs,
- Prior criminal history,
- Previous drug abuse history, and
- Your intent (i.e., was your intent to use the drugs yourself or to sell to others).
The judge will weigh these factors to determine if you should be sentenced at the statutory minimum, maximum, or somewhere between.
The range of penalties breaks down as follows:
Colorado Drug Misdemeanor Penalties
Certain drug offenses, like the possession or use involving small amounts of illegal drugs, are charged as misdemeanors. But the penalties can still be substantial.
Class 1 misdemeanors can carry six to 18 months of incarceration, $500 to $5,000 in fines, or both. Class 2 misdemeanors mean three months to one-year incarceration, $250 to $1,000 in fines, or both.
Although misdemeanor convictions will carry less jail time, they will still tarnish your record.
Colorado Drug Felony Penalties
In Colorado, a class 6 felony is the least severe, and class 1 is the most. Many drug offenses, particularly possession charges, will range between a class 6 and class 4 felony. The penalties are as follows:
Class 6 felony
- One to two years incarceration,
- $1,000 to $100,000 fine,
- or both.
Class 5 felony
- one to four years incarceration,
- $1,000 to $100,000 fine,
- or both.
Class 4 felony
- Two to six years incarceration,
- $2,000 to $500,000 fine,
- or both.
If you have been charged with distribution, manufacturing, or selling a controlled dangerous substance in substantial quantities, you may face a Class 3, 2, or 1 felony, which all carry significant prison sentences. To learn more about the steepest drug felonies in Colorado, contact the drug charge lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C.
Defenses to Colorado Drug Charges
Regardless of the specific drug offense you are charged with, there may be one or several defenses available. Some of the most common drug crime defenses include:
- You were subject to an illegal search and seizure (Fourth Amendment violation),
- You were not correctly Mirandized, or your interview was conducted illegally,
- You did not know that the drugs were illegal,
- The drugs were not in your possession, and
If you have been charged with a drug crime, you are probably worried and unsure of a successful way out. Our drug offense attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton are well versed and equipped to handle your case. At our initial meeting, we will listen to your story and provide you with a game plan moving forward, including potential defenses you may have.
Aurora Drug Crimes Attorneys
Drug offenses are not to be taken lightly. If you or someone you love is charged with even a minor drug offense, you need to seek the advice of knowledgeable counsel before proceeding. A conviction can lead to jail time, significant fines, fees, and costs, and a loss in social standing. Our attorneys are not afraid to fight in court for your rights. Contact Gerash Steiner Blanton to be your voice in court. We will put our three decades of litigation experience to work for you. Please chat with us through our website or call to schedule an appointment.