Although much has changed regarding the classifications, penalties, and stigma surrounding drug crimes over the last several years, these crimes are still taken seriously. Drug convictions carry steep penalties and lasting consequences. If you face a drug charge, your freedom and reputation hang in the balance. Being charged with a felony or misdemeanor drug offense is not something to take lightly. Don’t leave the outcome to chance. Hire the Colorado Springs drug crimes lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. Contact us today.
Types of Drug Crimes
There are many individual drug crime offenses in Colorado. However, the most common categories of drug crimes are possession, intent to distribute, and cultivating or manufacturing. Colorado drug offenses include:
- Possession of drug paraphernalia,
- Possession of a controlled dangerous substance (e.g., heroin, cocaine),
- Illegal possession of prescription narcotics (e.g., Vicodin, Oxycontin),
- Possession with intent to sell,
- Distribution and drug trafficking, and
- Cultivating or manufacturing illicit drugs.
Our drug offense lawyers can discuss your specific charges with you at length. Contact us today.
Often, individuals charged with a drug offense face other charges related to or stemming from the drug crime. Commonly charged offenses in conjunction with drug charges are:
- Weapon offenses,
- Motor vehicle violations,
- Money laundering, and
Depending on the particular circumstances, you may be charged with more than one offense. However, even if you are not formally charged with multiple offenses, the events can be considered aggravating factors to the drug crime. To gain a more in-depth understanding of how you can be charged with additional drug-related crimes, you should seek the advice of our drug charge attorneys.
Colorado Drug Schedule
Colorado classifies illegal drugs into five schedules according to their potential for abuse and addiction. Some of these drugs, if legally prescribed and properly used, are legal, while others are illegal without exception.
Schedule I drugs: High risk of addiction and dependency and have no accepted legal use (e.g., heroin, PCP, and LSD).
Schedule II drugs: Also have a high risk of addiction but may also have some recognized medical uses. These include oxycodone, opium, fentanyl, and cocaine.
Schedule III drugs: Moderate risk of addiction and abuse and have some accepted medical use (e.g., codeine, ketamine, and steroids.)
Schedule IV drugs: Minimal potential for abuse and have widely accepted medical usage, including clonazepam, diazepam, and sedatives.
Schedule V drugs: These drugs have an extremely low potential for abuse and dependency and are sold over the counter.
Our drug charge lawyers are well-versed in the different drug schedules and classifications. We can defend you no matter the charge!
Colorado is one of the handful of states in which recreational marijuana use is legal. However, it is not legal carte blanche. The Colorado legislature has imposed limits and restrictions on marijuana possession, sale, and use.
In Colorado, if you are 21 or older, you can legally possess one ounce of marijuana or THC, including recreational marijuana in concentrated and edible forms.
It is still illegal to:
- Use marijuana in public,
- On federal property,
- Drive under the influence of marijuana, and
- Possess greater than one ounce at any given time.
Further, you can face criminal charges and family court repercussions if you are found to be in possession or use of marijuana in the presence of children, including in your home.
Drug Crime Penalties
The penalties for a drug crime conviction vary widely depending on the specific circumstances. Overall the penalties can range from minimal fines to significant jail time. Although there are statutory minimum penalties (i.e., the least amount of time and money you could be sentenced to under the law), several factors will influence your exact sentence, including:
- Prior convictions,
- Type of drug, and
- Quantity of the drug.
In Colorado, the extensive range of penalties for drug crimes is due in part to the five different classifications of drugs (i.e., five schedules) and the many different levels of misdemeanor and felony crimes.
Misdemeanor versus Felony Penalties
For misdemeanor drug offenses in Colorado, you may be sentenced to anywhere from six to 18 months in jail, a $500 to $5,000 fine, or both. The exact sentence will vary depending on whether you are charged with a level one or two misdemeanor.
A felony conviction can result in a minimum jail sentence of six months up to 32 years in state prison. A level one felony is the most severe offense and can lead to decades behind bars. In Colorado, felony convictions can cost you a $1,000 to $100,000 fine.
The Court can impose a mandatory drug assessment, rehab, and community service as further punishment.
No matter the offense you are charged with, you face severe legal and social consequences. Imprisonment and fines are undoubtedly harsh enough. However, you will also have to deal with the repercussions of a criminal record. The negative stigma of a drug conviction can lead to judgment and isolation among family, peers, and your community. It may also make it challenging to obtain a job, apply for a loan, or participate in educational programs.
If you find yourself facing a drug charge, all is not lost. You may have one or more defenses to seek a dismissal or not guilty verdict. Common defenses include:
- Fourth Amendment violation (i.e., Illegal search or seizure),
- Defendant possessed a valid prescription for the drugs,
- Defendant did not know the drug was illegal,
- The drugs did not belong to the defendant, and
Your best defense begins with hiring the experienced drug offense attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton.
Colorado Springs Drug Charge Attorneys
A drug conviction can undoubtedly have drastic consequences on your life. When fighting for your freedom, livelihood, and reputation, please do not leave it to chance. It would be best if you had sharp, experienced counsel on your team. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, we have 30 years of experience helping clients through the most challenging dilemmas of their lives. Let us use our legal knowledge, trial experience, and familiarity with the court system to work for you. Contact us 24/7 to discuss your case.