If you have been charged with a drug crime in Denver, you need an experienced drug crimes attorney who aggressively fights to keep you out of jail. A conviction under one of the many Colorado drug crime statutes will result in severe punishments. You will also have a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life, potentially affecting things such as your constitutional freedoms (i.e. the right to own a gun), where you can live, and your future employment opportunities.
The criminal defense attorneys of the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara understand what is involved in defending a Denver drug charge. We begin by conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your drug arrest to determine weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you so that we can develop a defense strategy that will give you the best chance of avoiding the most severe Denver drug punishments.
Below are answers to some of the most common questions we receive about defending criminal drug charges in Denver.
Explanation of Denver, CO Drug Charges
Below are several of the most common drug charges used in Denver and a brief explanation of each charge.
What is possession of a controlled substance?
Technically, possession of a controlled substance is defined as “knowingly in control” of an illegal substance. This is regardless of whether the drugs are yours or you are holding them for another person. If you are in possession of illegal drugs in Colorado, you can be charged with this drug offense. This includes possession of marijuana over the legal limit.
What is distribution of a controlled substance?
This charge is used when a person is distributing or selling drugs or working with others to facilitate the distribution or sale of illegal drugs. You can be charged even though you never had the drugs in your possession. If you simply tell someone where to purchase drugs, you can be charged under this statute.
Cultivation or Manufacturing of Illegal Drugs
Growing drugs (i.e. psychedelic mushrooms) or manufacturing drugs (i.e. methamphetamine) is a drug crime that carries severe penalties if you are found guilty. As with selling or distributing drugs, anyone participating in the process can be charged and found guilty of this crime. You do not need to physically grow or make the drugs. If you provide equipment or assist in any way, you can be charged with cultivating or manufacturing illegal drugs.
Prescription fraud is becoming more prevalent in Denver and other areas of the state. This criminal statute covers a variety of crimes including forged prescriptions and selling prescriptions drugs. Anyone in possession of prescription drugs who does not have a valid prescription can be charged under this statute.
Are there different laws for different drugs?
As in the rest of the state, Denver drug crimes are prosecuted and punished according to several factors including the schedule for the drug in question, the amount of the drug involved, whether the defendant has any prior drug convictions, and whether the defendant intended to sell the drug or if the drug was for personal use.
Colorado categorizes illegal drugs into five schedules. The penalties for a conviction of a Denver drug crime involving a Schedule I drug are the most severe.
- Schedule I drugs have a high risk of dependency. They are not prescribed by doctors for any legal medical treatment. Examples of Schedule I drugs include LSD, Ecstasy, and heroine.
- Schedule II drugs are still highly addictive but have some medical benefits. Schedule II drugs include cocaine, morphine, methadone, and opium.
- Schedule III drugs are used routinely by medical professionals to treat a variety of conditions even though the drugs have a moderate risk for addiction and abuse. Examples of Schedule III drugs include steroids, testosterone, and codeine.
- Schedule IV drugs are commonly used by medical professionals to treat patients and have a low risk for addiction. Schedule IV drugs include sedatives, tranquilizers, and clonazepam.
- Schedule V drugs are mostly over-the-counter medications that do not have much risk for addiction or abuse.
What penalties will I face if I am convicted of a Denver drug crime?
Denver drug crimes can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the drug involved and other relevant factors. You must also remember that if the court finds aggravating factors, such as the defendant was on parole or probation for another felony conviction or the defendant is on bond for a felony, the judge can impose a more severe penalty for a drug conviction.
A conviction for a Denver drug crime under:
- Drug Misdemeanor 2 can result in up to 12 months in jail, a fine between $50 and $750, and DOS of $300.
- Drug Misdemeanor 1 can result in six to 18 months in jail, a fine between $500 and $5,000, and a DOS of $1,000.
- Drug Felony 4 can result in six months to two years in prison, a fine between $1,000 and $100,000, and DOS of $1,500.
- Drug Felony 3 can result in two to six years in prison, a fine between $2,000 and $500,000, and a DOS of $2,000.
- Drug Felony 2 can result in four to 16 years in prison, a fine between $3,000 and $750,000, and a DOS of $3,000.
- Drug Felony 1 can result in eight to 32 years in prison, a fine between $5,000 and $1,000,000, and a DOS of $4,500.
Isn’t marijuana legal in Colorado?
Even though Colorado has legalized marijuana for personal recreational use, it is illegal:
- To grow more than six plants in your home;
- To sell marijuana to anyone under the age of 21;
- To possess marijuana if you are under the age of 21;
- To possess more than one ounce of marijuana; and,
- For a non-resident to purchase more than a quarter of an ounce of marijuana.
Contact a Qualified Denver Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested on drug charges, time is of the essence. Contact our office online or by calling (720) 408-2877. We are a client-focused firm committed to providing each client with the best possible legal defense against a drug charge. Our attorneys take each case seriously because we understand how the results of this case can affect your future for a very long time.