What kinds of sentences are people facing for marijuana possession or sale in federal courts?  If you are arrested and are brought to the United States District Court in Denver, Colorado, are you going to prison?

The good news is that not all marijuana convictions require jail time under federal sentencing guidelines, but all are eligible for imprisonment. The higher the marijuana amount possessed by a defendant, the more likely one is to be sentenced to jail time, as opposed to probation or alternative sentencing.

Sentencing Guidelines for Marijuana in Federal Court

Federal marijuana laws are very serious, and punishment for people convicted of these charges is very steep. As a general rule, the mere possession of marijuana continuities a misdemeanor subject to up to one-year imprisonment and a minimum fine of $1000.00.  Possession of larger quantities of marijuana could lead to substantial prison terms.

Federal sentencing guidelines take into account not only the amount of marijuana but also the defendant’s criminal history. In other words, a defendant’s sentence is the product of various factors and therefore, without talking to an attorney about your specific case, all I can give you are the minimums and maximums for certain marijuana crimes.  There are too many factors involved for anyone to give a specific number for sentencing without doing a lot of leg work.  However, here are some of the sentencing ranges for marijuana possession.

Marijuana Sentences Based on Weight

Weight of Marijuana Sentence
One thousand kilograms or more marijuana

or 1,000 or more marijuana plants

 First Offense:     10 years to life

Second Offense: 20 years to life

100 to 999 Kilograms marijuana mixture

or 100 to 999 marijuana plants

 First Offense:     5 to 40 years

Second Offense: 10 years to life

50 to 99 Kilograms marijuana mixture

or 50 to 99 marijuana plants


 First Offense: Maximum 20 years

Second Offense: Maximum 30 years

Less than 50 kilograms marijuana

or up to 49 marijuana plants

 First Offense:  Maximum 5 years

Second Offense: Maximum 10 years

Each of these above sentences is appreciably higher in instances where during the commission of the offense, another individual suffered death or serious bodily injury. Moreover, fines for these cases can range up to fifty million dollars depending on the nature of the case and the weight of the marijuana involved.

To find out more about federal drug sentences in Denver, Colorado and other federal courts in Colorado, contact a federal crime defense attorney.  The Denver criminal lawyers at the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara represent clients in Denver and the Metro Area in both state and federal court in marijuana and other drug criminal cases.