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Drug Crimes FAQ
General Drug Charge Questions
How are drug cases prosecuted?
Drug crimes are severe and life-changing. If you are found in possession of any of the above drugs, it’s important that you get the help and legal counsel that you need. Depending on the drug charge, each case will be different.
What are the factors affecting my drug case?
A variety of conditions come into play when it comes to charging and sentencing an individual for a drug charge, including:
- Intent to sell or distribute
- Evidence of sales activity
- Having large amounts of money
- Classification under the drug schedule
- Purpose of the possession (personal use or for sale)
What does it mean for a drug to have a “Schedule?”
In Colorado, the law classifies controlled substance under Federal drug schedules.
Illegal drug substances are categorized by their risk of addiction, with Schedule 1 being the highest and Schedule 5 being the lowest.
A schedule I drug is the most dangerous and has no medical, use such as heroin and peyote.
What should I do if I’m charged with a drug crime?
If you are charged or accused of a drug crime—be it possession or intent to sell—you should contact an experienced drug crime lawyer right away.
When it comes to marijuana, what is legal in Colorado?
While many people associate Colorado with legalized marijuana, it’s important to discuss the distinction between what is legal in Colorado and what is still not legal. For instance, it is legal for an adult aged 21 or over to:
- Possess up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use
- Grow or cultivate up to six marijuana plants
- Give away marijuana to other adults aged 21 and over (without exchanging money)
- Cultivate, process, and sell industrial hemp
What is ILLEGAL in Colorado?
Colorado state law regulates the possession of marijuana to one ounce; anything over that amount can lead to some form of an offense.
- For example, more than one ounce, but less than two, is considered a petty offense and can result in a fine of $100 dollars.
- Additionally, if a person is found in possession of more than 12 ounces of marijuana or more than three ounces of concentrate, their crime is considered a class six felony. This is punishable with between one and two years of imprisonment and possibly a fine of $1,000–$100,000 dollars.
- Furthermore, if a Colorado resident is found with more than 100 pounds of marijuana or concentrate, this would be considered a class three felony. Punishment for possession of this size includes between four and 12 years of imprisonment and/or a fine between $3,000 dollars and $750,000 dollars.
How is cocaine possession charged in Colorado?
If you are found possessing cocaine, you will be charged with a class 3 felony for your first offense and a class 2 felony for your second offense.
The potential sentence for a first offense possession is 4 to 12 years in prison and fines of $3,000 to $750,000.
However, with your second offense, you could be serving 8 to 24 years in prison along with a fine between $5,000 and $1,000,000.
When it comes to heroin possession, what is legal in Colorado?
No amount of heroin possession is legal. In fact, heroin possession in Colorado is serious, with sentencing to the Colorado Department of Corrections dependent on the quantity of heroin itself or the components used to make the drug.
How is heroin possession charged in Colorado?
In Colorado, heroin possession is charged according to the quantity of heroin an individual is in possession with or the components used to make the drug.
- Possession of four grams or less of a Schedule I drug (such as heroin) is a Class 6 felony
- Possession of more than 4 grams is a Class 4 felony.
- If a person possesses at least 25 grams but less than 450 grams, distribution, manufacturing and sale of heroin will be presumed and the person convicted will be sentenced to the Colorado Department of Corrections for an extended period.
If a person possesses 450 grams or more, he will be presumed to be involved in the distribution, manufacture and sale of heroin, and will face an extensive prison sentence in the Colorado Department of Corrections.
Section 18-18-405, C.R.S.
How is the sale of heroin charged in Colorado?
The sale of heroin is a felony and sentences will be based on the quantity sold.
What penalties do I face if I am charged with methamphetamine possession?
Possession of any amount of methamphetamine is a felony in Colorado. Meth is a Schedule II controlled substance because it is a highly addictive substance carefully regulated by the federal government. If you are found guilty of possessing any amount of methamphetamine, you face the following prison sentences:
- Possession of less than 2 grams of methamphetamine – Colorado Class 6 Felony punishable by 6 months to 3 years in prison
- Possession of more than 2 grams of methamphetamine – Colorado Class 4 Felony punishable by 1 year to 12 years in prison
- If you are found in possession of methamphetamine, it could be considered a class three felony, leading to between four and 12 years in prison with a potential fine of $3,000 to $750,000. The second offense is even more severe, with the potential of anywhere from eight to 24 years in prison with a fine of between $5,000 and $1 million.
What penalties do I face if I am charged with methamphetamine sale?
According to Colorado Revised Statutes 18-18-405, “It is unlawful for any person knowingly to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, or to possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, a controlled substance.” The punishment for a conviction under this statute is severe.
- Colorado Class 3 Felony: Intent to distribute methamphetamine or the sale of methamphetamine with no prior conviction is punishable by 4 to 16 years in prison.
- Colorado Class 2 Felony: If you have a prior conviction of the same charge, a second conviction on the charge of intent to distribute methamphetamine or the sale of methamphetamine is punishable by 8 to 24 years in prison.
What factors will affect my case if I’m accused of methamphetamine possession or intent to distribute or sell methamphetamine?
When imposing a sentence, the court will consider several factors, including: the amount of methamphetamine in your possession, your prior criminal record, having possession of the elements to manufacture meth (isomers and salt), and having any substances containing meth.
A skilled methamphetamine defense attorney may be able to mitigate the severity of your sentence by performing a thorough investigation into the facts surrounding your arrest and by presenting a strong defense to the judge.
What should I do if I am arrested for methamphetamine possession or intent to distribute or sell methamphetamine?
If you are arrested for methamphetamine possession or intent to sell methamphetamine, you should invoke your right to remain silent and ask for your attorney.
Anything you say may be used against you — even if you are just trying to “tell your side of the story.”
Contact our office before answering any questions or providing a statement to the police.
*Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.