Attitudes toward the “war on drugs” are changing in many parts of the United States, and in Colorado in particular. Still, possession of certain drugs remains illegal and can carry serious penalties. Regardless of whether current policy in Colorado on illegal drug possession is right or wrong, or whether related prosecutions exhibit racial disparities and inconsistency in sentences, drug possession and distribution charges are common and can carry life-altering repercussions.
Do not wait to get trusted legal advice if you are facing drug crime charges. An experienced Colorado drug crime lawyer can work to fight the charges against you from the very beginning, poking holes in the prosecution’s case and pushing for a reduction or dismissal of charges. At Peakstone Law Group, LLC, our criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience handling these types of cases. We will fight for the best possible outcome for you.
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Types of Drug Crime Cases We Can Help With
Our Colorado Springs drug crime attorneys have successfully represented people facing a wide range of charges, including:
- Drug possession — As of March 1, 2020, possession of fewer than 4 grams of most Schedule I or Schedule II drugs is no longer a felony offense in Colorado. Instead, you’ll likely be charged with a DM1 (drug misdemeanor 1), with potential penalties between 6 and 18 months in jail, a fine up to $5,000, or both. However, possessing more than 4 grams of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, or any amount of GHB, Flunitrazepam, Ketamine, or cathinone, is still a felony in Colorado. Potential penalties for felony drug possession include six months to two years in prison, along with $1,000 to $10,000 in fines. Possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana is allowed under Colorado law for most people, while medical marijuana patients can possess up to 2 ounces.
- Possession with intent to sell — The penalties for drug possession with intent to sell in Colorado vary widely depending on the drug in question, the amount of the drug, whether you have any prior convictions for drug offenses, and other factors. You could be charged with a Level 1 felony at the high end and face 8 to 32 years in prison, along with up to $1 million in fines. At the low end, you could be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to 18 months incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Drug manufacturing and cultivation — Under Colorado’s marijuana legalization laws, an individual can grow up to six plants for personal use. However, growing more than six plants or manufacturing or cultivating other drugs can result in severe penalties. Depending on the drug and the amount in question, you could be charged with anything from a Level 1 drug felony (8 to 32 years in prison, up to $1 million in fines) or a misdemeanor (as much as 18 months in jail, up to $5,000 in fines).
- Drug distribution — In Colorado, the same law governs possession with intent to sell, drug manufacturing, and drug distribution offenses. The penalties for distributing drugs that are not marijuana run anywhere from a misdemeanor (maximum of 18 months in jail, up to $5,000 in fines) to a Level 1 drug felony (anywhere from 8 to 32 years in prison, up to $1 million in fines), depending on the amount and type of drug.
- Drug trafficking — Trafficking generally refers to transporting illegal drugs, while distribution refers to selling them. The same Colorado law that governs possession with intent to sell and drug distribution also sets the penalties for drug trafficking. At the high end, you could face 8 to 32 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines. If you crossed state lines while trafficking drugs, you could also face federal drug charges, which carry additional penalties.
- Driving under the influence of drugs — Driving under the influence of drugs in Colorado is usually a misdemeanor unless you have three or more prior DUI convictions in Colorado or any other state. There are also two different kinds of DUI offenses. A standard DUI is when drugs make you “substantially incapable” of safely handling a vehicle. A DWAI (driving while ability impaired) refers to cases where someone’s ability to drive is impaired “to the slightest degree” after using drugs. Of the two, DUI is the more serious offense. Potential penalties for a misdemeanor DUI or DWAI include up to 1 year in jail, $1,500 in fines, having your driver’s license suspended for two years, mandatory community service, and having to enroll in drug education classes.