What Are the Common Drug Crimes in Colorado?
Colorado has controlled substances laws enshrined in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA). It defines five categories or schedules of controlled substances. The classification depends on the potential of a drug or substance to lead to abuse or addiction. The most common types of crimes associated with these controlled substances include the following:
- Illegal possession of prescription narcotics
- Possession of cocaine, meth, heroin, or other illegal drugs
- Possession with intent to see
- Possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia
- Cultivation or manufacture
- Distribution or drug trafficking
- Drug-related crimes such as money laundering, fraud, theft, or weapons charges
Drug crimes attract hefty penalties upon conviction. If you are arrested or under investigation for drug crimes, it would be best to consult experienced attorneys from a Colorado criminal defense law firm. We can investigate your case and provide legal counsel and representation to defend you against the charges during the trial.
What Are the Penalties for Drug Crime Charges Upon Conviction?
The penalties for drug offenses depend on the offense type. Colorado identifies six levels of drug offenses depending on the seriousness.
Two levels are misdemeanors, while the other four are felonies:
Level 1 misdemeanor attracts the following penalties:
- 6-18 months in jail
- A fine of between $500 and $5,000
Level 2 misdemeanor has the following penalties:
- Incarceration for up to one year
- A fine of between $50 and $750
The four levels of felony drug charges attract the following penalties:
- Eight years of prison time for standard level 1 drug felony, 32 years of incarceration for aggravated crimes, and a fine of between $5,000 to $1,000,000
- 4-8 years of incarceration for level 2 drug felony, depending on how severe the crime is, and a fine of between $3,000 and $750,000
- Incarceration of 2-4 years for level 3 drug felony if the crime is standard, 4-6 years for an aggravated offense, and a fine of between $2,000 and $500,000
- Incarceration of 6 months-1 year for level 4 drug felony if the crime is standard, 1 to 2 years for an aggravated crime, and a fine of $1,000 to $100,000
These penalties can have a life-long impact, curtailing your progress if you end up behind bars. That’s why you shouldn’t risk going to trial alone. Let an aggressive Colorado Springs drug crime lawyer defend you to have the charges reduced or dropped to protect your rights and future.
What Strategies Can a Lawyer Use to Defend Me Against Drug Charges?
The prosecutor in your drug crime case has the burden of proof to show the jury beyond reasonable doubt that you’re guilty of the offense. They must show that you were aware that you were in possession of the controlled substance or intended to be in possession of it. Your drug crime lawyer in Colorado Springs can challenge that evidence in the following ways:
Challenging the Stop and Search by the Police
Your drug crime attorney in Colorado Springs can file a “motion to suppress” if they determine that the police acted illegally. For example, if they stopped your car without reasonable suspicion, they lacked evidence that you had broken the law.
The police may also have ordered you out of your car without proper basis, searched it or your person without probable cause, or seized evidence they had no right to take. If any of these grounds are present, your attorney can fight to have the evidence suppressed, which may lead to the dismissal of the case.
Challenging the Actual Possession of the Drugs
Charging you with actual possession is easy when law enforcement officers find the substances on your person, including your clothes, purse, or wallet, or hidden in your socks or shoes. However, simply being found near or in the same location as the drug you’re alleged to be in possession of is a case of constructive possession. It doesn’t automatically make you guilty.
Constructive possession is much harder to prove, as the prosecutor must prove sufficient illegal possession of the drugs to convict you. An aggressive drug crimes attorney in Colorado Springs knows how to navigate drug crime laws to beat the charges based on this principle.
Challenging Confidential Informants Using the 6th Amendment
Under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, you can confront your accusers and challenge the evidence they bring against you. That includes any anonymous informants whose evidence the police may rely on as evidence against you. Your attorney may even request that the informants be revealed to evaluate their credibility.
The defense of entrapment can be challenging to establish but can be used if you were coerced into possessing drugs. If you were under other undue influence that compelled you to commit a crime, your attorney could use entrapment as a defense. These include fraud or threats originating from government-related sources.
Fight for Your Rights With the Help of an Experienced Drug Crime Attorney
Defending yourself against drug crime charges can be challenging if you’re not well-versed with drug laws in Colorado. That’s why you should work with a skilled and aggressive lawyer from a criminal defense law firm in Colorado Springs. They can use a combination of the above defense strategies to help you beat the charges.
We provide legal representation to clients in pursuit of justice. Our drug crime attorneys in Colorado Springs understands how stressful it can be to face drug charges and can fight to protect your rights and future. Call Joyner Law at (719) 888-4950 to schedule a FREE consultation.