Colorado Drug Laws
When can you be charged with a drug offense?
Colorado drug laws are based on Federal statutes which categorize controlled substances like cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy. Drug charges typically involve possession, distribution, or trafficking and include (but are not limited to):
- Possession of a controlled substance.
- Possession with intent to distribute.
- Distribution of a controlled substance.
- Drug trafficking.
What happens if you are charged?
The seriousness of a drug charge depends on three factors:
- The “schedule” or classification of the drugs involved.
- The quantity of the drugs involved.
- Your purpose for possessing the drugs.
Producing, selling, and possessing with the intent to distribute drugs are the most serious offenses, while possessing drugs for personal use is less severe. However, bear in mind that you can be convicted of possession with intent to distribute even if there is no evidence that you actually distributed the drugs!
What happens if you are found guilty?
Unsurprisingly, Colorado drug laws are taken very seriously. Many drug offenses carry mandatory jail sentences that will vary according to the alleged quantity involved. Colorado also has enhanced penalties for drug crimes involving the distribution of controlled substances to, or by, minors.
Even first-time distribution offenders can spend time behind bars and many judges won’t consider probation even if you have a clean criminal record!
Though it is your first time charged with a crime of this nature if the judge believes that you are distributing drugs either by the manner in which they are kept, your actions when you were arrested or the amounts they say you had, you can be imprisoned. What you do after you are arrested can go a long way in preventing this from happening.
Any drug conviction can have long term consequences
Apart from the immediate consequences, a drug-related conviction can dramatically impact the rest of your life. Future education and employment opportunities can be jeopardized, and any repeat offenses will obviously carry increasingly severe penalties.
Should you seek legal assistance?
Yes! What many people don’t know is that drug cases often involve Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure violations. In other words, the government may break the law and violate your constitutional rights when searching for drugs or other evidence.
An experienced criminal defense attorney, like Kevin Pauly, can recognize when your constitutional rights have been violated and can use that to your advantage. For more than a decade, Kevin has exclusively defended those facing criminal charges in Colorado and was named Attorney of the Year in 2007 for the Denver Trial Office of the Colorado State Public Defender.