Drug Related Crimes in Denver
Colorado’s drug laws are some of the most complex in the country, baffling many if not most of the people alleged to have run afoul of them. If you were arrested for using, selling or manufacturing drugs, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you and your interests throughout the criminal court process. CRS § 18-18-403.5, et seq.
Defining the Crime
Colorado divides its illegal drugs (“controlled substances”) into five schedules based on how likely they are to be abused. There is also a separate schedule used to prescribe the criminal sanctions involving the use, sale, and manufacture of salvia and synthetic cannabinoids.
- Schedule I substances are those with no rectifying medical use and are deemed unsafe in all cases. These include heroin, LSD, mescaline and peyote, among others.
- Schedule II drugs are those with a defined medical benefit but which also pose a greater risk of abuse if used without medical supervision. These include opioid pain medications like Vicodin and Fentanyl, as well as cocaine and methamphetamines.
- Schedule III drugs have a less significant threat of abuse but can create high levels of physical dependence. These include barbiturates, some steroids and codeine.
- Schedule IV drugs pose a lower level of risk for abuse than Schedule III drugs but still pose a risk of addiction. These include anti-anxiety medications, such as Valium, and non-barbiturate sleep medications.
- Schedule V drugs have a determined medical use and a low risk of addiction but still contain sufficient levels of potentially addicting ingredients that the government monitors their prescription. These include cough syrups with codeine, as an example.
Penalties for Drug Crimes
Colorado has six levels of drug crimes, including four felony levels (sentences of one or more years served in state prison) and two misdemeanor levels. When proven guilty of possession, manufacturing or sale of scheduled drugs, the state will impose sanctions based on the degree of that drug’s schedule, the volume of drug at issue and the history of the accused. Penalties include fines, jail or prison sentences.
Colorado Drug Court
Colorado offers many people charged with a drug crime the ability to seek help for their problem rather than sit in a jail cell. The Drug Court is a place where drug-affected defendants can find help to rehabilitate themselves out of their drug-affected lifestyle.
Defenses to Drug Crimes
At one end of the defense spectrum is the argument that the accused didn’t knowingly have, use or sell the drug. There is no crime if there’s no intent to commit one. As the case progresses, the drug crime defense attorney will clarify the legality of why the police investigated this defendant; how they collected, documented and stored the drug evidence; and why they believe that this defendant committed this crime.
Let the criminal defense lawyers at Pollart Miller help you with your drug crime case. Our years of experience and large base of happy clients allow us to be some of the top practicing criminal defense attorneys in Denver and Colorado, so put us to work for you.