blog Drug Crime Common Drug Crime Defense Arguments

Common Drug Crime Defense Arguments

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on May 30, 2023

Although Colorado has legalized possession of marijuana for personal use and changed certain felony drug offenses to misdemeanors, the conviction of a drug crime can still have serious consequences. The most serious drug felonies carry penalties of up to 32 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines. If you are facing drug crime charges, it is important to get an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner as soon as possible. The following are some common legal defense arguments against Breckenridge drug crime charges.

Illegal Search and Seizure

We are protected from unreasonable search and seizure by the government under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. Law enforcement must follow specific procedures when conducting a search or seizure. Evidence obtained in an illegal search and seizure may be inadmissible in court. For example, if the police did not have a legal right to search your home, any evidence seized in an illegal search could not be used against you in court.

Lack of Knowledge or Control

Drug possession involves knowingly or intentionally having personal and physical control over an illegal substance. The burden of proof is on the prosecution to show that you knew the drugs were there and you had control over them. If someone else hid drugs in your home or vehicle without your knowledge and you had no control over them, you are not guilty of drug possession.


Entrapment is the act of tricking someone into committing a crime for the purpose of securing a prosecution. It involves encouraging a person to commit a crime that person would otherwise have been unlikely to commit. Entrapment has four elements:

  • You would not have engaged in the crime if not for inducement by the police.
  • The police were seeking evidence to prosecute someone for a particular crime, and you engaged in the crime because they induced you, not by your own disposition.
  • The methods used by the police to obtain evidence created a substantial risk that you would engage in an illegal act.
  • The methods used by the police were more persuasive than simply giving you an opportunity to commit a crime.

If you were coerced or pressured into committing a drug crime, such as purchasing an illegal substance, you might have a legal defense of entrapment.

Unreliable Testing or Analysis

Drug testing and methods of analysis may not always be accurate or reliable. The defense may argue that the evidence presented by the prosecution is flawed or unreliable. For example, a blood or urine test showing the presence of certain drugs does not prove that the person was under the influence at a particular time, such as while operating a motor vehicle. THC can be detected in the urine for up to 30 days and in the blood for up to 12 hours after use, according to the American Addiction Centers.

What Are the Consequences of a Drug Crime Conviction in Colorado?

Criminal penalties for drug crimes can depend on the specific offense, the type and quantity of a drug, your criminal history, and any aggravating circumstances. Colorado offers diversion, deferment, and other alternatives to sentencing in many simple possession cases. However, the most serious felony drug crimes that involve selling or manufacturing certain controlled substances carry severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences.

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Colorado, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced Breckenridge criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. At Whitaker & Penix, LLC, we are well-versed in drug crime defense arguments. Contact us at (970) 368-0602 to discuss a defense strategy in your case.

Posted in: Drug Crime