blog Drug Crime What Punishments Could I Get for a Drug Arrest in CO?

What Punishments Could I Get for a Drug Arrest in CO?

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on July 19, 2021

If you have been arrested on drug charges in Colorado, the penalties you are facing will depend on the offense, the amount, the type of drug, and other factors. Charges for drug crimes can range from petty offenses, punishable by a fine, to a Level 1 drug felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum prison sentence of eight to 32 years and a fine of up to $1 million.

Possession of four or fewer grams of most controlled substances is now a Level 1 drug misdemeanor instead of a felony in Colorado. Many defendants facing these charges are able to go on probation to avoid jail time or complete a diversion program to have their cases dismissed.

What if the Charges Are for Possession of More Than Four Grams?

Possession of more than four grams of Schedule I or II drugs (such as LSD, heroin, ecstasy, morphine, or codeine) is charged as a Level 4 drug felony. Penalties upon conviction may include a prison term of six months to one year and $1,000 to $100,000 in fines. Aggravating circumstances can increase the maximum prison term to two years. In some cases, Level 4 drug felonies can be reduced to a Level 1 drug misdemeanor if you successfully complete probation or a community corrections program.

What Are the Penalties for Intent to Sell?

Possession with intent to distribute is as serious a crime as distribution or sale of a controlled substance. The prosecution may decide to charge you with this crime based on the circumstances surrounding your arrest. For example, baggies, scales, or cash in your possession could be used as evidence that you intended to distribute the drugs and they were not simply for personal use. The type and amount of substance will determine the penalties you are facing, along with the circumstances surrounding your arrest. In the worst case scenario, if you were charged with a Class 3 felony, you could be facing:

  • A minimum of four and up to 16 years in prison for more than one ounce and less than one pound
  • A minimum of eight and up to 32 years in prison for more than one pound and less than one kilogram
  • Up to 32 years in prison for more than one kilogram

When Is a Defendant Eligible for a Diversion Program?

If you are a first offender charged with a misdemeanor drug crime you may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program. The court can delay your case for up to two years to allow you to complete the program. During the diversion period, you may be under the supervision of an approved diversion program or placed on probation. Once you satisfactorily complete the program, the court will dismiss the charges against you. Diversion program requirements include:

  • Remaining in the state
  • Payment of court-ordered supervision fines
  • Drug testing
  • Drug counseling groups and/or classes
  • No possession of a firearm
  • No use of alcohol or drugs
  • No serious traffic moving violations
  • Treatment or classes as ordered by the court

Why You Need a Summit County Drug Crime Defense Lawyer

With the legalization of marijuana and recent changes with House Bill 19-1263, Colorado drug laws have become even more complicated. No matter what drug charges you are facing, you have a right to qualified legal representation. Our experienced Breckenridge criminal defense lawyers at Whitaker & Penix, LLC have years of experience on both the prosecution and the defense sides of criminal trials. We use our knowledge and skills to fight aggressively for the freedom of our clients. Call us at (970) 368-0602 if you have been arrested for a drug crime.

Posted in: Drug Crime