Drug cases can be complicated legal charges. Malevolent parties may bring false claims against you, or you may be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. You are under no obligation to take the stand alone in drug crime cases. Instead, you can reach out to an Arapahoe County drug lawyer. The defense attorneys on the Colorado Lawyer Team could walk you through your rights and help you defend yourself against these accusations.

Classifying Drug Use and Violations in Arapahoe County

According to Colorado Revised Statutes §18-18-403.5, it is illegal for any residents or visitors to knowingly come into possession of one of the state’s controlled substances.

State law breaks down controlled substances into five schedules. These schedules, ranking from five to one in severity, set the type and amount of certain substances that are regulated in Colorado. The schedule of a substance which a party has been accused of using can impact the court’s suggested sentence.

Schedule five, the least severe of the schedules, consists of drugs like codeine in amounts under 200 milligrams. Schedule four includes Xanax, diazepam, and triazolam. Schedule three includes narcotics including hydrocodone, in amounts under 15 milligrams, along with products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine. Someone can be punished if they are found in possession of any amount of a schedule one drug. Examples of controlled substances in Colorado include:

  • Hydromorphone
  • Opium
  • Amphetamines
  • Morphine
  • Heroin
  • Peyote
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD

A lawyer in Arapahoe County could help someone prepare a defense depending on the type of drug involved in their charges.

Penalties for Crimes Involving Controlled Substances

The consequences for being convicted of drug use range in severity. The most common penalties include:

Petty Offenses

Laws surrounding marijuana in Colorado remain complicated. Even though Amendment 64 made the sale of the substance legal, public consumption is still a crime. In addition, parties caught with drug paraphernalia or using prescribed drugs inappropriately can face petty offense charges, including fines.


Drug-related misdemeanors often involve substances from Schedules three through five. Level one drug misdemeanors are more serious than level two drug misdemeanors. A person can face level one drug misdemeanor (DM1) charges for possessing between six and 12 ounces of marijuana or not more than 3 ounces of marijuana concentrate. Level two drug misdemeanor (DM2) charges include abusing toxic vapors and unlawful use of a controlled substance.
As detailed by CRS §18-1.3-501, DM1 charges can result in up to 18 months in jail and fines of up to $5,000. DM2 charges, comparatively, can result in up to 12 months in jail and $750 in fines.


According to CRS §18-1.3-401.5, felonies for drug use break down into four categories. The most serious is a class one drug felony (DF1). One example of a DFI is distribution of Schedule 1 or 2 substances to a minor. DF2 offenses include distribution of Schedule 3 or 4 substances to a minor. DF3 charges can involve the sale of illegal substances weighing 14 grams or more, though only if the substance contains materials listed in Schedules 1 or 2. Finally, DF4 can include the possession with intent to distribute certain amounts of Schedule 3 or 4 substances or the simple possession of Schedule 1 or 2 narcotics.

With the passing of House Bill 19-1263 in 2020, no party may be charged with a drug-related felony if in possession of fewer than four grams of the substances listed in Schedules 1 and 2. Possession of this degree constitute a misdemeanor. An attorney in Arapahoe County could help someone mitigate the potential penalties of their drug crime allegations.

Handling Drug Crime Accusations

The consequences for drug crime accusations can be severe, especially if a defendant does not have an adequate defense. Working with an Arapahoe County lawyer can make addressing drug crime accusations simpler.

A defense attorney can walk a defendant through the accusations leveled against them as well as any preliminary evidence that the prosecution may present to the court. In between the arraignment and the trial, if one is deemed appropriate, the accused has time to gather character witnesses and to engage in their own investigations. A member of our team can then present these findings to court while also cross-examining the witnesses the prosecution chooses to bring forward.

Talk to an Arapahoe County Drug Attorney

Working through the state’s various drug laws can be complicated. If you or a loved one faces accusations of illegal actions with a controlled substance, know that you do not have to try and defend yourself alone. An Arapahoe County drug lawyer can come to your defense. Schedule a consultation with the Colorado Lawyer Team, and we can start building your defense today.