Whether you are facing charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute, or distribution of drugs, a criminal drug conviction can be highly detrimental to your future. Your criminal charges may involve cocaine, heroin, or even prescription medications and marijuana (which are legal but heavily regulated). A Greeley drug lawyer may be able to help with all types and levels of drug charges, regardless of your circumstances.
Since the consequences of a penalty could be severe, let Jenn and Justie at Nicol Gersch Petterson help you deal with your case. We will work hard to help you fight the charges. Do not talk to anyone about your situation without speaking to an attorney first. Your words could be used against you in court. We will make sure your rights are protected all the way from the arrest to after court proceedings are concluded.
A skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you build the best defense strategy for your situation and advocate on your behalf.
Like many states, Colorado has adopted the drug classification system found in the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Under this scheme, controlled substances are categorized into five schedules based on their risk of misuse, danger to the public, and any viable medical uses. The only exception is for marijuana, which remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, but which has a separate category of offenses and penalties under Colorado law. However, Colorado laws are constantly changing and only a skilled, knowledgeable, local Greeley attorney well-versed in drug laws can properly advise you on such things as whether your case would qualify for a wobbler or eventual sealing.
Penalties for drug offenses depend upon the schedule of the drug, the amount of the drug, and the nature of the crime, in terms of possession or distribution. Schedule 1 drugs are the drugs with the highest risk of misuse that have no accepted medical uses, and thus carry the potential for the harshest penalties when involved in a criminal offense. In contrast, Schedule V drugs are the least dangerous drugs, and crimes involving these drugs are far more minor than other controlled substances. A diligent Greeley drug attorney could help individuals fight against all narcotic charges.
Drug offenses in Greeley constitute either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanor offenses have two separate categories, and felony drug offenses fall into four different categories based on severity. A seasoned drug attorney in Greeley can help defend individuals facing either misdemeanor or felony charges, as the ramifications of any drug charges may be severe.
The most severe drug felonies are level one drug felony or DF1 charges, which have a mandatory minimum prison sentence of eight years and a maximum of 32 years, as well as fines of up to one million dollars. However, even a level four drug felony or DF4 charge, which is the least severe of the felony charges, can result in up to one year in jail and fines of up to $100,000. Typically, higher-level drug felonies involve distribution or possession with intent to distribute large amounts of Schedule I or II controlled substances, whereas lower-level offenses often involve possession of smaller amounts of drugs found in lower schedules.
On the other hand, misdemeanor drug offenses carry far more lenient sentences than felony drug offenses, but they still can result in a permanent criminal record, jail time, and probation. Again, the schedule of the drug involved in the crime and the amount of the drug will determine the level of the charge. Misdemeanor drug offenses usually include offenses concerning only the possession of relatively small amounts of drugs.
While everyone is aware that marijuana is legal in Colorado for both recreational and medicinal use, there still are strict laws that govern the possession and cultivation of marijuana. As a result, individuals still can face criminal charges related to marijuana that have potentially harsh penalties.
For instance, individuals may only possess up to two ounces of marijuana at a time for recreational usage, and they must be over the age of 21. Individuals who possess two to six ounces of marijuana can face a misdemeanor possession charge, which still carries the potential for up to one year in jail, probation, and/or hefty fines. Likewise, individuals who possess over 12 ounces of marijuana can face felony drug charges. Individuals can be charged for growing unregulated marijuana, as well. And penalties for having excessive numbers of plants can be quite harsh. A Greeley drug lawyer can help you discern whether your plants are “legal” or not and help to mitigate the consequences if you’re caught with excessive amounts of drugs or marijuana plants.
A permanent criminal record, even for a misdemeanor drug possession offense, can hinder your future in various ways. You may experience difficulties finding employment, seeking higher education, and renting an apartment. A Greeley drug lawyer may be able to help you avoid or minimize some of these potential consequences.
Getting legal advice when you need it most may be crucial to a positive outcome in your case. Relying on legal counsel may help you explore all possible options for resolution and achieve your objectives for your case. Let Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch Petterson help you fight the charges. Call today to get started on your defense!