If you have been charged with a drug offense, you should consider contacting Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch Petterson as soon as possible. It is best not to answer questions from law enforcement officers or investigators without a lawyer present.
A Lakewood drug lawyer could advise you about answering certain questions versus remaining silent. With the help of a knowledgeable defense attorney, your rights will be protected and they could help you build a defense against the charges.
There are several criminal offenses involving drugs and controlled substances that a person could be charged with in Lakewood. Offenses include the unlawful use or possession of a controlled substance, as well as the unlawful manufacturing, dispensing, distribution, or sale of controlled substances. Examples of controlled substances include narcotics, hallucinogens, cocaine, methamphetamine, and even prescription medications.
While the use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal, as well as minor recreational use, some other activities involving marijuana are against the law. For example, selling or dispensing more than two and a half pounds of marijuana to a minor is a level 1 drug felony. The sale of smaller amounts to minors are charged at a lower drug level.
An attorney who represents individuals charged with drug offenses could provide information about other drug laws.
Individuals who commit certain felony drug offenses that involve specific aggravating circumstances are identified as special offenders under section 18-18-407 of the state criminal code. A special offender is someone who has demonstrated a pattern of felony manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or selling controlled substances, and the money earned from such activity constituted a substantial portion of that individual’s income. Further, in committing any of these felony drug acts, special offenders displayed special skills or expertise.
Other aggravating circumstances could also result in a person being identified as a special offender. One example is conspiring with one or more individuals to engage in a pattern of felony manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or selling controlled substances. Persons who import a large amount of certain controlled substances into the state are also labeled special offenders, as are individuals who recruit minors to participate in criminal drug activities.
Committing any acts identified in the statute on special offenders constitutes a level 1 drug felony, which has the most severe sanctions of all the felony drug levels. A seasoned lawyer who knows special offender drug laws in Lakewood could explain them in greater detail.
The penalties for felony drug offenses in Lakewood depend on whether the crime is categorized as level 1, 2, 3, or 4. Level 1 is associated with the most severe sanctions, which include up to $1 million in fines, a prison sentence of 32 years, and at least three years of parole. Examples of level 1 felonies include any crime associated with the special offender designation and the manufacture or distribution of more than 225 grams of a substance from schedule I or II.
Level 4 offenses are on the low end of the felony drug levels and can be penalized by fines up to $100,000, incarceration for up to two years, and one year of parole. Possession of over 12 ounces of marijuana is an example of a level 4 felony drug offense. An attorney who handles cases involving drug offenses in Lakewood could explain the penalties associated with levels 2 and 3, which could include a prison sentence ranging from two to eight years.
Misdemeanor drug offenses are charged at two levels. The maximum penalties include a $750 fine and 12 months confinement in jail for level 2 misdemeanors, such as the unlawful use of a controlled substance. Level 1 misdemeanors, such as possession of certain controlled substances, are punishable by a maximum $5,000 fine and an 18-month jail sentence.
If you are facing drug charges, speak with a Lakewood drug lawyer immediately. A lawyer can protect you against violations of your rights. Additionally, an attorney could advise you on the next steps to take in fighting the charges. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how the legal team at Nicol Gersch Petterson could help your case.