Drug offenses are one of the most common types of crimes under both federal and state law. The penalties for drug crimes in the State of Colorado can be harsh and result in consequences that could follow you for the rest of your life. A Westminster drug lawyer can be vital in protecting your future.
Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch Petterson understand the unique challenges of representing individuals in drug cases and can help you fight the charges. With a knowledgeable criminal lawyer on your side, you may be more likely to reach a better result in your case.
State law follows the Federal Controlled Substances Act in classifying controlled substances into five different categories or schedules. The schedule in which a drug falls depends on the danger that it poses to the public, its level of addictiveness, and its medicinal properties. These schedules range in decreasing severity from Schedule I to Schedule V.
Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Under federal law, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug, but the state of Colorado has placed that drug into a separate schedule. Schedule II drugs include fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine, and methamphetamine. On the other hand, Schedule III drugs are substances that contain specific percentages of hydrocodone, codeine, and buprenorphine, such as Suboxone.
Schedule IV and V drugs consist primarily of controlled substances often used to treat patients for medical conditions, but which are available only by prescription. These drugs include Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and cough medicines containing codeine. When dealing with drug charges, individuals are likely to benefit from the experience and knowledge of a drug lawyer in Westminster.
Drug charges under state law can be either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the type of drug, the amount of the drug, and the kind of offense. Within these two main categories are different subcategories based on severity. State law provides for two levels of misdemeanor offenses and four levels of felony offenses.
One of the most common drug offenses under state law is unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Effective March 1, 2020, under Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated § 18-18-403.5, knowing possession of more than four grams of a Schedule I or II controlled substance or substances containing any amount of flunitrazepam, ketamine, or gamma hydroxybutyrate commits a level 4 drug felony. Possessing less than four grams of Schedule I or II drugs, or any amount of Schedule III, IV, and V drugs is a level 1 drug misdemeanor.
Another type of drug offense is unlawful distribution, manufacturing, or sale under Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-18-405. This section applies to individuals who knowingly manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute controlled substances, or who possess them with the intent to take one of these actions. As a drug attorney in Westminster may know, individuals also violate this section if they conspire with another to carry out these actions or possess one or more chemicals or supplies with the intention of manufacturing a controlled substance.
Although both recreational and medical marijuana is now legal in the state of Colorado, significant restrictions still govern marijuana possession and distribution. Individuals can still face criminal charges stemming from incidents that involve marijuana.
For instance, under Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-18-406, the sale or transfer of more than two and one-half pounds of marijuana or more than one pound of marijuana concentrate to a minor may be a level 1 drug felony if the accused is at least two years older than the minor. If the sale or transfer involves smaller amounts of marijuana, then the charges and accompanying penalties will be less severe.
No matter your situation, taking affirmative steps to confront and handle your drug charges right away can be crucial to a better outcome in your case. By getting the legal advice that you need, you may be able to better fight the charges that you are facing. A Westminster drug lawyer can be a vital part of your defense in any criminal proceedings.
When you are facing criminal charges, getting correct advice and guidance from the beginning can be beneficial. Having experienced legal counsel to advocate on your behalf can be crucial in any criminal case. Call Nicol Gersch Petterson to discuss your rights and legal options.