Colorado Springs Drug Charge Attorney
Drug crime charges can mean harsh penalties and lasting damage to families and futures. The Colorado Springs criminal defense attorneys at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. understand how serious these charges can be and how much is on the line when you’re the one who has been arrested or accused.
That is why we provide exceptional advocacy and aggressive representation for misdemeanor and felony drug cases in Colorado Springs. With more than three decades of criminal trial experience, our criminal defense attorneys are highly skilled at helping the accused successfully navigate the criminal justice system. We will provide a strong defense at every step, and our goal is always to help you minimize the potential negative impacts and achieve the best possible resolution.
Call (719) 227-0007 or email us for a FREE, confidential consultation. We are here 24/7, ready to help you. We can give you important answers about your best defense options against drug charges in Colorado Springs. We can also explain the next steps and fiercely defend you. We offer consultations over the phone and in person at jail or our Colorado Springs offices so you can get defense advice and representation ASAP.
Possession & Distribution Charges
As with any drug crimes, the charges for drug possession and distribution offenses will depend on:
- The type of drug found: More dangerous controlled substances are always associated with more severe charges and penalties.
- The amount of the drug involved: Large amounts of illegal narcotics also trigger harsher charges and punishments.
- The circumstances under which the drug is found: If drug possession and/or distribution has allegedly occurred during the commission of other offenses (like gun crimes or violent offenses), aggravated drug charges can apply, and these will bring more serious potential penalties.
Drug Possession Charges in Colorado Springs
To get a conviction for drug possession charges in Colorado, prosecutors have to prove that you were “knowingly” in possession of the narcotics. Depending on the circumstances, there may be various evidence showing you didn’t “knowingly” possess the drugs and/or that the illegal narcotics belonged to someone else.
Additionally, if the police found the drugs as part of an illegal search, there may be grounds to argue that:
- Your Fourth Amendment rights were violated.
- The drug possession charges should be thrown out altogether if there is no other evidence to support them.
- The charges should be reduced if there is only limited evidence. In these cases, there may be options to push for alternative sentencing, like drug treatment programs.
Drug Distribution Charges in Colorado Springs
Possession and distribution are similar drug offenses in Colorado with a few key distinctions. For distribution charges to come into play, there typically needs to be:
- Quantities of drugs in excess of amounts that any one person would use
- Materials used to package drugs for distribution, like scales, baggies, and rubber bands
In these cases, evidence that demonstrates “intent” can be crucial. And, similar to possession charges, questions about whether searches were legal and what you “knowingly” possessed can also be central to mounting a strong defense in these types of drug cases.
Drug Trafficking Charges
Transporting larger amounts of illegal drugs can result in trafficking charges. If drugs are moved over state lines, federal drug trafficking charges can be filed. When that happens, the accused can face years of federal prison time if the case ends in a conviction.
Trafficking charges are often filed alongside other drug charges, like drug distribution and possession charges. However, unlike those other drug offenses, trafficking charges can be filed even if drugs are not found in your possession. That’s because anyone who facilitates a trafficking operation can face these drug charges, regardless of whether they have possession of or were directly handling the drugs involved.
All of these factors can make drug trafficking cases more complex than simple possession cases. They also make it essential to have the representation of an experienced Colorado Springs drug charge defense attorney at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C.
As a Schedule II drug in Colorado (see the Colorado Drug Schedule table below for more details), cocaine possession and distribution are associated with serious charges—and they all carry the possibility of imprisonment if the case ends in conviction or a guilty plea. The following table outlines the charges that are usually filed for various cocaine offenses in Colorado.
|1st time possession charges||Level 1 misdemeanor|
|4th time possession charges||Level 4 felony|
|Selling ≤ 14 grams||Level 3 felony|
|Selling 14 to 225 grams||Level 2 felony|
|Selling ≥ 225 grams OR
Selling to a minor (when the adult seller is at least 2 years older than the minor)
|Level 1 felony|
Like cocaine, methamphetamines are also Schedule II drugs. While unlawful use of meth is generally a Level 2 misdemeanor in Colorado, the charges typically get more severe for possession and distribution of meth. Check out the following table to see the charges for various types of meth offenses in Colorado (see the Colorado Drug Crime Penalties table below for the potential penalties for each offense).
|Possession of ≤ 4 grams||Level 1 misdemeanor|
|Possession of ≥ 4 grams||Level 4 felony|
|Selling ≤ 7 grams||Level 3 felony|
|Selling 7 to 112 grams||Level 2 felony|
|Selling ≥ 112 grams OR
Selling to a minor (when the adult seller is at least 2 years older than the minor)
|Level 1 felony|
While marijuana has been legalized in Colorado, that does not mean that just anyone can possess, distribute, sell, or use the drug wherever or whenever they like. There are still criminal statutes that set forth various prohibitions and criminal charges related to marijuana, including (but not limited to):
- Marijuana possession by a minor
- Public consumption of marijuana
- Possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana
- Driving while under the influence of marijuana
Prescription Drug Fraud
The use of deception to obtain prescription medication that is a controlled substance is a crime in Colorado. Generally, this drug offense is a Level 4 felony in Colorado. That can put prison time and hefty fines on the line, as well as other penalties (like probation, community service, and/or the loss of professional licenses).
With these cases, prosecutors will have to prove intent to deceive beyond a reasonable doubt. That can be a challenge in many cases. Additionally, providing context about any drug dependencies may open up options for reduced charges and/or alternative sentencing in some situations, especially those involving first-time offenders.
Colorado Drug Schedule Classifications
Colorado law classifies different illegal drugs by “schedule.” Drug schedules are categories that describe the potential for addiction and, in some cases, death. There are five drug schedules in Colorado, with Schedule I drugs being the most dangerous. As you move from Schedule V to Schedule I drugs, lesser amounts of the more dangerous drugs can bring serious charges.
|Drug Schedule||Column 2||Column 3|
|Schedule I||These are the most dangerous and deadly narcotics. They are highly addictive, and they currently have no acceptable medical use in the U.S.||
|Schedule II (2)||These drugs have a high risk of abuse, physical dependency, and severe psychological dependency. They are also known to be deadly when abused.||
|Schedule III (3)||Schedule III (3)
These drugs, while still having the potential for abuse and dependency, are considered to be less risky than Schedule I and II drugs.
|Products containing the following (per dose):
|Schedule IV (4)||Drugs in this category have a relatively low risk of abuse and dependency. Nevertheless, they can be dangerous when misused and abused.||
|Schedule V (5)||Deemed to be the lowest-risk drugs, these illegal substances generally include specific preparations of certain narcotics.||Cough medicine containing no more than 200 mg of codeine (per 100 ml)|
For prescription medication classified as Schedule II to V drugs, it is legal to possess those drugs as long as the individual has a valid prescription for the medicine from a licensed physician.
Colorado Drug Crime Penalties & Sentencing
Like other criminal offenses in Colorado, the penalties that are on the line for drug crimes vary by the level of the charges filed. Here is a look at the range of potential penalties for drug offenses, based on legal sentencing guidelines set forth in Colorado criminal code. The penalties listed below assume a first offense.
|Petty Drug Offenses||Up to $100 in fines
Up to 24 hours community services
|Possession of drug paraphernalia
Public consumption of marijuana
Possession of authorized controlled substances in containers other than they were dispensed
|Level 2 Misdemeanor||$50 to $750 in fines
Up to 12 months in jail
Up to 1 year of probation
|Unlawful use of a controlled substance
Abuse of toxic vapors (inhalants)
Attempting to commit a Level 1 misdemeanor drug offense
|Level 1 Misdemeanor||$500 to $5,000 in fines
6 to 18 months in jail
Up to 2 years of probation
|Unlawful possession of controlled substances (that are Schedule III to V drugs)
Unlawful distribution or sale of controlled substances
Controlling property where controlled substances are unlawfully distributed or sold
|Level 4 Felony||$1,000 to $100,000 in fines
6 months to 1 year in prison
1 year of mandatory parole
|Unlawful possession of controlled substances (that are Schedule II to IV drugs)
Attempting to commit a Level 3 felony drug offense
Unlawful distribution or sale of controlled substances (containing 4+ mg of Schedule I or II drugs)
|Level 3 Felony||$2,000 to $500,000 in fines
2 to 4 years in prison
1 year of mandatory parole
|Unlawful sale of controlled substances to a minor (by adult at least 2 years older than the minor)
Attempting to commit a Level 2 felony drug offense
Unlawful distribution or sale of controlled substances (containing no more than 14 mg of Schedule I or II drugs)
|Level 2 Felony||$3,000 to $750,000 in fines
4 to 8 years in prison
2 years of mandatory parole
|Unlawful sale or distribution of materials needed to manufacture controlled substances
Attempting to commit a Level 1 felony drug offense
Unlawful distribution or sale of controlled substances (containing 14 to 225 mg of Schedule I or II drugs)
|Level 1 Felony||$5,000 to $1,000,000 in fines
8 to 32 years in prison
3 years of mandatory parole
|Unlawful sale of marijuana to a minor
Unlawful sale of 50+ pounds
Unlawful distribution or sale of controlled substances (containing 225+ mg of Schedule I or II drugs)
When drug offenses involve aggravating circumstances—or when the accused individual has prior convictions—the charges and potential penalties in the case can be far more serious.
How to Defend Yourself Against Drug Charges
The circumstances surrounding your arrest, as well as the charges, evidence, and other factors, will impact the best defense strategies for your case. A Colorado Springs drug crimes attorney at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. is ready to explain your options and help you fight the allegations as you move forward.
The truth is that, while drug cases and penalties are serious, there can be a number of effective ways to challenge prosecutors and present a strong defense. Police procedural errors, evidentiary issues, violations of your rights, and inconsistent witness testimony may be just some powerful ways to fight back and defend yourself against the allegations.
Call (719) 259-5516 or email us for a free, confidential consultation. We are here 24/7 to answer your questions and start defending you.
Experienced Colorado Springs Drug Crimes Defense Lawyers
Whether you are the subject of a criminal investigation or you have been arrested for or charged with a drug crime, a trusted Colorado Springs drug defense lawyer at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. can help you.
Do NOT let the police or a prosecutor talk you into accepting a guilty plea before you contact a Colorado Springs drug charge attorney. They aren’t looking out for your rights, reputation, and future—we will! Regardless of whether you are facing misdemeanor, felony, or federal drug charges, we know that your case is likely the most important thing in your life, and we will handle it with exceptional care, professionalism, and diligence.
That is why our law firm has a long record of successful outcomes in drug cases, as well as several 5-star reviews and the respect of colleagues, local judges, and prosecutors.