Unfortunately, the war on drugs seems to still be going strong in the U.S., even with legalization of recreational marijuana becoming more and more common. While weed may be legal in Colorado, other drugs are not, and possession charges–even if it’s your first one–can result in jail time.
How Are Penalties Determined?
If you’re caught with illegal drugs in the state of Colorado, your penalties will vary based on the amount of drugs you possessed as well as the type of drugs you had.
Some drugs carry stiffer penalties than others, so it’s imperative that you’re aware of what it is you’re up against.
Drug Schedules Determine Possession Charges
Drugs are categorized into “schedules” in state and federal legislation depending on the severity of the drug. Schedule I drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, are considered to be the most severe. While schedule V drugs traditionally consist of prescription, but potentially addictive, medication. The schedule that your drugs fell under will help determine what your charges are.
For example, the possession of drugs that fall under Schedule III-V could only result in Class 1 misdemeanor charges with penalties of up to $5,000 and 18 months in jail. However, the amount that you possess will also determine whether you face felony or misdemeanor charges. The one exception to this is possession of flunitrazepam or ketamine; even a small amount of these can result in a felony charge.
Can You Get Your Charges Lowered?
There are multiple strategies that can reduce your charges and penalties–or even get your charges totally dropped. Felony charges could easily become a misdemeanor when you complete certain types of rehabilitation programs. If there’s a lack of proof or evidence that your drugs belonged to Schedule I or Schedule II, the charges could be reduced or completely dropped.
The more educated you are about your charges, the easier building a successful defense will be.