Do you understand the difference between a DM1 and a DF4? Know what a “wobbler” is? Are you aware that legal marijuana still has limits?Over the last several years, our state has made a number of changes to the way drug crimes are charged and prosecuted. The most publicized one, of course, is the legalization of recreational marijuana. That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. In 2013, a new law reduced penalties for all drug crimes and altered the way they are handled by the criminal justice system.In many ways, these changes are good things. They represent a move toward greater individual freedom and recovery over penalization. Unfortunately, they also confuse the heck out of most people.At WeedenLaw, it is not uncommon for us to meet people who are facing drug charges but do not really understand why or what exactly the charges entail.When you put someone in this type of position, they tend to freeze up, because they feel lost. Helpless. It can seem like there is no way to win, because they do not understand the rules of the “game.”
This is where we come in.
The knowledgeable Denver criminal attorneys at WeedenLaw have worked with countless individuals up against charges that involve substances such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, hydrocodone, opiates, and other drugs. We know the law and what it takes to get charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
Our professional, caring staff members are also able to help if you are dealing with an addiction by directing you to substance abuse and addiction resources.
Jeff Weeden Can Break Down Your Colorado Charge by Drug Type
One of the big confusions – largely prompted by the legalization of marijuana – is that many Coloradans are now confused about what is and is not legal in the state, and how various drugs are penalized.
Marijuana Can Still Lead To Criminal Charges In Colorado
Here are the basics of what you need to know:
- You may possess marijuana for personal use if:
- you are 21 or older and
- the amount is 28 grams (1 ounce) or less or
- you have a valid medical marijuana prescription.
- You may not consume or use marijuana in public.
- It is generally legal to give or share 1 ounce or less or marijuana with someone else who is also legally able to use it.
- You are legally allowed to grow and cultivate six plants or fewer for personal use. However, only three may be mature at a time, and there are special rules about where and how they can be grown.
- If you use marijuana and drive, you can potentially get a DUID or DWAI.
- Colorado’s open container law applies to marijuana, so if you are driving with any, the best places to keep it are the trunk, glove compartment, or in a sealed retail bag.
- You cannot use marijuana on any federal land in Colorado, including:
- court houses
- federal housing
- forests, monuments, and national parks
- post offices
- private facilities that are on federal land
- veterans’ administration buildings
It is also important to keep in mind that there are different rules for different types of marijuana (e.g., 1 ounce of marijuana flowers = 8 grams of concentrate = 800 mg of edibles).
Other controlled substances that can lead to criminal punishment include:
Schedule V Drugs
Generally considered the “least serious” of controlled substances, schedule V drugs include over-the-counter cold and cough medicines with codeine. They have been rated as having accepted medical use, but still possess a potential for abuse.
Schedule IV Drugs
These drugs are used medically but have a higher potential for abuse and psychological dependence. They include substances such as Ambien, valium, and other prescription drugs.
Schedule III Drugs
Drugs under this schedule have accepted medical uses but have also been found to lead to moderate physical dependence and high psychological dependence. They include anabolic steroids, barbiturates, codeine, and ketamine.
Schedule II Drugs
These substances have some medical use but may also result in high levels of both physical and psychological dependence. Schedule II drugs include cocaine, methamphetamines, and prescription opioid pain pills.
Schedule I Drugs
Drugs listed here generally have no accepted medical uses and possess a high potential for abuse and dependence. Examples include heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms, mescaline, PCP, and peyote.
While there are numerous exceptions, marijuana and schedule V drugs typically receive the lightest penalties, with charges and consequences increasing the closer you get to schedule I.
What are those penalties?
Discover What You Are Up Against by Working with WeedenLaw
Of course, the schedule of a drug is just one factor in the charges and penalties that you may face. Generally speaking, factors that influence the severity of the charges include:
The type of drugs involved. Less “serious” drugs come with lower charges and penalties.
The amount of drugs involved. Higher quantities mean increased charges. Go over a certain threshold and you may even find yourself facing trafficking charges for drugs that you intended to use yourself.
Your criminal history – particularly with drug charges. If you are a habitual offender, you will face increased charges and penalties.
Your criminal status. Are you currently incarcerated? On probation? Parole? Those factors matter.
Depending on all of these things, you will find yourself facing one of six drug charges recognized by our state. This is where those “DMs” and “DFs” mentioned above come into play. They stand for drug misdemeanor and drug felony, respectively.
Here is how they break down:
Drug Misdemeanor 2
Penalties include up to 12 months incarceration and up to $750 in fines.
Drug Misdemeanor 1
Penalties include 6 – 18 months incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines.
Drug Felony 4
Penalties include 6 months – 2 years of incarceration, one year of mandatory parole, and up to $100,000 in fines.
Drug Felony 3
Penalties include 2 – 6 years of incarceration, one year of mandatory parole, and up to $500,000 in fines.
Drug Felony 2
Penalties include 4 – 16 years of incarceration, two years of mandatory parole, and up to $750,000 in fines.
Drug Felony 1
Penalties include 8 – 32 years of incarceration, three years of mandatory parole, and up to $1,000,000 in fines.
Work with Colorado Drug Crimes Lawyers Who Want to Help
At WeedenLaw, we know that drug charges are often not like other crimes. Addiction has a way of making people do things that they would otherwise never consider. It drags people down. It destroys families. It can even devastate entire neighborhoods and cities.
Believe it or not, our state does understand this. There are a number of ways that you may be able to avoid prison or jail in exchange for rehabilitation – but you have to know what options are available to you.
Jeff Weeden and the other skilled attorneys of WeedenLaw will always push for rehabilitation over penalization. Even if you are not eligible for whatever reason, we can suggest resources to help you and your family overcome drug problems and fight for a better life.
Moreover, we will do our best to see that you have the opportunity to recover and become a productive member of society. We will leave no legal stone unturned in our bid to defend you and minimize the consequences you face. Perhaps your constitutional rights were violated during the search for drugs. Or the illegal substance in question was improperly handled, making it inadmissible in court.
These issues can severely damage the prosecution’s case, improving your chances at a positive outcome and the opportunity to get your life back on track.
Reach Out to WeedenLaw Today to Start Fighting Your Colorado Drug Charge – and Defending Your Future
A charge is not a conviction. No matter how bad it seems, a smart, experienced Colorado criminal attorney is your best bet at receiving a good outcome, because they know the law. They understand nuances that will not be apparent to most people. They know how to negotiate and what tactics to use to cast doubt on the arguments of the other side.
Jeff Weeden has helped countless people to successfully battle drug charges over the course of his career, and he is not afraid to go to trial to fight for you if that is the best way to help you beat your charges. WeedenLaw can help – but only if you get the ball rolling by reaching out to us.
Doing so is simple. You can request a free initial consultation today by filling out our quick online case review form, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (720) 310-2141.