Colorado Marijuana Crimes Carry Serious Penalties – Protect Yourself
Too often, Colorado residents and visitors alike make the mistake of assuming they will get off easy with a marijuana charge. This is a story that Jeff Weeden has heard again and again from clients who were surprised to find themselves facing harsh penalties for something they believed was no big deal – and sometimes even legal.
The confusion is understandable. After all, our state made history when it became the first one in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2014. Even with that change, though, there are a number of activities involving marijuana that are still illegal.
Moreover, following a recent spike in crime following legalization, Colorado cops are cracking down on marijuana-related crimes harder than ever. Since legalization, marijuana-related auto fatalities are on the rise, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is handing out more marijuana-related driving infractions than ever before.
Whatever the circumstances, any marijuana-related criminal charge in Colorado will be dealt with swiftly and stringently. Now more than ever, police officers are hoping to make examples of citizens arrested for crimes involving the weed.
If you have been charged with a marijuana crime in Denver, do not take the situation lightly. Speak to a criminal defense attorney who can help explain the charges against you and work to defend you in the harsh Colorado drug courts. For a free consultation with an expert marijuana attorney, contact WeedenLaw. Jeff Weeden has been navigating Colorado courts for years and has helped countless clients like you beat marijuana and other drug charges.
When Is Marijuana Use Considered a Crime in Colorado?
When Amendment 64 passed in 2012, Colorado legalized the possession and cultivation of specific quantities of marijuana for recreational use by adults 21 year and over. Despite this, there are several ways using marijuana can still land you on the wrong side of Colorado law.
We’ve listed some of the most examples of marijuana crimes and penalties in Colorado below:
- Driving under the influence of marijuana. Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a crime, even if the drug in question is marijuana. You may be charged with a DUI if you are found operating a motor vehicle with more than five nanograms of THC in your bloodstream. Penalties for first offense for a DUI involving marijuana could include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year, in addition to probation of up to two years plus community service.
- Driving while impaired by marijuana. Even if you are not found with over five nanograms of marijuana in your bloodstream, you could still be charged with a crime if the officer believes marijuana has affected your mental or physical ability to drive. The penalties for your first offense of driving while ability impaired (DWAI) could include up to $500 in fines and/or up to 180 days in jail, probation of up to two years and community service.
- Minor in possession. In Colorado, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to possess or use marijuana. Penalties for minor in possession may include fines of up to $250.
- Possession of more than one ounce, but less than two ounces of marijuana. This is considered a Class 2 petty offense. Penalties for this level of marijuana crime include fines of up to $100.
- Possession of 2-6 ounces of marijuana. This marijuana crime may be charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor. Penalties for this crime may include fines of up to $1,000 and/or up to 12 months in jail.
- Open display or use of less than two ounces of marijuana. You may be charged with a marijuana crime if you display, smoke, or consume up to two ounces of weed in public places. This type of crime is considered a Class 2 petty offense and may be penalized with fines of up to $100 and up to 15 days in jail.
- Selling between two ounces and five pounds of marijuana to a minor. If you are an adult who is convicted of selling anywhere between two ounces and five pounds of weeds to someone between the ages of 15 and 18, you may be charged with a Class 4 felony. Penalties for this type of marijuana crime include up to $500,000 in fines and/or up to six years in prison.
- Cultivating between seven and 29 marijuana plants. In Colorado, you may cultivate up to six marijuana plants for personal use if you are older the age of 21. If you are found cultivating more, you may be charged with a Class 5 felony. Penalties may include up to $100,000 in fines and/or up to three years in prison.
- Cultivating for non-personal use. Even if you are found cultivating six marijuana plants or less, you may still be charged with a marijuana crime if you do so for reasons other than your own, private use. This type of marijuana crime is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor and may be penalized with a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to 18 months in jail.
These are only a few of the many different types of marijuana crimes you may be charged with in Colorado. Penalties typically become even harsher the more marijuana is allegedly involved in the incident.
Do not risk heavy fines, lengthy incarceration, and a permanent stain on your criminal record. If you have been arrested or charged with any type of marijuana crime, get in touch with a Colorado criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Jeff Weeden: A Tough Colorado Attorney with Experience in Marijuana Defense
Even crimes involving small amounts of marijuana can carry big consequences. Beyond fines and jail time, there’s the possibility of losing your driver’s license and other rights. Additionally, a conviction for any type of crime leaves a permanent mark on your criminal record, which can make it difficult for you to obtain employment, find housing, and even take out a loan.
After being charged with a marijuana crime, you may be panicked and unsure of where to turn. If you want a powerful ally in this traumatic, potentially life-changing ordeal, your first move should be to contact Jeff Weeden.
As a long-time Colorado attorney, Mr. Weeden has seen his fair share of marijuana cases. He’s defended many clients who have stood in your shoes and has the experience, tenacity, and resources you need to beat your Colorado marijuana charges. Request a free consultation to speak with Mr. Weeden and start forming your strongest defense today.
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