Drug charges are pursued aggressively both in Colorado and on a federal level. Cocaine was the third leading cause of hospital admissions and the second leading cause of death in 2012 with only alcohol and marijuana being higher. Possession charges can be filed against you even if you do not have cocaine on your person; for example, if your home is searched and cocaine is found or if your car is searched and someone else in the vehicle is in possession, you may also face charges.
It's important to hire an experienced Denver drug crimes lawyer to start building your defense. Call (720) 548-2990 today.
As with any form of drug possession, it is possible to have additional charges filed against you if you are in possession of cocaine. For example, simple possession is generally charged as a Class 4 felony in Colorado but if you are arrested within 1,000 feet of a school and charged with sale of cocaine the charges will be increased to a Class 5 felony.
Additionally, if you are arrested and have cocaine and large amounts of cash, baggies, or other paraphernalia which may indicate you intend to sell cocaine, you could be facing Class 3 felony charges for drug trafficking, drug distribution, or both.
Residents of Denver, Colorado who are on federal lands in Colorado (such as national parks, monuments, and wildlife refuges) could be facing federal cocaine possession charges even if arrested by state law enforcement officers. While Colorado state laws have onerous cocaine possession penalties, those who are facing federal charges could be looking at longer jail terms and higher fines.
Colorado statutes which are enumerated under COLO. REV. STAT. §18-18-403.5, et seq.: Uniform Controlled Substances Act defines the act of possession as well as the penalties for possession of cocaine in Colorado. Specifically, the code states that a Class 4 felony could result in fines of at least $1,000 and up to $500,000 as well as be subject to minimum sentencing requirements. Jail time could be as significant as 6 years for a simple possession charge.
Those who are facing Class 5 felony charges could be facing a minimum sentence of five years as well as fines. A second conviction for sale of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school could mean a minimum sentence of 20 years.
It is important to note that Colorado has instituted drug courts as a means of intervention. For a first-time offender, the court has significant discretion and could allow the offender to participate in an intervention program aimed at the treatment of drug problems.
As with any federal charge, federal cocaine possession penalties on the federal level are far more onerous than those on the state level. In nearly all cases, offenders will face mandatory jail sentences to be served in federal prison. Prison time could be a minimum of 2 years and fines of $5,000 for the first offense with no potential option for intervention.
Local prosecutors and the federal government aggressively pursue cocaine possession charges and it is imperative if you are arrested and facing possession charges you seek assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands Colorado’s drug courts. In addition, your lawyer should understand the severity of the charges you could be facing and must be able to fight both state and federal charges effectively.
For those who are facing first-time charges, the ability to work with the prosecutors immediately may improve your chances of participating in an intervention program. Those who are facing charges for subsequent charges need an aggressive Denver criminal attorney who will mount the best possible defense and do their best to minimize the charges and penalties.
Drug possession offenses are very serious and too often, in their haste to obtain evidence, your Fourth Amendment rights may be violated. Drug charges can result in the loss of your job, jail sentencing and can put you and your entire family at risk. Do not take chances, a criminal defense attorney can help you maintain your freedom and way of life.