Don’t Be Fooled: Denver Takes Possession of a Controlled Substance Seriously

In 2012, Colorado made U.S. history by becoming 1 of only 2 states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. However, you should not let that fool you into thinking Colorado has an easygoing attitude toward all drugs. Drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines are still highly illegal, and being caught in possession of illicit drugs or certain types of medication without a prescription is a serious offense in South Denver. You may even find yourself in trouble for being in possession of marijuana if you are found with more than one ounce or you are under 21 years of age. If you are charged with carrying illegal amounts or substances, you need to hire a drug possession attorney to defend you.

To avoid tough penalties and lifelong consequences, it’s critical to enlist the aid of an experienced Denver drug possession attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can work to defend you from these serious charges and may be able to limit the collateral consequences.

You need a Denver drug possession lawyer who knows how to defend the specific type of charges you’re facing. Call us at (720) 548-2990 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Denver Controlled Substance Classifications & Penalties

Like the federal drug law, Colorado classifies controlled substances under different schedules according to their potential for abuse. The ranking system includes five schedules, with Schedule I drugs having the highest potential for abuse and Schedule V having the lowest. The controlled substance you have been accused of possessing may affect the type of charge and sentences you are facing.

Below, we’ve listed the different schedules and the type of substances they may include:

  • Schedule I. This schedule includes substances with no legitimate legal use and the greatest potential for abuse and addiction, such as LSD, heroin, and peyote.
  • Schedule II. These types of drugs have a high risk of dependency, but also may have legitimate medical uses. Schedule II drugs may include cocaine, opium, and methamphetamines.
  • Schedule III. Schedule III substances generally have a moderate risk of abuse but are considered to be less dangerous than Schedule II drugs. This schedule may include codeine, ketamine, and certain depressants.
  • Schedule IV. This schedule includes drugs that have only a small risk of abuse and may have known medical uses. Examples include sedatives and tranquilizers.
  • Schedule V. These types of drugs have the lowest risk of abuse and may include substances such as medication with codeine.
  • It’s important to remember that possessing more than one ounce of marijuana is still a criminal offense, despite the fact that the recreational use of the drug itself has been legalized.

Regardless of the type of substance you have been accused of possessing, you are looking at prison or jail time and some staggering fines. Any type of controlled substance possession charge carries serious potential consequences and demands serious legal representation.

Recently, Colorado changed the way these types of crimes are charged and sentenced in our state. Rather than going up against a Class 4 Felony or Class 2 Misdemeanor, charges are now labeled as DF4 (drug felony 4) or DM 2 (drug misdemeanor 2), for example, and the specific penalties have been altered as well:


  • You can expect to pay a DOS of $300, a fine between $50 and $750, and face up to 12 months of incarceration.
  • You can expect to pay a DOS of $1,000, a fine between $500 and $5,000, and face between six and 18 months of incarceration.


  • You can expect to pay a DOS of $1,500, a fine between $1,000 and $100,000, face between six months and a year of incarceration (presumptive), or 1-2 years of incarceration (aggravated), and have 1 year of parole.
  • You can expect to pay a DOS of $2,000, a fine between $2,000 and $500,000, face between 2-4 years of incarceration (presumptive), or 4-6 years of incarceration (aggravated), and have 1 year of parole.
  • You can expect to pay a DOS of $3,000, a fine between $3,000 and $750,000, face between 4-8 years of incarceration (presumptive), or 8-16 years of incarceration (aggravated), and have 2 years of parole.
  • You can expect to pay a DOS of $4,500, a fine between $5,000 and $1,000,000, face 8 years of incarceration (presumptive), or 32 years of incarceration (aggravated), and have 3 years of parole.

If you are up against a DF1, you should know that the minimum prison sentence is guaranteed – with no possibility of suspension. There is somewhat good news, though. Those facing DF2, 3, or 4 charges won’t have to worry about sentences in the aggravated range unless their case meets very specific requirements.

Exceptional Representation for Those Charged with Possession

Having worked as a criminal defense attorney for many years, Denver drug possession attorney Kevin Cahill knows how to navigate the criminal justice system and what defense strategies work best with controlled substance charges. With him in your corner, you can greatly improve the likelihood of a positive outcome in your controlled substance case.

If you are willing and ready to begin defending your freedom and future against pending drug possession charges, contact Kevin Cahill by filling out our convenient online form or calling (720) 548-2990 to schedule your free initial consultation.