Drug charges of any kind must be taken seriously as they can have a long-term impact on your ability to secure employment, housing, and even student loans. Since nearly all drug trafficking and distribution arrests will result in, you could also be facing harsh minimum jail time and steep fines.
If you are arrested for drug trafficking in the Denver area, you could be facing state or federal charges of trafficking and distribution, even if when you are arrested, you are not actually making a transaction. If prosecutors can prove that your intention was to distribute or traffic drugs (and they will try), you could be convicted. Take these drug charges seriously — call a Denver drug trafficking attorney right away if you are facing indictment or have been arrested.
When a law enforcement officer arrests you with drugs on your person, they will make the determination of what charges to file based on the amount of drugs in your possession, whether you have paraphernalia on your person and the amount of cash you have on your person at the time of your arrest.
Any amount of drugs that exceeds what may be considered “personal consumption” coupled with baggies, significant quantities of cash, etc. will likely mean you are facing trafficking and distribution charges.
There is not a significant difference between drug distribution and drug trafficking charges, as both imply the sale, transfer, or transportation of a controlled substance. However, in general drug trafficking means transporting and drug distribution means selling. These two charges are inextricably linked, and governed by both Colorado and federal law.
Under Colorado laws, drugs are classified into “schedules” which are as follows:
Keep in mind, you could also be facing penalties for the distribution or manufacturing of other drugs including:
Under no circumstances should you take these allegations lightly, drug trafficking charges are very serious and you need an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney to help you through this process. Remember, you may be facing state or federal charges, depending on where you were arrested, how much of the drug you had in your possession and a number of other factors. Your property could also be seized by the State of Colorado or the federal government if they believe you acquired the assets with illegally earned money. If you have been charged with distributing drugs or intent to distribute, please call our Denver drug trafficking attorney immediately.
Only when the drugs are considered to be Schedule V drugs will the charges on the state level be considered a misdemeanor. Any other possession charge will be considered a drug felony and the punishment will be very serious.
The lowest level felony drug charge could result in a minimum sentence of one year in jail, a year of parole, and steep fines and penalties. Additionally, you could be forced to forfeit property.
The most serious state drug felony could mean as many as eight years’ jail time, three years’ parole, and fines of up to $1,000,000. These penalties could be enhanced if you are found to involve minors in the distribution or if manufacturing is potentially hazardous to other persons in the community.
Should you be charged with federal drug trafficking and distribution the penalties are far harsher. In addition to being required to forfeit property trafficking carries a minimum federal sentence of at least one year in prison. Anyone who is distributing in a school area or other area considered high risk including arcades, youth centers, or other areas where children may congregate will be subjected to a minimum of twice the jail time and twice the fines. Second offenders are subject to three-year minimum sentences and may face three times that amount if occurring in a forbidden area.
A criminal defense attorney may be able to have the charges against you reduced to simple possession allowing your case to be held in a drug court where the penalties lean more towards rehabilitation versus punishment. One of the aspects of the case your attorney will review is whether or not your Fourth Amendment rights have been violated prior to your arrest.
Drug charges are not to be taken lightly because not only may you be forced to forfeit property, you may also be looking at long jail sentences, steep fines, and a scary future. Keep in mind, a felony conviction for drug trafficking or drug distribution can impact your ability to find housing, obtain student loans, and secure employment.