What are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Colorado?

The man takes out of his jeans pocket a package of drugs close-up

Colorado drug laws change often, so it can be difficult to know what the consequences for certain drug offenses, like possession, really are.


Drug Possession Laws in Colorado

As of March 1, 2020, Colorado declared it is no longer a felony to possess up to four grams of certain narcotics, including methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin. Additionally, those who are found guilty of misdemeanor possession may receive two years of probation instead of the standard 6-to-18 months in jail.

Drug Possession Penalties

Typically, drug use and drug possession charges are a misdemeanor in Colorado. However, possession charges can be bumped up to a felony when it involves more than four grams of a schedule I or II drug.

Colorado drug laws tend to favor treatment or rehab over jail time. However, penalties do vary based on:

  • The schedule drug you were in possession of;
  • The quantity of drugs found;
  • Whether the drugs were for personal use, sale, or large-scale distribution;
  • Past criminal history and drug use.

Defenses to Drug Possession

If you’re fighting a drug possession charge, there are many potential defenses, including:

  • You were not in control of the drugs. “Control” in regards to a drug charge means that a person has personal and physical control over the illegal substance.
  • You had no knowledge of the drugs. Drug possession is a crime whenever a person knowingly or intentionally has control of a drug. It’s up to the prosecution to prove the defendant knew drugs were in the home, car, or area.
  • Law enforcement performed an illegal search. If law enforcement did not have the legal authority to search your home or property, your case may be dismissed.
  • Police entrapped the defendant. Entrapment is a practice in which police or law enforcement encourages a person to commit a crime that they would have otherwise been unlikely to commit.

If you were accused of or charged with a drug crime, schedule your free initial consultation by completing our online formor calling (720) 548-2990 today.

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