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Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017
Colorado Drug Laws: How Drug Possession Charges Can Change Your Life Forever
Posted by Christian Schwaner of
Colorado Drug Laws

If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, specifically with drug offense charges, the first step is to understand that a conviction can have a negative impact on the rest of your life.

Apart from the more obvious consequences such as going to jail, being convicted for a drug offense will affect many areas of your life in other ways. For example, it can affect your ability to be employed in the future.

Landlords have the right to deny renting their property to a drug convict. Drug offenses can also affect your right to child custody, and your loan and federal housing eligibilities.

Even a seemingly minor charge such as that of drug possession charges can leave permanent scars on your personal and professional life. You will incur various costs such as court costs, fines, expenses for drug treatment, and counseling costs. To make matters worse, you will be subjected to random drug tests and probation, both of which will limit your freedom.

Colorado Drug Classification

Controlled substances are categorized by their addictiveness. The type of substance that you are accused of possessing will have a direct impact on your charges and the legal outcome. Here's how drugs are classified:

Schedule 1 drugs are considered the most addictive, with no legitimate medical use. LSD, heroin, mescaline, and peyote fall under this category.

Schedule 2 drugs also have a high risk of abuse, but can potentially be used for medicinal purposes. Opium, cocaine, methadone, amphetamines, and methamphetamine fall under this category.

Schedule 3
drugs have a moderate risk of abuse and are considered less dangerous than Schedule 1 drugs. Hydrocodone, anabolic steroids, and ketamine are some of the drugs found in this category.

Schedule 4 drugs do have medical uses that are widely accepted, but they also pose a risk of dependency. Some tranquilizers, sedatives, lorazepam, and clonazepam fall under this category.

Schedule 5 drugs don't have a high risk of addiction and include substances such as codeine and buprenorphine.

Overview of Colorado Drug Possession Law

To knowingly possess a controlled substance is against the law. If a person is found to be possessing drug paraphernalia in Colorado, then he/she has committed the ‘possession of drug paraphernalia' offense. This is a petty offense and can lead to a fine of up to $100.

Different schedule drugs carry different penalties for possession and use. For example, possession of cocaine is considered to be a Level 4 drug felony, punishable by six months to a year in prison along with a $1,000-$500,000 fine. Meanwhile, if you possess 6-12 oz. of marijuana, you are liable to face up to 18 months in prison along with a fine of up to $10,000. Possessing lesser amounts of marijuana carries even less penalty.

Are Your Rights Being Violated?

While most law authorities and enforcement agencies perform their job with utmost sincerity, some can abuse the power bestowed upon them by the law. If you have been charged with a drug offense, it is the responsibility of your attorney to investigate and make sure that the police do not violate your constitutional rights.

One of the most common ways in which the police can violate a person's constitutional rights is by violating a warrant requirement. They can also violate an individual's right to protection against unreasonable search and seizure, the right to remain silent, or the right to have an attorney present. The police can also wrongly charge someone with dealing in drugs even though they only possessed them for personal use. Such wrongdoings by the police can be proven in court with the help of an experienced attorney.

Hiring an Attorney

When you find yourself on the wrong side of the law for a drug charge, it is advisable to approach a local attorney who is well-versed with the laws in your state. Therefore, if you have been wrongfully charged with possession of drugs in Colorado, it will be in your best interest to contact a Colorado Springs drug possession defense attorney.

The lawyer who represents you must be an experienced legal professional with extensive knowledge of drug laws. It is highly recommended that you do not speak with the police before consulting your attorney.

Along with providing valuable advice, your attorney will be aware of your constitutional rights, the laws surrounding drug offenses, and potential defences. Anyone charged with drug offense should not risk facing the prosecution without an experienced attorney by their side.
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