Licensed to Practice in Colorado and the United States District Court for the District of Colorado

Understanding the consequences of drug possession charges

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Drug offenses have the potential to impact the rest of your life. The consequences you face depend on the classification of the charge and conviction.

Recent changes to Colorado’s drug laws can impact the price you pay for a drug charge conviction.

Felony or misdemeanor charges

It is difficult to determine the outcome of your drug possession case since it involves things like aggravating circumstances, the quantity of drugs and criminal history. Both misdemeanors and felonies have degrees of charges and convictions.

  • Level I is the highest felony drug convictions
  • Level IV is the lowest felony drug conviction
  • A Level I misdemeanor is the highest degree with 180 days in jail or two years of probation
  • A Level II misdemeanor could bring 120 days in jail or one year of probation

Misdemeanor drugs amounting up to four grams include heroin, ecstasy, cocaine or methamphetamine. Any drug containing a fentanyl compound or fentanyl itself receives a felony charge.

Moving on after a conviction

The Colorado court system often advocates for treatment and rehabilitation programs over jail time when handling drug possession cases. This is to help reduce the negative, lifelong impact a felony conviction has on an individual. Options include deferment, diversion and other treatment services.

In many cases, the prosecution seeks misdemeanor charges and convictions. The state often reserves felony charges for repeat offenders, distributors, manufacturers and other serious cases involving controlled substances.

Drug convictions can lead to jail time, a criminal record and challenges in finding a job. Abiding by Colorado’s drug laws is the way to keep your future from permanent impact.