Cocaine is a drug that the federal government regulates. In all 50 states, it is illegal to possess cocaine unless authorized by a physician or medical doctor. The state of Colorado has made cocaine possession a serious criminal offense. The law concerning drug possession is complex, and several requirements must be met for an individual to be convicted of that offense. Additionally, the type of crime a person can be charged with concerning cocaine possession depends on the amount they are caught with. Some of the more common cocaine possession offenses are:
- Simple cocaine possession – Knowingly having possession, physical control, or shared control of cocaine.
- Unlawful sale or possession for sale of cocaine – The possession of cocaine with the intention of selling it.
Unlawful sale or possession for sale of cocaine is a serious felony offense that can lead to significant prison time. The difference between simple possession and possession for sale of cocaine depends primarily on what the individual plans to do with the cocaine.
For a conviction of either offense, it must be shown that the individual actually possessed the drug. This means that the prosecutor must prove that the defendant knew they had the drugs. It also must be established that the substance in question is cocaine. This is usually done through a laboratory test confirming or excluding the drug’s presence.
Denver Cocaine Possession Attorney
If you have been arrested for cocaine possession in Denver, CO, contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. Matthew Martin at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. is an experienced criminal defense attorney who can fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed. He has a passion for preserving people’s rights and is prepared to serve you.
To schedule an initial consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C., call (303) 725-0017 as soon as possible. Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. defends those accused of cocaine possession and other drug crimes in Denver, CO and surrounding areas including Lakewood, Welby, Aurora, and Littleton.
Simple cocaine possession is a level 1 drug misdemeanor. The potential penalty for a first-time simple cocaine possession charge is:
- Up to 18 months in jail
- Up to $5,000 in fines
Subsequent convictions of cocaine possession can bump up the penalties to:
- Up to a year in prison plus a year of probation
- Up to $100,000 in fines
Unlawful sale or possession for sale of cocaine is a felony, and the potential penalties increase depending on the amount of cocaine found in the defendant’s possession. The potential penalties for unlawful possession for sale of cocaine are:
- Possession of less than 15 grams of cocaine – A fine of up to $500,000 and up to 4 years in prison.
- Possession of between 15 and 225 grams of cocaine– A fine of up to $750,000 and up to 8 years in prison.
- Possession of more than 225 grams of cocaine – A fine of up to $1,000,000 and up to 32 years in prison.
It’s important to note that a jail sentence is not the same as being sentenced to prison. Jails are usually less restrictive and typically located in the same area where the offense occurred. Jails also typically do not house the more violent and dangerous offenders. Prisons are more restrictive than jails and are not typically located within the city or town where the offense occurred. Prisons will also contain offenders that have committed more serious offenses and are serving longer sentences.
To get a conviction on an unlawful drug possession offense, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual charged violated the law. To do this, they must show that the accused violated all relevant parts of the law. As a result, there are many opportunities for a skilled attorney to raise legal defenses for this crime. Some of the more common defenses to a possession of cocaine charge are:
The confiscated substance is not cocaine – To convict a person of cocaine possession, the prosecutor must prove that the substance the police found was cocaine. This is typically done through a test conducted at a drug lab. It is not good enough that the police merely claimed it was cocaine, but it must be proven through a scientific test. The test must also be conducted in a way that can be trusted and accepted within the scientific community as valid.
The defendant was unaware they had cocaine – One of the key parts of the law concerning cocaine possession is knowledge. This means that an individual can only be convicted of cocaine possession if they knew what they possessed was cocaine. In other words, if an accused can show that cocaine was placed inside their bag without their knowledge, they cannot be convicted of cocaine possession.
Unlawful search – Usually, when cocaine is found on a person, it was discovered during a search done by the police. The law does not allow the police to search a person under most circumstances unless they obtain a warrant. If a police officer searches an individual or a location without a warrant and finds cocaine, the cocaine possession charge may be thrown out.
Only a skilled criminal defense attorney can evaluate an individual’s case and determine if they have a valid legal defense.
American Addiction Centers – National database that connects individuals with addiction issues to treatment providers. Their website, Recovery.org, has providers in the state of Colorado and surrounding areas.
Consequences Of A Conviction – Provided by the Colorado Public Defender’s Office, this informational resource describes how a drug conviction can affect an individual’s life. It details not only some of the legal penalties but also discusses collateral consequences, such as child custody issues, employment issues, and housing.
Colorado Cocaine Possession Lawyer | Denver, CO
Have you been arrested for cocaine possession in Denver, CO? Seek legal representation as soon as possible. Those convicted of distributing drugs may be forced to pay expensive fines and even face incarceration. Every person has the right to a fair trial and a strong defense. Attorney Matthew A. Martin at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. wants to provide that for you.
Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients in Denver, CO including cities such as Applewood, Thornton, Welby, Sherrelwood, Lakewood, and Arvada. Call (303) 725-0017 to schedule an initial consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. today.