Heroin is a highly addictive drug that is illegal to possess in the state of Colorado. Because of its dangerous nature and high risk for abuse, it is unlawful to possess heroin anywhere in the United States. Colorado treats heroin possession seriously, and an individual found guilty of heroin possession may face significant penalties.
The law controlling heroin possession is the same for all illegal drugs. It must be shown that an individual knowingly possessed the drug to be found guilty of possession. This can include having physical control of the drug (such as placing it in a drawer or a safe that the individual owns) or sharing control with another person. In other words, if heroin is placed inside an individual’s vehicle without their knowledge and the police find it, they are not guilty of heroin possession.
Additionally, to be convicted of heroin possession, it must be proven that the substance found in the defendant’s possession was, in fact, heroin. This means that the prosecutor must present evidence showing that the substance found by the police was scientifically tested and proven to be heroin.
Denver Heroin Possession Lawyer
If you have been charged with heroin possession in Colorado, it is not in your best interests to make a statement to law enforcement. However, hiring an experienced heroin defense lawyer is extremely important. A conviction for a drug crime can result in incarceration, steep fines, and a driver’s license suspension. To retain skilled legal counsel, contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C..
Matthew Martin is a practiced defense attorney in Denver, CO who has tried over 150 jury trials. As a former prosecutor, he knows how to successfully defend you against common prosecutor tactics. If you reside in Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette, Lyons, Lakewood, Golden, Evergreen, Morrison, Englewood, or Centennial, call (303) 725-0017 today to schedule a consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C..
Penalties for Heroin Possession
Heroin possession is broken down into two different charges. They are:
- Simple heroin possession – knowingly possessing, having control over, or sharing possession of heroin.
- Unlawful sale or possession for sale of heroin – knowingly possessing heroin for the purpose of selling it.
In Colorado, the penalty for heroin possession will depend on the amount of the drug found in the accused’s possession. The more heroin possessed, the more severe the penalty will be. A heroin possession charge can range from a misdemeanor to a serious felony. Simple heroin possession penalties are broken down into two categories. They are:
- Possession of 4 grams or less (misdemeanor) – up to 18 months in jail and fines of up to $5,000.
- Possession of more than 4 grams (felony) – Up to 12 months in prison and fines of up to $100,000.
Unlawful sale or possession for sale of heroin penalties are also broken down in terms of amount. They are as follows:
- Possession of 7 grams or less – Up to 4 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.
- Possession of 8 to 112 grams – Up to 8 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000.
- Possession of more than 112 grams – Up to 32 years in prison and fines of up to $1,000,000.
It is important to note that the above penalties describe what an individual could be sentenced to. Colorado law may allow a prosecutor to seek an even harsher sentence if there are aggravating factors present. This means that if an individual repeatedly has been convicted of possession, the penalty for the repeat offenses may be more severe than the initial conviction. Similarly, a person possessing heroin in a school zone may face increased penalties.
Defenses for Heroin Possession in CO
Like most criminal offenses, there are legal defenses to a possession of heroin charge. Only a skilled criminal attorney can look at the facts, evidence, and controlling law surrounding a possession charge and craft a specific legal defense. A few examples of some possible defenses to a heroin possession charge are:
Lack Of Knowledge – To be found guilty of a heroin possession charge, it must be shown that the individual knew about the drugs. This means that if heroin is found in the defendant’s vehicle, and it turns out that the drugs were placed there by a friend who never told the defendant about the drugs being there, then the possession charge might be thrown out.
Illegal Search – Many drug possession cases begin with the police finding drugs inside a home or vehicle. Generally, to perform a search, the police must first get a warrant. Without that warrant, there is a chance that anything that the police find during their search cannot be used in court. If this happens, then it is likely that the possession charge will be dismissed.
Substance Was Not Heroin – As previously mentioned, the prosecutor must show that the substance found on the individual was heroin to prove the case. This is usually done by a laboratory performing a scientific test on the substance. If the test comes back negative for heroin, then the possession charge must be dismissed.
Chain Of Custody Issues – The concept of chain of custody relates to the previous defense. Whenever law enforcement finds what they believe to be an illegal drug, they must ensure that the substance is handled correctly and not contaminated. Each person that handled the substance must record their name in a log and note what they did with it. This is known as the chain of custody. If the substance is mishandled, unaccounted for, or potentially contaminated, that can cast doubt on the accuracy of the scientific test to determine the substance.
Consequences Of A Conviction – Created by the Colorado Public Defender’s Office, this educational resource details how an illegal drug conviction could affect a person’s life. It not only describes some of the potential criminal penalties but also explores collateral consequences, such as employment, child custody, and housing issues.
Colorado Free Rehab Centers – A network of government-sponsored and non-profit affiliated drug rehabilitation services in Colorado. Their website has hundreds of drug rehab resources, including free treatment, reduced-price treatment, and sliding-scale rehabilitation options.
Colorado Heroin Possession Lawyer | Denver, CO
If you have been arrested for heroin possession, it is important to consult a skilled criminal defense lawyer who knows how to handle these types of cases. At Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C., Denver drug crime attorney Matthew A. Martin understands the seriousness of being charged with a drug offense such as heroin possession. That is why he will take the time to learn about your situation from your perspective and build a unique defense to fight those accusations.
Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients throughout Denver, CO including Douglas County, Adams County, Boulder County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County, and Broomfield County. Call (303) 725-0017 to schedule a free consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. today.