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Possession of a Controlled Substance

One of the most common convicted crimes in the state of Colorado is possession of a controlled substance. In fact, the Department of Public Safety has released a report stating there are nearly 22,000 cases a year for drug possession, making it the second most committed crime in the whole state. Although most drug possession cases are nonviolent, the state of Colorado still has harsh sentences for those convicted of possession of a controlled substance.

If you or someone you know was arrested for possession of a controlled substance or any other drug-related crime, it’s within your best interest to secure legal representation. An experienced criminal defense lawyer in Colorado can assess your charges and determine if any unlawful actions were taken by law enforcement. They can utilize this information to undermine the prosecution case, ultimately leaving you with reduced or dismissed charges.

Denver Lawyer for Possession of a Controlled Substance

It can be extremely overwhelming to handle drug possession charges on your own. You might be tempted to admit guilt and opt out of legal counsel. However, we would highly recommend against this and to instead contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. Matthew Martin is a skilled Denver drug possession attorney who can examine all the facts of the case and build an effective defense for you.

You can set up your first consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. by calling our offices at (303) 725-0017. Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. is located in Denver, but accepts clients throughout the greater area including Adams County, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, and Boulder County.

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What is Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance?

The term “controlled substance” refers to any drug regulated by the government. So, unlawful possession of a controlled substance is when a person has control over a drug illegally. The crime can include a prescription without authorization from a pharmacy or substances from a “drug dealer.” These substances are classified into five schedules under Colorado law. All schedules are categorized by the drug’s potential of abuse as well as their presence in the medical field.

Technically, there are three types of possession a person can be charged with. All three of these involve some type of physical control over the drug. The three types of possession in Colorado includes the following:

  • Actual Possession – You were physically touching the drug
  • Constructive Possession – You had control over the substance without physically touching it such as putting it in a safe with a key
  • Joint Possession – If two or more people share control of the substance

Listed below is a chart detailing the different drug schedules used in Colorado.

Schedule & It’s Description Common Examples:
Schedule I – The highest level a drug can be classified under. These substances have no use in the medical field and are very highly addictive even for a first-time use. ·      Heroin

·      GHB

·      LSD

·      Ecstasy/MDMA/Molly

Schedule II – Although less serious than schedule I, these drugs have a high potential for addiction and are sometimes used in the medical field to treat pain. ·      Amphetamine

·      Morphine

·      Methadone

·      Cocaine

Schedule III – These drugs can be addictive when taken over time. Schedule III drugs have a prevalent use in medicine especially in mixtures of other substances. ·      Anabolic steroids

·      Flunitrazepam

·      Ketamine

·      Some barbiturates

Schedule IV – Most schedule IV drugs have very little relation to addiction, but users can be dependent after excessive use. Most drugs are prescription under this schedule. ·      Ambien

·      Valium

·      Xanax

Schedule V – These drugs have a very low potential for addiction. However, they can result in chemical dependency in some cases. ·      Medications with small amounts of opium or codeine


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What Drugs Are Misdemeanor in Colorado?

If convicted of drug possession in Colorado, you’ll either face a felony or misdemeanor. You’ll face a level 1 drug misdemeanor if you’re found possessing any of the following:

  • Up to four grams of Schedule I drugs (with the exception of GHB or cathinone)
  • Up to four grams of Schedule II drugs
  • Schedule III drugs (with the exception of Ketamine)
  • Schedule IV drugs (with the exception of Rohypnol)
  • Schedule V drugs

The penalty for possessing any of the drugs mentioned above is:

  • Up to 18 months in jail
  • A fine of up to $5,000

In some situations, the judge will instead impose a two-year probation instead of incarceration. They may court order you to spend 180 days in jail rather than 18 months in an effort to stop prison overcrowding.

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Is Possession a Felony in Colorado?

The majority of drug offenses in Colorado have relatively tame sentences in comparison with the rest of the nation. However, you could still face felony drug charges if you possess one of the following amounts of drugs.

  • More than four grams of Schedule II drugs
  • More than four grams of Schedule I drugs
  • Any amount of ketamine, bath salts, or Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam)

Possessing any of the above is a level 4 drug felony in Colorado. The maximum sentence a person a person may face from a level 4 drug felony includes:

  • Up to 12 months in prison
  • 1 year of parole
  • A fine of up to $100,000
  • Drug offender surcharges of up to $4,500

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Aggravated Possession Laws in Colorado

A drug possession charge can be enhanced to “aggravated” in Colorado if one of the following was true during the commission of the crime:

  • You were on probation or parole for another felony
  • You were on bond for a pending qualified offense
  • Jailed as a convicted felon
  • Escaped as a prison for another felony
  • Any other factors the court deems appropriate

When a drug possession case is considered aggravated, that means your prison time is essentially doubled on conviction. For instance, if you’re convicted of an aggravated level 2 drug felony, then your maximum sentence is up to 16 years rather than up to 8 years.

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Additional Resources

Drug Possession Laws in Colorado | CRS – Visit the official website for the Colorado Revised Statutes to read up on their laws pertaining to controlled substances under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 2013. Access the site to learn the penalties for possession, distribution, and illegal manufacture of drugs.

Drug Diversion Court | Colorado – Visit the official website for the Colorado Judicial Branch to learn more about their adult diversion program. Access the site to learn how you can apply, the locations of each program, who your point of contact is, and the benefits of the program.


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Denver Drug Possession Attorney | Colorado Drug Defense Lawyer

Drug possession is a relatively nonviolent crime, but it can still yield shocking consequences. If you’ve been arrested for drug possession, call Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. Denver drug defense lawyer Matthew Martin has zealously advocated for his clients charged with drug crimes for over 28 years. You can trust he will do whatever in his power to receive the best possible outcome for your case.

Call Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. now at (303) 725-0017 to set up your first consultation free of charge. Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Denver area and surrounding counties including Douglas County, Boulder County, Jefferson County, Adams County, and Arapahoe County.