Possession With Intent
In Colorado, it is a crime to possess a controlled substance knowingly. Under Colorado law, the severity of the crime increases when the possession of the controlled substances is accompanied by an intent to distribute, manufacture, dispense, or sell the controlled substance.
The prosecution generally determines whether someone had the intent to distribute, manufacture, dispense, or sell a controlled substance by looking at the evidence collected when they were arrested. For example, if the defendant was caught with a large amount of a controlled substance, scales, baggies, or other containers used to store drugs or a large amount of cash, this could lead the prosecution to charge them with possession with intent.
Typically, possession with intent is a felony; however, the class and minimum sentence depend on the class of felony the defendant is charged with and convicted.
Denver Possession With Intent Attorney
Being charged with a crime can be a life-altering experience. When faced with the possibility of incarceration, arming yourself with a quality legal team may be the most important decision of your life. If you have been arrested for possessing a drug intentionally, contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. for skilled legal counsel.
Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. is equipped with the knowledge and resources necessary to give you the best chance at obtaining a reduction or dismissal of charges. To set up your first consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C., call (303) 725-0017.
The legal team at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. serves clients throughout the greater Denver area and surrounding cities such as Parker, Castle Rock, Lakewood, Golden, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, Boulder, Thornton, and Broomfield.
- Drug Classifications for Possession with Intent
- Penalties for Possession With Intent
- Defenses for Possession to Intent
- Statute Of Limitations
- Additional Resources
Drug Classifications for Possession with Intent
In Colorado, a controlled substance is any drug listed in Colorado’s Controlled Substance Act, which includes, but is not limited to:
- Anti-Anxiety Medication
- Amphetamines and Methamphetamines
- Ecstasy or any other party drugs
- Heroin and other opioids
- Sleep Medication
Under the Controlled Substances Act, a controlled substance will fall under one of the five schedules, depending on the drug’s addictive qualities and whether it is medically acceptable. Schedule I drugs are the most severe, have the highest potential for abuse, and have no medically accepted use. Schedule II drugs still have a high potential for abuse but have a medically acceptable use. While they may still be addictive, Schedule III drugs are medically used in the United States and have a low likelihood of physical dependency. Schedule IV drugs have a low likelihood of abuse, are currently being used medically in the United States, and have a low likelihood of limited dependency. Finally, Schedule V drugs are the least severe with a low potential for abuse, are prescribed by medical professionals, and are less likely to lead to a physical or psychological dependency issue.
Penalties for Possession With Intent
The penalty for possession with intent depends on the scheduled drug the defendant was caught with and the amount of the drug the defendant had in their possession. However, the defendant will likely be charged with one of the following felonies:
- Class 4 Felony: A class 4 felony results when possession with intent to distribute 4 grams or less of a Schedule III or IV drug is the least severe drug felony. A class 4 felony will result in incarceration of six months to one year, a fine of up to $100,000, or both. The defendant may also be required to pay a drug offender surcharge of $1,500.
- Class 3 Felony: Possession with intent to distribute one-half ounces or less of a Schedule I or II drugs will result in a class 3 felony charge. A class 3 felony may result in two to four years in prison with a mandatory parole term of one year, a fine up to $500,000, or both. The defendant may also be required to pay a drug offender surcharge of $2,000.
- Class 2 Felony: A class 3 felony occurs when a defendant is charged with possession with intent to distribute between a one-half ounce and one-half pound of Schedule I or II drugs. This will result in a prison sentence of four to eight years, a two-year mandatory parole period, a fine up to $750,000, or both. In addition, the defendant will likely be required to pay a drug offender surcharge of $3,000.
- Class 1 Felony. This is the most severe drug felony that may occur when a defendant is charged with possession with intent to distribute, manufacture, dispense, or sell more than 112 grams of heroin or 255 grams of Schedule I or II drugs. A class 1 felony conviction may result in eight to 32 years in prison, a fine up to $1 million, or both, and a mandatory parole period of three years.
Defenses for Possession to Intent
Depending on the circumstances of the arrest, there are several defenses at the defendant’s disposal. For example, the defendant may argue that the drugs were not theirs, that the drugs were acquired for personal use, that they did not knowingly possess the drugs, or that they were legally authorized to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or sell the controlled substance. However, the common law defense of procuring an agent is not a defense under the Colorado Controlled Substance Act.
Statute Of Limitations
The statute of limitations covers the range of time that a defendant may be charged with a crime. In the case of possession with intent, it is unlikely that there will be a statute of limitations defense because it is generally a crime in which police arrest the individual on the spot, and the defendant is charged almost immediately. However, it is still important to know that once the statute of limitations expires, the defendant can no longer be charged with a crime. Concerning possession with intent in Colorado, most criminal charges must be brought within three years of the incident.
Take Meds Seriously (A Resource of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention): The Take Meds Seriously website provides information on the safe use, storage, and disposal of opioids.
Article 18. Uniform Controlled Substance Act of 2013: The Colorado Legal Resource website provides legal definitions and elements of possession with intent to distribute, manufacture, dispense, or sell a controlled substance.
Colorado Criminal Jury Instructions (2021): Chapter 18 of the Colorado Criminal Jury Instructions provides more information on crimes related to controlled substances.
Colorado Possession With Intent Lawyer | Denver, CO
If you have been arrested for a drug crime such as possession with intent, skilled Austin criminal defense lawyer Matthew Martin from Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. can assist you. Your freedom and future are at stake so it’s important to act quickly. Denver prosecutors will aggressively prosecute drug cases in Austin, which makes choosing a criminal defense attorney in Colorado one of the most important decisions you will ever make.
To set up your first consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C., call (303) 725-0017 today. Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. accepts traffic cases throughout the Denver area and surrounding counties such as Douglas County, Jefferson County, Boulder County, Broomfield County, and Adams County.