The severity of drug charges depend on many factors; one important factor is the class of drugs involved. Whether the charges are for possession, distribution and manufacture, or importation, the class of drug can have a significant effect on the charges, and the way investigators and prosecutors handle the charges. If you have been charged with any drug-related offense, speak with a Denver criminal defense attorney who can help protect your rights and fight hard to get you the best possible outcome from your case.
The Drug Enforcement Agency categorizes drugs into five schedules. The schedules are based on the risk of dependence and the level of accepted medical use. Criminal charges may also depend on the schedule of drug involved in the case. Schedule I drugs are those that have a high potential for abuse, and are not considered to have a valid medical use in the United States. Schedule II drugs also have a high potential for abuse, but have a medical use. Schedule III and IV drugs have less potential for abuse than Schedule I and II drugs. Schedule V drugs have low potential for abuse and can usually be purchased over the counter, without a prescription.Â A dedicated Denver criminal defense law firm can help you understand your options.
If you have been charged with drug possession, the severity of the charge depends on the class of drug, as well as mitigating or extenuating circumstances. The quantity of the drug also has a significant effect on the charge. Below is a chart that shows what type of charge a person might typically face given a particular class of drug:
In 2013, the Colorado Legislature enacted a new drug sentencing scheme that lessened the overall penalties for drug crimes in Colorado. The new sentencing scheme was proposed by the Colorado Criminal and Juvenile Justice Commission while criminal defense attorney Alaurice Tafoya-Modi served on the Commission. The new sentencing scheme also provides the possibility to seal a drug conviction for drug offenses. The most serious drug offense is classified as a DF1 (Drug Felony 1) which carries a mandatory prison sentence in the range of 8-32 years and a period of mandatory parole of 3 years. The prison sentences possible per drug felony level are delineated below:
Colorado Revised Statutes, 18-1.3-401.5 . Drug felonies classified – presumptive and aggravated penalties.
(1) The provisions of this section only apply to a conviction for a drug felony offense described in article 18 of this title committed on or after October 1, 2013. For purposes of this section, “felony” means any felony or drug felony defined in the state statutes.
(2)(a) For offenses committed on or after October 1, 2013, drug felonies are divided into four levels that are distinguished from one another by the ranges of penalties, which are authorized upon conviction of a drug felony:
Level Presumptive Range Period of Parole
DF1 Eight years – Thirty-two years Three years
DF2 Four years – Eight years Two years
DF3 Two years – Four years One year
DF4 Six months – One year One year
Level Aggravated Range
DF2 Eight years- Sixteen years Two years
DF3 Four years – Six years One year
DF4 One year – Two years One year
All drug felonies also carry a drug offender surcharge and possible fines.
All drug charges are very serious, and the most important thing if you have been charged with any drug crime is to protect your rights. Alaurice Tafoya-Modi is an experienced, dedicated Denver criminal defense lawyer who can protect your rights, and fight to secure the best possible outcome for you. Mrs. Tafoya-Modi believes that everyone deserves an aggressive defense, and will act as a fierce courtroom advocate for you. Call her (303)813-1100 for your FREE CASE EVALUATION.