The National Trial Lawyers

An Introduction to Colorado's Cocaine Laws

Controlled substances are categorized into schedules. Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous, and so criminal defense attorneys are more likely to defend their clients from felonies, rather than misdemeanors, if they are found with drugs in this category. Cocaine is a schedule II drug, which means it has a high potential for abuse, and that its abuse can lead to severe physical and psychological dependence. Defendants accused of unlawfully possessing schedule II drugs like cocaine have the best chance of an acquittal or reduced sentence if they hire seasoned felony attorneys near Denver, CO.

Unlawful Possession and Use

It is a violation of Colorado law to knowingly and unlawfully possess any amount of a schedule II drug. This law extends to compounds and mixtures that contain cocaine, along with any other matter. It is also unlawful to knowingly sell, manufacture, distribute, or dispense cocaine. Furthermore, it’s illegal to possess any amount of cocaine with the intent to sell, distribute, dispense, or manufacture, or to induce or attempt to induce another person to commit any of those acts. Defendants can be charged with possessing the necessary equipment or supplies with the intent to unlawfully manufacture a controlled substance.

Potential Penalties for Conviction

Different drug charges may apply, depending on the specific details of the case. Felony defense attorneys can explain the nuances of the charges and the potential penalties. For example, the unlawful possession of a schedule II drug—prosecuted as a level four drug felony—is punishable by up to one year behind bars, with a minimum six-month sentence. A defendant may be ordered to pay $1,000 to $500,000 in fines. Unlawful use is prosecuted as a level two drug misdemeanor, which is punishable by three months to one year behind bars, and up to $1,000 in fines. The legal penalties for manufacturing, selling, dispensing, or distributing cocaine are far harsher. If the amount involved is more than 225 grams, it is a level one drug felony. This is punishable by eight to 32 years behind bars, and up to one million dollars in fines.
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