February 21, 2024
Social media is the way most people stay connected in today’s world. While it has some major advantages to staying in step with trends and friends, it can also lead to legal problems if you are not careful.
Law enforcement sees the trends in social media and often capitalizes on them. In fact, posting something on your social media accounts that you only intended for friends can lead to drug charges in Colorado if you post the wrong thing. Here’s what you need to know.
What Types of Content on Social Media Can Lead to Trouble?
One thing that is important to note: law enforcement is becoming skilled at perusing social media. In fact, they look for certain cues that motivate them to inspect your social media posts more deeply, such as telltale signs of drug use or illicit activity on your personal pages.
What types of posts get their attention? Content such as:
- Pictures of cash and/or guns spread out
- Pictures of drugs or drug paraphernalia
- Videos that advertise drug dealing in certain places
- The use of slang that indicates drug use or drug dealing
- Advertisements of marijuana sales from legal states to states where it is illegal
It is not out of the realm of possibility that drug enforcement officers will create fake social media pages to engage with you, too. This can entrap you to participate in crimes, which is very dangerous.
How Do They Arrest You For Drug Charges Stemming From Social Media?
Investigators may scour social media sites by using keywords, like “marijuana”, and then look through the posts that appear. Remember, even though states like Colorado have legalized some drugs, that doesn’t mean you cannot get in legal trouble for possession of certain substances. This also goes for any paraphernalia that police believe could be evidence of manufacturing or dealing controlled substances in the state.
What Can Happen To You In Colorado?
It is still illegal in Colorado to sell, manufacture, possess, or use certain controlled substances. It may not be a felony in the state to have a small number of certain narcotics such as heroin, meth, or cocaine, but that doesn’t mean there are no legal consequences. You can still accrue misdemeanor charges that could land you in jail for up to 18 months.
The fact is: it is still illegal to possess drugs that fall into Schedules I through V in the state. These drug schedules are broken down by how addictive a substance is as well as if there is any medical use for it.
Schedule I substances have no medical use and are highly addictive, including drugs like heroin, LSD, and peyote. Schedule V drugs have less of a chance of dependency or addiction and have some medical uses. That schedule includes over-the-counter cough syrups and prescription medicine with codeine.
The consequences for drug crimes in Colorado run the gamut. For low-end crimes, you can expect to spend about 180 days in jail and possibly pay fines up to $1,000. For serious felonies, you may be looking at as many as 32 years in prison and fines for as much as $1 million.
It’s important to remember that social media is more than just something fun you do to procrastinate – it can have real-world consequences, if you’re not careful, in the form of drug crimes.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.