Carrying a Firearm While Trafficking Drugs in Colorado

Possessing most drugs in any quantity is a serious offense, but there are some factors that can make this already significant crime even more substantial in the eyes of the law.

A Denver man who was recently convicted for drug trafficking is a perfect example. He was sentenced in federal court to drug trafficking charges, but his sentence was enhanced further because he was found in possession of a firearm while committing the crime.

He was sentenced to five years — a fairly compressed sentence for a crime with such wide parameters when comes to sentencing.

Learn more here about Colorado drug laws and their penalties as well as what can happen if there’s an aggravating factor in your case, like the possession of a firearm.

Aren’t Some Drugs Legal in Colorado?

As most people are aware by now, the possession of marijuana by those over the age of 21 is legal, but only if it’s less than one ounce. If you have more than one ounce of marijuana or any amount if you’re under 21, then it is still a crime in the state.

Illegal Drugs in Colorado

In Colorado, drugs are divided into different schedules according to their probability for abuse. The schedules are:

Schedule I

Schedule I encompasses drugs believed to have the most chance of being abused and have no accepted medical use. It includes substances such as peyote, PCP, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and LSD. Heroin is on the list as well.

Schedule II

Schedule II drugs also have a high potential for abuse but have some accepted use in the medical community. They include opioids and opioid painkillers such as fentanyl and oxycodone and stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine.

Schedule III

The drugs under Schedule III have less of a potential for abuse and an accepted medical use but can still lead to physical or psychological dependence. The drugs that are on this schedule include ketamine, codeine, barbiturates, and anabolic steroids.

Schedule IV

Schedule IV drugs are those with a lower potential for abuse and that have a medical use but still can result in dependence. It includes drugs such as anxiety medications such as diazepam and sleep medications such as Ambien.

Schedule V

Drugs classified as Schedule V are considered the least dangerous and includes substances such as cold medications or cough syrups that have small amounts of codeine in them.

Drug Crime Penalties in Colorado

The penalty for a drug crime in Colorado will depend on a few different factors. Which schedule the drug is on, how much of the drug you had, what they were to be used for, and whether or not you have a history as a drug offender will all come into play.

At a minimum, a felony drug charge can land you in jail for up to six months and make you responsible for fines for as much as $1,000. At its worse, you can face up to 32 years for a drug felony and have to pay up to $1 million in fines.

What About Aggravating Factors?

Denver Drug Lawyer

If there are aggravating factors in your case, then you may be considered a special offender. The circumstances that usually result in an aggravated charge include committing a drug felony and:

  • Being in possession of a deadly weapon
  • Being on school grounds
  • Having large quantities of drugs

If you are a special offender, then you can face a level 1 drug felony, which is punishable by up to 32 years behind bars and fines for as much as $1 million.


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.