Most Common Drug Arrests in Colorado

Colorado is known for a variety of things, chief among them the decriminalization of certain drug crimes over the last few years.

However, simply because marijuana is legal – and some crimes have been decriminalized with an emphasis on helping people to recover from drug addiction – doesn’t mean that drug arrests no longer happen in the state. In fact, there are a significant number of drug arrests in Colorado each year.

Here are some of the most common drug arrests that take place in Colorado and how an attorney can help if you are facing these types of charges.

Colorado Drug Arrests

There are several different types of arrests related to drug crimes made in Colorado each year. The most common include:

Drug Possession

It is unlawful in Colorado for a person to knowingly possess a controlled substance. This is simply the act of having physical control over a controlled substance, and it can happen in three ways:

  • Actual possession – Physically touching the controlled substance.
  • Constructive possession – Having control over the controlled substance without touching it.
  • Joint possession – Sharing control of the controlled substance with another person.

The penalties for this crime depend on the schedule the drugs are on and how much is in your possession. For drugs on schedules I or II, in certain quantities, you can face a felony charge that may result in up to 12 months in prison and fines of as much as $100,000. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, then you can go to jail for up to 18 months and be made to pay $5,000 in fines.

Possession with Intent to Sell

If you possess drugs and other paraphernalia that lead police to believe that you not only are guilty of possessing the controlled substances, you may be charged with distributing them. If you have things in your possession along with the substance – such as large amounts of cash, baggies, pipes, and scales – then you may face these types of charges.

The penalty for drug possession with intent to sell in Colorado depends on how much of the drug was in your possession. If you had more than one ounce but less than one pound of it, then you can go to prison for as many as 16 years. If you possessed between one pound and one kilogram, then you can go to prison for up to 32 years. More than one kilogram can also result in 32 years behind bars.

Paraphernalia Possession

If someone has items in their possession that they reasonably know or should know can be used to ingest, make, use, or store drugs, then they can face paraphernalia possession charges. It is considered a petty drug offense and will result in a fine of as much as $100. Paraphernalia used for marijuana is permitted.

Denver Colorado Drug Lawyer

Know Your Rights

You need a lawyer familiar with these drug crimes to help you navigate the legal system and ensure your rights are upheld. Additionally, they can work with you and the specific circumstances of your case to create a proper defense in court against the charges – and help you beat them.

Drug crimes, even in states like Colorado, can be quite serious. They may put your future in jeopardy. Having a competent and experienced attorney on your side will ensure that you get the best outcome possible in your case.


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.