December 1, 2022
Possession of certain drugs results in tougher sentencing if you are caught with them. This is true in Colorado just like it is elsewhere across the United States.
Because of this, we thought it might be useful to break down how drugs are penalized so that you can learn which controlled substances are the “worst” to possess and work to avoid drug charges.
Categorizing Controlled Substances: The Colorado Drug Schedules
The state of Colorado has grouped drugs into “schedules,” or lists that the courts use to assign different levels of penalties.
Drugs included in Schedules I and II net the highest penalties, so we’re going to focus on those. If you are found to possess any of the following drugs, you may be charged with the stiffest penalties permitted by law.
Schedule I drugs
These drugs are considered to have the highest likelihood of abuse. Moreover, they do not hold any merit for medical use, and they are not considered safe in any amount for treatment, even under the supervision of a medical professional.
Examples include the following:
- Synthetic opiates
- Psilocybin or psilocin from mushrooms
- Cathinone from bath salts
Schedule II drugs
This group of drugs includes substances with a high likelihood of abuse. They do hold some degree of medical use, but must be dispensed with severe restrictions. If these drugs are abused, they can cause extreme levels of physical and psychological dependence.
Examples include the following:
- Opium derivatives
With the Wrong Drugs, Even a Small Amount Can Lead to Devastating Charges
Colorado law states that no person is permitted to lawfully possess controlled substances with intent and knowledge. Even possessing a small amount of Schedule I or II drugs will be considered a serious offense.
Case-in-point, a Class 4 felony can be filed if:
- an individual possesses more than four grams of any Schedule I or II substance or more than four grams of ketamine or flunitrazepam, or any combination of these drugs totaling more than four grams, or
- more than two grams of methamphetamines in any combination.
Why does this matter? Because a Class 4 felony conviction can result in two to six years in prison along with fines between $2,000 and $500,000.
Additionally, individuals who have more than one conviction may face enhanced sentencing. For example, an individual with two prior felony convictions may face three times the maximum sentencing for a third felony conviction within 10 years. A fourth felony conviction in 10 years may result in four times the maximum penalty.
The Importance of Knowledgeable Legal Counsel in Colorado
You may feel overwhelmed if you have recently been arrested for drug possession. That’s understandable, but no matter what has occurred, you still have the right to defend yourself against the charges you are facing.
That means getting a proven drug crime defense lawyer to help you fight your charges. Our firm has defended other clients charged with possession of Schedule I and II drugs, and we understand how to get charges dropped or reduced while working to preserve your reputation and restore your liberties.
If you have been charged with possession of a Schedule I or II drug, it is imperative that you contact our offices as soon as possible so we can begin the process of building your defense. This won’t be an easy task, but the sooner we get started, the greater chance you have for success. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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 designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.