Are you facing drug trafficking charges in Colorado?
You’re not alone. Colorado law enforcement is cracking down on drug trafficking, and lots of people are feeling the pressure.
Things aren’t always straightforward, either. A drug possession charge can easily convert to a more serious drug trafficking charge based on the amount of the drugs collected by the police. Someone with a large quantity of drugs intended for personal use can face decades in prison without a solid defense.
Since a conviction for drug trafficking in Colorado carries heavy penalties, it’s important to fight your charges with the right strategies. A knowledgeable attorney will look at the details of your case and find the right defenses for you.
Here are several common defenses that often work to battle drug trafficking charges.
Search and Seizure Violations
The police must first have probable cause that you were involved in drug trafficking to detain or arrest you. If they do not have probable cause, your case can be dismissed.
The police must also have a warrant before they conduct a search and follow protocol to obtain evidence. If your attorney can prove that your Fourth Amendment rights to lawful search and seizure were violated, you could face lesser charges.
Understand that if the police saw drugs in plain view, they have a right to search and seizure without a warrant. Check with your attorney to understand how the Fourth Amendment applies to your case.
Lack of Evidence
For a conviction to occur, the prosecuting attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a crime. If there is not enough evidence to meet the burden of proof, your case could be dismissed, or the charges may be reduced.
Lack of Intent
Most drug trafficking cases depend on whether the defendant intended to commit the crime. If your attorney can prove that you acted without intent, you may be able to win your case with a not guilty plea.
A skilled attorney will know ways to poke holes in the informants’ testimonies. Without solid testimonies, you may be able to walk away without any charges.
With this defense, you will need to admit that a crime occurred, but you acted under pressure from a government agent such as an undercover officer. This defense only applies under certain circumstances, but it can significantly reduce your charges.
If the drug trafficking charge is related to a drug possession charge, your attorney can make a formal request that the state amend the charges to a lower level. Know that the state has full discretion on whether to grant the request.
Assistance on Other Cases
If you have information that can help the prosecution with other drug trafficking cases, you may receive a reward as an informant. Your sentence can be significantly reduced.
Drug trafficking charges in Colorado are not only serious, but complicated. To have the best chance at reaching a positive outcome, you need an experienced legal professional on your side who has a track record of success in these types of cases.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012 and 2013 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.