Even though drug laws have changed in the state of Colorado, there are many other laws regarding drug crimes still on the books that remain very serious. Drug trafficking is one of those drug crimes.
If you are accused of drug trafficking in Colorado, then you must understand not only the charges the state is bringing against you and what the laws are – but also your rights in the situation. Here is what you need to know about drug trafficking in Colorado and what you should do if you are arrested for this crime.
What Is Drug Trafficking in Colorado?
Colorado law defines drug trafficking as the movement of large quantities of controlled substances for the purpose of distributing them. Drug trafficking can include actions like distribution, but also the manufacturing and dispensing of the substance.
On top of that, possession of the chemicals, equipment, and supplies used in the process of manufacturing a controlled substance can get you arrested for drug trafficking in the state.
How is Drug Trafficking Charged in Colorado?
Drug trafficking is, in most cases, a felony in Colorado. It’s only considered a misdemeanor if it involves drugs classified as Schedule V substances, or a controlled substance on Schedule III or IV was transferred in the amount of four grams or less.
If the crime extends beyond state lines, then you are at risk for federal charges along with state charges for drug trafficking.
What About Cannabis?
Since marijuana is legal in Colorado, you may be wondering if someone can be charged with trafficking marijuana in the state. The simple answer is that yes, they can. Marijuana must be legally produced and sold in the state. If it crosses the state line, then it can be a criminal act considered drug trafficking.
What Are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking laws are strictly enforced in Colorado. If you are found guilty of this crime, then you can face several potential penalties based on the level of felony charge.
Class 1 Felony
The penalty for this crime is up to 32 years of incarceration and fines of as much as $1 million.
Class 2 Felony
You can serve up to 16 years in prison for this crime and be fined as much as $750,000.
Class 3 Felony
This level will set you up for a penalty of up to six years in prison and fines of as much as $500,000.
Class 1 Misdemeanor
If you are charged with only a misdemeanor, you can still face up to 18 months behind bars and be made to pay fines of as much as $5,000.
What To Do If You’re Arrested
If you are faced with an arrest for drug trafficking in Colorado, then the first thing you need to do is find an experienced drug crimes attorney to represent you. The penalties for this type of crime can be significant, so getting an attorney on board as soon as you can after arrest is important to help your case. After you are arrested, do not answer questions without an attorney present.
Drug trafficking charges can be scary to face, but with an experienced and skilled attorney on your side, you will understand each step of the process and your rights within the criminal justice system. This can enable your case to have the best outcome possible.
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 & 2019” and a “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012-2020 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. Additionally, Expertise names her to its lists of the 25 Best Denver DUI Lawyers and 21 Best Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers, both in 2020. Ms. Diego has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.