Top DUI & Drug Defense Lawyers in Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs
Serving Denver and Boulder areas of Colorado
Drug charges can vary widely in severity based on how you and your offense are represented by law enforcement officials in court. If you are facing a drug charge, you need a lawyer who can effectively tell your side of the story, point out the holes in the prosecution’s story, and demonstrate the missteps taken by police and others in trying to assemble charges against you. Whether you’re being charged with drug possession, drug distribution, drug trafficking, or organized crime charges, a conviction can lead to decades or life imprisonment as well as lingering stigma that can adversely affect you for the rest of your life.
Nicolas M. Geman has extensive experience helping people facing drug charges to avoid harsher penalties for crimes they didn’t really commit. He strongly believes you are innocent until proven guilty and will force law enforcement officers to prove your guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. To learn more, please contact Geman Crimianl Defense to schedule a consultation.
Drug possession is the lowest level drug charge you will typically receive. Unlawful possession of most types of controlled substances is considered a class 1 misdemeanor and carries a presumptive jail sentence of six months and/or a fine of $500, with maximum penalties of 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5000. Possession of some types of drugs, such as methamphetamine, opiates, cocaine, and hallucinogens, is considered a class 6 felony and carries a penalty of 1 year-18 months in jail and a fine of $1,000-$100,000, for amounts less than four grams (two grams for meth). Possession of larger amounts is considered a class 4 felony, and may carry jail sentences of 2-6 years and fines of $2,000-$500,000. If properly represented, though, these charges may be eligible for handling in drug court rather than criminal court, allowing you to receive rehabilitation rather than jail time for a first offense.
If you are shown to have used the substance in question, you will also be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor as well.
The distribution, manufacture, dispensing, or sale of a controlled substance is a crime unless you are a licensed pharmacist or other professional recognized by the state of Colorado to dispense the substance. Depending on the substance, the charge could be considered a class 1 misdemeanor or a class 3 felony, with prior convictions increasing the severity of the charge from a class 5 felony or a class 2 felony. In other words, you could be facing 8-24 years in prison and a $5,000-$1,000,000 fine. Your prior conviction can be in any state or territory that is under US jurisdiction.
In addition, once you are being charged with distribution or any other drug-related felony, you may qualify for consideration as a “special offender.”
Drug Conspiracy and Special Offenders
Special offenders are sentenced differently than other drug offenders. If you are classified as a special offender your drug charge is enhanced to a class 2 felony, with a minimum sentence of 8 years and up to double the maximum term of years within the class 2 felony range: up to 48 years!
There are many things that are considered aggravating circumstances that can cause you to be classed as a special offender, including:
- Two prior convictions on felony drug charges for separate criminal episodes
- Crime committed as part of a pattern of manufacturing, sale, and distribution
- Which constitute a “substantial source” of your income and
- In which you “manifested special skill or expertise”
- You were a central figure in a conspiracy with one or more people to manufacture and/or distribute drugs on a large scale
- You distributed more than four grams of cocaine, opium, hallucinogens or other serious drugs or more than two grams of methamphetamine or more than 100 pounds of marijuana that you brought from outside the state
- You used, displayed, or had within your reach a “deadly weapon,” which may include an unloaded firearm or a bludgeon
- You had access to a firearm, whether in your possession or in your vehicle when committing a drug offense
- You were engaged in “continuing criminal enterprise”
- You sold or had possession with intent to distribute when near a school, playground, or public housing
Among other circumstances.
As much as anything, “special offender” status can be used as a threat to get you to confess information that will hurt both you and your friends. It is crucial that you talk to a lawyer about the actual status of your case and the likelihood of a special offender conviction. In many cases, you may have nothing to fear from this type of accusation.
Nicolas M. Geman is committed to fighting for the rights of people who are facing serious drug charges. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and if the police and others do not follow the appropriate provisions set out by the criminal justice system, you may be able to avoid the most serious charges. Don’t take a shortcut to jail, contact Geman Criminal Defense to talk to a dedicated criminal defense attorney.