Drug Crimes Attorney in Fort Collins, Colorado
As a criminal defense attorney, I see many clients come through my office who are facing drug charges. Whether it’s a charge of simple drug possession or distribution or manufacturing of drugs, these should all be handled by a seasoned lawyer with knowledge of both state and federal drug crime laws. Drug crimes can be challenging to tackle and working with inexperienced legal counsel (or trying to address the charges yourself) can often result in harsher penalties.
No matter what charge you’re facing, I’m committed to treating every single client with respect, empathy, and compassion. If you’re in the Fort Collins, Colorado area or anywhere throughout Larimer and Weld Counties—including Loveland, Wellington, Estes Park, Johnstown, Windsor, and Greeley—contact me at The Law Offices of Thomas W. Martin, LLC to learn about your options and start taking control of your future.
Federal Drug Crimes
There’s plenty of confusion about what constitutes a state drug crime versus a federal drug crime. What can make things even more confusing is that in some cases, you could be looking at both state and federal charges for the same incident. Typically, a federal drug crime is reserved for charges that involve large quantities of illegal substances, large-scale trafficking, or crimes that cross state lines. You may also face federal charges for crimes that occur on federal lands like a national park or government building. Here, even a possession charge could be tried at the federal level.
In some cases, both federal and state charges could be held against you. This is more common with drug distribution or drug trafficking charges. While it’s always important to have qualified legal representation, it’s even more essential when facing federal charges due to the potential penalties associated with a conviction.
Drug Charges in Colorado
Compared with other states in the country, Colorado has more relaxed drug laws, especially concerning marijuana and other charges of drug possession. However, this doesn’t mean that these charges should be taken lightly. Below are a few examples of other charges I can handle.
Manufacturing: These charges are treated very seriously under state law, but to be prosecuted for these crimes it must be proven that you acted “knowingly and intentionally.” Furthermore, it can include cultivating, extracting, producing, preparing, or converting a controlled substance. In some cases, you can be tried for manufacturing by having the materials needed to produce drugs even if you haven’t done anything with them.
Sale or Distribution: In general, the higher the quantity of drugs that you’re caught trying to sell or distribute, the more serious the penalties will be. For example, a Level 1 drug felony occurs when you have more than 225 grams of a Schedule I or II drug, or over 112 grams of drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, or ketamine.
Possession: Most possession charges in Colorado will now be categorized as misdemeanors under a new state law that went into effect in 2023. Many of the punishments associated with these crimes will be geared toward treatment programs and rehabilitation rather than fines and jail time. However, a charge of possession with intent to sell may be treated more harshly.
Federal law separates illegal substances into different drug schedules, and in many instances, states will use these same guidelines to inform their regulations. These are categorized from schedule I to V, with schedule I being the most serious.
Schedule I: These drugs are considered to have the highest risk of abuse and no known medical usage. Common drugs in this category are marijuana, psilocybin, heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. In Colorado, possession charges for many Schedule I drugs carry much more lenient penalties than federal law prescribes.
Schedule II: These drugs also have a high risk for abuse and an accepted medical use. Some of these include cocaine, methamphetamines, fentanyl, and codeine.
Schedule III: These are drugs that are used in a medical setting, but still carry some risk of abuse. These include ketamine, anabolic steroids, appetite suppressants, and phendimetrazine.
Schedule IV: These drugs have a low risk of abuse and are widely used as prescription drugs. Examples of these include Ambien, Valium, and Ativan.
Schedule V: Representing the lowest potential for abuse, many of these drugs are often easily obtained and include prescription cough medicine and codeine.
No matter what charges you are facing, it’s imperative that you reach out to a skilled criminal defense attorney to help you respond to them.
The possible penalties for drug crimes can be both immediate and long-term. Depending on the crime, you could be facing jail time, fines, mandatory treatment programs, or probation. Additionally, having a drug conviction on your criminal record can also bring with it a stigma that can negatively affect you even after you’ve served your time since potential employers or landlords will be able to perform a background check on you.
Drug Crimes Attorney in Fort Collins, Colorado
If you’re in the Fort Collins, Colorado area and want to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney about recent drug charges you’re facing, reach out to me at The Law Offices of Thomas W. Martin, LLC to schedule an appointment.