Although drug use is illegal in Colorado, there is no denying that it is quite common. According to one report, a shocking 21% of people in the Denver area at least occasionally use an illegal drug.
Cocaine and methamphetamine are two of the most common drugs in Denver. In response, prosecutors take charges related to the possession and possession with intent to distribute these drugs very seriously. If you face drug possession charges in the Denver area, you need a Denver cocaine defense lawyer with extensive experience handling these cases.
Possession of Cocaine or Meth
When it comes to drug charges, they are all serious and carry potentially life-changing consequences. However, possession of a controlled substance is the lowest-level drug charge. Possession of a controlled substance for any amount of cocaine or meth under four grams is a level 1 drug misdemeanor carrying a potential punishment of:
- Up to six months in jail; and
- A fine of up to $1,000.
In many cases, you may be able to avoid jail time altogether if you are willing to complete a term of probation. However, if you have three convictions for possession of a controlled substance, your fourth offense will be classified as a level 4 drug felony. These crimes carry a possible punishment of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $100,000.
In some cases, you may face aggravated possession of a controlled substance charges. These charges result when you are on probation or parole for another felony at the time of your arrest. An aggravated possession case carries double the sentence or a maximum of two years in jail.
Sale of Cocaine or Meth
While prosecutors charge more people with drug possession than any other drug crime, they are most interested in pursuing convictions for those who sell these drugs. A case involving the sale of cocaine or meth is extremely serious and may result in a mandatory prison sentence. However, the specific sentence you face depends on the quantity of drugs the government claims you possessed. Each drug has different threshold amounts that result in different penalties. For example, the sale of up to 14 grams of cocaine is considered a level 3 drug felony. Level 3 drug felonies carry a punishment of up to four years in jail and a fine of up to $500,000. You will also incur a “drug offender surcharge” of $2,000.
However, if you were arrested selling 14 grams of methamphetamine, you would face a level 2 drug felony, carrying a punishment of up to eight-year in prison, a fine of up to $750,000, and a $3,000 “drug offender surcharge.”
Of course, just because police arrested you for selling drugs doesn’t make you guilty; the government still needs to prove you possessed and intended to sell the drugs beyond a reasonable doubt. However, it does mean that you should reach out to an experienced Denver cocaine & methamphetamine defense attorney as soon as possible.
Defenses to Cocaine and Meth Charges
Drug charges have several defenses that can result in the government dropping the case or a jury finding you not guilty of the offense. Perhaps the most common defense involves challenging the police officer’s actions leading up to the discovery of the drugs. Law enforcement must respect your constitutional rights when investigating a drug crime. If the police are overly aggressive and cross the line, any evidence they seize may not be admissible at trial. Without any evidence of drugs, the government is often left with no choice but to withdraw the case.
Another common defense in a Denver cocaine or methamphetamine case is arguing that the government cannot prove you “possessed” the drug. While prosecutors do not need to show that the drugs were on your person, they must show that you knew the drugs were there and intended to exercise control over them. In a situation where someone is arrested for cocaine possession while they are in a car with several other occupants, the prosecutor may not be able to prove possession.
An experienced Denver cocaine & methamphetamine defense lawyer can help you understand all the available defenses and explain which may be the best for your situation.
Contact a Veteran Denver Cocaine & Methamphetamine Defense Lawyer to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you face Denver drug charges involving cocaine or meth, you deserve a Denver cocaine defense attorney who knows exactly what they are doing and has decades of experience handling similar cases. At the Rubinstein Law Office, Attorney Mark S. Rubinstein aggressively represents clients charged with possession of cocaine and meth. He has successfully resolved countless cases, allowing his clients to move on with their lives. To learn more and to schedule a free case evaluation, give our lawyer Mark S. Rubinstein a call at 1-970-704-0888. You can also reach him through the firm’s online contact form.