Colorado, like other states, is tough on drug crimes. For possession and sale of controlled substances, the penalties can be harsh if one is convicted of these crimes. The severity of the charge and the penalties that could follow is primarily determined based on the type of substance and the quantity of a substance. The quantity of a controlled substance could mean the difference between a misdemeanor and felony drug charge.
Fentanyl and Drug Charges
Currently, state law in Colorado deems possession of four grams or less of most drugs is charged as a misdemeanor. This includes hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, meth and fentanyl. When compared to other drugs, fentanyl is considered one that should stand alone when it comes to drug crimes in the state of Colorado.
In fact, when this law was passed in 2019, district attorneys begged lawmakers to carve out fentanyl from the law. The reason behind that was the fact that only two milligrams of fentanyl can kill a person and four grams of fentanyl is equal to 13,000 fatal doses.
Plans for a Bill
Because of the high and increasing rate of fatalities due to fentanyl, lawmakers seek to address this through laws and penalties. These changes would impact whether an individual is charged for a misdemeanor or a felony. Additionally, these changes could provide incentives for defendants. Currently, the law does not provide any incentives to get treatment. By providing that, they not only help address the drug problem on the street but also provide opportunities for treatment and rehabilitation.
Navigating drug crime defenses can be difficult, especially when laws change and there are mitigating and aggravating circumstances. Thus, it is important for those accused of a drug crime to take the time to understand the changes and explore the defense options available. This could ultimately help with the reduction or dismissal of some or all of the charges or penalties.