How Many Years in Jail Can You Get for Possession of Drugs

In America, the possession of drugs is against the law. Yet, it doesn’t stop everyone from carrying them. What is possession of drugs? What are the consequences you face if you break the law? Can you go to jail? For how long? All of these are common questions asked to a drug possession lawyer in Denver.

What Is Drug Possession?

According to the Department of Justice, drug possession accounts for over 80% of all drug-related arrests in the United States. Drug possession is the crime of willfully possessing illegal substances, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin. Drug possession simply means that illegal drugs were found on your person, in your purse, in your car, or anywhere that you had reasonable access. A drug possession charge excludes possession with intent to sell.

Will You Go to Jail for Drug Possession?

§ 18-18-403.5 CRS is the Danver, Colorado law for Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance. Here in Denver and the rest of Colorado, unlawful drug possession is generally treated as a level 1 drug misdemeanor that carries fines of up to $1,000 and two years of probation. Yet, that’s not the whole story.

For example, if you are over 21, you can legally possess one ounce of marijuana. Possessing over six ounces of marijuana or illegally possessing a Schedule III or IV drug will be charged as misdemeanor offenses. Schedule III or IV drugs are things like anabolic steroids,

Testosterone, Xanax, and Valium. If convicted of this charge, you can face fines of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of 18 months. For a third or subsequent offense, a person may be sentenced to up to 364 days in jail.

Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous. Possession of 4 grams or less of a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II is a level 1 drug misdemeanor charge, which is a new law that was implemented within the past few years. These are more serious drugs, like heroin and methamphetamine.

Because states have the ability to create their own drug laws, Colorado laws regarding legal and illegal drugs are constantly changing. As of March 1, 2020, it is no longer a Colorado felony to possess up to four grams of such narcotics as methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy, or heroin. These laws have begun to change as public perspective has shifted away from people possessing these life-changing drugs as being “bad” and most often addicts who need help to recover. After all, one of the clearest definitions of Schedule I and Schedule II drugs are those that have a high potential for abuse and addiction. While Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, they do have some accepted medical uses. Schedule II drugs include opium and prescription opioid pain pills, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin).

Some drug crimes are level II misdemeanors. This includes those who have over two (and under six) ounces of marijuana or abuse toxic vapors. Someone who commits this crime, or is accused of committing it, may also be charged for the advertising of drug paraphernalia or the illegal use of any controlled substance. Penalties for this crime, oncee convicted, include fines of up to $750 and a year in Colorado state prison.

Contact a Denver Drug Defense Attorney

As you can see, Colorado has serious penalties, including jail time, for drug possession. If you’ve been arrested and are facing a charge for drug possession, your next move should be to contact a defense attorney. Make the call right away so he or she can begin preparing your defense and keep your penalities as few as possible.

By Christine Mayle