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Sale of a Controlled Substance

For years, Colorado has been one of the poster states for drug reform. The new 2013 Uniform Controlled Substances Act drastically changed Colorado’s narcotic laws with a focus on rehabilitation rather than incarceration. Considering these facts, it’s still illegal to sell, manufacture, or dispense a controlled substance without proper authorization. Violation of this law can result in serious criminal penalties including expensive fines and time in jail or prison.

The consequence for unlawfully selling or manufacturing drugs in Colorado can range from as little as misdemeanor probation to 32 years in prison. You’ll also be forced to face the collateral consequences of conviction and may experience challenges finding employment, housing, or applying for a business or home loan.  That is why we urge you to contact an experienced Colorado Springs drug crime attorney if you’ve been charged with selling or processing a controlled substance.

Colorado Springs Drug Trafficking Attorney, CO | Penalties for Selling Illegal Drugs

If you or someone you know has been charged with selling, distributing, or manufacturing a controlled substance in the El Paso County area, contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC have spent years defending their clients from drug charges. We will ensure no stone is uncovered when it comes to your defense and to fight tirelessly for the best possible outcome.

Call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC today at (719) 328-1616 to schedule your first consultation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout the greater Colorado Springs area including Fountain, Calhan, Manitou Springs, and Peyton.

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What is Prohibited Under 18-18-405 C.R.S.?

Despite what others would consider “lax” drug laws, the state of Colorado does prosecute drug crimes. If you are found selling, manufacturing, or dispensing a controlled substance, then you could be charged with sale of a controlled substance under 18-18-405 C.R.S. According to the statutes, it’s illegal for any person not authorized by law to do any of the following actions with a controlled substance.

  • Sell
  • Manufacture
  • Dispense
  • Possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, or distribute
  • Induce, attempt to induce, or conspire with one or more people to do any of the actions listed above
  • Possess chemicals, supplies, or equipment with the intent to manufacture

The term “controlled substance” refers to any drug, substance, or immediate precursor that’s listed under the Colorado Drug Schedules. These substances can include prescription medications, synthetic drugs, and even mixtures of over-the-counter drugs.

Some of these substances include:

  • Cocaine
  • LSD
  • Peyote
  • Psilocybin (mushrooms)
  • Oxycontin
  • Vicodin
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Ecstasy
  • Ketamine
  • Heroin
  • Opioids
  • GHB
  • Xanax

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What Amount of Drugs is Considered Trafficking in Colorado?

The threshold for a possession charge to turn into sale of a controlled substance will depend on the drugs involved. That fact will also largely decide the penalty for illegally selling or manufacturing a controlled substance. You may face additional penalties if you’re subject to Colorado’s aggravated sentencing for felony drug offenses. That means your penalties may be enhanced if you were on parole for, or had probation revoked for, a prior felony.

Committing two or more violations under 18-18-405 C.R.S. in a six-month period will mean your charges can be aggregated if they involve:

  • A schedule I or II substance
  • Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol)
  • Cathinones (Khat)
  • Ketamine

Level 1 Drug Felony in Colorado

The highest punishment you can receive for drug trafficking is a level 1 drug felony. The prosecution would classify your charge as a level 1 drug felony if you possessed:

  • Any compound, mixture, material, or preparation that weighs:
    • Over 255 grams and contains a schedule I or II substance
    • Over 112 grams and contains methamphetamine, ketamine, heroin, or cathinones
    • Over 50 milligrams and contains the substance flunitrazepam
  • OR if you sold, dispensed, distributed, or otherwise transferred any quantity of a schedule I or II drug or a mixture of a schedule I or II drug (other than marijuana) to a minor and you’re at least two years older than the child at the time.

The penalty for a level 1 drug felony can include:

  • Mandatory minimum of 8 years in prison
  • Maximum of up to 32 years in prison
  • Fine between $5,000 and $100,000,000
  • An offender surcharge of $4,500

Level 2 Drug Felony in Colorado

According to Colorado drug laws, you’re guilty of a level 2 drug felony if you possessed:

  • Any compound, mixture, material, or preparation that weighs:
    • Over 14 grams, but no more than 225 grams of a schedule I or II substance
    • Over 7 grams, but no more than 12 grams of methamphetamine, heroin, ketamine, or cathinones
    • Over 10 milligrams, but no more than 50 milligrams of a substance containing flunitrazepam
  • OR if you sold, dispensed, distributed, or otherwise transferred any quantity of a schedule III or IV drug or a mixture of a schedule III or IV drug to a minor and you’re at least two years older than the child at the time.

The criminal consequences of a level 2 drug felony in Colorado includes:

  • Minimum of 4 years in prison
  • Maximum of 8 years in prison
  • Mandatory 2-year parole
  • Fine between $3,000 and $750,000
  • An offender surcharge of $3,000

Level 3 Drug Felony in Colorado

The next lower rung on the ladder for drug crimes is a level 3 drug felony. Under 18-18-405 C.R.S, a person is guilty of a level 3 drug felony for trafficking if their violation involves:

  • Any material, mixture, compound or preparation that weighs:
    • No more than 14 grams and contains a schedule I or II substance
    • No more than 7 grams and contains heroin, ketamine, cathinones or methamphetamines
    • No more than 10 milligrams and contains flunitrazepam
    • More than 4 grams and contains a schedule III or IV substance

If convicted of a level 3 drug felony, you’ll face:

  • A minimum of 2 years in prison
  • A maximum of 4 years in prison
  • A 1-year mandatory parole
  • Fine between $2,000 and $500,000
  • An offender surcharge of $2,000

Level 4 Drug Felony in Colorado

Your charges will be classified as a level 4 drug felony if the violation involves:

  • Any material, mixture, compound or preparation that weigh no more than 4 grams and contains a schedule III or IV substance; OR
  • You transferred or distributed a controlled substance for the purpose of consuming all of that substance with another person(s) at a time substantially contemporaneous with the transfer. Expect this applies only if the distribution or transfer you did involves no more than 4 grams of a schedule I or II substance or no more than 2 grams of heroin, ketamine, cathinones, or methamphetamines.

The punishment for a level 4 drug felony includes:

  • Incarceration between 6 months upwards to a year
  • 1-year mandatory parole
  • Fine between $1,000 and $100,000
  • An offender surcharge of $1,500

Level 1 Drug Misdemeanor in Colorado

Drug misdemeanors have much lighter penalties than a drug felony, however, that doesn’t mean you should take the penalties lightly. Punishment for a level 1 drug misdemeanor includes up to 18 months in jail with a minimum of 6 months. You’ll also be fined an amount between $500 and $5,000 upon conviction.

Your charge will be classified as a level 1 drug misdemeanor if:

  • The violation involved:
    • A schedule V controlled substance; OR
    • Transfer of a substance with no remuneration and the substance was no more than 4 grams of a schedule III or IV drug

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Additional Resources

Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition – Visit the official website for the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC), a non-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate the overuse of the criminal justice system and advance community health and safety. Access the site to read their research regarding the criminal justice system, self-help resources, and how to get involved with the organization.

Drug Laws in Colorado  – Visit the official website for the Colorado Revised Statutes to learn more about the Uniform Controlled Substance Act of 2013, which lists the laws for all drug offenses and their penalties. Look over the statutes to learn more about the Colorado drug schedules, laws pertaining to recreational cannabis, and other important information.


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Colorado Springs Attorney for Drug Trafficking

If you or someone you know has been charged with selling or manufacturing drugs, then you must call a Colorado Springs drug defense lawyer as soon as possible. The penalties for drug trafficking in Colorado could affect the rest of your life. Don’t wait another moment to secure your freedom and call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC at (719) 328-1616.

Call now and our legal team will answer all your questions to the best of our ability and can set up a consultation for you as soon as possible. We accept clients throughout the greater El Paso County area including surrounding counties such as Denver County and Arapahoe County.


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