Heroin Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs | Possession Laws in CO
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Heroin Possession

Heroin is a type of opioid that can be used as a recreational drug that induces euphoric effects. The pure hydrochloride salts in medical grade diamorphine is sometimes used in medicine, but it hardly has the same structure or look as street drugs such as black tar heroin. Unfortunately, we are seeing more cases of heroin trafficking and overdoses on the nightly news because of the emerging opioid crisis. Since the opioid epidemic has begun the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CD) has recorded approximately 450,000 overdoses related to heroin.

Thankfully, the state of Colorado is more interested in getting addicts help rather than punishing them. That means with the right legal representation you may receive reduced or lighter penalties for heroin possession. However, it’s important you don’t delay the process and secure legal representation as soon as possible. If you or someone you know has been charged with heroin possession, we highly recommend you consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Heroin Possession Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO

The opioid epidemic has unfortunately driven thousands of people to the streets looking for heroin. Many of these drug users are people with little to no criminal history who became addicted to the substance due to an injury or a doctor’s prescription. Unfortunately, this scenario normally ends with the user getting arrested for possession or another drug crime.

If you’ve been arrested for heroin possession, it’s imperative you contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. The drug crimes defense lawyers at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC have represented numerous people charged with all types of drug crimes ranging from unlawful use, possession, possession with intent to sell, and distribution. To set up your first consultation with Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, you can call (719) 328-1616.

Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC is in Colorado Springs, but we accept clients throughout the greater El Paso County area including Monument, Fountain, Peyton, Manitou Springs, Calhan and Falcon.

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What Are the Penalties for Possessing Heroin in CO?

Heroin is classified as a Colorado and federal Schedule I drug, which essentially means it’s considered to be dangerously addictive with little medical use in the U.S. Its high-risk nature means the penalties for possessing heroin can be very serious depending on the facts of the crime. However, recent legislation passed in March 2020 has reduced heroin possession charges from a drug felony to a level 1 misdemeanor.

The penalties for heroin possession highly rely on the quantity found on your person. Under the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S) 18-8-403.5, it states that possessing up to 4 grams of heroin will result in a level 1 drug misdemeanor. The maximum penalties for possession of heroin under Colorado law includes:

  • Up to 18 months in jail; and/or
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

Fortunately, the state of Colorado emphasizes on rehabilitation rather than punishment for drug offenders. If you have little to no criminal history, then it’s very likely the prosecution will offer you probation as a compromise. If so, you will instead face:

  • Up to 180 days in jail; and/or
  • A possible fine of up to $1,000

Take note, if it’s your third offense then the judge could sentence you to a mandatory jail term of up to 364 days. If it’s your fourth or subsequent conviction, then the court will enhance your penalties and you will instead face a level 4 drug felony. The maximum sentence you can receive for a level 4 drug felony includes:

  • Up to 12 months in prison;
  • Parole for up to 12 months; and/or
  • A possible fine of up to $100,000

Possessing more than 4 grams of heroin will automatically result in a level 4 felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 12 months in prison;
  • Parole for up to 12 months; and/or
  • A possible fine of up to $100,000

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Aggravated Penalties for Possession of Heroin in CO

Certain factors involved in a case could lead to an aggravated sentence. That means you could have your penalties enhanced drastically if the court determines certain circumstances to be proven true. Below are some factors that require mandatory sentencing in Colorado’s aggravated range for drug felonies.

  • You committed the crime while on parole;
  • You were on probation or bond awaiting sentencing following revocation of probation for another felony crime when you were caught in possession of heroin;
  • You were confined in either a prison or other correctional institution as a convicted felon at the time of the crime;
  • You committed the crime as an escapee from any correctional institution for another felony crime;
  • When you committed the crime, you were on appeal bond following conviction for a previous felony;
  • You were on probation for a delinquent act that would have been charged as a felony if you were an adult;
  • You were on bond at the time while awaiting sentencing following revocation of probation for a delinquent act that would have been a felony if it was committed by person over the age of 18; or
  • Any other factors the court deems to be appropriate

It’s important to note the court has the discretion to sentence you to an aggravated sentence at any time depending on the facts of the case. If any of the following circumstances were involved in your case, the judge could impose an aggravated sentence as a result.

  • During the crime, you were charged with a felony in a previous case and convicted of that felony;
  • At the time of the crime you were charged with a delinquent act that would have been charged as a felony if it was committed by an adult;
  • You were on bond at the time of the crime for having pled guilty to a lesser offense when the original crime was charged as a felony;
  • At that time, you were under deferred judgement and sentence for another felony;
  • You were on bond in a juvenile prosecution case and pled guilty to a lesser delinquent act as a result since the original delinquent act you were charged with would have been classified as a felony if you were an adult;
  • At the time of the crime you were on deferred judgement and sentence for a delinquent act that would have constituted a felony if it was committed by an adult; or
  • You were on parole after being adjudicated as a delinquent child for a crime that would have been classified as a felony if you were an adult

Heroin possession can result in up to a level 4 drug felony. An aggravated sentence for a level 4 drug felony is up to 2 years in prison. That is twice the amount of a standard level 4 drug felony.


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Criminal Penalties for Unlawful Use of Heroin

Colorado doesn’t only have laws possessing or selling heroin, but there’s a specific statute for unlawful use of heroin. That means law enforcement can arrest and charge you even if you used the heroin that was in your possession and come up empty handed. Under C.R.S. Section 18-18-404, unlawfully using heroin is a class 2 misdemeanor, which can result in:

  • Up to 12 months in county jail; and/or
  • A possible fine of up to $750

Depending on the facts of the case, the prosecution may strike up a deal for a lighter penalty involving probation for up to 1 year. If you accept this deal, you will be required to spend up to 120 days in jail and must pay a fine of up to $500. The jail sentence can be extended to 364 days if this is your third subsequent offense.


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Additional Resources

SAMHSA | National Helpline for Substance Use Disorders – Visit the official website for the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services dedicated to providing treatment and rehabilitative services to those struggling with addiction and mental illness. Access their site now to find the number to their national helpline, resources and answers to your frequently asked questions.

2020 Drug Laws in Colorado – Visit the official website for the Colorado Revised Statutes and take a look at the recent changes to their drug laws in 2020. Access the site to view the penalties for possession, when the new law went into effect and other relevant information.


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Colorado Springs Attorney for Heroin Possession in CO

If you or someone you know has been charged with possession of heroin, it’s crucial you find legal counsel you can trust. Find that attorney today with Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. The Colorado drug defense lawyers at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC understand what it takes to fight a serious drug charge. We will work tirelessly to advocate for you so you can receive the best possible outcome for your case.

Don’t be idle when your freedom is on the line. If you are searching for legal counsel, look no further than Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. You can reach us at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC and we will set up your first consultation free of charge. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout the greater El Paso County area including Pueblo County, Fremont County, Douglas County, and Douglas County.


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