It’s not uncommon for someone found with large amounts of a controlled substance to be charged with possession with intent. This means law enforcement suspects you of selling drugs, but they don’t have enough evidence to prove you’re an actual drug dealer.
Even if you never intended to sell drugs, prosecutors will still paint you as a drug dealer. It’s imperative you have legal representation if you have been charged with possession with intent. Most convictions are not eligible for drug court, so you will likely be sentenced to time behind bars and hefty fines.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
You should not hesitate when it comes to your future. A conviction for possession with intent can result in being labeled a convicted felon. With this label, you will lose fundamental rights and have a difficult time finding housing and employment. Take the first step in your defense and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C..
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with us. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. defends clients of drug crimes in areas such as El Paso County, Crowley County, Lincoln County, Elbert County and Douglas County.
- Elements for Possession with Intent
- Colorado’s Controlled Substance Schedule
- How is Possession with Intent Charged?
- Additional Resources
Elements for Possession with Intent
Possessing any controlled substance is a crime in Colorado. But when you are accused of indenting to sell the drug, the offense becomes even more serious. Possession with intent to distribute is similar to possession, except you are suspected of selling the substance. For successful conviction, prosecutors will have to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You knowingly possessed the drug
- Had an amount large enough to sell
- You intended to sell the substance
Prosecutors will have to prove you were in actual or constructive possession of the controlled substance. Actual possession involves having direct physical possession or control of something. This can include having the drug in your pocket, purse or hand. Constructive possession doesn’t involve having the drug physically on you but in a location you have the right to access such as a glove box or safe.
It will be difficult to prove you intended to sell the drug. Unless you confess, the prosecution will have to rely on evidence to prove you intended to sell the drug. Examples of evidence that may prove you intended to sell include:
- You were found with large amounts of the drug
- Law enforcement witnessed many people coming and going from your house
- Drug dealing paraphernalia such as a scale and large amounts of cash were found
- The drug was separated into small bags
Contacting a criminal defense attorney is crucial if you have been charged with possession with intent. A skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to demonstrate to the jury circumstantial evidence does not prove you intended to sell drugs.
Colorado’s Controlled Substance Schedule
Colorado bases the charges and penalties for possession with intent on the weight and type of drug found in your possession, so being aware of where the substance falls on the controlled substance scheduled is crucial.
A drug is scheduled based on its potential for abuse and accepted medical use. There are thousands of drugs on this schedule. The higher it is on the schedule, the heavier it will be penalized. Listed below are a few examples of drugs in each schedule.
- Schedule I: These substances are believed to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Because schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous, possession is more heavily charged. Common examples of schedule I drugs include:
- Schedule II: Schedule II drugs are not as dangerous as schedule I drugs, but they still have a high potential for abuse and limited use for medical treatment. Schedule II substances can include:
- Schedule III: Drugs in this schedule have accepted medical use and a lower potential for abuse compared to substances in schedule I and II. Common examples of schedule III drugs include:
- Anabolic steroids
- Medications with small amounts of morphine or codeine
- Schedule IV: Schedule IV drugs are believed to have a low potential for abuse and accepted medical use. Some of these substances include:
- Schedule V: Drugs in this schedule are considered to be the safest of all controlled substances. They are believed to have a lower potential for abuse out of all the drugs in the Uniform Controlled Substance Act. Some of the drugs in this schedule include the following:
- Medications with minimal amounts of codeine or morphine
How is Possession with Intent Charged?
Possessing more than four grams of just about every controlled substance is a felony. A felony conviction will have a detrimental effect on your life long after your time has been served and fines have been paid.
Listed below are the penalties for possession with intent:
Level 1 drug felony
You can be charged with a level 1 drug felony for possessing the following amounts of a controlled substance:
- More than 250 grams of a schedule I or schedule II substance
- More than 112 grams of methamphetamine, heroin, ketamine or cathinone
- More than 50 milligrams of the date rape drug flunitrazepam
The penalties for a level 1 drug felony are more severe than the standard penalties for a class 1 felony. If convicted, you will be required to endure a mandatory minimum of eight years behind bars but no more than 32 years. You may also have to pay a fine between $5,000 and $1 million.
Level 2 drug felony
You can be charged with a level 2 drug felony if you are accused of possessing the following amounts:
- More than 14 grams but less than 225 grams of a schedule I or schedule II drug
- More than 7 grams but less than 112 grams of methamphetamine, heroin, ketamine or cathinone
- More than 10 milligrams but less than 50 milligrams of the date rape drug flunitrazepam
If convicted, you could be sentenced to four to eight years of incarceration and a fine between $3,000 and $750,000.
Level 3 drug felony
Level 3 drug felony charges are handed down for possessing the following amounts of a controlled substance:
- 14 grams or less of a schedule I or schedule II drug
- 7 grams or less of methamphetamine, heroin, ketamine or cathinone
- More than 4 grams of a schedule III or schedule IV substance
If convicted of a level 3 felony you could be sentenced to two to four years behind bars and a fine between $2,000 and $500,000.
Level 4 drug felony
You can be charged with a level 4 drug felony if you were found in possession of less than 4 grams of a schedule III or IV substance. The penalties for a level 4 drug felony can include the following:
- Six months to a year behind bars
- A fine between $1,000 and $100,000
Level 1 drug misdemeanor
Possessing any schedule V substance, no matter the weight is a level 1 drug misdemeanor. The penalties for a level 1 drug misdemeanor can include:
- Six months to 18 months in jail
- A fine between $500 and $5,000
Unlawful Distribution, Manufacturing or Sale | Colorado Revised Statutes – Follow the link provided to read the statute governing possession with intent. You can read the legal definition of the crime and find out how crimes like unlawful sale are charged. You can also gain access to other drug crime statutes.
Uniform Controlled Substance Act – Read through the act governing drug crimes in Colorado. You can find a complete list of drugs considered a controlled substance and see where they fall on the controlled substance schedule. You can also learn about drug offenses that may be eligible for a reduced sentence if they assist law enforcement.
Criminal Defense Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
The best defense you can take to charges for possession with intent is retaining legal counsel. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. has proven experience defending clients of drug crimes and we want to do the same for you. We will listen to your side of the story and build a defense strategy in your best interest.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a case evaluation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. defends clients of drug crimes in areas such as Colorado Springs, Ordway, Hugo, Kiowa and Castle Rock.