Understanding Drug Possession Laws

by | Jul 11, 2013 | Drug Crimes

Drug Crimes Come in Many Shapes and Sizes

The United States has been plagued with an influx of drug trafficking for almost a century, and Colorado Springs is no exception. Criminal narcotics is a multi-billion dollar industry that spins a web beginning internationally and working its way all the way down to our local cities and neighborhoods. There is a wide scope of criminal activities that pertain to illegal narcotics, from manufacturing, trafficking, and distributing, down to sales and simple possession. Illegal drugs account for tens of thousands of deaths each year, and more lives are lost due to criminal activities surrounding drug possession. As a result, both federal and state laws say that carrying, owning, or holding any form of an illegal drug is a very serious offense.

Penalties for Possession Depend on the Drug

It is true that not every illegal drug is equal. Possession of some drugs is a bigger crime than others, partially because certain illegal drugs are associated with more violence and illegal activity than other drugs. While someone may be fined for illegal possession of one substance, possession of another may send a person straight to jail.

The penalty for a drug possession charge will depend on a number of things, including:

  • Drug type
  • Quantity
  • Offender’s age
  • Crime location
  • Offender’s intent

For example, possession of a small amount of marijuana may only result in a small fine, while possession of a large amount of heroin within a school zone with the intent to sell is a much more serious offense punishable by jail time.

Misdemeanor vs Felony Drug Possession

A misdemeanor is a small crime often punishable by a small fine, community service, probation, or court counseling. Many times possession of a small amount of an illegal drug is classified as a misdemeanor, but the penalties vary from state to state.

Felony possession of a drug is a much more serious offense. Many times a felony possession comes when there is a large amount of the illegal drug and it is often accompanied by the intent to sell or distribute the drug. The penalties for this possession often include jail time, though they too will vary from state to state.

Drug Possession Crimes Have Serious Ramifications

Drug possession is not something that is taken lightly by the courts. Often times it is not uncommon for misdemeanor possession to be raised to felony possession due to the circumstances surrounding the arrest. These laws are strictly enforced, which is why it is important to have a good drug lawyer on your side if you have been charged with a crime. A good attorney will be your best advocate and will ensure that you get the best defense possible when charged with such a serious offense.

When you meet with a criminal defense lawyer in Colorado Springs you should feel confident that all your questions have been answered and that you are doing all you can to win your case. While it isn’t always possible to walk away from criminal possession charges altogether, you have the best chance of getting your punishment reduced when you work with a top-rated Colorado Springs drug crimes attorney.

James Newby

James Newby

James Newby is a criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs and the managing attorney of the criminal justice law firm James Newby Law. James got into law because of a deep-rooted passion for helping good people that may have made a poor choice that could have lasting consequences.