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What Are Schedule 1 Drugs In Colorado?

If you are accused of a drug-related crime, you need to understand how drugs are classified in Colorado. Like many states, Colorado has strict laws around the use, manufacturing, and distribution of controlled substances and drugs. It has broken down these drugs into what are called drug schedules, which classifies how severe they are.

No matter what classification you find yourself in, you will want to hire an attorney experienced in defending drug crimes. At the Law Offices of Clifton Black, we are dedicated to helping our clients get the best possible results for their cases. So, keep reading to find out what drug schedules mean in Colorado and the basic sentencing guidelines.

What Are Drug Schedules?

Many drugs are still considered illegal in Colorado and have been broken down into drug schedules, which are used to indicate the level of risk associated with the drug being used. For example, schedules often indicate whether the drugs are misused often or if they have a higher risk of becoming addictive.

Drug schedules were designed to simplify the process of charging someone when they have been accused of selling, manufacturing, using, or being in possession of one of these drugs. But keep in mind that this does not mean that everyone will face the same charges, as it depends on the drug and the quality in possession of the person.

Aggravating factors can also impact drug penalties if you have a criminal record, other felonies or misdemeanors, or if you are on probation.

Schedule V

The least serious drug schedule is Schedule V. These substances are usually contained in some other substance, such as cough syrup. Due to these factors, this category of drugs comes with very minor penalties since they have a high medical use history and a low history of addiction.

Simple possession of Schedule V drugs could come with up to a year of jail time and a maximum of $100,000 in fines.

Schedule IV

Like Schedule I drugs, Schedule IV drugs usually include prescription medications, such as Ambien and Xanax. These medications are a bit more complicated since they have a high medical use but also pose the risk of abuse and addiction. Because of these distinctions, Schedule IV drugs will come with slightly more severe penalties.

Simple possession of Schedule IV drugs is not as severe; the maximum jail sentence is up to one year with up to $100,000 in fines.

Schedule III

Many combination drugs fall into the category of Schedule III drugs in Colorado. Some examples of these types of drugs include ketamine, codeine, and barbiturates. These drugs have medical value, but they are still at a higher risk of being abused and becoming addictive.

Penalties for Schedule III drugs include up to 10 years in jail with fees up to $500,000.

Schedule II

Any drug that falls into the category of Schedule II may have some medical uses, but they are at a much higher risk of being abused and becoming addictive. Examples of these drugs include morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl. The penalties for Schedule II drugs are much more severe since they are considered to be high-risk drugs.

The maximum jail time for Schedule II drugs is 20 years, with fines up to $1 million.

Schedule I

The most severe category of drugs in Colorado is Schedule I drugs. These drugs have no medical use and are used, distributed, and manufactured in a way that encourages abuse and addiction. Some Schedule I drugs include drugs like heroin, LSD, and PCP.

Because these drugs do not have any medical use, the penalties will be much higher in a drug crime case. Penalties for this classification include 8 to 40 years in prison and fines that could reach $2 million.

Drug Sentencing Guidelines In Colorado

The drug laws in Colorado have undergone several distinct changes over the last few years. One example of this is that the possession of certain Schedule I and Schedule II drugs is no longer criminalized depending on the amount.

This change was made in the hopes of providing defendants with the option to receive drug treatment instead of a felony charge. Keep in mind that this usually means they will get a misdemeanor drug charge, which can still have serious implications.

How Drug Schedules Impact Sentencing

Even though drug schedules make it easier to understand the penalties you may experience, this can also impact how you are sentenced. Colorado gives the judge the ability to alter the sentence depending on the person and the situation, not just the drug.

Because there is so much flexibility with each case, there is a greater chance of creating a successful defense. To do this, you will need to hire a drug crime attorney who will compile evidence and represent you in court. They can use the drug schedule to reduce the severity of the crime and show that you did not have criminal intent.

Having different categories also opens the door for rehabilitation programs depending on the person. For example, for more minor drug crimes, you may be able to agree to rehabilitation instead of being hit with a felony charge.

The judge may also alter the sentencing depending on the drug schedule and how you were using it. An example of this is if you were taking something for medical reasons but developed an addiction to it.

Hire a Drug Crime Attorney Today at the Law Offices of Clifton Black

The drug laws in Colorado can feel very confusing, but understanding the drug schedules will make this much clearer. This is important if you are facing accusations of a drug crime, and you need to understand what charges you could receive. The reality is that this is not a one-size-fits-all kind of crime since it depends on the drug, the quantity, the intent, and other factors.

An experienced drug crime attorney can help you evaluate your options and create a case that presents you in the best light. If you need someone to represent you in your case, contact us today at the Law Offices of Clifton Black at 719-328-1616.

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For over 20 years we have represented clients in Colorado from a client-centered approach. We are experts within the areas of Cannabis Law, Criminal Defense, Family Law, and Business Law. We believe in protecting the rights of businesses and individuals with precision, exceeding client expectations with each case. Client satisfaction inspires us to strive for excellence in everything we do.

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Exceptional Experience & Results

For over 20 years we have represented clients in Colorado from a client-centered approach. We are experts within the areas of Cannabis Law, Criminal Defense, Family Law, and Business Law. We believe in protecting the rights of businesses and individuals with precision, exceeding client expectations with each case. Client satisfaction inspires us to strive for excellence in everything we do.

Schedule Your Consultation with a Trusted Attorney Today!

Need legal help in business or criminal areas in Colorado? Call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our expert attorneys focus in business law and criminal defense, providing clear advice for your specific needs. Benefit from our years of experience as we deliver targeted solutions and defend your rights every step of the way.