A recent article in the Huffington Post reports that black Americans are actually 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for selling drugs, and 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for possession of drugs. Law enforcement personnel respond that drug arrests are nothing more than the result of the actual crimes committed, however separate research studies indicate otherwise. An analysis from a 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health placed the number of white adolescents and young adults selling drugs at 6.6%, and the number of black adolescents and young adults selling drugs at 5.0%.
These numbers would definitely make you wonder why more blacks are being arrested if fewer of them are actually selling drugs. A Washington Post article contends the disparity is easily explainable: in black neighborhoods drugs are more often sold outside, openly, and in white neighborhoods drugs are more likely to be sold inside, under cover. It is likely the debate will continue, but whether no matter your skin color, there are stiff penalties for being arrested for possession or sales of illegal drugs in the state of Colorado.
What You Should Know If You Have Been Arrested for Illegal Drugs in Colorado
Drug possession—other than marijuana—throughout Colorado is generally a felony with the potential for a substantial prison term. Even if you receive supervised probation, rather than being sent to prison, you will have to deal with repercussions which can potentially last a lifetime. If you have been arrested for a drug-related offense in the state of Colorado, it is imperative that you immediately contact an experienced Boulder criminal defense attorney. In most cases, you have a very short window of opportunity in which to begin mounting a defense and defending your rights.
It is equally important that you not speak to anyone—especially the police—until your attorney arrives. Take your Miranda rights seriously, and never be lulled into thinking the police officer is your friend, or that if you tell him what he wants to hear he will let you go home. Police officers are trained to extract information, and everything you say absolutely will be used against you in a court of law. Provide your name and address, then politely decline to say anything else until you speak to a lawyer.
Penalties to Colorado Drug Possession and Sales
Should you be charged with knowingly possessing four grams or less of a schedule one or schedule two controlled substance in the state of Colorado, you will be charged with a class 6 felony with a presumptive range of prison time from two to eight years. Schedule one and two controlled substances include heroin, LSD, PCP, cocaine, oxycodone and other drugs as well. Methamphetamine has much harsher penalties, becoming a Class four felony with possession of as little as two grams. Possessing a schedule three, four or five controlled substance without a valid prescription will be charged as a Class one misdemeanor, punishable by up to eighteen months in jail. These drugs include Xanax, Vicodin and Valium.
Defenses to Colorado Drug Crime Charges
While your particular defense will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your charges, there are several ways your Colorado criminal defense attorney may choose to proceed. Many times drug charges are the result of a search, whether of your home, your vehicle or your person. Important Constitutional limits are present regarding when, where and how law enforcement are permitted to search. If your Fourth Amendment rights were violated during a search, your attorney may be able to suppress the evidence and have your case dismissed. The state of Colorado must prove you were actually in possession of the drugs—and under Colorado law, possession is defined somewhat broadly. Your attorney may also be able to challenge your drug charges based on technical matters related to the laboratory testing of the drugs, the drug composition or the exact weight of the drugs. Your future can depend on a positive resolution of your drug case—don’t do this alone.
If you have been arrested for drug possession in Boulder, contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.