You don’t even have to be a Colorado resident to know that Interstate 70, which travels east and west through several states, is a major drug corridor used by drug traffickers. So, it’s no surprise a Colorado State Trooper pulled over a two 19-years-olds from Minnesota in a Honda Accord for failing to signal for a lane change and subsequently found nearly 100 pounds of marijuana, THC-infused liquid, marijuana concentrates.
According to the arrest report, the state trooper had probable cause to search the vehicle after he “could smell an overwhelming odor of raw marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.”1 Both men were charged with high-level, felony drug crimes and bail was set for one man at $50,000 because he had prior arrests, and $25,000 for the other defendant.
What Makes a Drug Possession a Misdemeanor or a Felony?
In the state of Colorado, there are three factors that decide if a drug possession case is misdemeanor or a felony:
- Firstly, it depends on the type of drug. Some drugs are classified as being more harmful and therefore more punishable under the law. For instance, having marijuana in your possession in certain quantities is legal. But, others such as cocaine or methamphetamines can be grounds for felony possession charges.
- Secondly, the amount of a controlled substance will also determine the charges. Depending on the drug itself, each state usually has a legal limit for prescriptions or marijuana that are legal to have in your possession. The more of the drug you have in your possession will often determine if the charge is a misdemeanor or felony. In Colorado, the legal marijuana possession limit for anyone 21 years of age is 1 ounce.
- Lastly, does the person with possession have intent to distribute the drug? Generally, possession with intent to distribute will be charged as a felony crime.
Other Factors to Consider about Possession of a Controlled Substance
There are other factors a person should also consider when in the position to take possession of a controlled substance. There’s more than just criminal charges that can affect your situations. Here are some of the other penalties often associated with possession of a controlled substance:
- You can be fined anywhere from $100 to more than $100,000.
- You can be sentenced to jail or prison.
- Once out of prison or jail, you’ll have to serve parole or probation.
- You’ll probably be ordered to take costly classes to educate yourself about your crime.
- You may even be ordered into a drug treatment center for rehabilitation.
Contact a Telluride Criminal Defense Lawyer at The Law Office of Jon R. Fee
If you are reasonable and sensible citizen, but made a mistake by having too much marijuana in your possession it can lead to serious legal problems and possibly even jail. Even a seemingly minor infraction could end up costing you a marriage or even a great job. When you have a lot on the line, you need a strong advocate for your defense. You need the trusted Telluride Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer Jon R. Fee to build a strong defense case for you. A former prosecutor and skill trial attorney, Fee has the experience and knowledge to counter prosecutors’ arguments. Call (970) 744-2244 or email using the form on this page.
1“I-70 Traffic Stop Nets Almost 100 Pounds of Pot” published in The Daily Sentinel, Aug. 2018.