There’s a big difference between prescription drugs and illicit drugs. Most importantly, as long as you use prescription drugs as intended, there’s no concern about running into trouble with the law.
However, there are times when prescription drug use can result in criminal charges. And if that happens, you could soon find yourself facing a variety of consequences such as prison time, a fine, and/or community service.
In Colorado, there are five “schedules” of controlled substances varying by the drug’s potential for abuse.
Many prescription drugs fit into Schedule II, with this passage from our website explaining more:
These drugs have high abuse potential but acceptable medical use. If a person abuses these drugs, they can experience severe physical and psychological dependence. Examples include opium and prescription-based opioid pain tabs like oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. Schedule II drugs also include stimulants such as methamphetamines and cocaine.
So, while you’re permitted by law to use these prescription drugs, you must do so as prescribed by your medical professional.
It doesn’t matter where you live in Colorado, you could be charged with one or more of the following crimes should you violate the law:
For example, if you’re prescribed prescription-based opioid pain tabs, they’re for your use only. You are not permitted to sell or distribute them to other individuals.
Even though the drug laws in Colorado are among the most lenient in the United States — as they favor treatment over incarceration — this shouldn’t invite you to take a risk.
Minor infractions, such as possession of a small amount of a Schedule V drug, almost always result in a misdemeanor.
However, if your case involves a more serious drug, such as Schedule II opioid pain medication, you could face felony charges with much more serious consequences.
Penalties for prescription drug charges in Denver range from a $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail to 30+ years in prison and a fine up to $1 million.
There are five basic factors that the court system takes into consideration when determining your penalty:
Even if one or more of these factors is working against you, there are steps your legal team can take to minimize your penalties and help you get your life back on track.
In addition to a fine and/or time in jail or prison, there are other consequences of a drug conviction. These include but are not limited to:
In short, if you have a drug conviction on your record, it will show up on a simple background check. So, it’ll follow you wherever you go.
The second you’re arrested with a prescription drug-related crime is the second you should begin to think about consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. Don’t assume that you’re on your own, as this is likely to result in more harm than good as your case moves through the court system.
Here are some questions to ask during your search for the perfect Denver drug defense attorney:
If you want answers to these questions, you’re in the right place. At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, you can rely on our entire team during this difficult time of your life. We’re here to answer your questions, represent you in court, and minimize the impact of your charges on your future.
If you’re ready to discuss your prescription drug criminal charges, contact us online or via phone at (303) 529-1424. Our team is standing by!
Theft crimes are extremely common in Denver. If you are charged with theft, there’s no question the situation can be confusing and intimidating.
Colorado criminal law isn’t easy to understand. Because of that, one of the best things you can do is to hire a Denver criminal defense attorney. Our team at The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani is ready to defend your case and help you understand the charges you are facing.
While hiring an attorney to help with your case is a smart move, it’s also helpful to understand the different theft charges you may face in Denver.
In the state of Colorado, theft is defined as taking and keeping something that is not yours when you do not receive permission from the item’s owner.
However, theft often extends beyond this rather simple definition. In some situations, theft may also include individuals who did not actively steal something but provided aid to the individual who did.
For example, if you attempt to sell a stolen item to a pawn show, and the pawnbroker knows the item is stolen but purchase it anyway, they can also be charged with theft. Also, if someone helps to dispose of a stolen item, they may be charged with theft.
The deciding factor in this is knowing if the goods are stolen. Once you find out, then you are also considered liable if you do anything besides telling the police.
Denver theft laws include several types of illegal behavior. This includes everything from embezzling money from your employer to shoplifting at a retail establishment.
All these crimes relate to one another because theft involves taking something of value that belongs to another person without permission and then hiding, keeping, or selling it so the owner cannot recover the item or items.
Colorado theft laws are written using broad terms. They also involve several types of theft crimes:
Colorado also has several specific laws that cover different illegal behaviors, such as:
If you are charged with any type of theft, you need to understand what the charges actually mean.
The type of theft and worth of the item or items taken determine if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
Theft is considered a misdemeanor in some situations. These include:
If you steal something worth under $50, you are charged with class 1 petty theft. This charge comes with a fine of up to $500 and/or up to six months in jail.
Theft may also be charged as a felony. This occurs if the value of the item stolen is more than the limits mentioned above. Felony charges include:
If you are convicted of any felony theft charge for stealing from a location in four years, it means you receive a mandatory sentence of the minimum term allowed. Also, there will be no chance for a suspended sentence or parole in this situation.
For situations where you steal from a person, instead of breaking into a business or home, you are charged with a class 5 felony automatically. The charge will be kept in place, no matter the value of the item or items you took.
If you steal something that is worth $1 million or more, you may receive the maximum sentence for theft. This would be a class 2 felony charge and have a prison sentence of eight to 24 years. You would also be on parole for five years.
Along with this hefty sentence, you will likely be ordered to pay a significant fine. It is at the court’s discretion to decide what to charge you with.
If you have been charged with any type of theft crime in Denver, contact our team at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani. You can call us at (303) 529-2242 to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case.