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Prescription Drugs and Drug Charges in Denver
/ 20 September, 2021

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.

Prescription Drug-Related Crimes

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:

  • Drug trafficking
  • Drug possession
  • Drug distribution
  • Intent to distribute

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. 

What are the Penalties for a Drug Charge in Denver?

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. 

How are Drug Penalties Determined?

There are five basic factors that the court system takes into consideration when determining your penalty:

  • The schedule of the drug (Schedule I is the most serious)
  • The quantity of drugs involved in your case
  • Your criminal history, such as if you’ve been convicted of a drug-related offense in the past
  • Whether you’re on probation or parole
  • How you were using the substance, such as for personal use, selling, or trafficking

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. 

The Consequences of a Drug Conviction

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:

  • Loss of employment and inability to secure employment
  • Damage to your personal relationships
  • Revocation of your driver’s license
  • Negative effect on your ability to secure a loan, such as for a car or home
  • Negative effect on your ability to rent

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. 

Questions for a Denver Drug Defense Attorney

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:

  • How much experience do you have with my type of case?
  • Can you explain the possible consequences of a conviction?
  • Is it possible to have a felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor?
  • Is there any way to keep a conviction off my criminal record?

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! 


Understanding Theft Charges in Denver
/ 17 September, 2021

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. 

What Is Theft?

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. 

What Is Considered Theft in Denver?

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:

  • Shoplifting: Theft from any business of an item. 
  • Larceny: Theft that occurs from a building. 
  • False Pretenses: This is theft that occurs due to deception.
  • Burglary: Theft from a residential property. 
  • Embezzlement: Any theft from your employer. 
  • Robbery: Theft that occurs from an individual. 

Colorado also has several specific laws that cover different illegal behaviors, such as:

  • Sale of something to cover up the theft
  • Stealing trade secrets
  • Illegal resale of lift tickets
  • Hiding goods in a store to steal later
  • Auto theft

Theft: Misdemeanors and Felonies 

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. 

Misdemeanor Theft Charges

Theft is considered a misdemeanor in some situations. These include:

  • Value of stolen goods is $750 or higher, but under $2,000, you are charged with a class 1 misdemeanor.
    • Fine of $500 to $5K and/or up to six months in jail. 
  • Value of stolen goods is $300 or higher, but under $750, you are charged with a class 2 misdemeanor
    • Fine of $250 to $1K and/or up to three months in jail.
  • Value of the stolen goods is $50 or higher, but under $300, you are charged with a class 3 misdemeanor
    • Fine of $50 to $750 (usually no jail time). 

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

Felony Theft Charges 

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:

  • Value of $1 million or higher, you are charged with a class 2 felony.
    • Fine of $5K to $1 million and/or eight to 24 years in jail.
  • Value of $100K or more but under $1 million, you are charged with a class 3 felony.
    • Fine of $3K to $750K and/or four to 12 years in jail. 
  • Value of $20K or more, but under $100K, you are charged with a class 4 felony.
    • Fine of $2K to $500K and/or two to six years in jail. 
  • Value of $5K or more, but under $20K, you are charged with a class 5 felony
    • Fine of $1K to $100K and/or one to three years in jail. 
  • Value of $2K or more but less than $5K you are charged with a class 6 felony
    • Fine of $1K to $100K and/or one year to 18 months in jail. 

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. 

What Is the Maximum Possible Sentence for a Theft Charge in Denver? 

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. 

Hire a Denver Criminal Defense Attorney for Help

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.

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