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!