Grand Junction Methamphetamine Crime Defense Lawyers
Our country has been battling against the drug epidemic for decades, desperately trying to end drug addiction and abuse in America. That desperation, while valiant, means that police officers and our justice system can come down incredibly harshly on anyone charged with a drug crime. You may find yourself serving years, even decades, behind bars, with little to no support once you are finally released.
However, a skilled Grand Junction methamphetamine defense lawyer may be able to get your charges reduced or even completely dropped. Doing so won’t be easy and will require an in-depth investigation. That is why you need to be sure you are working with the best of the best. For legal support you can rely on, call Peters & Nolan, LLC at (970) 243-4357 today. We are waiting to help.
Colorado, like all other states, has strict laws when it comes to controlled substances. Controlled substances refer to drugs that are placed on the federal drug “schedules.” These schedules were first established by the federal government in the 1970s when the war on drugs first began. They range from I to V, with I being the tightest controlled and V being the loosest.
Each state is allowed to determine its own schedules. This means what is considered a Schedule I or Schedule V drug may differ from state to state. The most obvious difference between the Colorado drug schedules and the federal ones is the treatment of marijuana. In Colorado, marijuana has been legal for recreational use for several years, whereas it is still considered a Schedule I drug by the federal government. This means that it is tightly controlled and using or selling it could result in federal charges; however, you cannot be charged under state law except in specific circumstances.
When it comes to methamphetamine, most commonly known as meth, Colorado considered it a Schedule II drug. This classification means that it is considered incredibly dangerous and addictive; however, it may, in extreme circumstances, be prescribed in some form to a patient. Meth use and addicts are often heavily biased against, as it is considered one of the “uglier” drugs to use. Meth can have a serious impact on an addict’s appearance and ability to behave responsibly, and so many assume that those who use meth are mentally unstable or dangerous.
Due to the bias, addicts were previously punished incredibly harshly and often charged with felonies. However, starting in 2020, Colorado passed a law that de-felonized all Schedule I and II drugs. This means that while using the drug is still illegal, those charged with use or possession will not be charged with a felony, which can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend behind bars.
The penalties you face for your alleged meth crime will depend on what you are being charged with. As we stated previously, use and possession charges are no longer considered felonies, thus you will now only have to contend with misdemeanor charges. While misdemeanor penalties may be lighter, they can still severely impact your life. For the unlawful use of methamphetamine, you may face:
- Up to one year in jail
- Between $50 and $750 in fines
That being said, in certain circumstances, such as if it is your first charge, the court may decide to be lenient and give you a lighter penalty. That may be:
- Up to one year in probation
- Between 120 and 180 days in jail
- Up to $500 in fines
If you are being charged with possession, then your penalties will depend largely on how much methamphetamine you were found to be in possession of. That same is true on whether or not you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges. While possession has been de-felonized, that can only be said about possessing 4 grams or less of methamphetamine. Anything more than that becomes a felony.
For a misdemeanor possession charge, your penalties might include:
- Between 6 and 18 months in jail
- Between $500 and $5,000 in fines
It is important to note that, even if you never had any more than 4 grams of methamphetamine, if you are facing a fourth conviction, then it is automatically considered a felony, and your penalties will become much harsher. The punishments for either crime are:
- Between 6 months and one year in prison
- One year of parole
- Between $1,000 and $10,000 in fines
While use and possession of fewer than 4 grams of meth are misdemeanors, selling any amount is a felony. However, the exact punishment you will be facing will depend largely on how much you were allegedly distributing.
For 7 grams and under:
- Between two and four years in prison
- One year of mandatory parole
- Between $2,000 and $500,000 in fines
For between 7 and 112 grams
- Between four and eight years in prison
- Two years of mandatory parole
- Between $3,000 and $750,000 in fines
For over 112 grams, or if you allegedly sold to a minor under the age of 18:
- Between 8 and 32 years in prison
- Three years of mandatory parole
- Between $5,000 and $1,000,000 in fines
Again, selling any amount of meth is considered a felony. A felony conviction means that once you are released from prison, you may still find yourself facing severe repercussions for a crime. Felons in America lose many rights, including:
- The right to vote while in jail
- The right to own firearms for the rest of their life
- The right to travel internationally
- The right to certain employment
In fact, felons can even lose the right to parent their own child. When custody comes into question, the court will, more often than not, decide that placing the child with a convicted felon is not the best choice. They may even decide, in extreme circumstances, to deny you visitation altogether. No parent wants to lose their child. That is why finding the right defense for your charges is of the utmost importance.
Finding the right defense for your case is no easy task. Your lawyer will need to review the evidence, perform a proper investigation, and search for cracks in the prosecution’s arguments. As such, a good defense can only be crafted when your lawyer knows all the facts. However, as experienced criminal defense lawyers ourselves, we have worked with many clients charged with drug crimes, and there are a few defenses that we can use on your behalf:
- The methamphetamine was not yours
- You were unaware that the drug you possessed was methamphetamine
- You were unaware you possessed any drug at all
- The officers only found trace amounts of methamphetamine on you or your possessions
- The methamphetamine found on you was intended for personal use, and not sale
- The drug test produced a false positive, or the results were unreadable
- The police acted in misconduct either during your arrest, the investigation, or during questioning
There are countless other defenses that could be used to get your charges lowered or dropped altogether. Finding the best fit for your case, however, will take expertise and legal know-how. That is why you should turn to the most reliable lawyers in Grand Junction.
While penalties for minor methamphetamine crimes have been loosened, it is still a Schedule II drug, which means the courts will take your charges very seriously. The path your life takes could depend completely on which lawyer you choose to work with. It isn’t a choice you should take lightly. If you want the top Grand Junction criminal defense lawyers in Colorado, you should call Peters & Nolan, LLC at (970) 243-4357. Our trial lawyers have years of experience and can bring their expertise to your case. For dedicated and passionate legal aid, call us today.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.
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