A Level 1 Drug Felony in Colorado is how the most serious drug charges are classified. These times of crimes carry much harsher penalties than level 2, 3, or 4 drug felonies.
The following types of crimes are charged as level 1 drug felonies in Colorado:
Illegal and controlled substances are divided into five schedules or groups, which detail the level of risk the drugs entail. For example, when a crime is charged as a level 1 drug felony, it typically involves Schedule I or Schedule II drugs.
Schedule I drugs have a high risk of abuse and no acceptable medical use. Because of this, crimes involving the distribution of more than 225 grams are level 1 felonies. The list of drugs on Schedule I includes substances such as LSD, methaqualone, MDMA, and heroin.
Schedule II drugs have a high risk of addiction and abuse but some medical uses. This group includes substances such as oxycodone, amphetamine, fentanyl, codeine, morphine, and methamphetamine. Crimes involving these substances can be charged as level 1 drug felonies depending on the amount being sold or distributed.
The presumptive sentencing range for level 1 drug felonies in Colorado is:
When a crime has aggravating factors, the minimum prison sentence is 12 years. For instance, if the crime occurred when the defendant was on parole, in confinement for a felony, escaped from confinement for a felony, or was on probation or bond for another felony.
It is to have records of a level 1 drug felony conviction sealed in Colorado after a period of five years has passed from when the case closed. On the other hand, if the charge is dismissed, there is no waiting period to request the court for your record to be sealed.
A level 1 drug felony conviction is a deportable crime in Colorado. Therefore, if a non-citizen is convicted of one, they will be deported once their prison sentence is served.
You have the right to a jury trial of twelve jurors or a bench trial when facing a level 1 drug felony in Colorado. You can also request a smaller jury, but of at least six. However, most criminal cases are resolved through plea deals rather than trial.
Level 1 drug felony charges must be filed within three years of the offense. However, if the defendant lives out of state, it “tolls” or is delayed for up to five years.
Since a level 1 drug felony can end with a prison sentence, hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer is critical. They will do everything in their power to prove your innocence or, at the very least, have your charges reduced and lessen your sentence. Their knowledge of the justice system significantly increases your chances of receiving reduced penalties or a plea bargain that is in your favor.
While each case is unique, the typical process after your arrest is as follows:
After your arrest, you will either be released on bail or held until the hearing. At your arraignment, the charges against you will be read, and the prosecutor may offer you a proposed sentence. You will then have a chance to enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty.” If you take the plea bargain, the case is resolved. If you enter a not-guilty plea, your case moves into the pre-trial phase.
Your attorney will review and investigate the prosecution’s case to find out what evidence they have or may not have against you. Depositions are also typically taken of both sides.
The judge will check with each side’s attorneys on the progress of the case in an effort to expedite it, discourage unnecessary pretrial activities, and improve preparation for trial.
Your attorney will help you determine the best defense strategy and whether the prosecution’s plea agreement is fair.
Your case will move to trial if you do not accept a plea agreement. A jury of your peers will listen to both sides’ cases and determine whether you are innocent or guilty. You are free to go without a criminal conviction if you are innocent. If guilty, the judge will determine your sentence.
Most criminal cases are resolved through plea deals rather than making it to trial.
Contact Flesch & Beck Law as soon as possible after a drug arrest to arrange a free consultation. We can help you with any questions or concerns you may have and will do everything in our power to protect your future. The burden of a felony charge can weigh heavily. Partnering with an experienced Felony Criminal Defense Lawyer can significantly ease your stress since you will have help building the best possible defense.