How drugs and drug crimes are treated
“Being accused of a felony drug crime in Denver can have serious implications if you are convicted,” according to Denver criminal defense attorney Christopher Braddock. “You face the loss of your freedom, the loss of your job and the right to vote, as well as a host of other penalties that can negatively impact your life.”
Drug crime cases involve many facets, including the amount involved, the circumstances surrounding the arrest and the intent of the defendant. But the most basic element of any drug case starts with the actual drug in question. For example, cases involving marijuana are much different in nature than those involving heroin.
In Colorado, controlled dangerous substances are broken into five Schedules based on the characteristics of the drugs. The penalties and severity of each Schedule will determine how a case is handled by the courts and how it is defended by an attorney.
Schedule I substances have a high potential for abuse and have no known medical treatment in the United States. They are not safe for treatment, even under a doctor’s supervision. Some examples in this Schedule include heroin, cocaine, MDMA and other synthetic opiates.
Schedule II substances have a high potential for abuse but have accepted medical uses in the United States. Examples in this Schedule include morphine, methamphetamines and codeine.
Schedule III substances have the potential for abuse and have accepted medical uses in the United States. These include anabolic steroids and synthetic compounds such as ketamines that are used as an anesthetic or analgesic drug.
Schedule IV substances have a low potential for abuse and have accepted medical uses in the United States. Some examples of this Schedule include Valium, Xanax and prescription diet pills.
Schedule V substances also have a low potential for abuse and have accepted medical uses in the United States. The difference in this Schedule is the amount of the drug involved, which is typically smaller than in other Schedules, but containing many of the same drugs. Examples here include substances such as codeine and opium.