Many situations in life can have long-lasting negative repercussions. Facing drug charges is definitely one of them. Whether you are among thousands of others in Colorado who struggle with drug addiction or have made some poor choices and became involved with activities you later regretted, or you believe you’ve been the victim of a serious misunderstanding, if a police officer arrested you, it’s critical that you seek clarification of possession and/or trafficking laws.
The more you know about such laws, the likelier it may be that you can mitigate your circumstances. No secret solution guarantees your ability to avoid conviction. However, doing so is often only possible if you understand your rights and know how to protect them. If evidence exists to show you could not possibly have committed the crime that prosecutors have accused you of, you’ll want to discuss the matter with someone well versed in drug possession and trafficking laws who knows how to present such evidence to the court.
Felony versus misdemeanor
A key difference between trafficking and possession charges is that the former is a felony while the latter is often a misdemeanor. The main differences between felonies and misdemeanors have to do with the types of penalties you might incur under conviction.
In fact, if the court convicts you of misdemeanor drug possession, you may have to serve probation or attend a substance abuse program, but might not have to do any time in jail. However, if police claim there’s evidence to show you intended to sell the drugs they supposedly found you in possession of, you may wind up facing felony charges.
What constitutes trafficking?
The law considers evidence of any attempt to transport, sell or import illegal drugs as grounds for trafficking charges. Imagine that a friend of yours asks you to deliver a package to another acquaintance and you happily oblige. What if that package becomes subject in a formal drug investigation and police take you into custody because you were the one who delivered it? You may face trafficking charges even if you know you were completely unaware of the package’s contents at the time.
Who can help?
You do not have to answer any questions under investigation without legal representation present. In fact, you may invoke your right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In addition to calling your family, perhaps your employer or a counselor (if you do have a substance abuse problem) you may also want to talk to someone who knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system and can help you build a strong defense.