Distribution Of A Controlled Substance
If you have been accused of distribution of a controlled substance, you have the right to fight the charges. An experienced attorney can help. At Pearson & Paris, P.C., we have more than 50 years of combined legal experience that we will use in your defense. Perhaps more importantly, our top criminal defense attorney is a former senior prosecutor who knows how district attorneys handle these cases. That knowledge allows us to create effective strategies ranging from negotiation to courtroom battles.
Whether in the Denver area, or anywhere in Colorado, it is unlawful for any person knowingly to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, or possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, a controlled substance.
These charges most often occur in connection with controlled substances that are included in Schedules I and II, and as such are charged as a class 3 felony.
A controlled substance includes all substances included in schedules I through V. Some of the more common Schedule I and II substances are meth, cocaine, heroin, crack and prescription medications such as oxycodone and codeine.
Possible Consequences For Distribution Of A Controlled Substance
If convicted of distribution of a controlled substance, that is listed in Schedules I and II, the person faces sentencing for a class 3 felony of: (1) probation, with a possible jail sentence as a condition of probation of up to 90 days, or up to a two-year work release sentence as a condition of probation, or (2) a sentence to the department of corrections of four to 12 years, but as much as 24 years if the court finds the presence of exceptional circumstances, with a mandatory parole period of five years.
Special sentencing provisions apply where the controlled substance weighs more than 25 grams that require mandatory sentencing. The special offender statute also imposes mandatory sentences for up to 48 years, where, for example, the distribution occurred while the person has immediate access to a deadly weapon, or where the distribution occurred on school grounds or a public housing development or within 1,000 feet from a school or public housing development.
Possible Defenses For Distribution Of A Controlled Substance
The key to defending a charge regarding distribution of a controlled substance is demonstrating that the defendant did not have “knowledge” of the drugs (i.e., “Lack of Knowledge”). For example, many times we see cases where an acquaintance, friend or roommate asks the defendant if they can drive their vehicle to a certain location (even across state lines). This is done without the defendant’s knowledge that there are drugs packed away in the trunk, in a false bottom gas tank, or some other area of the vehicle. We have also defended cases where a defendant has had their suitcase packed/tampered with by a roommate who placed drugs inside it without the defendant’s knowledge. Other defenses include demonstrating that the drugs were not for sale, but were for personal use.
The remaining defenses that may be applied in a distribution of a controlled substance case apply with equal force to those that may apply in any other criminal case. This includes an analysis of any violation of constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to have any searches and seizures based on probable cause, a proper warrant, and the right to due process in the proper preservation of evidence that may be used against you. Many other defenses are available that rely on scrutinizing and exposing weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, such as: biased or incompetent witnesses, flawed crime scene investigation, flawed administration and procedures in collecting breath, blood or urine for forensic testing, incompetent computer evidence, flawed photo lineups, and inaccurate crime scene/accident reconstructions.
It is important that you hire a skilled and experienced distribution of a controlled substance lawyer to defend you in a distribution of a controlled substance case in Arvada, Jefferson County, or across Colorado.