Common Defenses for Drug Dealing Charges
Charges for drug dealing carry heavier penalties than possession for personal use. Dealing includes manufacturing, holding, distributing, and selling controlled substances or the ingredients to make those substances. It also includes inducing someone or conspiring with others to deal drugs. The severity ranges from felony charges with up to 32 years in prison and $1,000,000 in fines to misdemeanor probation. The charges will depend on the type of drugs, the amount, and whether you have previous felony convictions.
Controlled Substances in Colorado
Amphetamines and Methamphetamines
- Adderall and Ritalin
- Anabolic Steroids
- Psilocybin (magic mushrooms)
Heroin or Opioids
- Rohpynol (“roofies” or the “date rape” drug)
- Sleep Medications
Marijuana is still considered a controlled substance in Colorado despite the legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana. Laws tightly control the retail sale of marijuana in Colorado and non-licensed sale over two ounces is prohibited as well as the sale of any amount to a minor. It is important to note that marijuana use has not been legalized by the federal government and any use, possession, or sale of marijuana on federal land is subject to federal laws – not state laws. Over one third of the state of Colorado is considered federal land and is under federal jurisdiction.
How to Build a Successful Defense Against Drug Dealing Charges
An in-depth knowledge of constitutional law, police procedure, and legal precedent is necessary to build a strong defense against drug dealing charges. A conviction can take away your freedom and damage your reputation and rights for the rest of your life.
Successful defenses strategies can include:
- Lack of Knowledge or Intent To Sell
- Unlawful Search and Seizure
- Coercion or Duress
- Insufficient Evidence
- Law Enforcement Violations of Constitutional Rights
The prosecution must prove that you both knew the drug was a controlled substance and that you were aware you had it in your possession. They will look for witnesses, read your social media accounts to evaluate behavior, and physical evidence of drug dealing such as large amounts of cash or movements of funds, balance sheets, packaging, and equipment and ingredients required to manufacture controlled substances.
The Rights of the Accused
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. Law enforcement officers must have a warrant or probable cause to search your person, home, or car. The exclusionary rule does not allow any evidence collected in violation of the US Constitution to be used against you in court. This includes drugs seized that can be proven to be illegal.
A police officer may give a suspect the opportunity to break the law, such as posing as someone who wants to buy drugs. They may not induce a person who would not otherwise break the law into doing so. This is entrapment. The defense focuses on the state of mind of the defendant, not the conduct of the police. They must prove the defendant had no predisposition or prior intent to break the law.
If you unwittingly engaged in transporting drugs, were living with other parties who were dealing drugs but had no intent to sell drugs yourself, or were forced to deal, manufacture, or sell drugs, the charges against you may be dropped. Your attorney will need to gather evidence to support your claims that you were not willingly or knowingly engaged in any kind of drug dealing.
Why You Need a Talented Colorado Drug Crime Defense Attorney
In drug dealing investigations the state has gone to lengths to research and build a case against an individual. A strong defense needs to do the same. The defendants’ attorneys must conduct their own investigation. At trial, they can present expert witnesses who can testify as to the methods of the police, chain of custody, and laboratory testing for any substances.
An experienced Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney can also advise about accepting a plea deal, a reduced charge in exchange for providing evidence against others, or admitting guilt and avoiding a trial, if it is in your best interests. Contact The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. (719) 475-2555 to speak with us as early as possible after your arrest.