Facing Charges Related to Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid that was developed to manage high levels of pain in medical patients. However, it has also become a recreational drug that is not used for pain management. Fentanyl’s popularity rests in it taking very little of the substance to obtain a high.
Adding to the fentanyl crisis is the fact that numerous other drugs such as heroin and MDMA are being cut with fentanyl to increase the potency of the high, leading to many people unintentionally ingesting the drug. It is a dangerous problem that is putting many lives at risk.
Colorado has recently seen a fentanyl crisis, with multiple deaths of people who likely did not know that they were ingesting the drug. It is hard for a user to know if a drug they are taking has been cut with fentanyl—until it’s too late. More and more dealers are using the drug as a low-cost way to increase the effect and addictiveness of other drugs, creating an all-out drug crisis.
What charges are related to fentanyl?
Possession of certain amounts of schedule I and schedule II controlled substances, including fentanyl, is charged as a misdemeanor in Colorado. This is a fairly light punishment compared to the amount of damage that is being done by fentanyl dealers.
However, lawmakers recently introduced the Fentanyl Accountability And Prevention Bill, which came into effect on July 1, 2022. Its purpose is to target the growing crisis in Colorado.
Firstly, the new bill provides that anyone who is in possession of any substance that contains more than 1 gram of fentanyl—whether it be fentanyl or fentanyl-like substances such as carfentanil and fentanyl compounds—will be charged with a Level 4 drug felony. Possession charge penalties can be up to 180 days in jail and two years on probation. If you are convicted three times for possession, your jail sentence can be increased to 364 days.
Notably, possession of less than 1 g of fentanyl remains a misdemeanor; however, if you are convicted four or more times, then you may face the Level 4 charges outlined above. If you are charged with a Level 4 drug felony, the charge could be reduced to a misdemeanor if you complete drug treatment.
The most serious charges under the new Bill are for possession with intent to distribute. Possession of 4–50 g is a Level 2 drug felony resulting in a prison term of four to 16 years. Possession of more than 50 g of fentanyl with the purpose of distribution is now a Level 1 drug felony and can result in a prison term of up to 32 years.
You can also face Level 1 drug charges if the amount you possessed was under 50 g, but you caused someone’s death via the fentanyl you sold, you were found in possession of manufacturing equipment such as a pill press, or the fentanyl was imported from outside Colorado.
If you caused someone’s death with fentanyl that you sold them, but you were present for the overdose and called and cooperated with the medical staff and law enforcement on the scene, then your charges may be reduced under the “Good Samaritan” clause in the new Bill.
What to do if you’re facing fentanyl charges
If you are arrested for fentanyl charges, you must call a lawyer as soon as you can. A lawyer will give you legal counsel and assist you in handling your case as effectively as possible. Fentanyl charges are extremely serious, and you will need the highest level of legal advice possible.
The Bussey Law Firm P.C. prides itself on the knowledgeable and successful nature of our drug crime defense attorneys. If you need legal advice relating to fentanyl charges, do not wait to call us at (719) 475-2555.