Important elements in mounting an effective drug crime defense

Important elements in mounting an effective drug crime defense

While it’s true that recent changes in the law have softened their stance toward the use of marijuana in Colorado, people should not assume that this attitude has spread to other types of drugs as well. Make no mistake about it, Colorado is still tough on the use, production, and trafficking of all kinds of controlled substances, and that means you could be facing serious trouble if you get involved with illegal drugs.

If you’ve been arrested for a drug-related offense, then much of your drug crime defense strategy will be determined by what kind of drug was involved, the amount, and the circumstances surrounding the case. In other words, being popped for possessing a couple of Valiums is going to be completely different than if you get caught trying to sell a kilo of cocaine.

In many cases, the courts may attempt to put first time offenders into drug diversion programs; judges are given more discretion on what kind of sentences to hand down. Overall, there is a more favorable attitude toward expunging convictions for drug-related cases so that one mistake does not follow a person around forever. The vast majority of drug cases never even make it to trial. More than 90 percent are settled with a plea bargain, allowing a defendant who stands a good chance of being convicted to take a lesser penalty instead. Plea bargains free up the court system’s resources so they can focus on more serious crimes.

Many plea bargains come about as a result of sentences handed out in specialized drug courts. Recognizing that incarceration may not be the most effective deterrent to help someone break the habit of drug use and related criminal activities, drug courts often add medical treatment and rehabilitation activities to the sentence, leading to a much lower recidivism rate. Completion of programs will often result in lesser charges or dismissal of charges altogether.

Decker & Jones serves clients in Denver, Golden and communities throughout Jefferson County, Colorado.