Call Us Today - It's Free! Text Us

If the police have charged you with intent to distribute drugs in Boulder, Colorado, you’re facing a serious legal battle that could change your life.

Maybe you’re wondering what “intent to distribute” means under Colorado law or which penalties you could face if convicted.

Boulder drug crime defense attorneys can answer these questions and fight for the best outcome based on the facts of your case.

Dawson Law knows the stakes are high and has the knowledge, skills, and dedication to build the most vigorous defense or negotiate a prime plea bargain on your behalf.

Intent to Distribute Charges in Colorado

Intent to distribute in our state is a more serious offense than simple drug possession. While possession involves having illegal drugs for personal use, intent to distribute means possessing them to sell or give them to others.

Several factors elevate a possession charge to intent to distribute.

  • The quantity of the controlled substance found in your possession.
  • When distribution paraphernalia like scales, baggies, or large amounts of cash are present.
  • Other evidence suggesting you planned to sell or distribute the drugs, such as witness statements or text messages discussing sales.

Elements of Intent to Distribute in Colorado

A prosecutor can bring a drug distribution charge when they have probable cause to believe a person has sold, manufactured, or dispensed a controlled substance, or has possessed a controlled substance with intent to distribute it. Both the sale and possession with intent to sell are usually felonies in Colorado, and the penalties vary greatly with quantity.

Specifically, the Colorado legislature has defined drug distribution in Colorado Revised Statute 18-18-405 as outlaws prohibiting the following conduct:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. knowingly,
  4. manufactured, dispensed, sold, or distributed a controlled substance, OR
    • possessed a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, OR
    • induced, attempted to induce, or conspired with one or more other persons to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute a controlled substance, OR
    • induced, attempted to induce, or conspired with one or more other persons to possess a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, OR
    • possessed one or more chemicals or supplies or equipment with intent to manufacture a controlled substance.

What is Considered a Controlled Substance in Colorado?

Controlled substances include, but are not limited to:

  • Cocaine
  • Fentanyl
  • LSD
  • Peyote
  • Hallucinogenic mushrooms
  • Heroin and opioids
  • Amphetamines
  • Methamphetamine
  • Steroids
  • Ecstasy
  • Sleeping medications
  • Anti-anxiety medications like Xanex or Lorazepam
  • ADHD medications

Although marijuana is also a controlled substance, they are regulated separately since the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado.

Sale, Dispensing or Transfer of Marijuana to Minors

Colorado Revised Statute 18-18-406 focuses on the sale, transfer, or dispensing of marijuana by adults to minors. The severity of the offense is determined by the weight of the transaction.

  • More than 2.5lbs or more than 1lb concentrate (DF1) 8-32 years in prison and a fine of $5k-$1M.
  • More than 6oz and less than 2.5lbs or 3oz to 1lb concentrate (DF2) 4-8 years in prison and a fine of $3k to $750k
  • 1 ounce to 6 oz, or more 1/2oz to 3oz concentrate (DF3): 4-6 years in prison and a fine of $2k to $500k
  • Less than 1 ounce or less than ½ ounce of concentrate (DF4): 1-2 years in prison and a fine of $1k to $100k

The penalties for the distribution of a controlled substance in Colorado vary depending on the drug and the quantity. On the low end, the least serious trafficking offenses are class 1 drug misdemeanors punishable by not more than 18 months in jail, whereas class 1 drug felonies are prison mandatory offenses with a sentencing range of 8 to 32 years in the Department of Corrections.

But not all hope is lost — there are defenses to distribution cases in Colorado.

If you have been charged with drug distribution a skilled Denver drug distribution attorney is essential. Get in touch with experienced Denver drug distribution defense attorneys by filling out our online contact form.

Penalties for Intent to Distribute Felony Convictions in Boulder

You could face lengthy prison sentences and substantial fines when Boulder prosecutors convict you with intent to distribute.

Today, most intent-to-distribute crimes previously listed as misdemeanors or felonies are now designated as “drug felonies” (DF) and “drug misdemeanors” (DM) under the Uniform Controlled Substance Act of 2013 and Colorado Revised Statute 18.1.3-401.5.

The penalties and fines you may face depend on the type and amount of drug involved.

Here are some examples of DF and DM penalties in Colorado:

  • (DF1): 8-32 years in prison and a fine of $5K to $1million.
    • More than 225 grams of a schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance; or
    • More than 112 grams containing methamphetamine, heroin, ketamine, or cathinones; or
    • More than five milligrams and contains flunitrazepam
  • (DF2): 4-8 years in prison and a fine of $3K to $750K.
    • More than 14 grams, but less than 225 grams containing a schedule I or schedule II controlled substance
    • More than seven grams, but no more than 112 grams cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, ketamine, or cathinones
    • More than 10 milligrams, but no more than 50 milligrams and flunitrazepam
  • (DF3): 4-6 years in prison and a fine of $2k to $500k.
    • Not more than 14 grams of a schedule I or schedule II controlled substance
    • Not more than seven grams of methamphetamine, heroine, ketamine, or cathinones
    • Not more than 10 milligrams of flunitrazepam
    • More than 4 grams of a schedule III or schedule IV controlled substance
  • (DF4): 1-2 years in prison and a fine of $1K to $100K.
    • Violation involving any material, compound, or mixture that weight not more than 4 grams of a schedule III or schedule IV controlled substance; or
    • The transfer or distribution is for the purpose of consuming all of the controlled substance with another person or persons contemporaneous with the transfer (personal use and sharing).
  • (DM1): 6-18 months in jail and a fine of $500 to $5K.
    • A violation for a transfer involving a schedule V controlled substance; or
    • A transfer with no remuneration (money) involving a weight of less than 4 grams of a schedule III or schedule IV controlled substance
  • Marijuana (DM2): 0-12 months in jail and a fine of $50 to $750.

Aggravating factors can also substantially increase these already severe penalties. These special offender enhancements are outlined in Colorado Revised Statute 18-18-407 and increase the minimum mandatory sentence to 12 years regardless of the weight of the transaction if a person is alleged to have:

  • Used, displayed, possessed a weapon during the time of the offense.
  • Encouraged or employed a child to assist with distribution.
  • Earned a substantial portion of their income
  • Distributed or possessed with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school, or public housing.

FOR EXAMPLE – If the police accuse you of selling drugs to minors, distributing them near a school zone, or having prior drug convictions, you could face even longer prison sentences and higher fines.

Beyond the criminal penalties, an intent to distribute conviction can upend your life in countless ways:

  • You’ll have a felony record that will show up on background checks, making it harder to find employment, housing, and educational opportunities.
  • You may lose professional licenses, such as a teaching or nursing license, and be barred from certain career paths.
  • You could be ineligible for government assistance programs, including student loans and public housing.
  • Your reputation and relationships may suffer as a result of your conviction.

Defenses Against Intent to Distribute Charges

Facing these charges doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted. You have the right to fight back.

An experienced Boulder criminal defense attorney builds your defense strategy based on the weakness of the prosecutor’s case.

Some common defense strategies to defeat or mitigate intent to distribute charges include:

  • Challenging the legality of the search and seizure that led to the police finding the drug evidence.
  • Arguing that the drugs were for personal use only and you had no intent to sell or distribute them.
  • Questioning the credibility of informants or witnesses who claim you planned to sell them drugs.
  • Raising doubts about constructive possession, which is when drugs are found near you but not directly on your person.

Your legal counsel will thoroughly investigate your case to identify cracks and gather evidence to support your defense.

Violations of your constitutional rights, such as an illegal search or coerced confession, may have also happened, leading to evidence dismissal in court.

“Ryan is amazing! I have never had such a trusted ally in the law. He answered all my questions and was on the ball. He is a professional in his craft and I highly recommend him for all your legal needs. Thanks Ryan!!”

— Google Review

Can You Take My Case?

Dawson Law Office - Boulder Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Importance of Hiring a Boulder Drug Crime Defense Lawyer Early

If you’ve been arrested or learn that you’re under investigation for intent to distribute, you must contact a Boulder drug crime defense lawyer as soon as possible.

The earlier you get your attorney involved, the better he or she can protect your rights.

Some benefits of having a lawyer by your side from the start include:

  • Preserving important evidence before it’s lost or destroyed.
  • Preventing you from making statements to the police that they could use against you later.
  • Arranging for you to enter a drug treatment program – demonstrating to the courts that you’re committed to rehabilitation and may lead to more lenient sentencing.

Dawson Law offers free initial consultations so you can discuss your case with an experienced Boulder lawyer without worrying about upfront costs.

We listen to your side of the story, explain your rights and options, and help you make informed decisions about how to proceed.

Your Future is Worth Fighting For – Contact Us NOW

Being charged with intent to distribute in Boulder is a terrifying experience, no doubt. But remember, there are people and professionals all around you that can help.

Dawson Law attorneys in Boulder have the experience and knowledge to build your defense and work with prosecutors to mitigate or throw out your intent to distribute charges.

But don’t wait to seek legal help. Involve Dawson Law drug crime lawyers as soon as police contact or question you. We’ll put our experience and dedication to work for you and help you during this mess.

Can You Take My Case?

Areas Served