Colorado changed the way it classifies drug crimes on October 1, 2013. Prior to October 1, Colorado sentencing guidelines did not separate drug crimes from other crimes. For example, possession of more than 2 grams of Methamphetamine and 2nd degree assault were both Class 4 felonies sentenced under the same guidelines. Under the new classifications non-drug offense remain felonies and misdemeanors but drug related offense are classified as “Drug Felonies” or “Drug Misdemeanors”.

There are two levels of drug misdemeanors and four levels of drug felonies. The presumptive sentencing range is laid out in the chart below.

An offense becomes aggravated if one of the following conditions are present at the time of the drug offense : 1) The defendant was on parole for another felony; 2) The defendant was on probation or was on bond while awaiting sentencing following revocation of probation for another felony; 3) The defendant was under confinement, in prison, or in any correctional institution as a convicted felon, or an escapee from any correctional institution for another felony; or 4) The defendant was on probation for or on bond while awaiting sentencing following revocation of probation for a delinquent act that would have constituted a felony if committed by an adult.

As an example, let’s say you have been caught with 15 marijuana plants. For simplicity’s sake ignore any affirmative defenses like a red card or other hypothetical. Under the previous version of 18-18-406 (7.5) (b) this would be a class 5 felony, presumtivly punishable by 1-3 years imprisonment. Under the current version of 18-18-406 (3)(b), the same crime is a class 4 drug felony presumptively sentenced to a period of incarceration between 6 months to 1 year. Another example would be if you were found guilty of advertising materials designed to be used as drug paraphernalia. Previously this would have been a class 2 misdemeanor punished with between 3-12 months in jail and/or a fine of $250-$1000 fine; now it is a class 2 drug misdemeanor punished with between no imprisonment and one year of confinement and/or a fine of $50-$750.

Presumptive Sentencing Range

Incarceration Fine Aggravated Range Parole
Class 2 Drug Misdemeanor No Imprisonment – 1 Year $50 – $750 Not Applicable Not Applicable
Class 1 Drug Misdemeanor 6 months – 18 months $500 – $5,000 Not Applicable Not Applicable
Class 4 Drug Felony 6 months – 1 Year $1,000 – $100,00 1 Year – 2 Years One Year
Class 3 Drug Felony 2 Years – 4 Years $2,000 – $500,000 4 Years – 6 Years One Year
Class 2 Drug Felony 4 Years – 8 Years $3,000 – $750,000 8 Years – 16 Years Two Years
Class 1 Drug Felony 8 Years – 32 Years $5,000 – $1,000,000 Not Applicable Three Years

If you have questions about how these new guidelines affect your case, contact Peter Loyd Weber & Associates at or at 720.863.7755.

Categories: Drug Crimes