Dan Murphy
By: Dan Murphy


Drug abuse or addiction can control a person’s life. When a person has been charged with a drug offense in or near the Denver area, a Denver drug crimes attorney can often arrange for that person to get the treatment and rehabilitation assistance that he or she genuinely needs.

More than 3,000 drug courts now operate in jurisdictions throughout the United States. Drug courts and other diversion programs are proving that rehabilitation and treatment are more effective than jail for dealing with first-time drug offenders. First-time drug offenders can usually avoid jail in Colorado by participating in and completing a treatment or rehabilitation program.

According to Wikipedia, drug courts now refer more people in the United States to treatment than any other referral method, and the people who are referred to treatment by drug courts are more successfully rehabilitated than any other group.

Even so, if you are charged with a drug offense in this state, you could face some severe legal consequences. How will your case be handled if you’re charged with a drug offense in Colorado? And when will you need to contact the offices of a Denver drug crimes defense lawyer?


For over a decade, adults in the State of Colorado have been allowed by law to use marijuana recreationally. Adults who are 21 and older may possess two ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to six marijuana plants. Colorado voters have also decriminalized and reduced the penalties for a number of other drug-related offenses.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is far more powerful than either heroin or morphine, but under Colorado’s Fentanyl Accountability and Prevention Act of 2022, fentanyl offenders now undergo substance-use assessments and may be ordered to enter treatment instead of serving jail time.

Once the offender completes court-ordered treatment, the felony charge for fentanyl possession is reduced to a misdemeanor charge. And since July 2023, Colorado county jails must provide medication-assisted treatment to anyone who is diagnosed with opioid use disorder (OUD).


It is now a misdemeanor in Colorado to possess up to four grams of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, or ecstasy. Defendants who are charged with misdemeanor possession of these drugs may be offered alternatives that include Veterans Treatment Courts, special drug courts, and deferred sentencing for those offenders who successfully complete treatment.

Diversion programs primarily treat offenders who struggle with dependency or addiction, so a defendant who is charged with drug manufacturing or trafficking probably will not qualify for diversion. The drug courts and diversion programs in Colorado have these three principal goals:

  1.  to reduce drug abuse and addiction in this state
  2.  to keep nonviolent offenders out of Colorado’s overcrowded jails and prisons
  3.  to reduce the costs of dealing with drug offenses


Drug use and possession are usually charged as misdemeanors in this state, but drug possession may be charged as a felony if it involves more than four grams of any Schedule I or II drugs (such as LSD, PCP, or oxycodone) or any quantity of GHB, ketamine, or flunitrazepam.

Although Colorado is considered a progressive state, stiff penalties may still be imposed for drug convictions, and you must take a drug charge seriously. If you are charged with a drug offense in the Denver area, put your case immediately in the hands of a Denver drug crimes attorney.


Diversion programs are for defendants willing to admit their guilt and accept help with addiction or dependency. If you are guilty of a drug charge, and if you qualify for a diversion program, your defense attorney may advise you to take advantage of the help that the state is offering you.

If you’re not guilty, that’s the first thing you should tell your attorney, who will then work to have the charge against you dismissed or dropped. If the charge can’t be dismissed or dropped, you have the right to a trial by jury. At a trial, your lawyer will cast doubt on the state’s evidence against you, explain to the jury why you are innocent, and ask the jurors to find you not guilty.

The Constitution protects you against unwarranted searches and seizures. If your rights were violated, your attorney may file a motion to suppress any evidence that was found by violating your rights, and that is sometimes enough to have the charge reduced or completely dismissed.


Selling, trafficking, and manufacturing illegal drugs are crimes that are usually charged as felonies in Colorado. Defendants charged with these crimes are usually ineligible for diversion programs or deferred sentencing. The penalties for these crimes depend on factors that include:

  1.  the type and quantity of drugs involved
  2.  the reason for possessing the drugs (personal consumption, sale, or trafficking)
  3.  the defendant’s previous convictions, if any
  4.  whether the defendant is currently on probation or parole

The most serious drug felony convictions in Colorado can send someone to state prison for decades and trigger a fine of up to $1,000,000. If you are charged with a drug felony, you must be represented by a Colorado criminal defense attorney who has substantial experience handling felony drug cases.


If you’re charged with a drug crime in this state, call Denver drug crimes defense lawyer Daniel M. Murphy as quickly as possible. Daniel M. Murphy will explain your rights and the potential outcomes of your case, and he will work with you to determine the best way to move forward.

If you are facing a drug charge in Colorado, it is imperative to consult a defense attorney at once. If you struggle with drug dependency or addiction, attorney Daniel M. Murphy will help you get the treatment you need. If you committed no crime, he will fight aggressively for your acquittal.

Our award-winning law firm has successfully defended clients in the Denver area for more than twenty-five years. If you are facing a drug charge, or if you are charged with a drug offense in the future, call attorney Daniel M. Murphy at once – at 303-996-8998 – to schedule your first legal consultation and case evaluation with no cost and with no obligation.

Dan Murphy
By: Dan Murphy

Denver criminal defense lawyer Daniel M. Murphy provides clients in the Denver area with aggressive and sympathetic legal representation. He graduated from the University of Denver Law School in 1994 and worked as a public defender before starting his own practice in 1996. He has defended clients accused of the most difficult criminal and alcohol-related charges. He also serves as a Moot Court Judge for Denver-area law students who rely on his mentorship.