Statute for 18 – 18 – 404 – Use Of A Controlled Substance
Here is the charge you are facing:
18-18-404. Unlawful use of a controlled substance
(1) (a) Except as is otherwise provided for offenses concerning marijuana and marijuana concentrate in sections 18-18-406 and 18-18-406.5, and as described by section 18-1-711, a person who uses any controlled substance, except when it is dispensed by or under the direction of a person licensed or authorized by law to prescribe, administer, or dispense the controlled substance for bona fide medical needs, commits a class 2 misdemeanor.
(2) and (3) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2010, (HB 10-1352), ch. 259, p. 1163, § 2, effective August 11, 2010.)
When you look at the Statute, you may have questions about definitions of certain words or how the Colorado Court will interpret certain phrases. To answer these questions, Criminal Defense Attorney turn to "case law." That is, lawyers look at previous cases to determine how these words and phrases should be defined and interpreted. The best way to locate caselaw for free is to go to google scholar and search for legal opinions involving your charges from Colorado courts. Remember to talk to your attorney about any issues in your case and how the lawyer believes that the issues should be handled.
Colorado Penalties for Use Of A Controlled Substance
The charge of Use Of A Controlled Substance, is categorized as a:
F6, if schedule I or II controlled substance
M1, if schedule III, IV or V controlled substance
Click here to find out how much jail time is associated with this penalty.
How to Use This Information
After you have hired a Denver CO Criminal Defense Attorney, you will need to sit down with him to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your case. To begin this process, you should think about what the prosecutor will attempt to show in order to say that you are guilty. This involves analyzing the statute language above as well as the jury instructions (which is the set of instructions that the jury will use to understand the law). This will allow you to get a better idea of how you can attack the prosecutor’s case and build your own case. So to begin, you should understand that the prosecutor will need to prove certain things beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be found guilty. These things are called “elements”.
The jury will be notified of the elements through a set of instructions called “Jury Instructions.” The Jury Instructions will be crafted by your attorney and the prosecutor. Your Denver CO Criminal Defense Attorney will mold the jury instructions to your case, adding facts that are specific to the case and omitting unnecessary parts of the instructions.
Please find the model jury instruction for Use Of A Controlled Substance below. These will be adapted by your Denver CO Attorney for your case.
The elements of the crime of use of a controlled substance are: 1. That the defendant, 2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged, 3. knowingly used the controlled substance(s) _________________________________________________, and (Insert the name of a controlled substance from Schedules I though V) 4. the controlled substance(s) was not dispensed by or under the direction of a person licensed or authorized by law to prescribe, administer, or dispense such controlled substance(s) for bona fide medical reasons. 5. [without the affirmative defense in instruction number ______.] After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proven each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of use of a controlled substance. After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove any one or more of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of use of a controlled substance. NOTES ON USE This instruction does not apply to marihuana and marihuana concentrate. When this instruction is used, the definitions of ?knowingly?, ?controlled substance?, ?dispense? and ?administer? must be given. People v. Campbell, 73 P.3d 11 (Colo. 2003)(distinction between possession and use)
To begin the process of analyzing your case, think about your case from the perspective of the prosecutor. Think about the facts that the prosecutor will have to prove to establish each element. Next, sit down with your Colorado Defense Attorney and talk about some of the legal ways that you can use to counter the prosecutor’s evidence. Talk to your attorney about whether he thinks any of the prosecutor’s evidence can be kept out of court. For example, if you were illegally searched, your attorney may be able to keep the things that were found, as a result of that illegal search, out of court. Additionally, talk to your attorney about whether you have any defenses to Use Of A Controlled Substance.
Don’t Forget about Immigration:
If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to ask your attorney whether your charges will trigger deportation if you are found guilty or plea to the charge.
The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.