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What is a 'wobbler?'

In Colorado, there are certain drug crimes that can be known as "wobblers." A wobbler is a drug crime that is filed as a felony charge, but if the defendant can successfully complete probation or community corrections, the charge becomes a misdemeanor.

Only certain drug crimes are eligible to be wobblers. These crimes include:

-- Possession of four milligrams or less of Flunitrazapam

-- Possession of two grams or less of meth, heroin, cathinones or ketamine

-- Possession of four grams or less of a Schedule 1 or 2 drug

-- Distribution or sharing

-- Possession of 12 ounces or more of marijuana or three ounces or more of concentrate

-- Prescription fraud

There are several instances in which someone charged with a drug crime is not eligible for a wobbler charge:

-- The defendant has a history of a crime of violence,

-- The defendant has a conviction in another state that would be a crime of violence or there is a requirement that he or she be sentenced as such,

-- The defendant is not eligible for probation.

-- The defendant has had two or more felony drug convictions in the past.

The prosecution, the defendant's attorney and the judge may agree to the quantity of drug in order to make the defendant eligible for a wobbler.

There are other factors that must be considered, and your criminal defense attorney can help you determine the best options for the charge you are facing. While a plea bargain to a wobbler may be the right choice for some defendants, it is not the right option for everyone.

Source: courts.state.co.us, "Colorado's New Drug Laws," accessed May 30, 2016

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