As public opinion regarding marijuana and other drugs continues to evolve throughout the United States, the laws governing the possession of illegal drugs are also changing. Nowhere is this transition more prevalent than in Colorado.
In October, 2013, Colorado's drug laws went through substantial revisions. One goal was to relieve some of the pressure on the Department of Corrections by keeping people convicted of drug possession crimes out of prison. Nicknamed "wobbler" provisions, the Colorado legislature passed C.R.S. section 18-1.3-103.5. You might have heard about the "wobbler" law. It allows some felony drug convictions to be reduced to misdemeanors after probation is successfully completed.
For example, a person convicted of felony possession of methamphetamine (meth), cocaine or two grams or less of heroin, may be eligible to have the conviction reduced to a misdemeanor once probation or a community-based sentence is completed. If the amount of illegal drugs in possession exceeds the law's thresholds, the prosecutor and defending attorney can negotiate a charge of a lesser weight to allow the defendant to take advantage of the reduction.
So What Does This Really Mean?
Perhaps most importantly, those who qualify for and achieve a reduction of a felony-level drug conviction can avoid or mitigate many of the legal, professional and social consequences that accompany a felony conviction. However, there are factors that can disqualify a person from taking advantage of the "wobbler" provisions, including:
- The defendant has already received a "wobbler" reduction
- The defendant has a prior misdemeanor drug conviction that was reduced from a felony
- The defendant has a prior diversion or deferred judgment of a felony drug charge.
What Should I Do Next?
Of course, each case is different and the specific circumstances of your situation will determine whether you qualify for a "wobbler." At The Foley Law Firm, we will help you understand Colorado's drug laws, how they apply to your situation, and explore all opportunities for reaching the best possible outcome in your case.