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Do not assume Colorado is soft on drugs

Colorado may have certain progressive policies, but it is not a drug free-for-all. State officials are tough on substance crimes, and even a slight chance of conviction should be taken seriously.

In fact, a second charge for selling a schedule I or II controlled substance not allowed by state law would probably be a felony. Between aggravating factors and other crimes associated with the arrest, defendants may find themselves with consequences more severe than expected. Here are some ways to reduce the likelihood of the long-term damage to reputation and employability associated with felony convictions.

Discuss mitigating factors

People accused of selling controlled substances should probably focus on any and all mitigating factors during their defense — if it looks like a conviction is possible. However, many people misunderstand this particular point.

It does not make any sense to maintain this type of focus for defendants innocent of the crimes of which they stand accused. Ironically, the prosecution may use these discussions of reasons for a crime to show the defendant is guilty. It is unlikely, almost to the point of being impossible, that a detainee could talk his or her way out of a charge.

Avoid first convictions

Nobody can get a second conviction if she or he does not receive the first. Taking drug crime allegations seriously is an excellent strategy to reduce potential consequences in the future. For those already fighting a second charge, it would probably be wise to have someone who would be able to review all the facts of both cases to look for possible defenses.

Use all facts

Sometimes, agents of the state become overzealous in their desire to show a strong stance against certain drugs. They may end up violating the civil rights of their detainees or using questionable interrogation practices to circumvent those rights. Everything that happens between an arrestee and the investigative personnel becomes an important piece of evidence, tantamount to anything collected from an arrest scene. 

Controlling statements to state officials, being wary of any allegations and using all the details of a case are three parts of a solid strategy. Felonies are serious, but there could still be hope for acquittal, dismissal or sentence reduction in many cases.

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