In Colorado, a “level 1 drug felony” is a class of drug crime punishable by 8 years to 32 years in prison and/or fines of $5,000.00 to $1 million. But there is a minimum prison term of 12 years if the crime involves aggravating circumstances. Convictions can never be sealed from the defendant’s criminal record.
In this article, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What are level 1 drug felonies?
- 2. What is the sentence for level 1 drug felonies in Colorado?
- 3. What are examples?
- 4. Can level 1 drug felonies get sealed?
- 5. Can I have a trial?
- 6. What if I am not a U.S. citizen?
- 7. Do I have to give up my firearms?
- 8. What is the criminal statute of limitations?
1. What are level 1 drug felonies?
Level 1 drug felonies are the most serious class of Colorado’s four drug felonies. Level 1 drug felonies carry harsher punishments than
2. What is the sentence for level 1 drug felonies in Colorado?
The presumptive range penalties for level 1 drug felonies in Colorado are
- eight to 32 years in Colorado State Prison,
- $5,000 to $1,000,000 in fines,
- a $4,500 surcharge, plus
- a three-year mandatory parole period.
But the minimum prison term becomes 12 years if the case has aggravating factors.
An aggravated level 1 drug felony is when the defendant was either:
- on parole,
- on probation or bond for another felony,
- in confinement for a felony, or
- an escapee from confinement for a felony1
Learn more in our article Colorado felony sentencing guidelines.
3. What are examples?
There are only four level 1 drug felonies in Colorado:
- Selling controlled substances (CRS 18-18-405) that include more than 225 grams of a schedule I or schedule II drug – or more than 112 grams of methamphetamine, heroin, ketamine, or cathinone – or more than 50 milligrams of flunitrazepam;
- Selling controlled substances (CRS 18-18-405) that are schedule I or II drugs to a minor, and the adult is at least two years older than the minor;
- Selling marijuana to a minor (CRS 18-18-406) if there is more than 2.5 pounds of marijuana – or more than 1 lb. of marijuana concentrate – and if the adult is at least two years older than the minor;
- Selling marijuana (CRS 18-18-406) if the amount of marijuana is more than 50 pounds – or the amount of marijuana concentrate is more than 25 lbs.
See the state government’s official list of Colorado level 1 drug felonies.
4. Can level 1 drug felonies get sealed?
Level 1 drug felony convictions in Colorado can be sealed five years after the case closes. But if the charge gets dismissed, there is no waiting period to ask the court for a record seal.2
5. Can I have a trial?
6. What if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Non-citizens who get convicted of level 1 drug felonies will be deported from the U.S. after they serve their prison sentence. That is why non-citizens charged with drug crimes should hire an attorney to fight the charges. Learn more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Colorado.4
7. Do I have to give up my firearms?
8. What is the criminal statute of limitations?
Colorado prosecutors have three years to bring level 1 drug felony charges after the alleged offense occurred. This statute of limitations pauses (tolls) for up to five years if the defendant is not in Colorado.6