A level 3 drug felony is a class of Colorado drug crime punishable by 2 years to 4 years in prison and/or fines of $2,000.00 to $500,000.00. But if there are aggravating circumstances, the prison term is 4 years to 6 years. Convictions can usually be sealed three years after the criminal case ends.
In this article, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What are level 3 drug felonies?
- 2. What is the sentence for level 3 drug felonies in Colorado?
- 3. What are examples?
- 4. Can level 3 drug felonies get sealed?
- 5. May I ask for a jury trial?
- 6. Are level 3 drug felonies deportable?
- 7. Do I have to surrender my guns?
- 8. What is the criminal statute of limitations?
1. What are level 3 drug felonies?
Level 3 drug felonies are the second-least serious category of Colorado’s four drug felonies. Level 3 drug felonies have laxer punishments than level 2 drug felonies and harsher punishments than level 4 drug felonies.
2. What is the sentence for level 3 drug felonies in Colorado?
The presumptive range penalties for level 3 drug felonies in Colorado are two to four years in Colorado State Prison and/or $2,000 to $500,000 in fines, a $2,000 drug offender surcharge, plus a one-year mandatory parole period.
But the prison term becomes four to six years if the case has aggravating factors, such as if the defendant at the time of the offense 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?
Three common examples of level 3 drug felonies in Colorado include:
- Attempt (CRS 18-2-101) to commit a level 2 drug felony
- Selling controlled substances (CRS 18-18-405) that include no more than 14 grams of schedule I or schedule II drugs (not schedule III, schedule IV, or schedule V drugs)
- Distributing an imitation controlled substance (CRS 18-18-422) to a minor if the adult is at least two years older than the minor
See the state government’s official list of Colorado level 3 drug felonies.
4. Can level 3 drug felonies get sealed?
Under Colorado state law, level 3 drug felony convictions can be sealed three years after the case ends. But if the case gets dropped, there is no waiting period to petition for a seal.2
5. May I ask for a jury trial?
Yes. Defendants facing Colorado criminal charges of a level 3 drug felony can have a jury trial of twelve jurors. Alternatively, the defendant can choose to have a bench trial with only a judge. Or with the judge’s permission, the defendant can ask for a smaller jury of no less than six people.3
6. Are level 3 drug felonies deportable?
Yes, drug convictions can result in non-citizens being deported from the U.S. That is why immigrants accused of violating drug laws are advised to retain experienced counsel right away to try to get the charges lessened or dismissed. Learn more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Colorado.4
7. Do I have to surrender my guns?
8. What is the criminal statute of limitations?
The district attorney can bring level 3 drug felony charges for up to three years after the alleged offense. And if the defendant is not in Colorado, the statute of limitations will pause (toll) for no more than five years.6
- Colorado Revised Statute (criminal statute) 18-1.3-401.5; see also People v. Garcia-Gonzalez, (Court of Appeals of Colorado, Division Two, 2020) COA 166, 478 P.3d 1288; see also Wells-Yates v. People, 2019 CO 90M.
- CRS 24-72-701 – 708.
- CRS 18-1-406.
- 8 USC 1227.
- CRS 18-12-108; Colorado Constitution, Article IV, § 7.
- CRS 16-5-401.