A level 2 drug misdemeanor in Colorado is punishable by up to 12 months in county jail and/or $50 to $750 in fines. For unlawful drug use, courts typically grant probation and a $500 fine. Convictions can be sealed from the defendant’s criminal record two years after the case ends.
In this article, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What are level 2 drug misdemeanors?
- 2. What is the sentence for level 2 drug misdemeanors in Colorado?
- 3. What are examples?
- 4. Can level 2 drug misdemeanors be sealed?
- 5. Are there deportation consequences?
- 6. Can I ask for a jury trial?
- 7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for level 2 drug misdemeanors?
- 8. Can I have a gun?
1. What are level 2 drug misdemeanors?
Colorado law subdivides drug misdemeanors into two tiers: level 1 to level 2. Level 2 drug misdemeanors are less serious than level 1 drug misdemeanors.
Both level 1- and 2 drug misdemeanors carry laxer penalties than drug felony convictions. But drug misdemeanors carry harsher penalties than drug petty offenses.1
2. What is the sentence for level 2 drug misdemeanors in Colorado?
Colorado penalties for level 2 drug misdemeanors include up to 12 months of jail time and/or $50 to $750 in fines.
As of March 1, 2020, the punishment for unlawful drug use is:
- Probation of up to 1 year;
- Possibly 120 days in jail; and
- Up to $500
But for a 3rd or subsequent offense, up to 180 days in jail2
Defendants may be able to perform community service instead of paying a fine.
3. What are examples?
Common examples of level 2 drug misdemeanors in Colorado include:
- Abusing toxic vapors (CRS 18-18-412)
- Unlawful use of a controlled substance (CRS 18-18-404)
- Drug possession offense (CRS 18-18-403.5) of more than 2 ounces of marijuana but not more than 6 oz. (or up to 3 ounces of marijuana concentrate)
- Conspiracy (CRS 18-2-201) to commit a level 1 or 2 drug misdemeanor
- Attempt (CRS 19-2-101) to commit a level 1 or 2 drug misdemeanor
- Advertisement of drug paraphernalia (CRS 18-18-430)
See the state government’s official list of level 2 drug misdemeanors.
There are no extraordinary risk level 2 drug misdemeanors.
4. Can level 2 drug misdemeanors be sealed?
Yes. Colorado convictions of level 2 drug misdemeanors can be sealed from the defendant’s record two years after the case ends. And if the charge gets dismissed, then the defendant can ask the court for a seal immediately.3
Learn how to get criminal records sealed in Colorado.
5. Are there deportation consequences?
Drug-related offenses are potentially deportable. Therefore, non-citizens who have been cited or arrested for drug offenses should hire an attorney. A lawyer may be able to get the charge dismissed or changed to a non-deportable offense.
Learn more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Colorado.4
6. Can I ask for a jury trial?
Yes. If a level 2 drug misdemeanor case does not settle in Colorado, the defendant can ask for a jury trial of six jurors. With the court’s approval, the defendant may elect to have a bench trial instead or a smaller jury of no less than three people.5
7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for level 2 drug misdemeanors?
Colorado prosecutors have 18 months after the alleged offense to press level 2 drug misdemeanor charges. Learn more about criminal statutes of limitations in Colorado.6
8. Can I have a gun?
Federal law prohibits drug addicts or users from possessing guns.7 And drug users who try to buy a gun in Colorado face charges for illegal purchase of a firearm (CRS 18-12-111).
Facing drug charges? Our experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyers want to provide legal help to you and fight the district attorneys for the best possible outcome. Our Colorado law firm fights to get criminal charges reduced or dismissed while avoiding a jail sentence. Contact our law offices for a free criminal case evaluation. We help clients throughout the state of Colorado, including Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Golden, and more.
Return to our Colorado drug laws main page, including our article on unlawful possession of a controlled substance / possession of drugs (CRS 18-18-403.5).
Also see our specific drug crimes pages on methamphetamine, LSD, ketamine, and codeine.
Also see our articles about Colorado misdemeanors and Colorado felony crimes.
- Colorado Revised Statute 18-1.3-501; see also People v. Lucero, (2016, Court of Appeals of Colorado, Division Six) COA 105, 381 P.3d 436.
- Same; House Bill 19-1263 (new law); Uniform Controlled Substances Act (2013).
- CRS 24-72-701 – 708.
- 8 USC 1227.
- CRS 18-1-406.
- CRS 16-5-401.
- 18 USC 922; United States v. Seay, (8th Cir. 2010) 620 F.3d 919.