Introducing Contraband in Colorado
CRS 18-8-203

In Colorado, bringing prohibited items into a jail or detention facility is a criminal offense. Introducing contraband into a detention facility is a felony. The penalties for introducing contraband in the first degree include up to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:

Contraband
In Colorado, bringing prohibited items into a jail or detention facility is a criminal offense. Introducing contraband into a detention facility is a felony.

1. What is introducing contraband?

Jail, prison, and other detention facilities have a number of restrictions on what inmates are allowed to possess. Bringing in prohibited materials to a detention facility is the criminal offense of introducing contraband.1

Introducing contraband applies to anyone who brings any material into a detention facility. A detention facility includes any building, structure, enclosure, vehicle, institution, work side or any other place where persons are lawfully held in custody or confinement. This includes detention facilities under the jurisdiction of the state of Colorado, federal facilities, or any political subdivision of Colorado.2

Inmates who make or possess any contraband are also guilty of a criminal offense.

2. What is contraband?

Contraband is any goods, materials, or items that are prohibited. In a detention facility, contraband includes prohibited items for inmates to have in their possession or visitors to introduce into the detention facility. Introducing contraband in the first degree includes:

  • Dangerous instruments
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Controlled substances3

Dangerous instruments include any device, material, or substance which is capable of causing or inducing fear of death or bodily injury. This includes:

  • Firearms
  • Explosive devices
  • Ammunition
  • Explosive substances
  • Knives
  • Sharpened instruments
  • Poison
  • Acid
  • Bludgeons
  • Protective devices4

Contraband in the first degree generally involves materials that can harm the inmate, other inmates, or security personnel. Introducing contraband in the second degree includes a number of common items, such as:

  • Keys
  • Lock picks
  • Cutting tools
  • Money or coins
  • Postage stamps
  • Counterfeit ID cards
  • Combustible materials
  • Unauthorized drugs
  • Wigs or masks
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Ropes or ladders
  • Obscene material
  • Electronic communication devices
  • Any article that may pose a threat to security5

3. What are the penalties for introducing contraband?

The penalties for introducing contraband depend on the type of contraband involved. Introducing contraband in the first degree includes bringing in drugs, alcohol, or a dangerous instrument. First degree introducing contraband is a class 4 felony.6

The penalties for introducing contraband in the first degree include 2 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. There is also a mandatory parole period of 3 years.

Introducing any other contraband is a class 6 felony.7 The penalties for introducing contraband in the second degree include 12 to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. There is also a mandatory parole period of one year.

4. Related Offenses

4.1. Escape C.R.S. 18-8-208

Escaping from police custody is a criminal offense. The penalties for escape depend on the criminal offense for why the prisoner is in custody. Escape and aiding escape is generally a felony if the person was in custody for a felony, and a misdemeanor if the person was in custody for a misdemeanor offense.

4.2. Aiding Escape C.R.S. 18-8-201

Any person who knowingly aids, abets, or assists another person to escape from custody or confinement commits the offense of aiding escape. Aiding escape is a class 2 felony if the person aided was in custody or confinement as a result of conviction of a class 1 or class 2 felony. Aiding escape is a class 1 misdemeanor if the person aided was in custody or confinement for a misdemeanor or petty offense.

4.3. Attempted Escape C.R.S. 18-8-208.1

Knowingly attempting to escape from prison or jail is a crime in Colorado. The penalties for attempted escape depend on the crime for which you were incarcerated. Attempted escape will generally result in mandatory prison time.

4.4. Possession of a Controlled Substance C.R.S. 18-18-403.5

Possession of drugs and controlled substances without a valid prescription is a criminal offense in Colorado. Drug possession can be a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the drug and amount of controlled substance involved.

Call us for help...

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If you or a loved one is arrested for introducing contraband into jail, please contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group. Our caring Colorado defense attorneys have many years of experience representing clients who have been charged with criminal offenses. We are among the best Colorado criminal defense attorneys to call. Contact us today for a free consultation by phone or in-person or in our Denver law office.


Legal References

  1. C.R.S. 18-8-203(1)
  2. C.R.S. 18-8-203(3)
  3. C.R.S. 18-8-203(1)(a)
  4. C.R.S. 18-8-203(4)
  5. C.R.S. 18-8-204(2)
  6. C.R.S. 18-8-203(2)
  7. C.R.S. 18-8-204(3)

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