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More About Drug Crimes

People Convicted of Drug Crimes in CO May be Given a Second Chance

Abstract: People who have been convicted of a drug crime in Colorado may be placed in the drug court program, which works to rehabilitate the offender.

People who are charged and convicted of a drug crime in Colorado may receive less severe penalties than they would have several years ago. This is because state officials are more focused on treating drug offenders rather than locking them behind bars indefinitely. Not only does this help to reduce Colorado's prisons costs, but it gives people a second chance at living a clean and sober life after a drug offense.

Colorado Drug Courts

As of January 2014, there were 78 drugs courts actively operating in Colorado. Drug courts differ from traditional courts in that they involve a multi-disciplinary team. This team is made up of criminal justice officials, as well as treatment specialists and mental health professionals. Not only do drug courts work to reduce the drug crime recidivism rate, but they improve peoples' lives by helping them become productive members of society. Instead of taking responsibility for the drug offender and watching over them in a prison setting, drug courts allow the offender to take responsibility for their own actions.

Phases of Drug Court

People who enter into the drug court program will travel through three phases, according to the Colorado judicial branch. All phases involve drug and alcohol monitoring, meetings with a probation officer, and community service. The monitoring and meetings decrease in frequency as the participant graduates through the program. Each phase lasts approximately 90 days. At the end of the program, the drug offender will be evaluated and may be sent back to repeat a phase of the treatment program if needed.

Senate Bill 250

Before Senate Bill 250 was passed into law, Colorado drug offenses were classified as felonies, misdemeanors, or petty offenses. Since the new legislation, each category is designated as drug felonies, drug misdemeanors, and drug petty offenses. These drug crimes come with more lenient penalties when compared to other crimes. In some cases, the judge appointed to the case may use his or her discretion and award a lesser penalty if the offender successfully completes the drug court program.

Effectiveness of Drug Court

According to a report published by the Office of National Drug Control Policy found that approximately 84% of offenders who have successfully graduated from the drug court program were not re-arrested on drug charges one year after graduation. A study by the Urban Institute found that the program actually saves money by reducing the drug crime recidivism rate.

Partnering with a Denver Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

People who have been charged with a drug crime in Colorado may want to seek the legal assistance of a criminal lawyer. A drug conviction can affect many areas of your life. An established attorney may be helpful in bettering the outcome of your case.

Call me at (303) 622-3281 today to discuss your case in a complimentary evaluation.

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