Alternative Sentencing in Colorado DUIs

A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or even for driving while ability impaired can result in severe consequences, especially for individuals who have prior similar convictions. In some cases, those consequences could include jail time. However, it may be possible to work with prosecutors and the Colorado legal system on alternative sentencing measures that may help you avoid some of the more severe consequences imposed after a DUI conviction. If you are facing Colorado DUI charges, it is important to understand the potential types of alternative sentencing available in Colorado and to remember that not all options are available in every situation.

Types of Alternative Sentencing

The types of alternative sentencing that may be available in any given case depend heavily on the nature of the charge an individual is facing as well as whether or not the person facing charges has a criminal record. Many of the alternative sentencing options available may help individuals facing possible jail time avoid that consequence, but even alternative sentencing measures can impose severe restrictions. Some types of alternative sentencing options in Colorado include:

  • Probation: Probation is a program that specifies a period of time after conviction during which an individual convicted of charges must comply with certain restrictions.
  • Weekend Jail Sentencing: If you are facing jail time as a result of a DUI conviction, it may be possible to work with the court to serve your jail sentence over the weekend. This option can help you remain with your family during the week and continue to work while fulfilling other obligations related to your sentencing.
  • Work Release: Work release requires an individual convicted of certain crimes and sentenced to jail to serve their sentence in a jail facility, but he or she will be released to fulfill employment obligations. In other words, you will still be able to work but you must return to a jail after work each day.
  • House Arrest: Also known as in-home detention, house arrest usually requires an individual convicted of certain crimes to remain in their home during their sentence. However, he or she is allowed to go to work, medical appointments, school, and other approved activities typically while being monitored by electronic monitoring devices.
  • Multiple Offender Programs: These programs are specifically designed for individuals who have multiple alcohol and/or drug-related offenses. These types of programs usually require an individual to begin a treatment program while in jail. If such treatment is found to be successful, an individual in such a program may be able to “graduate” to in-home detention or other phases to serve out the sentence.

Again, it is important to remember that not all of these options may be available for all offenders. There may also be additional options available depending on the location of your charges. In some cases, none of these options may be offered. However, working with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney that has experience with DUIs and alternative sentencing measures related to a DUI conviction is an important step in attaining less restrictive penalties related to a DUI conviction.

Legal Assistance with Colorado DUIs

If you are facing a Colorado DUI or related charge, it is important to work with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney with a focus on working with clients facing similar charges. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation, where you can find out more information about the charges you are facing as well as what options might be available to you in your defense, including the potential for alternative sentencing measures should you be convicted.

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Pleading “No Contest” in a Colorado DUI

In most criminal cases, you have the option to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges you are facing. However, there is sometimes a third option available to you where you can plead “no contest” to charges. For individuals facing charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, plea options include no contest as well as guilty and not guilty. If you are considering pleading no contest to DUI charges or any other criminal charges, then it is important you understand the potential consequences related to such a plea.

Understanding No Contest Pleas

A no contest plea is also referred to as a “nolo contendere” plea or an “Alford plea” after the case from which such pleas arose. Basically, these pleas are an admission that the prosecution has collected enough evidence to convince a judge and/or a jury that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, no contest pleas have the same ultimate effect as a guilty plea though they afford the defendant the option of not admitting guilt.

In many cases, a no contest plea cannot be used to prove guilt in subsequent court proceedings. This can be beneficial in situations where there are additional lawsuits related to a DUI charge, such as personal injury civil suits arising from injuries sustained in an accident related to a DUI. Lawyers in those cases may be barred from using a no contest plea to prove that the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. However, no contest pleas will still result in a criminal conviction on a defendant’s record and can still be used when calculating the number of lifetime DUI charges he or she receives for purposes of Colorado’s felony DUI statute.

Other Potential Drawbacks

Some judges do not like accepting “no contest” pleas, and the discretion of whether or not to accept such a plea lies with the individual judge. One reason many judges do not like these pleas is that they can be an indication that an individual does not want to take responsibility for the crime he or she is accused of committing. For individuals who deny their factual guilt, it may also become difficult to complete the requirements associated with probation. For instance, most individuals convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs will have to undergo mandatory classes and/or treatment programs related to substance abuse. This can be a difficult task for those who believe they are truly innocent of the crime.

Is a No Contest Plea Right for You?

Ultimately, the decision as to which plea you want to enter in a criminal case is up to you. Sometimes, the benefits of a no contest plea can outweigh the potential negatives related to this type of plea. A Colorado criminal defense attorney who has experience working with clients facing charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs can help you understand your options and work with you to decide which option may be the right one for you. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation, where you can find out more about the charges you are facing, the potential consequences related to conviction on those charges, and what options might be available to you in your defense.

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Morning-After Driving can Still be Dangerous

Driving under the influence can lead to dangerous consequences in Colorado. If you are pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol, you could be facing serious criminal repercussions, especially if you are a repeat offender. However, even individuals who make the choice to “sleep it off” are at risk of being pulled over and charged with a DUI. In fact, more and more individuals find themselves facing DUI charges after a long night of drinking, even when they choose to rest after drinking.

Morning-After Drunk Driving

A study from the United Kingdom reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation found an increase in DUI arrests several years ago, and the trend continues today. While it typically takes about an hour for an individual to process the amount of alcohol in one alcoholic drink, many factors can impact the rate at which your body breaks that alcohol down. These include age, weight, and medical conditions that could delay the breakdown of alcohol in your system. Another issue arises because alcoholic beverages are not always universal. Sometimes a serving of beer is larger than normal, and pours in mixed drinks can be inconsistent. Many cocktails also have a higher alcohol content than an average drink, so consuming more of them within a certain period can cause your body to need more time to break that alcohol down.

Any combination of these factors may mean that even if you did not drive after drinking, your body may not have sobered up enough by the next morning to put you beneath the legal limit for impaired driving. Additionally, having coffee or taking a shower can often give the false impression that you have sobered up more than you actually have, and your ability to drive can still remain impaired for a longer period. One of the issues with morning-after driving is that it is often unavoidable. Drivers may have to go to work or return home, or may need to use their vehicles for a variety of other reasons.

Hungover Driving

Hungover driving presents a serious danger, too. While individuals driving while hungover may no longer have alcohol in their systems or may at least be beneath the legal limit for impaired driving, hungover driving can still be extremely risky. Reaction time can still be slowed and some senses may be more sensitive to stimuli such as bright light. When the right circumstances combine, hungover driving can cause a decrease in response time as well as diminished attention to the road and rules of driving. In fact, an article from PsychologicalScience.org noted that a study indicated hungover drivers may actually be just as impaired as drivers operating under the influence. The authors of that study found that hungover drivers are comparable to those drivers who have a blood alcohol concentration between 0.05% and 0.08%, which would qualify such drivers to be charged with driving while ability impaired in Colorado.

Legal Assistance with Colorado DUI Charges

If you are facing Colorado charges for driving under the influence or driving while ability impaired, it is important to work with a Colorado criminal defense attorney that has experience working with clients facing similar charges. The attorneys at Tiftickjian Law Firm focus their practice on working with Colorado clients facing these types of charges and can use that experience to work with you and meet your individual needs. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about the charges you are facing as well as what options might be available to you in your defense.

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Denver Divided Over Social Marijuana Use

We have recently written that few Colorado voters regret their decision to vote for legalizing the use of recreational marijuana. Since Colorado’s Amendment 64 passed and became law on January 1, 2014, the state has seen much debate regarding the commercial availability of recreational marijuana. Additionally, state legislators have revisited the original guidelines governing recreational marijuana law for several different reasons including the increase of local control with regulating the industry and redesigning how tax income from the recreational marijuana market will be spent. In November, Denver voters passed Initiative 300, which will allow individuals to consume marijuana at different venues throughout the city. However, there is a divide in exactly how to implement the measure.

The Initiative

According to the measure passed by Denver voters, individuals would be able to consume recreational marijuana at places like coffee shops, art galleries, yoga studios, and various other venues. The measure still requires individuals partaking in recreational marijuana to be over the age of 21 and will prohibit marijuana use indoors. Additionally, the Colorado Liquor Control Board has already determined that businesses where alcohol can be consumed will not be permitted to allow recreational marijuana use. While the measure passed with these restrictions, additional regulations governing such public use were noticeably lacking.

A Divided View

According to the Denver Post, a public hearing was held on June 13 in which a distinct line was drawn between public attendees and business owners as to what regulations should be implemented on the measure. Public attendees, some of whom are part of community organizations that have already voiced support for currently proposed regulations, say that while they would continue to support the current regulations they would also favor strengthening them. Some residents indicated that they wanted the regulations to further address issues like visibility of marijuana consumption and the often-potent smell of marijuana growth operations that affect residents across the city. One other major concern raised by several individuals was the potential for individuals to consume marijuana along with other intoxicating agents, which could present an increased safety risk for Colorado drivers.

However, representatives in attendance that had supported the original ballot measure told executives running the forum that the majority of businesses that had originally been interested in pursuing permitting to allow them to allow social marijuana use were no longer interested because the regulations on the initiative had become too stringent. In fact, some attendees associated with supporting the measure indicated that they did not even believe they could get the policy off the ground if the current regulations remained in place. One such concern raised is that businesses allowing social consumption would not be able to themselves sell marijuana and customers would instead need to bring their own. Other regulations place strict restrictions on the location of such businesses, including requiring that be located a minimum distance from schools and city-owned recreational facilities. There are additional requirements in place to help promote safe use of marijuana, including campaigns targeted at discouraging driving under the influence of marijuana.

Legal Assistance with Marijuana-Related Criminal Charges

If you are facing marijuana-related charges in Colorado, including driving under the influence of marijuana, it is important to work with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney who has experience working with clients facing similar charges. These types of charges can be extremely intimidating, but you do not need to face them alone. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about the charges you are facing as well as the potential options available for your defense depending upon the circumstances of your case. The quicker you contact an attorney, the quicker important work on your half can begin.

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Mouth Alcohol and DUIs

It is not illegal to drive with alcohol in your stomach or in your bloodstream unless the amount of alcohol in your system is above 0.08%, which can get you a DUI. In Colorado, an additional concern is a lesser DUI charge known as DWAI, or driving while ability impaired. A DWAI can be issued if your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.05%. Decades of scientific research into alcohol consumption indicates that these levels are the ones after which a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely becomes impaired. For the most part, states across the country have similar laws with a few opting for stricter enforcement. Facing Colorado DUI charges can be very intimidating, especially for individuals that may not actually be guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol. In some situations, other factors can impact your blood alcohol concentration reading on a breathalyzer. One of those factors might be mouth alcohol.

Understanding Breathalyzer Tests

Initial impairment testing often involves a breathalyzer test. While this test cannot specifically determine the level of alcohol in your bloodstream because it does not test your blood, it is meant to determine how much alcohol is able to be picked up from deep inside the lungs in order to get an idea of how impaired a person might be. As the air measured by a breathalyzer comes from your lungs, it is possible that the air measured during a breath test could be contaminated by mouth alcohol.

Understanding Mouth Alcohol

It is possible for residual mouth alcohol to skew a breathalyzer’s results. Mouth alcohol can come from a number of different sources, some of which include:

  • Mouthwash: Many mouthwashes are made with alcohol as one of their main ingredients, bringing their alcoholic “proof” level to over 50;
  • Medicine: Many medicines also contain alcohol as an ingredient, and those that cause drowsiness could also cause a person to be mistaken as drunk;
  • Breath spray: Like mouthwash, breath sprays can also contain alcohol;
  • Digestive Issues: Digestive ailments such as heart burn, acid reflux, and/or GERD can bring mouth alcohol from the stomach to the mouth, potentially causing higher alcohol levels on your breath; and/or
  • Burping: Even burping can bring some traces of alcohol back into the mouth, potentially at levels high enough to influence the results of a breath test.

It is actually possible for a person who has not been drinking to test over the legal limit for impairment because of mouth alcohol. If you believe that you may have been charged with a DUI because of mouth alcohol or other potential conditions that could cause false test results, it is important to speak with a Colorado criminal defense attorney so that they can review the circumstances surrounding your charge and help determine the best approach to your defense.

Legal Assistance with a Colorado DUI

If you are facing a Colorado DUI, you need to work with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney who focuses on helping clients facing similar charges. Each DUI case is different, and the attorneys at Tiftickjian Law Firm understand how different approaches can work for different clients. If you care facing Colorado DUI or DWAI charges, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about what options might be available to you in your defense based on your individual circumstances.

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Marijuana Busts Across Colorado Target Multiple Illegal Operations

 

Since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use, several issues have come up surrounding the legalized substance. One of the most publicized repercussions of legalizing recreational marijuana has been the illicit marijuana market that is supported by illegal growing operations located throughout the state. There has been no shortage of coverage on these illegal grow operations, and the Denver Post reports that an illegal grow operation valued at approximately $7 million was recently discovered by a hiker in the San Isabel National Forest. The Denver Post also reported that a separate recent drug trafficking bust in Denver has so far netted 43 arrests.

San Isabel National Forest

A string of recent illegal marijuana grow operations has been discovered in the San Isabel national Forest, the most recent one discovered by a hiker. According to the article, the hiker stumbled upon an illegal marijuana growing operation worth approximately $7 million. Between the two fields the hiker found, over 7,000 marijuana plants were identified. Cooking stoves, food containers, and other articles found near the area indicated to police that people had recently been living there.

The discovery comes on the heels of the sentencing of a Mexican man who had been arrested for guarding illegal marijuana growing operations in the San Isabel National Forest as repayment to his smugglers, who are reportedly American. In that case, the defendant will be deported after serving a total of 12 months in prison, but the illegal grow operation organizers have not been found. An often-overlooked concern with these illegal grow operations is their potential impact on the environment because of the amount of water, fertilizer, and other things necessary to cultivate such large operations.

Denver Bust

Meanwhile, a large-scale bust recently occurred in Denver resulted in 43 arrests with other suspects remaining at-large. The investigation, conducted in cooperation with state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies, was the result of a tip Denver police received in 2014. Over 150 search warrants were executed at various homes and warehouses in the Denver area over an 11-month period. Nearly 2,500 cultivated marijuana plants were seized along with over 4,000 pounds of marijuana. The drug ring involved operated several businesses in the Denver area, including property management companies, which are also involved in the indictment against the suspects.

This bust comes as Denver considers how to regulate public use of marijuana in social environments, a measure passed by Denver voters last year. It also comes during increased concern over the impact of recreational marijuana on traffic safety as statistics indicate traffic crashes are increasingly related to driving under the influence of drugs, including marijuana. Several legislative initiatives are in the works that would limit the amount of plants individuals can grow in the hopes that doing so will help cut down on illegal growing operations across the state and address public concerns such as preventing driving under the influence of drugs.  

Legal Assistance with Drug-Related Crimes

While recreational marijuana remains legal in Colorado, running afoul of laws governing such use can result in severe consequences including loss of your driver’s license and/or imprisonment. If you have been charged with drug-related crimes in Colorado, including driving under the influence of drugs, it is important to work with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney that focuses their practice on working with clients facing these types of charges. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about the charges you are facing as well as the options potentially available to you in building your defense. These types of charges can be intimidating and have far-reaching repercussions, but you do not have to face them alone.

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Uber Facing Fines for DUI Accusations

There is no doubt that hailing a cab or using a ride sharing service like Uber can usually be a safer choice than driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. However, recent accusations in California have led at least one state agency there to support levying a hefty fine against Uber for its handling of drunk driving accusations in that state. According to an article from Fortune.com, the company’s handling of DUI-related issues with its drivers have landed it in yet another controversial position.

The Complaint

In a recent complaint, the Public Utility Commission of California said that it reviewed 154 “zero tolerance” complaints filed between mid-August of 2014 and the end of 2015. According to their complaint, Uber only conducted some sort of investigation in 21 of those instances. The investigation indicated that the company only attempted to contact 50 drivers involved in the complaints and failed to take any sort of corrective action in at least 25 cases. Further investigation revealed that drivers who had been cited for impaired driving continued to pick up passengers for the company even after they had technically been suspended.

In California, drivers for ride-hailing companies are exempt from random testing for drugs and alcohol, unlike other commercial operators. Therefore, many drivers may have been able to operate under the influence without being caught. Uber has relied on an impractical system of flagging impaired drivers. It would either require a police officer to be present in pulling over a driver or in conducting a chemical test, or there would need to be admission from the driver or based on video footage.

The investigation indicated that these incidents seem to be quite common in California. While the agency only reviewed 154 complaints, the company received over 2,000 complaints during the time period in question. That does not take into account how many complaints were filed against similar ride-hailing services. As a result of this particular review, the company is facing a $1,132,500 fine dependent on the outcome of the complaint. Other states, including Colorado, are considering taking a closer look into just how safe Uber and other similar services really are when it comes to their drivers operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol. Without providing a formal comment, the company indicated that it had since improved protocol related to drivers operating under the influence, indicating data being reviewed was from almost two years ago.

Legal Assistance with DUIs

If you have received a Colorado DUI, especially if you are a commercial driver, the consequences of conviction are severe. Not only do you risk heavy fines and possible jail time, you may be looking at losing your livelihood, too. That is why it is important to work with Colorado criminal defense attorneys who focus their practice on advocating for clients facing DUI charges. The criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm has worked with countless clients, including both regular and commercial drivers, to defend against DUI charges and the consequences of conviction. Contact the Colorado criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more information about what options might be available to you in your defense.

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Legal Pot Tied to Increase in Vehicle Accidents According to Study

As more and more states across the country begin to legalize recreational marijuana, new safety concerns also arise. Many of those safety concerns are related to driving under the influence of marijuana. While studies have indicated that many concerns about legalized recreational marijuana have been unfounded, CNBC.com recently reported that insurance claims related to accidents are on the rise in three states that have legalized recreational marijuana use.

Troublesome New Numbers

According to the study cited in the article, accidents are 3% higher in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington than expected. The Highway Loss Data Institute says these numbers are troubling especially because they seem to be attached to states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. To conclude that this increase in vehicle accidents is related to legalized recreational marijuana, the researchers looked at the number of accident before legalization as well as the number of accidents after legalization. They compared these numbers to similar states where recreational marijuana use is still illegal and determined that there was a trend. Aside from measuring insurance claims, the study also found that vehicle collisions have increased as much as 16% in Colorado since legalization – the largest increase out of the three states surveyed.

One thing to keep in mind is that there is no uniform roadside sobriety test for marijuana use yet. While the study indicates a rise in the number of insurance claims from accidents in these states, it does not specifically pinpoint whether or not the increase in accidents was caused by drivers who were high on marijuana at the time of the collision. Additionally, the study did not consider any statistics related to highway fatalities. This makes it difficult to discern the severity of the accidents that make up the increase. While no vehicle accident is a good accident, it remains to be seen if legalized recreational marijuana has had a negative impact on the amount of collisions that occur on Colorado roads each year. As the article points out, this is especially true because many drivers who are involved in accidents that test positive for marijuana also test positive for alcohol. This makes it difficult to determine exactly which substance is the root cause of an accident. Most Coloradans still support their decisions to legalize recreational marijuana, so it does not appear likely that any significant changes to the state’s laws on recreational marijuana will be made.

Legal Assistance with a DUID

Driving under the influence of drugs, referred to as a DUI-D, is a serious charge in Colorado. Even though recreational marijuana use is legal in Colorado, driving under the influence of the drug is not. There is significant concern over the validity of testing procedures to determine someone’s level of marijuana intoxication, but the current limit of 5 nanograms of THC in a driver’s blood is strictly enforced. If you have been charged with a Colorado DUI-D, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has experience handling Colorado drug-related charges. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about what options might be available to you in your defense.

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Judge’s Ruling on Breathalyzers Puts Colorado DUI Cases in Limbo

Most individuals are familiar with the process of being charged with a DUI, even if they have not directly been involved with one. Typically, you are initially pulled over for any number of reasons. This could include a burnt-out tail light, erratic driving, failing to yield the right of way, or any number of other potentially minor traffic violations. During the initial interaction with police, it may become apparent to law enforcement that you might be driving under the influence of alcohol. At that point, police officers may ask you to perform roadside sobriety testing including roadside breathalyzer tests. While you should always decline to perform these roadside tests, you will be required to submit to chemical testing at a police station if you are taken in under suspicion of driving under the influence. We have recently written about the uncertain fate of breathalyzer evidence in many Colorado DUIs, and Summit Daily reports that a Gilpin County judge has set a precedent on this issue that could affect hundreds of DUI cases.

The Issue

In 2016, a defendant was pulled over and ultimately charged for driving under the influence of alcohol but has insisted that he was not intoxicated while operating the vehicle. Typically, this is not an adequate defense and would not warrant much extra attention. However, breathalyzers used for chemical testing purposes need to be certified for accuracy by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. This certification is later filed in court to attest to the accuracy of the equipment in relation to its use in DUI cases. However, the signature that appeared on many of the certificates – specifically those related to the Intoxilyzer 9000 – bore the name of an employee who had no longer been overseeing the certification process even though her name had continuously been used on the certifications after she left the department.

Effects of the Ruling

The judge determined that the certificates filed were “inaccurate, misleading and deceptive” in a way that violated the defendants’ right to due process. The judge determined that the breathalyzer evidence was therefore inadmissible. According to the article, some lawyers have already received dozens of calls from clients seeking to overturn their prior DUI convictions on due process grounds. In fact, this ruling could affect hundreds of DUI cases in Colorado from between July 2015 and January 2017. Prosecutors have filed a motion to reconsider the ruling and will most likely appeal to a higher court if that is denied. However, even though Governor Hickenlooper’s office has stated that an internal investigation and found no evidence of wrongdoing, it remains somewhat unlikely that an appeal would prevail especially since judges across the state have so far adhered to this judge’s ruling.

It is important to remember that this ruling does not affect every Colorado DUI from 2015 to 2017, nor does it impact the ability to introduce evidence related to the questionable breathalyzers when done a different way than what is typical in a DUI case.

Legal Assistance with Colorado DUIs

Facing a DUI in Colorado is an intimidating experience. However, working with an experienced Colorado DUI attorney who focuses on working with clients facing these types of charges can be an important part of a successful defense. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more information about what options might be available for your DUI defense based on your individual circumstances.

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Taxes on Legal Marijuana Help Target Illegal Marijuana

 

Even as recreational marijuana picks up support across the country, it remains a deeply divisive issue. Medical marijuana also continues to draw the ire of marijuana critics. For many people, recreational marijuana in Colorado – the nation’s first recreational marijuana market – is now commonplace. However, the marijuana market is rapidly changing, and Colorado has now tackled another “first’ when it comes to the recreational sale of marijuana. According to a recent article from Denver’s ABC-7, on June 8, Colorado started using tax dollars from the sale of marijuana to help fund law enforcement initiatives that aim to crack down on illegal marijuana growing operations.

The New Measure and its Goals

Governor Hickenlooper signed a measure into law that earmarks nearly $6 million worth of tax revenue from Colorado’s legal pot market to help reimburse law enforcement departments across the state that expend resources on investigating illegal marijuana growing operations. Governor Hickenlooper indicated that black-market marijuana has been an increasing problem across the state since the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2012. He expressed concern that many individuals may be claiming that they are growing marijuana for medical purposes, but then ship that marijuana out of the state.

Police groups have supported the idea because black-market marijuana operations have increasingly strained the budgets of law enforcement departments across the state. Additionally, these departments indicate that the illegal marijuana grows in communities across the state have attracted increased crime, especially organized crime. The state’s young marijuana industry also supports the measure as they believe that illegal marijuana growing operations undercut the state’s legal market and detract from their ability to remain profitable. Without taxable profits from the legal marijuana industry, funding for other crucial programs within the state, such as education, could be at risk.

This measure is similar to one already in existence in Oregon that earmarks 20% of its marijuana taxes for local law enforcement purposes as well as another 15% for state police, though Oregon’s law does not direct recipients to use that money specifically to find illegal marijuana growing operations as Colorado’s measure does. In fact, this measure is the first of its kind in the country and is aimed at Colorado’s rural communities where illegal grows are likely to pop up and law enforcement agencies may be less equipped to handle the problem.

Legal Assistance with Marijuana and Drug-Related Charges

As you can see, Colorado takes any violation of its marijuana laws seriously. Violating the state’s marijuana laws can lead to serious consequences, as can running afoul of the state’s laws pertaining to other drugs. If you are facing marijuana or other drug-related charges, including charges of driving under the influence of marijuana and/or another drug, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney that has a deep understanding of Colorado’s drug laws is an important part of your defense. If you are facing drug-related charges, contact the Colorado criminal defense attorneys at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you will have the chance to find out more about the charges you are facing as well as what options might be available to you in your defense.

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