Schedule 4 (or Schedule IV) refers to the classification of illegal substances.
The schedule of the drug you are charged with possessing has a decisive influence on the penalty that you will receive if Colorado convicts you or if you plead guilty.
Although Colorado recently revised its criminal code to lessen the penalties for the possession of illegal substances, a Schedule 4 drug charge is still serious.
Colorado’s Drug Schedules
Colorado divides controlled dangerous substances into five categories or schedules. Each schedule contains a list of specific substances that are prohibited or restricted under that schedule.
Some of these substances are outright illegal to possess, while others are legal but require a prescription to possess. The Colorado drug scheduling system largely mirrors the federal system.
Schedule I contains the most dangerous and restricted drugs, such as heroin.
Schedule V contains the least dangerous and least restricted of all controlled dangerous substances, such as certain medications that contain a small amount of codeine.
Technically, Colorado refers to Schedule 4 as “Schedule IV,” using the Roman numerals.
Colorado’s Schedule 4 drugs include Valium, Xanax, Rohypnol, and prescription sleep aids such as Ambien, to name a few.
Schedule 4 Drug Penalties
It is a level 1 drug misdemeanor under Colorado law to possess Schedule IV drugs without a valid prescription. In Colorado, a level 1 misdemeanor can result in up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
These penalties were much stiffer before sentencing reforms in 2020. Keep in mind that pretrial diversion programs, plea bargaining, or a successful defense could all keep you out of jail.
Special penalties for Rohypnol
Rohypnol (“roofies”) is also a Schedule IV drug, but it carries stiffer penalties because people often use it as a “date rape” drug.
Possession of any amount of Rohypnol is a felony with a penalty of up to a year in prison, a year of parole, a hefty fine, and a drug offender surcharge of $1,500 to $4,500.
Factors That Can Increase the Penalties
Colorado increases the penalties for possessing Schedule IV drugs, sometimes drastically, in response to certain aggravating factors. These factors include:
- Multiple offenses,
- Possession of large enough amounts to trigger the assumption that your purpose is to sell or distribute these drugs,
- Distribution of drugs, and
- Provision of drugs to a minor (under 18 years old).
In some cases, a Schedule IV drug offense could land you in prison for many years.
We Stand Ready to Defend You
If Colorado has charged you with a Schedule IV drug offense, you don’t have to sit back and wait for the prosecutor to convict you.
You can fight back, and we can help you. You might win an outright acquittal, negotiate a favorable plea bargain, or receive enrollment in a pretrial diversion program, among other possible scenarios.
The Colorado criminal justice system is a jungle, and you are going to need experienced and determined representation to help you protect your future.