The "Wobble" is happening in Colorado. No, it's not that funny dance you saw on Youtube; it's a totally different kind of movement—a legal one, in fact.

During the 2013 legislative session, new Colorado drug laws were created to give people with certain drug felony convictions a chance to lessen their punishment. Part of a general overhaul of Colorado's approach to drug crimes was created with the intention of keeping people convicted with drug possession out of the Department of Corrections. These new laws are nicknamed the "Wobbler Laws."

What is it, exactly?

The Colorado Revised Statute section 18-1.3-103.5 states that certain drug felony convictions can be reduced to misdemeanor convictions, provided that an offender has completed a probationary sentence. 

These laws were created through the efforts of the Colorado Criminal Reform Commission and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar with the goal of keeping people convicted of drug possession crimes out of prison.

It's also a new classification for drug crimes in Colorado. Now, drug crimes are broken into two categories: Drug Misdemeanors (DM) and Drug Felonies (DF). Each category is broken up by different subcategories and levels that define possible minimum/maximum sentences for the crime of the drug offender.

Okay. What does it mean?

So basically, someone who pleaded guilty and was charged with a drug felony conviction can "wobble" their punishment down to a misdemeanor conviction. In C.R.S. section 18-1.3-401.5, it's stated that this effect applies to drug offenses committed on or after October 31, 2013.

So, who is eligible? 

In order for people to qualify for the Wobbler, they must meet a certain criteria. It's important to note that it applies to most DF4 crimes (normally a sentence of 6 months to a year in prison). It's also possible for someone to qualify if they are still struggling with addiction issues after being given a deferred sentence on a prior drug case. 

Offenses eligible for the "wobbler" are these:

  • possession of 4 grams or less of a schedule I or II drug.
  • possession of 2 grams or less of methamphetamine, heroin, ketamine, or cathinones
  • possession of four milligrams or less of flunitrazepam. 
  • a level 4 drug felony for distribution or transfer of the controlled substance so long as the purpose was for consuming all of the controlled substance with another person or persons at a time substantially contemporaneous with the transfer and only if the distribution or transfer involves not more than four grams of a schedule I or II controlled substance or not more than two grams of methamphetamine, heroin, ketamine, or cathinones.
  • possession of more than twelve ounces of marijuana or more than three ounces of marijuana concentrate.
  • obtaining a controlled substance through Fraud & Deceit.

Who isn't eligible, then?

If the defendant is not probation-eligible, has more than 2 prior misdemeanor drug conviction, or has already received diversion or deferred judgement for a felony charge, they can't qualify for the "wobbler." 

What are the benefits of the Wobbler Law?

Eligible drug offenders benefit from the "wobbler" because it keeps them from having a felony conviction on their record. So, they're given the opportunity to lessen their sentence and avoid a permanent drug felony conviction, which also eliminates negative consequences and problems when filling out job applications, getting background checks, and applying for bank loans. 

Contact Rogers & Moss for your free, no-risk, consultation.