Crimes related to the possession of controlled substances can be particularly complex in Connecticut because different rules apply depending on whether they’re intended for sale. Marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, and even prescribed medications are controlled substances under Connecticut law. However, the penalties and sentences you may receive if you’re convicted of possessing any of these substances can vary considerably. If you’re charged with possessing drugs, the experienced Connecticut drug crime attorneys at Alexander H. Schwartz can make sense of the charges and explain what you’re up against. We offer free consultations.
Connecticut recognizes five “schedules” or categories of controlled dangerous substances. Schedule I encompasses the most addictive drugs and includes narcotics and marijuana, while Schedule V covers the least dangerous. What this means is that penalties are more severe for possessing Schedule I substances, even without intending to sell them or having any prior convictions. Here are some examples of how these drug crimes break down:
• Possession of a hallucinogen – think LSD or PCP – can result in a five-year prison sentence, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
• Possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana is also punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Penalties drop to one year in jail or less and/or a fine of up to $1,000 if you have less than 4 ounces in your possession.
• Possession of a narcotic substance such as heroin or cocaine is punishable by up to seven years in prison, a fine of up to $50,000, or both.
• Two additional years of incarceration are added if you’re found in possession of drugs within 1,500 feet of a school or day care center.
Connecticut decriminalized possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana in 2011. You no longer face criminal charges for possession of this amount, but it’s still considered a civil violation, carrying a fine of $150.
Connecticut has legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Possessing marijuana for medical reasons carries no penalty, but it must be prescribed by a physician, and you must register with the state for a medical marijuana card. Prescription drugs are also perfectly legal, provided you have a prescription.
Drug possession in Connecticut is not a black-and-white issue. If you’ve been arrested in Connecticut for a drug-related crime or possession of narcotics, you need the services of an experienced lawyer who has been down this road before and knows the rules inside and out. For example, it’s possible to negotiate first offenses down to something much less destructive to your life if you’re charged with possessing less than 4 ounces of marijuana. The prosecutor may agree to something called a “nolo prosequi,” which means no prosecution – i.e., he’ll drop the case against you if you’re not charged with another crime in the next 13 months. You won’t go to jail, and you won’t have a criminal record. We might also be able to negotiate community service or a rehabilitation program so that you don’t have to serve any jail time.
All of these outcomes are highly dependent on having an experienced Connecticut criminal defense lawyer by your side to fight for your rights and get you the best outcome possible. At the law offices of Alexander H. Schwartz, you’ll work directly with the attorney representing you – your file won’t be passed off to someone else. We have over 30 years of trial experience, and we also offer flexible payment plans. Call us so we can initiate your defense. The initial consultation is free, and we offer flexible payment plans if you decide that you want us to represent you. With over 30 years of trial experience, we can provide the help that you need.
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