There’s a severe-sounding felony drug crime being charged in Connecticut called “Operating a Drug Factory.”
The irony here—and what flummoxes even some of the best criminal lawyers & attorneys in Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport—is that you don’t need to operate a so-called “factory” (or even a lemonade stand) to get pinched for this serious felony crime.
All it takes is a bit of weed and a scale, or even a box of Ziploc plastic baggies. Keep reading to learn how to push back on this frequently over-charged crime.
As any top Greenwich or Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyer attorney can confirm, the Connecticut criminal law at issue here is CGS 21a-277(c) called “Operating a Drug Factory.”
The Connecticut penal code defines a drug factory as any “place”—meaning this could be your bedroom in your mom’s house (maybe it’s time to move out?), garage, Connecticut college dorm room, high school locker, or even your bathroom or car—used for the manufacturing, processing, storing, or packaging of illegal substances.
Par for the course for Connecticut lawmakers….yet another overly broad criminal statute that is all-encompassing and can jam up even the most casual drug user / experimenter with life-changing felony drug factory charges.
While they don’t condone drug use or distribution, top Connecticut drug crimes lawyers and attorneys—along with Connecticut prosecutors and judges— appreciate the legal and practical distinction between drug users and drug dealers.
To that end, it’s not unusual for people who buy marijuana (even those who buy from states where it’s legal to buy marijuana for recreational purposes like Colorado, Nevada and Massachusetts) to measure the amount they use and ingest with a scale so as to not over-indulge. While you cannot bring legally purchased marijuana to Connecticut (it’s decriminalized to possess less than a half ounce), people are sometimes ignorant of the laws and find themselves caught and arrested for Operating a Drug Factory even though they are neither packaging nor distributing drugs.
The priority in fighting any Connecticut arrest for Operating a Drug Factory 21a-277(c) should be first making sure there aren’t any constitutional search and seizure problems in your case. Many times Connecticut police will take liberties in searching your bedroom, dorm room, car, briefcase, locker, backpack without a search warrant and in violation of your constitutional rights. That’s when your top criminal lawyer in Stamford or Greenwich can file motions to suppress evidence or even your dismiss your Operating a Drug Factory arrest.
A second defense strategy is filing a motion to suspend prosecution of your case and enter a drug education diversionary program. If granted, your charges for Operating a Drug Factory will be erased and expunged, ensuring that your criminal record remains clean.
At your first court appearance in Stamford or Norwalk Connecticut for an arrest for Operating a Drug Factory under CGS 21a-277(c), you can expect the judge and prosecutor to ask for tough conditions of release to be ordered against you, including random drug testing and many hours of drug treatment and group counseling.
Typically a Connecticut arraignment court will order you into “AIC” for Felony Operating a Drug Factory Charges. AIC stands for the Alternatives in the Community center and it is very strict and time-consuming court-mandated drug testing and counseling center. Graduating from AIC can help your case, but it’s difficult. AIC regularly communicates with the court so if you no-show at AIC or fail a drug test, then the prosecutors and court will find out, possibly raise your bond, and could even arrest you for the separate crime of Violation of Conditions of Release.
So if you have been arrested in Connecticut for Operating a Drug Factory, be sure to contact any of the criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman Law today, especially before you go to court. Our team of experienced and aggressive Connecticut drug and narcotics crime attorneys will work with you and your family to craft the best possible defense strategy to get your case dismissed quickly and cost-effectively. Be sure to click here to check out certified online reviews form our Firm’s former drug possession clients on Avvo.com. We are available 24/7 to take your call at (203) 358-4700.