Fairfield University Drug Possession Lawyer
If you are facing drug possession charges, you can definitely benefit from representation from a top drug defense attorney in order to achieve a positive resolution to your case. As soon as possible after being arrested, contacting a Fairfield University drug possession lawyer attorney should be your top priority.
How Does Connecticut Law Prosecute Drug Possession Offenses?
According to Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §21a-279, a first offense of possession of any controlled substance in Connecticut can be prosecuted as a class A misdemeanor, with potential punishments upon conviction including a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Connecticut categorizes “controlled substances” through the same system of schedules established by the federal Controlled Substances Act, with Schedule I containing substances considered to be the most dangerous, and Schedule V substances being the least dangerous.
Can I Get My Charge Suspended?
At its own discretion, a court may choose to suspend prosecution for either a first or second offense of drug possession if it deems that the defendant is chemically dependent on the drug in question. As an alternative, the court has the authority to require the completion of drug addiction counseling and treatment through a program known as the pretrial Drug Education Program. Depending on the circumstances, a Fairfield University drug possession attorney may be able to advocate for this kind of alternative sentencing on a defendant’s behalf.
However, subsequent offenses after a second drug possession conviction usually lead a court to classify the defendant as a “persistent offender.” Under CGS §53a-40(n), any such defendant may be charged with a class E felony instead of a class A felony, conviction for which may result in significantly harsher penalties as well as the loss of certain civil rights.
What Is The Impact of Marijuana Decriminalization?
In 2011, Connecticut formally decriminalized the possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes, and in 2012 the state fully legalized the use of medical marijuana. This means that anyone found in possession of less than a half-ounce of cannabis may only be fined for a civil infraction, rather than prosecuted for a criminal offense.
It is important to be aware, that possession of more than half an ounce of marijuana is still a crime in Connecticut. Furthermore, while possession of between one-half and four ounces is a class A misdemeanor, possession of more than four ounces can be prosecuted as a felony and punished by up to five years in prison even for a first offense.
Penalties for marijuana possession—whether civil or criminal in nature—increase significantly if a defendant has been fined for or convicted of the same offense before. Anyone at Fairfield University facing criminal charges for marijuana possession should seek help from a drug possession lawyer no matter what their criminal history is.
What Happens During a Student Conduct Hearing?
If someone is arrested on suspicion of drug possession while they are a student in Fairfield University, the University may elect to take disciplinary action against them even if their case does not end with a criminal conviction. Depending on the circumstances, students who violate the Fairfield University Student Handbook may have to undergo random drug testing, be limited from participating in certain campus activities, or even be suspended or expelled.
While legal counsel cannot accompany a student into campus disciplinary procedures, their assistance can be crucial in preparing for such a hearing effectively. A legal representative can also help an accused student understand and enforce the rights guaranteed to them by the Fairfield University Student Handbook.
Learn More by Talking to a Fairfield University Drug Possession Attorney
A positive resolution to your or your child’s situation is possible, but you will need help from a Fairfield University drug possession attorney lawyer to effectively pursue it. To schedule an initial consultation with Mark Sherman Law, call today.