Greenwich Drug Possession Lawyer
Because drug possession is somewhat common in Connecticut, many people underestimate the serious nature of the offense and the potential long-term effects of a conviction. Although marijuana was decriminalized in Connecticut in 2011, possession of small amounts of marijuana remains an infraction under state law, and any resulting conviction could become part of your permanent record. For help fighting your drug charges, reach out to a Greenwich drug possession lawyer. A top criminal attorney could help protect your interests.
Connecticut Drug Possession Laws
C.G.S. § 21-279 makes it a class A misdemeanor to possess any controlled substance other than less than ½ ounce of marijuana. C.G.S. § 21-279a makes it an infraction to posses less than ½ ounce of marijuana.
What Does it Mean to “Possess” a Drug?
To “possess” a drug in the context of criminal drug charges it has to be proven that you either: (1) had the drug on your person, or (2) had access to the drug while knowing it was in a particular location.
If you do not know that a substance is an illegal drug, or even know that it is on your person or in particular location, then you cannot be found guilty of drug possession under Connecticut law.
What is “Constructive Possession”?
“Constructive possession” is a legal term of art referring to a situation where you do not have the drug on your person, but nevertheless, you are presumed to be in possession of the drug because it is in a location that you have immediate access to.
For instance, it is often presumed that an individual has both the ability and intent to control items found among their own personal property. Accordingly, if a substance is found in a location such a defendant’s car or bedroom, law enforcement officers may assume that person has dominion and control over it and charge you with illegal possession.
The Range of Penalties for Drug Possession
For illegal drugs other than less than ½ ounce of marijuana, a person is exposed to up to 1 year in jail, up to $2,000 in fines, and up to 2 years of probation. A court may also, and likely will, require a person to undergo a drug treatment program and perform community service. A first-time offender found to be in possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana in Greenwich may face a fine of $150.
However, the penalties for illegal possession can increase substantially based upon a variety of circumstances. For example, for possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana, the fine could be increased by 300 percent for subsequent offenses. In addition, if the amount of a controlled substance is excessive, law enforcement may elevate a charge to possession with intent to distribute. This charge is typically a felony offense with higher fines and longer terms of incarceration. Those who are facing felony charges in Greenwich may wish to consult an attorney before making a statement or answering any questions.
When to Contact a Greenwich Drug Possession Attorney
Criminal drug possession cases often move rapidly through the court system, so it can be vital for charged people to understand their legal rights and how to protect them. An experienced Greenwich drug possession lawyer could help those facing charges understood how courts have applied the laws in previous possession cases and could help evaluate your options to work toward a positive resolution. Reach out to a dedicated criminal attorney today to begin working towards an optimum outcome.