Ridgefield Drug Lawyer
While the state of Connecticut has recently legalized the possession of specific amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use and significantly lessened penalties associated with certain drug possession offenses, violating the state’s drug laws can still carry serious criminal consequences, especially if you are accused of manufacturing or possessing such drug with the intent to distribute it. Regardless of the specific allegations you are facing or what your criminal history looks like, guidance from a knowledgeable Ridgefield drug lawyer can help you proactively enforce your rights and pursue a case resolution that serves your best interests.
How State Law Currently Approaches Drug Possession
Under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 21a-279, possession of any “controlled substance” other than marijuana without authorization may be prosecuted for a Class A misdemeanor offense if it is the first time violating this statute. Anyone convicted a second time of this offense may, at the court’s discretion, be subject to mandatory substance abuse treatment as an alternative to criminal prosecution. However, anyone convicted a third or subsequent time for violating C.G.S. § 21a-279 may be treated as a “persistent offender” and sentenced in accordance with the rules outlined in C.G.S. § 53a-40.
As per C.G.S. § 21a-279a, it is legal for Connecticut residents who are at least 21 years old to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis plant material on their person, up to 5 ounces of such material in a locked container within their private residence or personal vehicle, or an equivalent amount of cannabis products for personal use. Furthermore, as of July 1, 2023, live cannabis plants and/or plant material derived directly from a live plant do not count against the possession limits noted above.
Underage possession of marijuana or related products is typically handled first with a written warning and then potentially with a referral for youth services, and possession of more than the allowed amount of marijuana by an adult is generally punishable only by monetary fines, with jail time only applicable for repeat offenders. As a Ridgefield drug attorney can explain, though, possession of extremely large amounts of marijuana may be taken as evidence of intent to distribute, which carries substantially harsher consequences.
Harsher Sanctions for Drug Distribution and Manufacturing
C.G.S. §§ 21a-277 and 21a-278 define the manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription, dispensing, compounding, or transporting with intent to sell of controlled substances other than marijuana by non-drug-dependent people as high-level felony offenses. Depending on the exact nature of the substance in question, even a first-time offender may face various sanctions ranging from a seven-year prison term plus $25,000 in fines all the way up to life imprisonment.
As is the case with drug possession and most other criminal offenses, repeat offenders may be subject to even harsher penalties—for example, a second offense for distribution of a controlled substance by a non-drug-dependent person can result in a 15-year prison term and $100,000 in fines. Support from a knowledgeable lawyer can be especially vital to effectively handling drug charges of this nature in Ridgefield.
Talk to a Ridgefield Drug Attorney About Your Legal Options
Drug-related criminal charges can alter the course of your life at a moment’s notice, and failing to address them effectively and comprehensively can lead to catastrophic criminal sanctions and numerous other repercussions. Fortunately, you have help available from a seasoned Ridgefield drug lawyer who knows from prior experience how to handle cases just like yours. Reach out to the attorneys at Mark Sherman Law today to begin reviewing your situation with a dedicated advocate, and click here to read over 300 of our past reviews.