Stamford Drug Crimes Lawyer
Connecticut has some of the harshest and most unique drug laws in the country. Although the state recently decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, if you are caught with even small amounts of other controlled substances, the penalties can be harsh.
In addition, the possession of a minimum amount of certain drugs like heroin, cocaine and Oxycontin allows law enforcement to charge you with possession with intent to sell, resulting in harsh mandatory minimum jail sentences. There are many ways to defend against these types of charges.
Whether or not you are facing serious charges relating to possession with intent to sell a controlled substance, or simply received an infraction for possessing a small amount of marijuana, it is important to understand your legal rights and the lasting effects of a drug conviction.
Our Stamford drug lawyers have successfully defended clients against a wide range of drug charges, and will help you protect yourself with compassion and professionalism.
Why Do I Need A Drug Attorney?
If facing charges for possession, or possession with intent to sell a controlled substance, individuals have certain legal rights that must be protected and preserved. The penalties one will face if convicted will depend not only on the drugs recovered by law enforcement, but also on whether or not the court believes you are physically dependent on the seized drugs.
In some cases, if a person can prove drug addiction, they can avoid jail time. Drug-dependent defendants are prosecuted under more lenient statutes than those people who sell controlled substances out of a pure profit motivation.
Although Connecticut’s laws are very strict, Connecticut judges often have broad discretion to tailor sentences appropriately, making the assistance of a defense attorney critical. Those facing drug charges will need a top Greenwich or Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyer with experience in Connecticut drug laws to advocate on their behalf against the prosecution.
Connecticut Drug Laws
The penalties for possession, as well as the more serious crime of possession with intent to sell illegal drugs, can be found in Chapter 420b of the Connecticut General Statutes.
Possession and Possession with Intent to Sell
If any amount of illegal drugs are found on you or under your control, then you can be charged with possession under Connecticut law. Although Connecticut has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, the possession of certain amounts of cocaine, heroin, Oxy, meth, hallucinogens, and certain prescription medications is still a felony offense. Even a first-offense possession conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to five years.
Severe mandatory minimums may apply if someone was arrested for possession within 1,500 feet of a school or daycare facility. A drug defense lawyer will be able to help determine the best way for clients to protect themselves when facing these types of charges, depending on the specific circumstances of each case.
If a person is caught with more than a certain amount of some illegal drugs, or under circumstances indicating they had plans to sell them, they may face even more severe penalties than those that apply to a pure possession conviction.
Depending on the type and amount of recovered drugs, individuals could face up to 15 years in prison for a first offense if convicted of possession with intent to sell. Repeat offenders face even stricter penalties, including multiple 30-year jail terms and fines of up to $250,000.
Drug Dependent and Non-Drug Dependent Defendants
Connecticut law is somewhat unique in that the drug dependent status of a defendant impacts the potential penalties of various drug-related offenses. While the consequences of possession with intent to sell certain drugs can be harsh and often carry mandatory minimum jail sentences for non-drug dependent defendants, Connecticut statutes relating to drug dependent defendants are more lenient.
In addition, judges in Stamford and Norwalk Connecticut criminal court are given discretion to limit or lessen sentences in situations where the sale of drugs was not motivated purely by profit, but was rather the byproduct of an addiction.
It is always in a person’s best interests to be honest with their Stamford criminal defense attorney about the circumstances that led to the charges being faced. In some situations, it may be to the defendant’s benefit to establish that they are drug dependent.
Simple Possession of Marijuana
Connecticut recently decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, in stark contrast to the harsh penalties that apply to the possession of other drugs. The possession of less than one half-ounce of marijuana in Connecticut and the Stamford area is no longer a misdemeanor offense, but has been reduced to an infraction.
While pleading guilty to this offense will not result in jail time, it is important to realize that there are still consequences for even this minor infraction. A guilty plea will become part of a person’s permanent record, and will usually show up on employment background checks.
If you are under the age of 21 at the time of the infraction, people can lose their driving privileges, and will face increased insurance premiums. It is very important to understand the full consequences of any Connecticut drug possession arrest, and to know that there are options beyond simply paying the required fine.
Contact A Stamford Drug Attorney Today
Regardless of the types of drug charges you are facing, you will need an attorney to help you understand your legal rights and adequately defend yourself. There are always different options available to defend against drug charges. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you may succeed in having the charges against you dropped entirely.
If you have been arrested on drug related charges in the Stamford area, our legal team is ready to help you build the best possible defense for your specific case. Contact our office to speak to an attorney today.