Fairfield and New Haven County Drug Crime Lawyer
Drug charges come with serious consequences, from probation with drug treatment to mandatory jail time. Even if you are only charged with possession of marijuana or another lower-severity drug charge, a conviction can follow you for the rest of your life, affecting your ability to get jobs, rent housing, get loans, and fund your education. If you are an immigrant, a drug conviction can even result in deportation. If you are facing drug charges in Fairfield or New Haven County, Connecticut, you need an experienced Connecticut drug crime lawyer to help you defend against the allegations.
There are defenses to many common drug crimes, but they often depend on having an experienced criminal defense attorney from the very beginning of your case. Only an experienced attorney can analyze your case to find these defenses for you and keep you from facing a life-changing drug conviction
Common Connecticut Drug Charges
Drug-related crimes break down based on the type of controlled substance involved, and whether you simply possess the drug, distribute it to someone else, or manufacture it for sale. There are also special circumstances, such as your proximity to a school or the involvement of minors, that can increase the consequences of any drug crime.
Connecticut recently legalized recreational marijuana use and possession of small amounts of marijuana. However, if you possess more than the legal limit, you could still face fines or a misdemeanor drug charge.
|Possession of Marijuana||First Offense||Second Offense|
|1.54 oz to 5 oz on your person or 8 oz in your home or vehicle||Civil Infraction. |
Fine of $100
|Civil Infraction. |
Fine of $250
|More than 5 oz on your person or more than 8 0z in your home or vehicle||Civil Infraction |
Fine of $500
|Class C Misdemeanor. |
Up to 90 days in jail + $250 - $5,000 fine
In addition, illegally growing, manufacturing, selling, or transporting cannabis, can result in felony charges. The quantity limits on this law are designed to be high enough to excuse personal recreational use or medical marijuana treatments. However, the penalties can be severe:
|Illegal Sale of Marijuana||First Offense||Second Offense|
|Illegal manufacture, sale, possession or transport with the intent to sell marijuana||Felony. |
Up to 7 years in prison + Up to $25,000 in fines
Up to 15 years in prison + Up to $100,000 in fines
Possession of Drugs or Paraphernalia
The possession of any amount of other controlled substances can result in drug charges against you. Illegal controlled substances include:
- Narcotics like cocaine, crack, heroin, methamphetamines, Molly
- Hallucinogens like mushrooms, acid, LSD
- Non-Prescription drugs like Vicodin, oxycontin, Adderall
The first offense for simple possession of illegal drugs is a Class A misdemeanor. This means a conviction could result in up to 1 year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines. Subsequent offenses can be charged as a “persistent offender,” which increases the penalties.
Even possessing the tools for the creation or use of controlled substances can result in drug charges. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class C misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
Connecticut drug laws allow criminal court judges to require defendants charged with a second offense of possession of a controlled substance to undergo an evaluation. Using this evaluation, the court will decide whether you are a “drug-dependent person.” If you qualify, the court may suspend your criminal prosecution and order you to undergo substance abuse treatment instead.
Drug Sales, Distribution, and Manufacturing Charges
Drug possession charges mean you were the only person involved. If you transfer drugs to someone else, whether or not there is money involved, you can face drug sales and distribution charges. For narcotics or hallucinogens, these charges start with penalties of up to 7 years in prison and $25,000 in fines for a first offense, and go up from there.
Many people are accused of drug crimes for sale and distribution even without actually transferring the controlled substance. Police and prosecutors will often infer the intent to sell from the circumstances involved in the arrest:
- Large quantities of the drug (beyond personal use)
- The presence of packaging equipment like scales, baggies, or log books
- If the drugs are measured out and packaged into separate doses
- Large amounts of cash on site
- Multiple cell phones
- Your presence in places where drug sales have been known to occur
You can also face serious drug crimes if you were involved the manufacture of a controlled substance, including:
However, preparation of drugs for personal use, or if you work in a research lab, these manufacturing-related drug crimes do not apply.
It is also illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs. This includes the controlled substances listed here, as well as marijuana and prescription drugs with intoxicating side effects. The consequences and defenses for drugged driving charges are similar to DUI charges for drunk driving.
Common Defenses for Drug-Related Crimes
Getting charged with a Connecticut drug crime isn’t the end of the story. Prosecutors must prove that you possessed, sold, distributed, or manufactured the controlled substance beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced drug crime lawyer can help you defend against these charges based on:
- Unconstitutional searches and seizures
- Problems with blood or urine test
- Issues with the drug lab tests or results
- Ambiguity over who brought the drugs into a home, vehicle, or other shared space
Free Consultations with a Drug Crime Lawyer
Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, The Lebedevitch Law Firm handles drug crime cases throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties and all throughout the State of Connecticut. Contact The Lebedevitch Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation.