Connecticut has taken great strides toward recognizing drug use as a public health concern. Because of this, a person who faces prosecution for the simple possession of these substances may be able to enter a drug treatment program in place of criminal prosecution. In addition, the possession of small amounts of marijuana is now legal and cannot be the reason for an arrest.
Even with these changes in the law, cases that allege illegal drug activity are still serious matters requiring legal representation. This could include situations where a person has a criminal record concerning past drug use or when police believe that a defendant has distributed drugs into the community. If you face charges, a Bridgeport drug lawyer at Ruane Attorneys could help protect your rights and freedoms.
Drug Cases and Criminal Prosecution
Many drug cases in Bridgeport may allow a defendant to seek an alternative to criminal punishment. However, the state’s criminal drug laws remain in effect.
Possession of Illegal Substances
According to Connecticut General Statute § 21a-279, it is illegal to possess any street drug or controlled substance without a doctor’s prescription. These cases are class A misdemeanors, and convictions can bring a jail sentence of up to one year.
Drug Distribution Charges
The law is even harsher regarding allegations that a person has distributed drugs into the community. These are felony-level cases without options for alternative sentencing. Under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-277, the most severe examples can justify a court imposing a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
Defenses in Drug Cases
A Bridgeport drug attorney is ready to present a potent defense against these types of charges. This could include disputing whether a defendant ever possessed the substances in question, debating the legality of police work that led to the discovery of evidence, and questioning the results of lab tests that appear to show the identity of illegal substances.
Alternatives to Criminal Prosecution for Bridgeport Drug Cases
While state law still brings harsh punishments if a drug possession case moves through the court system, recent legal reforms offer an alternative.
Drug Treatment Programs
If a defendant in a possession case had a drug dependency, the court might allow them to enter a treatment program. If a defendant completes this program to the court’s satisfaction, the court can completely dismiss the criminal charges. However, the burden lies on the defendant to show their need for this treatment and convince the court to allow this alternative to prosecution. A drug lawyer at our firm could help to persuade the court to allow a person to enter a treatment program.
Legalization of Marijuana
State law has also taken steps to allow for the legal use of marijuana. However, this does not mean that possessing marijuana may not lead to criminal charges. In general, it is legal for a person to possess up to one-half ounce of this substance on their person or private property. Possession in excess of this limit may still lead to an arrest, as will smoking in public. A Bridgeport drug attorney could provide more information about the current marijuana laws in the state.
Let a Bridgeport Drug Attorney Protect Your Rights
The drug laws in Bridgeport are complex and evolving. Each drug case involves unique circumstances, making it essential to work with legal counsel on a strategy tailored to the situation.
Whether you need to contest the charges at trial or are looking for an alternative treatment program, a Bridgeport drug lawyer may be able to help. The team at Ruane Attorneys can explain the state’s current drug laws and how they affect your case. We can work to protect your rights and freedoms during all court sessions. Reach out to us now to get started.