There are two classifications for crimes – misdemeanor and felony. A misdemeanor is considered a lesser crime with moderate penalties such as small fines, serving a short jail sentence, community service, probation, etc. Then, a felony characterizes a much more serious crime with severe penalties, such as large fines and lengthy prison sentences. In the state of Connecticut, possession of drugs can constitute either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on several factors. So, these factors, as well as potential penalties for both types of possession, will be discussed on this page.
In most cases, first offenders get charged with a drug possession misdemeanor. If you are a first offender with less than four ounces of marijuana on you, you will be charged with simple possession, which is a misdemeanor. First offenders are almost always charged with simple possession, and if you are a first offender being charged with a felony possession, you can probably fight this charge, unless you are in possession of four or more ounces of marijuana. The following penalties apply for people charged with a misdemeanor possession of drugs:
- Class A Misdemeanor of Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53a-61(a)(3) or 53a-61a: One year with no suspension or reduction.
- Class A Misdemeanor: One year maximum.
- Misdemeanor (Class B): Six months maximum.
- Class C Misdemeanor: Three months maximum.
Fines for Convictions of Misdemeanors:
- Class A Misdemeanor: $2,000 fine.
- Misdemeanor (Class B): $1,000 fine.
- Class C Misdemeanor: $500 fine.
In addition, you could face mandated drug counseling, community service, treatment, and probation are other potential consequences of a misdemeanor drug possession charge.
Felony drug possession is a more serious crime. You will get convicted of felony possession if a repeat offender. In addition, if you are in possession of four ounces or more of marijuana, you could be charged with a felony possession. Also, the following penalties apply for a felony possession charge:
- Capital Felony: Life imprisonment without the possibility of release.
- Class A Felony Murder: 25 years to life.
- Class A Felony Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Minor: 25 to 50 years.
- Felony (Class A)—Any Other Class A Felony: 10 to 25 years.
- Class B Felony Manslaughter in the 1st Degree with a Firearm: Five to 40 years.
- Class B Felony of Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53a-59(a)(1), 53a-59a, 53a-70a, 53a-94a, 53a-101(a)(1) or 53a-134(a)(2): Five to 20 years.
- Felony (Class B)—Any Other Class B Felony: One to 20 years.
- Class C Felony of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-56a: Three to 10 years.
- Class C Felony—Any Other Class C Felony: One to 10 years.
- Felony (Class D) of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-216: Five years.
- Class D Felony of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-60c: Three to five years.
- Class D Felony of Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 53a-60b or 53a-217: Two to five years.
- Felony (Class D)—Any Other Class D Felony: One to five years.
Fines for Convictions of Felonies:
- Class A Felony: $20,000 fine.
- Felony (Class B): $15,000 fine.
- Class C Felony: $10,000 fine.
- Class D Felony: $5,000 fine.
If you need help understanding your drug possession charge, you should talk to a drug possession defense attorney. So, to contact Ruane Attorneys for a free consultation, you can click here.