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. 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. These factors, as well as potential penalties for both types of possession, will be discussed on this page.
In most cases, first offenders are 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. There are other potential consequences of a misdemeanor drug possession charge as well.
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. To contact Ruane Attorneys for a free consultation, call our office.