The Connecticut Penal Code gives courts a lot of discretion when handling drug-related criminal charges. In theory, this allows courts to facilitate treatment-based options instead of criminal punishment for drug-dependent individuals. However, law enforcement authorities and court officials can still prosecute drug offenses harshly, especially if the defendant is a repeat offender or accused of selling or manufacturing controlled substances.
In any case, representation from a defense attorney can make a world of difference in your ability to enforce your rights and pursue a favorable case result. From initial investigations throughout the legal process in and out of court, a Danbury drug lawyer at Ruane Attorneys could work tirelessly to support you.
How State Law Treats Different Types of Drug Offenses
In recent years, the Connecticut state legislature formally decriminalized the possession and recreational use of small amounts of marijuana by state residents over the age of 21. It also reduced the severity of penalties for certain drug possession offenses involving other controlled substances. Although possessing a controlled substance other than cannabis used to be a felony, it is now a Class A misdemeanor for first-time offenders under Connecticut General Statute §21a-279.
When someone is charged and convicted under the above statute for a second time, the court can suspend prosecution and order mandatory substance abuse treatment if it determines the defendant is drug dependent. However, third and subsequent offenses may result in the defendant being prosecuted as a “persistent offender” and sentenced more harshly under C.G.S. §53a-40.
Similarly, distributing or manufacturing controlled substances without being drug dependent is still treated as a high-level felony offense. The penalties for a conviction will depend on the specific substances and amounts involved. A Danbury drug attorney at our firm can determine an effective approach for a particular charge.
Alternatives to Drug Prosecution in Danbury
While drug possession is still considered a criminal offense in Connecticut, there are several options for first-time offenders (and, in some cases, repeat offenders) to avoid prosecution and get their charges dismissed. For example, individuals charged with drug possession under C.G.S. §21a-279 or drug paraphernalia possession under C.G.S. §21a-267 may be eligible to apply for the Drug Education and Community Service Program. Upon completion, the participant’s charges will be dismissed.
Other similar alternatives to criminal prosecution and sentencing for certain drug offenses include the Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (CADAC) Program and the Accelerated Rehabilitation Program. A consultation with a drug defense lawyer at our firm could offer further clarity about legal options in a particular case.
Consult a Danbury Drug Attorney About Your Case
Connecticut state law has become more lenient toward people struggling with drug dependency. However, substance-related charges can still lead to severe penalties, making it crucial to be proactive with your defense.
To effectively resolve drug charges and protect your future, contacting Ruane Attorneys should be a priority. A Danbury drug lawyer at our firm can listen to your goals for the case and work to secure a favorable outcome that protects your prospects. Call today to get started on your defense strategy.