Criminal drug charges under Connecticut law vary widely, as do the penalties upon conviction. The consequences of a drug offense depend on the specific charges and could range from community service to decades of prison time.
Knowing how to defend against the state’s drug laws can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. A Milford drug lawyer can help you fight against the steep penalties of a conviction and advise you of your rights. With a legal advocate from Ruane Attorneys on your side, you can better prepare yourself to resolve your charges favorably.
Drug Classifications in Connecticut
The government controls the use of various substances under C.G.A. 420b § 21a(243) and the Department of Consumer Protection Drug Control Division. Controlled substances can include certain prescription medications if they are not being used with a valid prescription and drugs that are illegal under any circumstance.
The severity of a criminal drug charge in Connecticut depends on the specific type of substance involved. These categorizations include:
- Stimulants (amphetamines, cocaine, methamphetamine)
- Hallucinogens (DMA, LSD, MDMA, psilocybin)
- Narcotics (fentanyl, heroin, morphine, oxycodone)
- Depressants (Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, Ambien)
Our Milford attorneys can further explain the classification of substances and potential penalties for a specific drug charge.
Drug Possession Offenses in Milford
Drug crimes in Connecticut generally fall under three categories: possession, distribution, and manufacturing. In Connecticut, a person can be charged with illegally possessing a controlled substance if they have drugs either immediately on their person or are “in control” of an illegal drug, defined as knowing the location of illegal drugs and having the ability to access those drugs.
Along with the type of drug involved, charges for illegal possession depend on the amount of the drug. For example, penalties for a first-time offender convicted of possessing any quantity of narcotic drugs include a 7-year prison sentence and a $50,000 fine, per C.G.A. 420b § 21a(279). Possession of less than a half-ounce of cannabis could result in a $150 fine for first-time offenders, per C.G.A. 420b § 21a(279a).
Under C.G.A. 952 § 53a(40f), a person with two prior drug possession convictions will be considered a “persistent offender” in any future convictions for possession. As our local attorneys can explain, this status can elevate the charge for possessing a controlled substance above its schedule.
Drug Distribution Laws
Per C.G.A. 420b § 21a(277), drug distribution generally relates to the delivery and sale of illegal substances from one person to another. A person can also be charged with intent to sell, a crime that often relies on circumstantial evidence.
Convictions for distributing drugs include up to 15 years in prison and $50,000 for first-time offenders selling narcotics or hallucinogens. Convictions for first-time offenders selling depressants and stimulants include up to 7 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Those facing drug distribution charges in Milford should consult a lawyer on a strong defense against these harsh penalties.
Drug Manufacturing Charges
Manufacturing illegal drugs in Connecticut is defined under C.G.A. 420b § 21a(240) and includes any action to support producing, growing, preparing, or processing a controlled drug.
Manufacturing drugs is a serious state offense that could lead to federal charges. In Connecticut, manufacturing narcotics could lead to prison sentences of 15 years for a first-time offender and up to 30 years for subsequent offenses, per C.G.A. 420b § 21a(277). A first-time offense for manufacturing stimulants could lead to a seven-year prison sentence, and subsequent offenses carry up to 15 years in prison.
State drug laws have provisions for alternative remedies for drug convictions, including mandatory drug education classes or medical treatment. Our Milford drug lawyers could help fight for these prison alternatives to protect a defendant’s freedom.
Let a Milford Drug Attorney Fight for You
Since the burden of proof is on the state in any criminal case, a defense attorney’s job is to force the prosecution to prove your alleged guilt. A Milford drug lawyer at Ruane Attorneys can use their legal knowledge to challenge the evidence against you and how it was obtained. We are prepared to protect your rights and pursue a positive outcome in your case. Call our firm today to get started.