Caught with Hard Drugs in Connecticut?
<pWhile Connecticut is known for having decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana at a relatively early point in time, many tend to forget that the state’s law on possession of harder drugs is just as severe as that of any other. Drugs like cocaine and heroin are in a different medical classification group than marijuana, and the effect of possession and use on the public good is far worse. If you have been caught with harder drugs than marijuana, you definitely need to contact an experienced attorney to help you.
Possession and Intent to Distribute
Connecticut law recognizes two types of drug possession crimes - simple possession, and possession with intent to distribute. While intent to distribute is a crime carrying a long jail term, simple possession of hard drugs is still seen as a serious offense even if there is no intent to sell visible. This is because hard drugs have been documented to cause not acute harm not only to users, but to those around them as well. This idea of wanting to protect society, in general, is referred to as public policy, and drug offenses are often referred to as public policy crimes.
State law bars possession of any “narcotic, hallucinogenic or other controlled substance,” unless the person can produce a valid prescription for the substance from a doctor. If someone is caught with these drugs, the penalties can be quite severe because of the public policy considerations - for example, possession of heroin, even as a first offense, can lead to a jail term of up to seven years, plus a $50,000 fine. This is true even of simple possession - the rationale is that the state’s interests in ensuring the health and well-being of its citizens (as much as possible) warrants severe consequences for anyone bringing drugs into the community.
Can I Defend Myself?
Connecticut drug crimes carry severe sentences, but at the same time, offer certain affirmative defenses or other tactics that you may be able to use to establish your innocence. One of the most common is alleging that the search that located the drugs was conducted illegally, which would render any evidence obtained from that search inadmissible (unusable) at trial. It may also be possible to allege a lack of possession - for example, saying that while you may have been in proximity to drugs, they did not belong to you.
While it is not ideal, another option may be to plea-bargain or otherwise have your Connecticut drug crimes lawyer try to reduce the charge. A conviction for this type of crime can have serious ramifications later in life, with restrictions placed on everything from your movements to where you live to the jobs you may work or even apply for. The American Bar Association estimates as many as 50,000 separate consequences may affect those who have convictions on their record - it is crucial that you have experienced advice before you decide how best to handle this issue.
Call a Stamford Drug Crimes Lawyer
Being caught with drugs is a mistake, but it should not ruin the rest of your life. If you are facing possession or possession with intent to distribute charges in Fairfield County, calling the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner to help you through the criminal process is a good idea. Skilled Stamford drug crimes lawyer Daniel P. Weiner has been handling this type of case for many years and can try and assist you with yours. Contact the office today at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.