Connecticut Consequences for Marijuana Possession
With the increased nationwide push toward legality for small amounts of marijuana, it can be very easy to assume that possession of marijuana will not lead to any potential criminal consequences. This is, however, not the case - aside from small exceptions, possession of marijuana will wind up leading to fines, possible jail time, and potential social consequences for the future, especially if you are a juvenile. If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, you need to quickly enlist an attorney who has experience with these cases.
Fines and Potential Prison Time
As with most other drug charges, possession of marijuana can be a misdemeanor or a felony charge in Connecticut, depending on how much you are caught with. Generally, possessing amounts between one and four ounces will be charged as a misdemeanor, while amounts four ounces and over will be charged as felonies, carrying the appropriate jail time. A misdemeanor first offense is less likely to result in jail time, especially for younger adults, but you may receive up to one year in jail, plus a $1,000 fine, depending on your specific situation.
Keep in mind that in Connecticut, if you are caught with less than one-half an ounce of marijuana, it is no longer considered a criminal offense; rather it is an infraction, punishable by fines. It does not create a criminal record, in most situations, but it will show up on some background checks in the future, which can cause problems that are much further reaching than any fine. In particular, certain jobs are off-limits to anyone with a history of drug use, as well as some housing opportunities.
Prison Is Not Inevitable
If you are convicted of possession of marijuana, it is crucial that you know your options. You may be able to negotiate or otherwise work out a potential strategy to ensure that your obligations are met - this is especially true if you are a juvenile, with your case being heard in juvenile court, where the focus is less on punishment and more about avoiding recidivism. However, even adults may be able to get the court to agree to a nolle prosequi plea - that is, a plea made by a defendant will be accepted, in exchange for the defendant staying out of trouble for the next year or so - or to another pretrial solution so they can avoid jail Each case is different.
If there is no way to avoid going to trial in your particular case, know that there are ways to assert what are called affirmative defenses in order to help your case. Pleas like nolle prosequi or trying to seek a pretrial diversion meeting are only helpful in the end; however, there are also other defenses known as affirmative defenses that can be brought up almost anytime - for example, it is an affirmative defense to a charge of drug possession to allege that you did not have possession or control of the specific drugs - when in reality, the law requires that the prosecution be able to show that the defendant had either possession or control. Without either, any case against you fails.
Contact a Stamford Marijuana Possession Attorney
Just because small amounts of a drug like marijuana have been decriminalized does not mean that you will never be charged with anything over its possession. If you have been caught with any amount of marijuana over one-half ounce, you need a dedicated Stamford marijuana possession attorney on your side who understands the potential consequences - everything from housing to jobs can be affected by one silly mistake. Do not let it be yours. Call the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner today at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free consultation.