Illegal Drug Possession in Connecticut
To be convicted of illegal drug possession, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You possessed the drugs;
- What you possessed is actually an illegal drug; and
- You were aware of the possession.
There are two ways you can get in trouble for illegal drug possession in Connecticut. The first is if you actually possess the drugs, and the other is if you constructively possess the drugs.
What Is Actual Drug Possession?
Actual drug possession means you physically have the illegal drugs on your person. For example, if you have a small bag of cocaine in your pocket then you can be convicted of illegal possession.
What Is Constructive Drug Possession?
Constructive possession means you have control over the illegal drugs. For example, if you know where the drugs are and you are physically able to access them then you can be convicted of illegal possession. Imagine that you are a passenger in a car and you know that the driver has marijuana hidden in the glove compartment. That counts as constructive possession.
What Are the Penalties for Illegal Drug Possession?
The penalties for illegal drug possession depend on the type of substance you possess and whether you are a repeat offender. For example:
- For a first offense, anyone who possesses a narcotic substance (like heroin) may spend up to seven years in prison and pay a fine up to $50,000. Second-time offenders may spend up to 15 years in prison and pay a fine up to $100,000. Subsequent offenders face up to a 25-year prison term and a $250,000 fine;
- For a first offense, anyone who possesses at least four ounces of marijuana (or any amount of another hallucinogenic substance) may spend up to five years in jail and pay up to $2,000. Subsequent offenders may spend up to 10 years in jail and pay up to $5,000;
- For a first offense, anyone who possesses less than four ounces of marijuana or any amount of another illegal drug could spend up to one year in jail and pay up to $1,000. Subsequent offenders may spend up to five years in jail and pay up to $3,000; and
- There is a mandatory two-year jail sentence (in addition to other available penalties) if you possess illegal drugs within 1,500 feet of an elementary school, secondary school or licensed day care center.
Contact Us Today for Help
Do not hesitate to reach out to the experienced and dedicated Norwalk drug defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner today if you are charged with illegal drug possession in Connecticut. This is a very serious charge with serious consequences, and you need an experienced attorney on your side.