Blog

Se Habla Español

Call Today for a Free Consultation

203-348-5846

24 Hoyt Street, Stamford, CT 06905

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in drug charges

Posted on in Drug Charges

CT defense lawyerDrug charges are a very serious matter in Connecticut, especially for younger offenders. If you have been charged with possession of drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, drug distribution, possession with intent to sell, or any other drug-related crime, it may seem that jail is inevitable, but you are entitled to a good defense from a Norwalk drug crime lawyer before any sentence is handed down.

Penalties Can Be Serious

While Connecticut has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana (under ½ an ounce, generally), this does not mean that marijuana possession for larger amounts is not treated seriously or harshly. Any amount over ½ ounce will still carry a potential penalty of between one and five years in jail, with a fine of anywhere between $500 and $5000, which is the same type of penalty carried by a charge of unlawful possession of prescription drugs. Penalties for possession of stronger drugs, such as crack cocaine or heroin, are very stiff even for a first offense, with up to seven years in jail and a $50,000 fine as possibilities.

Charges such as possession with intent to sell, possession in a restricted area (such as a school zone, housing project or day care center), and distribution/intent to distribute may also be tacked on in your case, and in many instances these largely depend on the amount of the drug you were found to possess. Large amounts will generally get a person charged with intent to sell, simply because most of the time individuals do not keep large amounts for personal use. Because of the relative arbitrariness of these charges, however, it is sometimes possible to plead to a lesser charge or get them dismissed in plea negotiations.

...

b2ap3_thumbnail_Decriminalization.jpgThe debate over the legalization of marijuana is heating up in Connecticut. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle argued at a legislative hearing that the legalization of recreational marijuana would effectively dismantle the illegal market for cannabis. Among other things argued, advocates of legalization laid out several benefits including:

  • Ending unnecessary arrests of people for possession of marijuana;
  • Bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue to the state;
  • Creation of a new job market; and
  • Bolstering of tourism market.

Possession of small amounts of marijuana has already been decriminalized in Connecticut. Advocates of legalization say that not regulating marijuana is tantamount to subsidizing the illegal market that fosters violence and additional criminal behavior. David L. Nathan, a psychiatrist and faculty member at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said, “I’ve seen too many cases of lives ruined by marijuana not by the drug itself, but by a justice system that chooses a sledgehammer to kill a weed.”

If Legalizing Pot Has So Many Benefits, Why Are There Opponents?

...

Connecticut drug charges, Connecticut defense attorneyFor years police have use trained dogs to help them discover drugs and drug paraphernalia on citizen’s bodies, in bags, and in cars, which will lead to criminal charges. It comes as a surprise then studies show that police K-9s have high error rates.  One study reviewed Chicago police records over three years and determined that police found drugs or paraphernalia 44 percent of the time that a dog alerted an officer it smelled drugs. According to the study, the success rate fell to 22 percent when the person searched was Hispanic. 

How Drug Dogs Are Supposed to Be Used

Drug dogs are supposed to be a way for police to find drugs without infringing on the public’s constitutional rights. For example, if police pull you over for a traffic stop, officers do not have the right to search your car. 

...

Connecticut defense lawyer, CT drug lawyerLaws surrounding various recreational drugs, such as marijuana, are in a fluid state of change. Changes occur so frequently that even those paying the closest attention may miss a minor alteration. Frequent modifications cause uncertainty among the general populous as to what the current regulations entail. Officers depend on this ambivalence while doing their searches, hoping the unsuspecting individual will offer further information to incriminate themselves of a drug crime. However, officers are also aware that improper protocol opens themselves up for failure in court.

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is enacted most frequently during questions over proper police procedure. In short, its creation protected the people against British King George’s overbearing and excessive invasion into their privacy and furthermore it protects the rights of citizens against unwarranted search, seizure, and even detainment. It helps to understand what the amendment says, which is:

...

marijuana, decriminalization, Connecticut Criminal Defense LawyerAttitudes across the country are changing when it comes to marijuana and the punishment for marijuana possession, and Connecticut is no exception. According to Connecticut law, the state currently carries fines and criminal penalties for certain levels of possession. Possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana carries a $150 fine for the first offense. Penalties become increasingly harsh with frequency of offense: a second offense can carry up to a $500 penalty. Third-time offenders will have to attend drug education classes, which will be paid for by their own means. The more substance, the higher the penalty as well: if a person has more than a half-ounce but less than 4 ounces of cannabis he or she can face up to a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison, or both. These penalties were enacted in 2011, making possession of small amounts of marijuana a civil violation instead of a criminal offense, as it had been in previous years.

Even still, in light of legalization in Washington and Colorado and decriminalization of marijuana in many other states, these punishments can seem unduly tough. This is perhaps one reason attitudes in Connecticut are changing toward the necessity of strict penalties for marijuana possession and recreational use.

In recent months, the Connecticut state legislature seems ready to discuss further decriminalization and even possible legalization. Representative Edwin Vargas and Representative Juan Candelaria have both introduced house bills that would replace prohibition of marijuana with restrictive legalization for adult use. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, a recent study out of Quinnipiac University found that the majority of Connecticut voters support legalization of marijuana for adults: 52 percent of all voters supported such a measure, as did 80 percent of voters under the age of 30.

...

Posted on in Criminal Defense

heroin in the Stamford suburbs, Stamford criminal lawyerMany people think that drug crime is a problem only in big cities. However, lately the use of heroin and other drugs has been skyrocketing in the suburbs, including affluent communities. Increased drug use brings with it an increase in the number of arrests, hospital visits, and property crimes.

According to a recent article in the Connecticut Post, there has been a threefold increase in opiate addiction cases over the last decade at the Addiction Recovery Center at Greenwich Hospital. In addition, heroin deaths have been recorded by Greenwich Police every year since 2011.

Heroin-related arrests have increased as well. Greenwich Police made twelve heroin seizures in 2013, but the actual number is higher because the presence of heroin was not recorded in several other cases. Drug-related property crimes, including burglaries, items stolen from cars, and even street robberies, have been on the rise. Every year the Greenwich Police see from 80 to 100 residential burglary cases and 20 to 30 business burglary cases. It’s estimated that the vast majority of those cases—up to 95 percent of them—are related to drugs.

...

marijuana DUI, Connecticut drug crimes lawyerThe decriminalization of marijuana is a growing trend nationwide. In Washington and Colorado, marijuana has been legalized, while in almost half the states—including Connecticut—it may be used legally only for medical purposes. However, there may be a darker side to these trends: a recent study shows that the number of marijuana-related automobile fatalities has risen sharply in the last decade. The data suggest that drugged driving may be an increasingly common cause of car accidents.

According to a report by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, the presence of non-alcohol drugs in the systems of drivers involved in fatal car crashes has been on the rise and has tripled in the last decade. Using data from the states that routinely test the blood of drivers involved in fatal car accidents, the study reported that in 1999, 4.2 percent of drivers who were killed in automobile crashes tested positive for marijuana; in 2010, that number increased to 12.2 percent. The major increase was shown across all ages and in both genders.

The study also showed that alcohol use was more prevalent than drug use in drivers involved in fatal crashes, but that percentage has stayed relatively stable. The presence of all non-alcohol drugs increased from 16.6 percent in 1999 to 28.3 percent in 2010. This increase may be attributable to the decriminalization of marijuana as well as the national opioid use epidemic. While all states have laws prohibiting impaired driving, the national trend toward permitting at least limited marijuana use may be a factor in the increased number of drugged-driving incidents.

...

Connecticut teen drug use, Stamford juvenile crimes defense lawyerMultiple news headlines these days focus on teenage drug use. With drug reform taking place across the country, specifically the decriminalization of marijuana, growing trends among today’s youth concern many Americans.

Unlike other short-term trends, drug use can cause teens to face steep legal penalties that may affect the rest of their lives. Parents, teachers, and social workers are trying to find the best ways to identify and prevent drug use among teens.

Statistics reveal mixed results when it comes to answering the question about whether or not teens these days are experimenting with illegal drugs more often. The numbers for Connecticut reveal more concerning figures in regard to cigarettes and alcohol than they do for illegal substances, according to the Office of Adolescent Health. Although these controlled substances are more likely to get teens in trouble with their parents than with the law, it still is a cause for concern.

...

court ordered drug treatmentThere are many reasons people commit crimes, and the action themselves should not be the criteria on which that person should be judged. Very often, offenders are either under the influence of drugs and alcohol or else have a substance addiction problem that is a contributing factor to their behavior. In these cases, this documented medical condition must be taken into account if and when legal issues do arise.

Drug abuse has documented physical, psychological, and mood changing properties that can affect the way a person thinks, behaves, and makes decisions. Although these changes are normally associated with addiction to illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, substances such as alcohol, as well as narcotic prescription medications, can cause the same issues. This does not mean the person is not responsible for criminal actions, but does raise a lingering question: what is the most effective way to handle these cases?

Imprisonment and fines can certainly be effective punishments for illegal activity. However, they do not address the underlying cause of the reason for the antisocial behavior in the first place. Addressing the drug addiction itself can be the best course of action for both the addict and the criminal justice system as a whole. When drugs are the true cause of the commission of a crime in Connecticut, the courts can use rehabilitation programs in some instances.

...

Connecticut drug crimes, criminal possession, Connecticut criminal law, Stamford drug crimeTwo Connecticut men are facing criminal charges after they fled from police during a vehicle stop in Poughkeepsie last week. At the time of the stop, passenger Justin L. Skipwith left the scene on foot, to be stopped a block away by taser. While police were going after him, the vehicle driver left the premises in his car.

The vehicle was stopped at the intersection of Henmond Boulevard and Route 55, where police discovered a .38 caliber weapon, marijuana, and possible phencyclidine (also known as PCP). After this discovery, police charged Skip with with second degree criminal weapon possession, two counts of seventh degree criminal controlled substance possession, fourth degree possession of marijuana, one count of resisting arrest and fourth degree criminal stolen property possession.

The vehicle driver was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, and non-felony violations of state traffic and vehicle laws.

...

marijuana, drug possession, drug charges, criminal charges, Stamford drug charges, criminal defense lawyerWhether you already have a criminal record, or a marijuana drug possession charge is your first offense, you should take your case seriously and hire a criminal attorney. In Connecticut, there are several different types of charges you might be facing if you are caught with marijuana and you are not protected under Connecticut medical marijuana laws.

If you are arrested with less than 4 ounces of marijuana, you could be facing a fine of $1,000 and, you could be sentenced to up to a year in jail. Any case involving higher quantities of marijuana can have more severe consequences.

Even young adults can face penalties if caught with marijuana: for possession of less than 5 ounces or possession of drug paraphernalia related to less than 5 ounces of marijuana, a juvenile under the age of 16 will have their license suspended for at least 60 days. Youth aged 17-21 will face fines and driver’s license suspension as well. Juveniles may also need to attend drug counseling and complete a certain number of community service hours.

...

Posted on in Drug Charges

drug charges IMAGEA 29-year-old man was charged in late December for allegedly “operating a drug factory out of his Springdale apartment,” according to the Stamford Advocate. Ronald Taranto is facing multiple drug charges after police obtained a search warrant and searched his home, only to find cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and prescription drugs, the Advocate reports. “Taranto was charged with two counts of narcotics possession, possession with intent to sell, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, and operating a drug factory.”

Police were tipped off the Taranto’s activity by neighbors who complained about his behavior. Stamford Police kept an eye on the man’s apartment for several weeks before making the bust. He was charged with intent to sell because police were able to seize “28 bags of powdered cocaine… 16 folds of heroin and 11 film packets of the prescription drug Suboxone—a drug used to treat opioid dependence,” according to the Advocate.

According to Connecticut State Law, the sale of one or more ounces of heroin, methadone or cocaine is a felony and carries and minimum term of five to 20 years in prison. The sentence cannot be suspended unless “the person was under the age of 18” at the time of arrest or the person’s “mental capacity was significantly impaired but not so impaired as to constitute a defense to prosecution.”

...