What Happens If You Are Caught with Marijuana in Connecticut?
Laws prohibiting the consumption and sale of marijuana are changing rapidly across the country. However, this does not mean that the substance is not subject to strict regulations. In Connecticut, marijuana has been decriminalized. Possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana is punishable by a modest fine, and, if the offender is under age 21, a 60-day suspension of his or her driver’s license. However, possession of larger amounts of marijuana, transportation of the drug across state lines, or driving under the influence of marijuana can result in serious criminal consequences, including jail time.
Marijuana Possession May Be a Misdemeanor or Felony Offense
If you are caught with more than a half-ounce of marijuana, you face a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. However, you may be able to avoid jail time by participating in a pretrial diversion program. With this option, you may be required to undergo drug treatment, mental health counseling, community service, and/or ongoing drug testing.
If you possessed a significant quantity of marijuana, the prosecution may argue that you intended to sell the illegal drug. Selling marijuana or possessing it with intent to sell is a felony offense in Connecticut. If you are convicted of possession with intent to sell, you may face a prison sentence of up to seven years and a $25,000 fine. Possession of more than one kilogram of marijuana is punishable by 5 to 20 years in prison.
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
It is against the law to drive while under the influence of marijuana–even if you have a medical marijuana card. Police officers conducting traffic stops may suspect drug use if they smell marijuana smoke, see marijuana products or drug paraphernalia in the vehicle, or if your appearance or behavior suggests drug use. A urine test can confirm the presence of marijuana in a person’s system. DUI by drug is punishable by driver’s license suspension, up to 6 months in jail, two years of probation, and a fine of up to 1,000. If you have previously been convicted of DUI or drug possession, you may face even harsher penalties.
Contact a Stamford Marijuana Possession Defense Lawyer
Even though marijuana has been decriminalized in Connecticut, possessing marijuana can still lead to severe consequences. If you or a loved one were arrested and charged with a criminal offense related to marijuana, contact Fairfield County defense attorney Daniel P. Weiner for help. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner can protect your rights and build a strong legal defense against your charges. Our team may also help you pursue a diversion program in lieu of jail. Call our office today at 203-348-5846 and schedule a free, confidential consultation.