Connecticut’s drug laws are applied very differently to those possessing drugs for personal use as opposed to those selling drugs or possessing drugs with the intent to sell. The Connecticut criminal justice system is heavily geared towards punishing drug sellers and distributors and deterring future criminal behavior. The primary way they do this is through incarceration. For those charged with possessing drugs for personal use, the justice system’s primary focus is on rehabilitating those individuals. The primary way they do this is through drug treatment and drug education. The Connecticut legislature has developed several drug programs, if successfully, that could even result in the dismissal of criminal drug charges.
The Drug Education and Community Service Program
The Drug Education and Community Service Program is only available to individuals charged simple drug possession under Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-279 or possession of drug paraphernalia under § 21a-267. It is not available to those charged with selling or possessing drugs with the intent to sell. This program involves a both drug education or drug treatment and community service. If completed successfully, this program will result in the dismissal of your Connecticut criminal drug charges. This program is discretionary with the Judge who may actually approve this program up to 3 for an individual as follows:
|# Of Time Used||Drug Education/Treatment||Community Service||Fee|
|First||15 Sessions or Drug Education or Substance Abuse Treatment||40 hours||$350 – $850|
|Second||15 Sessions of Drug Education or Substance Abuse Treatment||80 hours||$350 – $850|
|Third||Substance Abuse Treatment||120 hours||$350 – $850|
Accelerated Rehabilitation “AR”
Accelerated Rehabilitation is general program for individuals charged with relatively non-serious criminal offenses or motor vehicle offense. In order to qualify for this program, an individual cannot have ever had a felony conviction and cannot have had any misdemeanor convictions within the last 10 years. In additional, the individual must not have used the program within the last 10 years. This program is discretionary with the Judge. For a judge to approve this program, the judge needs to find (1) that the offense you are charged with is not of a serious nature and (2) that you are unlikely to offend again in the future. If the judge grants this program, he or she will set a probationary period of up to two years where you must abide by certain conditions. If you successfully complete the program, the original criminal charges are dismissed.
Connecticut Judges tend to favor the Drug Education and Community Service Program over AR in drug cases. However, the AR Program is less expensive at up to $135 and can require less treatment and community service so some judges will approve it in less serious cases. Connecticut criminal defense attorneys and drug defense attorneys tend to avoid this program when the Drug Education and Community Service Program is available since AR can be used for a variety of criminal offenses and can essentially only be used once.
You can technically be found eligible for AR in Drug Sale or Possession with Intent to Sell cases under Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-277. However, most Judges will not grant AR in drug sale cases as they will find that the crime is too serious.
The CADAC Program
Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission Program or CADAC Program is available to individuals where they are deemed drug dependent at the time he or she is alleged to have committed the criminal offense. This program is also referred to as Suspended Prosecution for Drug and Alcohol Dependence Treatment.
Upon application, you will be evaluated for substance dependency by a licensed substance abuse counselor. If you are deemed to be dependent, then the judge has discretion to grant you the CADAC Program. This program typically involves intensive, often inpatient or residential, treatment.
You can be found for CADAC on any drug offense. You can also be found eligible for CADAC on any criminal offense where the judge finds that an underlying substance abuse addiction likely contributed to the commission of the crime. Judges can grant this program pre-conviction which can lead to your charges being dismissed. They can also approve this post-conviction program as part of a plea agreement in lieu of jail time.
Individuals Can Likely Qualify for Connecticut Treatment Programs As Long As Their Charges Are Non-Serious
We’re very successful at identifying those types of cases and getting people into those types of programs, which generally result in the criminal charges being dismissed. The one major obstacle with all of the Connecticut programs is you can often only get into a drug program if you’re charged with simple possession.
If you’re charged with the sale, or possession with intent to sell, then you’re often not eligible for any of these drug programs or even if eligible, judges will not approve the programs. In those types of cases, often what we need to do is convince the prosecutor, or the judge, that the drugs that were on you were purely for personal use. They weren’t for resale. Then, generally you could get into one of those programs, but we would need to get the sale charge dropped before we were able to accomplish that for our client.
Individuals with No Prior Drug Sale Offenses Are Eligible for the Treatment Programs
Quite often when somebody has no prior history of selling drugs or trafficking narcotics, we can get the charges reduced so that you may get a drug program instead of jail. As long as it’s not a straight sale, like you’re selling drugs to an undercover officer, or there is an officer that had some informant involved. If you’re charged with possession with intent to sell, and you have no prior history of selling drugs, quite commonly we’re able to get those charges reduced.
When facing any type of drug charge in Connecticut is important you enlist the legal guidance of a criminal defense attorney immediately.
If you’re charged with a drug crime, contact our Connecticut Drug Defense Attorneys at The Sills Law Firm to discuss your legal options. Our firm is not afraid to challenge police reports or witness testimonies on your behalf.
The Sills Law Firm defends Connecticut criminal cases statewide and maintains offices in Hartford and Waterbury. In addition to Hartford and Waterbury, the Firm regularly appears in the following courts: Danbury, Derby, Meriden, Middletown, Manchester, Enfield, New Britain, Torrington, Rockville, Milford, and New Haven.
Contact us at (866) 971-3909 or fill out our online form to schedule a FREE consultation.