In Connecticut, if you are arrested with any quantity of illegal drugs, you may be charged with a criminal offense Depending on the facts of your case and the quantity of drugs, you could be charged with simple possession or possession with intent to distribute – which is also referred to as drug trafficking.
The potential consequences for a drug trafficking conviction are severe. If you are found guilty of this crime, then you may be sentenced to 5 to 30 years in prison. There are a number of potential defenses to charges; a seasoned drug trafficking lawyer in CT can help develop a strategy to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
The Sills Law Firm represents individuals who have been charged with drug-related crimes throughout Connecticut. We aggressively advocate for the rights of our clients, working hard to get them a favorable resolution. If you have been charged with drug trafficking, reach out today to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team.
Connecticut Drug Trafficking Laws
Under Connecticut law, it is a criminal offense to sell, intend to sell, possess with the intent to sell, or transport certain types and amounts of drugs. This offense is commonly referred to as drug trafficking.
Drug trafficking is considered a far more serious crime than drug possession. It is typically distinguished by the quantity of drugs involved as well as other factors. For example, if you are arrested with a significant quantity of heroin as well as scales, baggies, and other things often used to package illegal drugs for sale, then you will probably be charged with drug trafficking instead of possession.
In Connecticut, controlled substances are classified into five different schedules. There are sentencing guidelines that judges must follow for drug trafficking conditions that are based on the type and quantity of controlled substances that a person had when they were arrested. In addition, repeat or habitual offenders often face far harsher penalties compared to first-time offenders.
To secure a conviction for drug trafficking in Connecticut, it is not enough for a prosecutor to show that a person possessed some amount of drugs. They must also demonstrate that the individual had the intent to sell the drugs. An experienced drug trafficking defense attorney in CT can use their knowledge of the law and the facts of the case to demonstrate that the drugs in question were for personal use, for example, or that there was no intent to sell drugs.
There are a number of potential defenses to a drug trafficking charge. As with other types of drug offenses, illegal searches and seizures happen far too often in drug trafficking cases. A criminal defense lawyer in CT may be able to have the evidence against you suppressed if the police violated your constitutional rights, including by failing to read your Miranda rights. In some cases, this may result in a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you.
Drug Trafficking Sentences in Connecticut
Drug trafficking crimes are punished harshly in Connecticut. The exact sentence depends on three factors:
- The type of controlled substance involved;
- The quantity of the controlled substance seized; and
- The criminal history of the accused.
As a general rule, if you are a repeat offender and are caught with a large quantity of a drug that is considered dangerous (like heroin), then your sentence will likely be longer than a person who had a smaller quantity of a less serious controlled substance (like marijuana).
Judges in Connecticut must follow sentencing guidelines for drug trafficking cases. Minimum and maximum sentences must be imposed based on the factors listed above. These sentences include:
- Sale of Any Amount of Narcotics (Heroin, Cocaine, or Crack) by a Drug Dependent Person: up to 15 years for a first offense, plus a fine of up to $50,000. For a second or greater offense, the penalty is increased to 30 years and a fine of $100,000 to $250,000.
- Sale of Any Amount of Narcotics (Heroin, Cocaine, or Crack) by a Non-Drug Dependent Person: a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison for a first offense, For a second or greater offense, the penalty is increased to a minimum of 10 years and up to 25 years in prison.
- Sale of at least one ounce of heroin: a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison for a first offense, For a second or greater offense, the sentence increases to up to life in prison.
- Sale of at least ½ ounce of cocaine or crack: a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison for a first offense, For a second or greater offense, the sentence increases to up to life in prison.
- Possession of less than one kilo of marijuana with intent to sell: up to 7 years in prison plus fines.
- Possession of one kilo or more of marijuana with intent to sell: a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in jail and fines for a first offense. For a second offense, the sentence is a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25 years in jail and fines.
- Sale of Any Amount of an Amphetamine Type Substance by a Drug Dependent Person: up to seven years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine for a first offense. For a second offense, the penalty increases to up to 15 years in prison or up to a $100,000 fine.
Other types of drugs – such as hallucinogenic substances – carry similarly harsh sentences of anywhere from 5 to 7 years to 30 years in prison. Because these sentences are so significant – and because any drug conviction carries collateral consequences – it is vital that you reach out to a drug crimes attorney as soon as possible after being charged with possession with intent to sell.
Is Drug Trafficking a Misdemeanor or a Felony in Connecticut?
Possession of a controlled substance with an intent to sell it is always a felony offense in Connecticut. Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors and are punishable by a far longer prison term. A drug trafficking conviction will result in a minimum sentence of 5 years in state prison, up to life imprisonment.
Because the potential consequences of a drug trafficking charge are so high, it is important to reach out to a drug trafficking defense attorney in CT as soon as possible after being charged with this offense. In Hartford or Waterbury, call the Sills Law Firm to talk to a member of our team.
Does It Matter Where I Was Arrested for Drug Trafficking?
Yes. If you were caught in possession of drugs within 1,500 feet of a school or daycare center, then you will have an additional penalty of 2 years of prison. This sentence will run consecutively to any other sentence that is imposed, which means that you will have to serve 2 years on top of whatever other sentence you receive. This penalty is imposed even if you were not aware of your proximity to a school or daycare.
The state of Connecticut takes drug crimes seriously. That is why you should reach out to a CT drug trafficking lawyer immediately after being arrested for drug trafficking. Call the Sills Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help.
Facing Drug Charges? Reach Out Today.
Many people in Connecticut and beyond struggle with substance abuse disorder or drug addiction. If you are facing criminal charges related to the possession or sale of drugs, we can help.
The Sills Law Firm is dedicated to helping people who have been charged with all types of criminal offenses in Connecticut. We take a proactive approach to criminal defense, with the goal of helping our clients get the best resolution to their case. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with a drug trafficking lawyer in CT, call our law office at (860) 524-811 or fill out our online contact form.