For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please call the offices of Maya Murphy, P.C. today at (203) 221-3100 or Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.
Under Connecticut law, the unauthorized possession of marijuana is a crime which can be punishable by fines, probation and/or jail time. The severity of the charges against an individual, as well as the type of punishment a Defendant may face, depends upon the amount of marijuana in the Defendant’s possession at the time of his or her arrest.
If an individual has less than one-half ounce of marijuana in his or her possession, the possession does not constitute a crime, but is considered an infraction and is punishable by a fine of one hundred-fifty dollars ($150) for the first offense. For all subsequent offenses, the fines increase between two hundred dollars ($200), and five hundred dollars ($500), with third time violators required to attend a drug education program approved by the State, at his or her own expense.
Along with fines that must be paid, an individual convicted of possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana, who is under the age of twenty-one (21) years old, will have his or her driver’s license, or driving privileges in Connecticut suspended for a period of sixty (60) days. If the offending individual does not yet have his or her driver’s license, his or her conviction will mark the Defendant ineligible to obtain a driver’s license for one hundred fifty (150) days following his or her becoming eligible.
If an individual is arrested for possession of greater than one-half ounce of marijuana, he or she will be charge with a Class A misdemeanor and could face a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), and up to one (1) year in jail, or both for a first offense. For a second offense, the Court will perform an evaluation upon the offending individual and may suspend prosecution of the Defendant and order substance abuse treatment if the Court determines that the Defendant is drug dependent, or may order fines and jail time. If the Defendant is charged with a third or more subsequent offense, the Court may find that the Defendant is a “persistent offender for controlled substance possession,” which is punishable as a Class E felony. The penalty for a persistent offender is punishment of up to three (3) years in jail.
While many individuals may believe that possession of marijuana has been decriminalized in Connecticut, that belief is only partially true in that the decriminalization of possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana may not lead to jail time, but could still result in fines and a driver’s license suspension. Anyone charged with possession of any substance should consult a criminal law attorney to discuss the possible penalties and options that he or she faces.
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, contact the experienced criminal law attorneys today at 203-221-3100, or by email at JMaya@mayalaw.com. We have the experience and knowledge you need at this critical juncture. We serve clients throughout Connecticut and all of Fairfield County, from Greenwich and Stamford to Westport and Bridgeport.