Hartford Opioid Drug Crime Defense Attorneys
Representing Hartford & Manchester clients accused of heroin and fentanyl drug crimes
Heroin or fentanyl-related offenses and charges can result in repercussions that could follow you around for the rest of your life. With misdemeanor or felony drug charges in your background, you could lose your reputation, your job, your freedom and opportunities for a bright future. With potential thousands of dollars in fines and penalties on top of that, nobody can afford to live the rest of their life with a criminal drug offense record.
If you or a loved one have been accused of or charged with possession of or possession with intent to distribute heroin or fentanyl, or any other controlled substance, the Hartford drug crime defense attorneys at Barry, Barall, Taylor & Levesque, LLC can help. Our decades of experience within the local court systems give us the edge when it comes to strong, strategic defense for our clients. We protect your rights and fight hard to clear your name. Call us today.
Federal classification of drug schedules
When facing drug charges, or if you’re aware you’re being investigated for a drug offense, it’s important to understand how the federal government classifies and categorizes drugs. Depending on the drug’s medical use and its potential for abuse or dependency, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) delineates drugs into separate schedules, with Schedule I drugs carrying the highest penalties. Heroin and fentanyl are, respectively, Schedule I and II opiates with a high potential for dependency and abuse:
- Schedule I. These drugs, substances and chemicals have no current medical use and a high potential for abuse. Examples of these drugs and narcotics include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone and peyote.
- Schedule II. Also considered dangerous with a high potential for abuse and dependence, these substances include combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall and Ritalin.
Our criminal defense attorneys can answer any questions you have about your specific situation and circumstances, and provide experienced legal guidance.
The Hartford opioid epidemic
Opioids are a class of drugs generally known as painkillers. There are prescription drugs like codeine, morphine, hydrocodone and oxycodone, and illegal street drugs like heroin. These drugs, both prescription and illegal, have the potential to be highly addictive even when used as prescribed. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 955 people died from opioid overdoses in Connecticut in 2017.
The organization also reported an increase in overdoses from synthetic opioids – specifically fentanyl. Fentanyl is an extremely powerful painkiller that can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. In hospital and medical settings, fentanyl is used for patients experiencing extreme pain, recovering from surgery or suffering from chronic pain. However, when used without medical supervision, fentanyl can be very dangerous because of its strength and fast action. Recently, much of the heroin supply in the United States has been tainted with synthetic black market fentanyl, causing overdose rates to skyrocket nationwide.
Heroin and opioid laws in the state and across the country
Under Connecticut drug laws, conviction of possession of a Schedule I drug like heroin is a felony. You may face consequences including up to seven years in prison and fines of up to $50,000. Subsequent offenses will include mandatory minimum prison sentences of 15 years and fines of up to $250,000.
Sentencing and fines vary according to how much of the substance you had on you at the time of your arrest – this can mean the difference between possession, distribution and trafficking – or where you were caught with the alleged drugs. For example, if you were in a school zone, you will automatically have extra years or fines added to your sentence. The drug crime defense lawyers at Barry, Barall, Taylor & Levesque, LLC can talk about your personal circumstances.
Why you need a Hartford drug defense attorney
The legal implications of a drug arrest and conviction are severe. But when you are accused of a drug crime, you also must consider the implications on your personal and professional life. Even a minor drug conviction can show up on a background check long after you’ve left this part of your life behind. The majority of employers and landlords conduct background checks, and a drug conviction on your record will do you no favors. Further, some continuing education institutions check for a criminal history as well. Don’t take a chance with your future.
If you’re facing drug charges like heroin or fentanyl, we can help. Our attorneys are experienced, compassionate and discreet. And, we understand the law and will work for the best possible outcome for your case.
First, remember that just because you’ve been arrested doesn’t mean you’ve been convicted. Typically our clients are charged after authorities search their vehicle or person and find them in possession of heroin, fentanyl or other opiates. Search and seizure laws are highly complex and often you may not realize your rights were violated. We investigate for infringement of your Fourth Amendment rights, taking unauthorized evidence out of play.
In other situations, some individuals charged with drug crimes may be allowed to enter into a pretrial drug education and community service program. If this program is completed successfully, the case is typically dismissed entirely, and no conviction is entered into your record.
Our attorneys work with only your best interests in mind, tailoring our defense strategy for your particular circumstances. We negotiate with prosecutors to minimize or drop the charges entirely, and are not afraid to go to trial if necessary.
Smart Hartford heroin and fentanyl possession defense attorneys
In today’s climate, an opioid drug conviction can affect the rest of your life and livelihood. State and federal drug laws are constantly in flux, and you need strong attorneys on your side. The drug crime defense lawyers at Barry, Barall, Taylor & Levesque, LLC will aggressively fight the charges against you. If you’re facing drug possession or distribution allegations, call us today. We’re located right off I-84 or I-384 in Manchester. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers in Hartford or Manchester, please call 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form.