Dedicated Manchester Drug Offense Attorneys
Zealous representation for those accused of illegal drug offenses
Nancy Regan’s “Just Say No” campaign in the 1980s did not have quite the ripple effect as was intended. Drug charges are one of the most frequently seen crimes that pass through a courtroom, and one of the most harshly punished. Depending upon the crime, you could face 30 or more years in prison. Depending on your age, that could be a life sentence, or it could mean giving up the years you should be free to spend building a career, enjoying your family, and traveling.
Being arrested for an illegal narcotics charge is terrifying and can throw your life into uncertainty. Hiring a good criminal defense attorney who can help you through your rough legal patch can alleviate some of that stress by working towards minimizing the consequences you could face. The Manchester drug crime defense attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC aim to exceed our clients’ expectations to produce the best possible outcome for you. Call us to learn more.
Common drug offenses that you could be arrested for in Manchester
Manchester is no different than anywhere else when it comes to drug crimes. In fact, the crime of selling fentanyl continues to be at the top of the list for arrests. While there are myriad drug crimes that you can be charged with under the law, they mainly fall into three categories:
- Possession. Connecticut has loosened the laws on drug possession crimes; however you can still be charged for possession of one half ounce or less of marijuana, or one half ounce or more of marijuana or other illegal drug.
- Sales. The law in Connecticut with regard to controlled substances is that it is illegal to manufacture, distribute, sell, prescribe, dispense, compound, transport or possess with intent to sell or dispense, offer, give, or administer a controlled substance to another.
- Paraphernalia. It is illegal for anyone to use or possess with intent to use drug paraphernalia for growing, preparing, ingesting, or inhaling controlled substances. It is also illegal to deliver, possess with intent to deliver, or manufacture with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia knowing that it will be used for one of these same purposes.
Sometimes other circumstances create additional charges complicating your case. Causing a fatal car accident while on drugs is infinitely more serious than just being in possession of narcotics and will likely result in sentencing enhancements should you be found guilty. Our Manchester drug offense attorneys make it their business to be highly knowledgeable about criminal drug charges and the criminal law system to best protect your rights when facing serious charges.
Penalties that you may face upon conviction for a drug crime
As seasoned attorneys, we know that not every arrest means that you’re guilty. We also know that any drug conviction will follow you for a period of time, and sometimes for a lifetime. You need legal representation that can offer you the greatest chance of walking away with the least consequence as possible.
While Connecticut has decriminalized certain marijuana offenses, the state has also lowered the burden of proof necessary for conviction. The good news is that harsh sentencing and fines for these limited offenses are less of a risk, however your chances of being found guilty have increased.
Current penalties punish marijuana possession of half an ounce or more, or any amount of another illegal drug as a misdemeanor. Prosecution may be suspended for a second offense with the offender being sentenced to drug treatment. Offenders with a third or subsequent arrest can be subject to the penalties of a felony being sentences to up to 3 years in prison.
Crimes involving drug sales or related actions hold mandatory prison terms unless a special circumstance provides a judge latitude to depart from the mandatory minimum. Prison sentences can run from as little as 2 years to as much as 30 years based upon the seriousness of the offense.
Sentencing for possession of drug paraphernalia where mixing, compounding, or otherwise preparing of any amount of a controlled substance for purposes of violating drug laws is punishable as a felony, and carries a mandatory minimum prison term if a minor is hired or used in the process. Penalties for paraphernalia crimes can range from a sentence of 3 months in prison to up to 10 years in prison.
Penalties for each type of crime can also include payment of various fines, potential suspension of a driver’s license, or probation.
There are a wide range of factors that can affect whether a sentence could be reduced or enhanced. Our attorneys will carefully review the facts of your case with you to ensure that you are aware of where you stand before moving forward. We will advise you of the pros and cons of your options, but you have a say in how we proceed; it’s your future at stake.
Putting forth our best defense is your best chance
When you’ve been charged with any crime, your first thought is usually finding reasons to justify what happened, or to gather information to prove that you did nothing wrong. Criminal defense attorneys know where to look and know the right questions to ask to obtain the information most helpful to defend you against the charges for which you will need to answer.
Different crimes require different elements of proof to convict you. Our job is to poke holes in that evidence until it no longer holds up, and we’re well versed in methods to disprove the state’s case.
Sometimes when charges are difficult to overcome, success is measured by a reduction in those charges or a satisfactory plea agreement being reached. For lesser charges, there are options that will allow you to avoid jail time. Contacting one of our attorneys right away will allow us the time to explore your alternatives before you accept a fate worse than you should.
Diversionary programs and drug treatment in Manchester
There are two statutory programs that may be offered to Connecticut drug offenders that could suspend prosecution of their charges and/or incarceration:
- Someone charged with possessing drugs or drug paraphernalia may be referred to the pretrial drug education and community service program (CGS § 54-56i).
- Drug-dependent offenders may be ordered into treatment under CGS §§ 17a-692 to 17a-701.
Participation in the pretrial drug education and community service program includes fifteen-sessions each of a drug education program and a substance abuse treatment program, in addition to performing community service. Successful completion of either program will result in your charges being dismissed.
For repeat offenders, subsequent program participation may be possible, but is at the discretion of the court.
Good Samaritan Law
Public policy dictates that it is more important to encourage saving a life than to punish a narcotics-related crime. Therefore, Connecticut General Statute § 21a-279(d) provides protection from prosecution if your drug crime was only discovered because you sought or received emergency medical care in good faith for yourself or another person who you reasonably believed to be overdosing on drugs or alcohol.
The law also protects individuals, their caregivers and doctors from being tried for a drug crime or being subject to other penalties when the situation involves medical marijuana.
If you were arrested for a drug crime related any of these special circumstances, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney who understands the importance of upholding these protections.
Choose a skilled Manchester drug charge attorney
The balance of your life should not be set in stone the moment you are arrested for a drug crime. There are avenues that we can pursue to help prove your innocence and there is always a defense that can be made to minimize a sentence. If you have been arrested in connection with drug charges, contact the dedicated attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC. To schedule a consultation with one of our drug crime defense attorneys in Manchester or Hartford, please call our office at 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form. We’re located right off I-84 or I-384 in Manchester.