Cocaine Possession (Part 2 of 3)
(Part 2 of 3)
A first conviction under C.G.S. 21a-277 carries a maximum 15-year jail sentence and $50,000 fine. A second offense can carry as much as 30 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine. Offenses after your second conviction carry the same prison time as a second offense – 30 years, but an increased fine of up to $250,000. These jail sentences and fine amounts are extremely heavy-handed and often used by aggressive narcotics detectives to pressure a suspect into cooperating or “ratting” on co-conspirators and other participants in a drug ring.
Top Darien and Stamford Connecticut cocaine possession criminal lawyers in Connecticut know that one way to avoid mandatory minimum sentences for Connecticut drug arrests is to prove that you were suffering from drug dependency or drug addiction at the time you were arrested for 21a-277 Possession with Intent to Sell cocaine. Whether or not you were actually “drug dependent” in the eyes of the court and prosecutors is a key factor in your case and can determine whether you will be sentenced to mandatory time. Therefore, your top New Canaan Connecticut criminal lawyer must work hard to prove that your arrest was a result of supporting an addiction, rather than engaging in a profitable business enterprise.
If you cannot convince the court that your Connecticut cocaine possession with intent to sell arrest was a result of your dependency on narcotics, then you will face the harsher penalties codified in C.G.S. 21a-278. This section outlines mandatory minimum jail sentences that you must serve if you are arrested and found guilty of selling cocaine in Stamford, Greenwich, or Norwalk, or possessing cocaine with the intent to sell, but are not found to be dependent on drugs at the time of your conviction. And similar to straight cocaine possession arrests in Stamford Connecticut, if you are arrested for sale or cocaine, or possession of cocaine with intent to sell, under CGS 21a-278 or the more lenient CGS 21a-277, there is an additional mandatory jail sentence of 3 years if your crime took place within 1500 feet from an elementary school, a high school or a day care center. This additional penalty is codified in C.G.S. 21a-278a. With all this jail time at stake, it is a good idea to consult a top Connecticut drug and narcotics possession criminal lawyer to advise you of the possible sentences you could face and all of the defenses and sentence alternatives you should consider.Fighting Your Possession of Narcotics / Cocaine Arrest in Stamford, Greenwich and Norwalk
When the top Stamford Connecticut drug and criminal lawyers are called about a drug case, they usually ask a few important questions before assessing your case. What kind and quantity of drugs were found at the arrest? Did police have a search warrant to search your home or motor vehicle? Did you provide any statements or information to the police? Did police illegally search your cell phone or your email accounts? The answers to these questions will usually help guide a top Connecticut cocaine possession lawyer through the initial case assessment process and help them properly fight your case.
The best Stamford Connecticut drug lawyers will then thoroughly review your police reports, witness statements, and audio and video surveillance evidence of your case. They will scrutinize these documents carefully, looking for errors and omissions that may provide grounds for motions to suppress key evidence, or help bolster constitutional search and seizure arguments that may get your case dismissed. Successful motions to suppress will keep the unlawfully obtained evidence out of your case, as well as any other contraband that flowed therefrom, often referred to by criminal courts as “fruit of the poisonous tree.” The best Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers will then go back and review your reports a second time, to look for any inconsistencies in the police reports or witness statements that might challenge a witness’s credibility. Finally, additional issues must be addressed…Was this a sting operation? Were confidential informants involved? Was there entrapment? Were witnesses or informants provided immunity, protection, deals on their criminal cases, or money by the government? Were there chain of custody issues regarding the cocaine?
Toxicologists and private investigators may also need to be retained to carefully examine the evidence at the State lab, and to interview other witnesses that the police conveniently forgot or failed to interview. Finally, after your Connecticut cocaine lawyer covers all of these issues, it is then that they are able to provide you with an honest assessment of your defense, and work with you to build the strongest defense possible under your individual case circumstances.
Continue Reading…Cocaine Possession Arrests, Part 3 of 3
(Drug Treatment & Rehabilitation Strategies, Conspiracy Charges & much more)