Connecticut Marijuana Decriminalization Info
If you receive a ticket for possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana or are arrested for any drug-related crime, the attorneys of Berman & Russo can help you. For more than 25 years, our firm has provided clients in central Connecticut with skilled defense from a variety of drug charges, ranging from possession of small amounts of marijuana to felony charges of possession or sale of marijuana or narcotics.
Contact our drug possession attorneys in Hartford County for a free consultation to learn about your rights. From our office in South Windsor, we provide experienced drug crime defense to clients with cases in the courts of Manchester, Rockville/Vernon, Enfield, Hartford, New Britain and Middletown.
Reduced Penalties For Less Than Half An Ounce Of Pot
Starting July 1, 2011, small amounts of marijuana for personal use will be decriminalized in Connecticut. Under the old law, possession of even a small amount of marijuana could result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to a $1,000. Under the new law, the penalties for possession of less than half an ounce are significantly reduced:
- First-time offenders: If you are caught with less than half an ounce and it is your first offense, you will receive a $150 fine. This fine is similar to a parking ticket and can be paid by mail without a court appearance.
- Multiple offenses: If you have been caught with less than half an ounce on more than one occasion, you could receive a $200 to $500 fine for each offense. After the third infraction, you will be placed in a drug awareness program.
- Under 21: If you are under 21, you will still receive the $150 fine and you will have your license suspended for 60 days.
- Sixteen and under: If you are 16 or younger and receive a ticket for possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana, you will be referred to the juvenile court system and your parents will be notified of your ticket.
- Paraphernalia: If you are caught with less than half an ounce of marijuana, the penalties will also be reduced for marijuana-related paraphernalia in your possession, including rolling papers, baggies, scales, bongs and pipes.
Is It Safe To Smoke A Joint?
It is important to remember that even with the change in the law, possession of any quantity of marijuana is still illegal. If the police catch you with more than half an ounce, you could still face jail time and increased fines as well as a criminal record. Additionally, if you are caught smoking pot in your car, you could face charges for driving under the influence.
We represent clients throughout Hartford County (east of the Connecticut River) and Tolland County, including the communities of South Windsor, Windsor, East Windsor, Hartford, Bloomfield, Enfield, Windsor Locks, East Hartford, Manchester, Glastonbury, Marlborough, Somers, Stafford, Stafford Springs, Union, Ellington, Tolland, Willington, Vernon, Bolton, Coventry, Mansfield, Storrs, Andover, Hebron, Columbia and Middletown.