In 2011, a bill was passed in Connecticut that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. At the law office of Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law, we understand that this does not mean you will not face penalties if you are found with marijuana. In this post, we will discuss the consequences you could face for marijuana possession in the state of Connecticut.
Marijuana is considered an illegal substance in Connecticut, and at the federal level. However, if you are found in possession of less than one half of an ounce, it is a civil penalty, not a criminal infraction. State law specifies that for a first time offense, you will be fined a maximum of $150. If you have previously been convicted of possessing less than one half of an ounce of marijuana, you will be subject to a fine of between $200 and $500. For a third offense, state law specifies that you must complete a drug education course.
If you are found in possession of between one half of an ounce and four ounces of marijuana, it becomes a criminal offense. For a first time offense, you may be charged with a misdemeanor and might be fined a maximum of $1,000, sentenced to up to one year in prison or both if you are convicted. Subsequent offenses are typically charged as felony level offenses. Consequently, you could be fined as much as $3,000, sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison or both.
The penalties for possession of marijuana are enhanced if you are found with more than four ounces. This is the case even if you are keeping it for personal use and are not planning to sell it. A felony level offense, you could be fined up to $2,000, sentenced to up to five years in prison or both for a first time conviction. For subsequent convictions, you may be fined a maximum of $5,000, sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison or both.
For more information about the criminal penalties associated with marijuana in Connecticut, please visit our marijuana sale and possession page.