Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law
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What is maintaining a premises?

You may have heard news reports of people in Connecticut facing charges for maintaining premises and felt confused trying to figure out what that means because it does not sound like an illegal action. Indeed, people lawfully maintain different types of premises for all sorts of legitimate reasons. However, maintaining premises becomes a crime if you do so for illegal purposes. This often involves the manufacture, sale or distribution of controlled substances. 

According to the United States Department of Justice, maintaining drug-involved premises can entail either civil or criminal penalties. Authorities may use the amount that you gained as a result of the illegal activity as a guide to calculate your fine for a civil offense. A criminal charge related to maintaining premises can result in a fine ranging from between $500,000 to $2,000,000 in addition to up to 20 years in prison. 

You do not need to own the property to face a charge of maintaining drug-involved premises. If you were to rent an apartment or similar space for the purpose of distributing or manufacturing drugs, you could face charges. Conversely, you need not interact directly with the controlled substances and activities related to them. If you leased out a property to one or more tenants knowing that they were planning to use it for illegal activities involving drugs, the law could still hold you accountable. What counts is your intention with regard to the property. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

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