Connecticut’s drugs laws are some of the strictest in the United States. If you are charged with drug distribution in the state, the penalties for a conviction are severe. Some drug distribution offenses qualify as federal crimes. And these can come with even harsher sentences.
State penalties for drug distribution
Connecticut classifies drug distribution charges as possession with intent to sell. The level of charge depends on the drug a person is accused of selling. The quantity of the illegal drug also plays a factor in their severity. Also, the state tends to impose harsher sentences on defendants they believe are drug-dependent. Those without a history of drug use or abuse may receive a lesser sentence if convicted.
If someone dies after using illegal drugs, the person charged with distributing those drugs may face even more serious charges. When cocaine, heroin or methadone are involved in a death, the sentence may include life in prison.
Federal charges for drug distribution
Drug distribution charges that stem from an alleged violation of federal law will lead to a trial at the federal level. Unlike state drug crimes, federal drug crimes come with minimum mandatory sentences. Sentencing weighs factors such as criminal history and the substance distributed. Based on these, a defendant may face at least five or at least 10 years in prison if convicted.
A distribution charge may qualify as a federal offense if:
- The drugs were moved across state lines
- If trafficking drugs was also included
- An informant tipped off federal investigators about the actions
- Federal officers – rather than state officers – conducted the arrest
- The offense occurred on federal property (including through the mail)
Because drug distribution charges carry serious consequences, it is important to fight the charges. Talking with a legal professional will help you understand your options.