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C.G.S. § 21a-279a– Penalty for Illegal Possession of Small Amount of Cannabis-Type Substance

Simple Possession of Marijuana - Generally

Marijuana PossessionMarijuana is not legal in Connecticut. The simple possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana is now a criminal violation and no longer a misdemeanor. You can mail in your ticket with a payment or pay online, and no court appearance is required. However, it is a big mistake to plead guilty to a violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-279a because it will stay on your record with the centralized infractions bureau for seven years. A record for simple possession of marijuana can result in many problems with employment searches.

Many people have contacted our office after they were rejected for a new job because of a plea to simple possession of marijuana ticket in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-279a. A record for simple possession of marijuana can result in a loss of a driver's license for anyone under the age of 21. We have seen instances of individuals who have had their pistol permits revoked upon entering a guilty plea to a violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-279a.

Finally, a record of a guilty plea for this violation can result in your inability to gain entry into the armed forces without gaining a waiver. No one should ever plead guilty to a simple possession of marijuana ticket. Always plead not guilty and consult an experienced Connecticut marijuana defense lawyer about the best options to have your ticket dismissed.

Since this is a violation, it carries a civil penalty, and if you elected to take the case to trial, it would be heard initially in magistrate's court.

Elements of the Offense Which Must be Established by The State's Attorney

To be convicted of simple possession of marijuana in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-279a, the state's attorney has to prove the following elements of the crime:

1. The defendant possesses or has under his control one-half ounce or less of marijuana

Examples

A man is driving in his car when he is pulled over for a speeding infraction. The officer smells the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and asks the man if he has any marijuana or drugs in the vehicle. The man admits possessing some small amount of marijuana (less than one-half ounce), and the officer takes possession of the marijuana and issues the man a ticket for simple possession of marijuana in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-279a.

A woman is a passenger with three other people in a car. The woman is sitting in the rear passenger seat.

The driver is pulled over for erratic operation by the police. The officer smells marijuana emanating from the vehicle and asks everyone to step out of the vehicle. The police officer discovers less than one-half ounce of marijuana located in the glove box of the vehicle. The police officer asks the four individuals which one of them wants to claim ownership of the marijuana. Since the driver/owner and all three passengers all deny responsibility for the marijuana, the officer gives all four occupants a ticket for simple possession of marijuana. The woman could not be convicted under these facts for simple possession of marijuana in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-279a because the facts do not support that she exercised dominion or control over the marijuana.

Related Offenses

Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-279(a) - Illegal Possession of Narcotics

Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-267(d) -    Drug Paraphernalia

Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-277(a) - Possession with Intent to Sell

Defenses to Simple Possession of Marijuana

Anyone who holds a valid medical marijuana card is unlikely to be prosecuted for the simple possession of marijuana.

Often when these tickets are issued to groups of people, there are problems with proving possession. The state usually operates under a theory of constructive possession. Just because the police issue you a ticket for simple possession does not mean that you are guilty. You should always review the specific facts of your case with a Connecticut marijuana defense lawyer to determine the best defense options for your situation.

No one should ever plead guilty or pay the fine online for a simple possession of marijuana ticket. While just paying the $150 fine may seem like the easiest way to resolve the ticket, a guilty plea can have lasting and profound consequences on your future ability to seek employment and housing.

An experienced Connecticut marijuana lawyer will be able to either get a ticket for simple possession of marijuana thrown out entirely or find an alternative resolution that will prevent you from winding up with a record for marijuana possession.

Penalties

Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-279a - simple possession of marijuana is an infraction and carries a civil penalty fine only of $150. The problem with this offense is not the monetary fine. The problem is that the record of your guilty plea is recorded with the centralized infractions bureau for seven years and can have significant effects upon your future.

Call Simple Marijuana Possession Lawyer Allan F. Friedman!

Attorney Allan F. Friedman firmly believes that everyone is presumed innocent and has the right to a fair trial and effective defense.

This is why we are determined to provide all our clients with five-star customer service and exceptional representation, even when faced with the most stressful and trying circumstances. If you have received a ticket for simple possession of marijuana, contact our Stamford criminal law firm today at (203) 357-5555, or you can contact us online for a prompt response.

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This man literally saved my life! I had a criminal mischief and domestic charge along with a protective order put on me. Atty Friedman successfully got me into the required needed to have these charges dropped. Then came the felony protective order violation...Long story short I walked out of court today with all my charges nolled. Anonymous