It's illegal throughout the United States to traffic, sell, or possess heroin and other opiates. States write and enforce illicit drug laws, which are typically complicated and sometimes carry mandatory minimum sentences. While the trend generally has been toward doing away with mandatory minimums, Connecticut still has them on the books. So while some states' marijuana laws have been loosened or done away with, laws regarding heroin remain quite severe.
The main provisions of Connecticut's heroin laws are summarized in the following table. FindLaw's Drug Charges section contains additional articles and resources.
||21a-240, 243, 278, et seq.
||7 yrs.and/or $50,000; Subsequent offense: 15 yrs. and/or $100,000; Third offense: 25 yrs. and/or $250,000
||15 yrs. and/or $50,000; 1 oz. or more: 5-20 yrs. minimum to life maximum (by a non-drug dependent person); Subsequent offense: 10-25 yrs.; Within 1500 ft. of school: additional mandatory 5 yrs.; court may suspend mandatory minimum sentence if person is under 18 or lacks mental capacity
|How Governments Justify Strict Heroin Laws
Heroin is highly addictive, and the negative effects of addiction are not limited to the drug user himself. Hence, heroin is one of the strictest regulated drugs in Connecticut. People addicted to drugs may commit other crimes like theft or burglary to help pay for their addiction.
Possession of Heroin
Merely possessing heroin in Connecticut is a felony. For a first offense, you may be put in jail for seven years and/or pay a $50,000 fine. Subsequent convictions after the first conviction earn jail time between 15 to 25 years. Fines can rise up to the $250,000 level. Also, possessing large amounts of heroin may be considered drug trafficking even if it is intended for personal use.
Sale of Heroin
For a first offense, selling heroin can be punished with 15 years in jail, and a fine of $50,000. The amount of jail time and the fine can change depending on how much heroin was sold, and can even change based on the location of the sale, like at a school. Indeed, getting caught selling heroin within 1500 feet of school can tack on an additional mandatory 5 years. The jail sentence for subsequent offenses can be as long as 10-15 years for selling heroin.
Getting Legal Help
A heroin conviction is very serious and will have a huge impact on your life. If you would like to know more about heroin law or if you would like help from a private attorney to defend you against heroin charges, there are many criminal defense attorneys throughout Connecticut with knowledge of drug laws who may be able to help.