Connecticut state laws against drug possession and other drug-related crimes are becoming increasingly tighter. These laws prohibit and discourage the abuse of illicit substances, improving the community’s health and safety. However, as drug-related laws become stricter, drug-related arrests are becoming more common.
Did the police arrest one of your friends or family members on a drug-related charge? Your loved one might face severe and life-altering consequences, depending on the seriousness of their offense. When facing a charge for drug crimes in CT, your family member might have a right to bail.In this post, our experienced team at Connecticut Bail Bonds Group discusses the bail amounts for the possession of drugs. If you want to help a loved one get out of jail while awaiting trial, keep reading to learn what you can expect during the bail bond process.
Drug Possession – Felony or Misdemeanor?
Connecticut law distinguishes between the straight possession of drugs and possession with the intention to sell (PWITS). As a first offense, the straight possession of any quantity of a narcotic substance is a felony. This crime is punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. These narcotics include:
- Non-prescribed and controlled substances, such as Adderall, Vicodin, or Oxycontin
- Recreational drugs, including crack, cocaine, molly, methadone, or heroin
- Hallucinogens, such as acid, mushrooms, and LSD
This crime doesn’t include the possession of marijuana.
Drug possession with the intent to sell hallucinogens and narcotics is a felony. The penalties for this crime include jail sentences of up to 30 years and fines of $250,000 for subsequent convictions. This felony doesn’t include the possession of marijuana.
The police don’t have to catch someone in the act of selling illicit substances to charge them with PWITS. The possession of large amounts of narcotics, drug packing materials, baggies, or containers is sufficient to suggest that the defendant is manufacturing, distributing, or selling illicit substances.
Under Connecticut law, the possession of marijuana in a quantity of fewer than four ounces is the only misdemeanor. All other drug offenses are felonies.
An Overview of the Bail Bond Process
When the police arrest your loved one on a drug-related charge, they will take them to the police station for booking. Then the defendant has to wait up to 48 hours for their bail hearing, where the court will read the charges against them and enter their plea.
Your loved one’s attorney will also enter a bail application, and the judge will determine if your family member is eligible for bail. If the court grants your loved one bail, it will set a bail amount.
After your loved one posts bail, they can get out of jail. If they don’t appear for their trial, they, or the person who posted bail for them, will forfeit the money or assets they used for bail.
Factors the Court Considers When Setting Bail
During the bail hearing, the court will consider various factors to determine a bail amount for drug possession. Some of these factors include:
- The degree of the criminal charge: Is the crime a felony or a misdemeanor?
- The purpose of possession: Did the defendant possess the narcotics for self-consumption or distribution and sale?
- The severity of the crime: How many drugs did the police find in the defendant’s possession? Did the defendant possess narcotics within 1,500 feet of a school?
- The defendant’s background: Does the accused person have a criminal record? Is the drug possession the defendant’s first offense?
For example, suppose your loved one possessed a few ounces of a recreational drug in a remote location, and the possession is their first offense. In this case, the court might find that the drug possession was for personal use.
The courts usually set a light bail for these misdemeanor offenses. Defendants often have no problem paying these bail amounts out of their pockets.
On the other hand, suppose your loved one possessed a large volume of drugs in containers with logos or other indications of a manufacturing or distribution operation. In this case, they might face a felony charge, which typically attracts a high bail amount.
Once the court sets a bail amount, your loved one has three available options:
- Remaining in jail until the finalization of the case
- Paying the bail amount in full to the court
- Buying bail bonds for drug possession from a reputable bail bondsman
Bail Bonds for Drug Possession: What are the Amounts?
The court can use its discretion when setting a bail amount. However, Connecticut law provides the following bail amounts as guidelines:
- $100,000 for the possession of one to two pounds of a drug
- $500,000 for the possession of two to seven pounds of a drug
- $1 million for the possession of 10 to 20 pounds of a drug
- $5 million for the possession of up to 175 pounds of a drug
The bail amounts for drug-related charges are relatively high. As a family member of a loved one, you might not have the resources to post these bail amounts. In these cases, you should consider felony bail bonds.
Do You Need Bail Bonds in Connecticut?
If you don’t have the means to post bail for a loved one, a bail bondsman can step in as a third party to post the bond. These services provide the bail amount quickly so your loved one can get out of jail as soon as possible.
As a leading bail bondsman in Connecticut, we have connections with the role players in the bond system, and we can help you navigate the bond process. We also provide flexible and affordable payment options, making it easy for you to repay the bail bond costs over time.
By helping your loved one get out on bail, we make it possible for them to keep their job, hire an attorney, and participate in their defense strategy. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about drug possession bail bonds.