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The potential long-term impacts of cocaine-related charges

The police place handcuffs on you for allegedly committing a cocaine-related crime, and all you can think about is how your drug arrest will impact your future. How will it affect your reputation? Will you get prison time?

Connecticut has some of the United States' strictest laws regarding illegal drugs, and federal laws are also stringent when dealing with these matters. Here is what you can expect following a cocaine-related arrest in the Constitution State.

Federal and state laws regarding cocaine

Drug laws at the federal level prohibit the possession of cocaine as well as the cultivation, manufacturing, and trafficking and distribution of this drug. The penalties you can face for a drug conviction in general can be quite harsh, but this is especially true for cocaine. These penalties differ from one person to another based on how much cocaine is involved in each alleged crime and whether the accused have previous drug convictions.

Connecticut in particular has historically cracked down on cocaine use and distribution in light of the violence known to surround these activities. The fact that the state is close to New York, which is a large illegal drug market, keeps the state's police quite busy hunting down those who possess or sell the rock or powder form of cocaine.

Penalties for cocaine-related crimes in Connecticut

If you face a charge of possessing cocaine in this state, the potential exists for you to spend seven years behind bars and/or pay a fine of $50,000 for your first offense. A subsequent offense can result in a sentence of 15 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine if you are convicted. If you face a cocaine possession conviction for a third time, your sentence may be 25 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

Regarding the sale of cocaine, you can expect to receive a sentence of 15 years behind bars and/or a $50,000 fine for a first offense conviction. A subsequent offense can lead to a sentence of 10 to 25 years in prison. If authorities catch you engaging in cocaine-related activities within 1,000 feet of a school, you may face an extra, mandatory three years behind bars.

Your rights following a cocaine-related arrest

If police have arrested you for possessing or selling cocaine, you have the right to proceed to trial to fight the charges against you. In spite of the seriousness of these accusations and charges, prosecutors still have the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced attorney will look for holes in the prosecution's evidence and determine the best possible defense strategy for you in an effort to achieve the most personally favorable outcome for your particular situation.

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