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Legal Statutes: Connecticut

UPDATED January 10, 2017

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Part I. General Provisions

back to top§ 21a-279. Penalty for illegal possession. Alternative sentences. Immunity

(a) (1) Any person who possesses or has under such person's control any quantity of any controlled substance, except less than one-half ounce of a cannabis-type substance and except as authorized in this chapter, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(2) For a second offense of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the court shall evaluate such person and, if the court determines such person is a drug-dependent person, the court may suspend prosecution of such person and order such person to undergo a substance abuse treatment program.

(3) For any subsequent offense of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the court may find such person to be a persistent offender for possession of a controlled substance in accordance with section 53a-40.

(b) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section in or on, or within one thousand five hundred feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school and who is not enrolled as a student in such school or a licensed child care center, as defined in section 19a-77, that is identified as a child care center by a sign posted in a conspicuous place shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor and shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment and a period of probation during which such person shall perform community service as a condition of such probation, in a manner ordered by the court.

(c) To the extent that it is possible, medical treatment rather than criminal sanctions shall be afforded individuals who breathe, inhale, sniff or drink the volatile substances described in subdivision (49) of section 21a-240.

(d) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to any person (1) who in good faith, seeks medical assistance for another person who such person reasonably believes is experiencing an overdose from the ingestion, inhalation or injection of intoxicating liquor or any drug or substance, (2) for whom another person, in good faith, seeks medical assistance, reasonably believing such person is experiencing an overdose from the ingestion, inhalation or injection of intoxicating liquor or any drug or substance, or (3) who reasonably believes he or she is experiencing an overdose from the ingestion, inhalation or injection of intoxicating liquor or any drug or substance and, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for himself or herself, if evidence of the possession or control of a controlled substance in violation of subsection (a) of this section was obtained as a result of the seeking of such medical assistance. For the purposes of this subsection, “good faith” does not include seeking medical assistance during the course of the execution of an arrest warrant or search warrant or a lawful search.

(e) No provision of this section shall be construed to alter or modify the meaning of the provisions of section 21a-278.

(1958 Rev., § 19-481; 1967, P.A. 555, § 37; 1969, P.A. 391, § 4; 1969, P.A. 753, § 19, eff. July 1, 1969; 1972, P.A. 278, § 26; 1974, P.A. 74-332, § 3, eff. May 30, 1974; 1983, P.A. 83-141; 1985, P.A. 85-613, § 62, eff. July 10, 1985; 1989, P.A. 89-256, § 2; 1992, June Sp.Sess., P.A. 92-1, § 4; 1994, P.A. 94-233, § 2; 2011, P.A. 11-71, § 2, eff. July 1, 2011; 2011, P.A. 11-210, § 1; 2013, P.A. 13-258, § 88; 2015, P.A. 15-227, § 25, eff. July 1, 2015; 2015, June Sp.Sess., P.A. 15-2, § 1.)