drugs, Hartford criminal defense attorneyThe United States is in the midst of a horrific crisis related to drug abuse. The problem is so widespread that it is largely known as an epidemic. On an average day, about 115 people in the U.S. die as the result of an opioid overdose. Opioids include prescription pain relievers like Vicodin and OxyContin, as well as heroin and fentanyl. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the financial cost of prescription opioid misuse—not included illegal drugs like heroin—is about $78.5 billion annually.

There are two primary philosophies when it comes to dealing with America’s drug problem. The first is more draconian, and it involves harsh criminal prosecution for those who use, sell, and manufacture illegal drugs, as well as those who use otherwise-legal prescription drugs in illegal ways. The second, one could argue, is more compassionate, and it involves treating substance abuse like a disease. Laws across the country seem to bounce back and forth between the two sides when it comes to individual drug users, but when an overdose death occurs, the prosecution philosophy often takes over.

Could You Be Considered a Drug Dealer?


opioid, Connecticut drug crimes defense attorneyAccording to the National Institute on Drug abuse, 115 individuals die in the United States every day as the result of an opioid overdose. The issue has become serious enough in recent years to earn its description as a national epidemic crisis. Not all opioids are illegal, and in fact, many cases of abuse begin with a legal prescription for pain relievers like OxyContin. Patients can quickly become addicted and when the legal supply dries up, they often turn to illegal substitutes like heroin.

Lawmakers around the country have been looking for constructive ways to deal with the opioid crisis. One idea involves the creation of “opioid courts” which are intended to help those who have been arrested for non-violent drug crimes related to opioids. Several such courts have been established around the country, and some Connecticut legislators want to look into creating one in this state.

A Proposed Study


death, Connecticut criminal defense attorneyFor decades, drug dealers have faced serious criminal consequences if they were caught selling illegal substances like cocaine, heroin, prescription pills, marijuana or other drugs. Now, because of a disturbing increase in drug overdoses, those who sell drugs may be facing even more severe penalties.

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for those under the age of 50. In 2016, overdoses were linked to the death of approximately 64,000 people in the U.S. Some states have already been able to legally charge dealers of drugs like cocaine or heroin with first-degree murder if the drugs they sold led to a person’s death through overdose. However, the proliferation of a new drug called fentanyl has caused legislators to sanction even stricter laws.

Fentanyl is a drug up to 50 times more powerful than heroin. It is often combined with heroin—sometimes without the dealer or buyer’s knowledge. Fentanyl is intended to be used for anesthesia or for managing chronic pain. When prescribed and monitored by a medical professional, it can be a beneficial drug, but when recreational users underestimate the amount of fentanyl they are consuming, it can be deadly. Fentanyl caused 20,100 deaths in 2016 in the United States alone. This represents a staggering 540% increase in overdose deaths caused by the drug in the last three years.


homicide, Hartford criminal defense attorneyAs it currently stands, drug laws throughout the United States are very strict—loosening regulations on marijuana notwithstanding. In most states, including Connecticut, a single drug conviction can lead to serious criminal consequences and penalties that could follow an individual around for the rest of his or her life.

Unfortunately, however, many throughout the country believe that the so-called “War on Drugs” has ultimately failed. Instead of getting illegal substances off our streets and away from our children, drug problems persist and our prisons are as crowded as ever. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has been a leader in a new approach toward drug crimes in the state, shifting the focus, in most cases, from punishment to education and reform. Such efforts have been primarily intended for non-violent offenders and those charged with relatively minor offenses. But now, two other Connecticut lawmakers have proposed legislation that would create a new drug crime in the state: homicide by sale of an opioid.

Overdose Deaths Rising


apartment, Hartford criminal defense attorneyIn the realm of criminal law, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides one of the most basic rights afforded to citizens of this country. The Fourth Amendment states that an individual’s right to security regarding his or her person, home, and belongings may not be violated by unreasonable searches and seizures. It further specifies that a warrant for a search by the government shall only be issued when probable cause exists and is supported by a sworn or affirmed statement.

While the rights guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment sound simple enough in theory, the definition of an unreasonable search or seizure has been consistently debated for nearly two and half centuries since the amendment’s ratification. Recently, the Connecticut Supreme Court added another chapter to the discussion as it issued its ruling on a case involving a drug-sniffing dog working in the hallway of an apartment complex.

Different Rights for Different Homes?

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