Enforcement of Drug Charges in New Haven

In New Haven, there are a number drug offenses that individuals can be charged with. They range from minor possession to serious charges involving the sale of narcotics. The penalties can vary from misdemeanors to felonies and from probation to jail.

In terms of the most common charges, typically people are charged with possession, possession with intent to sell, and actual sale of a controlled substance. For any of these offenses, an individual should be sure to consult with a lawyer to build a strong defense.

Local Drug Enforcement

Aside from the standard arrest process and having to go through court, some things that are unique about a drug case in New Haven is that the courts are going to require the individual to engage in treatment. As a part of that treatment, they will be ordered to provide random urine and drug tests, attend counseling sessions, and sign releases so that the court can access the information about these counseling sessions. That is something that is routinely done in these types of cases.

These are conditions of the person’s bail, and if they are not complied with can form the basis of increasing someone’s bail and revoking their ability to be released from jail. These initial conditions are very common as a result of a common New Haven drug charge.

Additionally, any outcome and any disposition very often involves that same course of treatment, like engaging in treatment, giving random urine, and testing for drug and alcohol use. That is very often a condition that a prosecutor and judge will impose as a part of any disposition. What is unique and different about the court process with these common drug charges in New Haven are the conditions that relate to the use of drugs, which is something common in almost all of these drug cases.

Law Enforcement Focus

There are a number of drugs that are heavily prosecuted in New Haven that will be classified as either a controlled substance or a narcotic and those are set forth by the Connecticut general statute. Some common examples are cocaine, ecstasy, and prescription pills that an individual does not have a prescription for, such as painkillers, Oxycodone or OxyContin. Additionally, crack cocaine, heroin, and any number of substances can be classified as a narcotic or controlled substance, but those are the most common in New Haven drug offenses.

Given the recent cases in New Haven of overdoses caused by heroin laced with Fentanyl, there has been a push to crack down on the possession and sale of narcotics, including heroin as well as Fentanyl. Additionally, given the number of individuals who are struggling with addictions to painkillers and the fact that they are legally available for prescriptions, the police have taken action to crack down on the use of prescription painkillers.

Prescription Medication Offenses

Many cases involve individuals who have a valid prescription, but are either seeking multiple prescriptions from various doctors, are not maintaining the appropriate prescription bottle, or are overusing that particular prescription. In New Haven and throughout Connecticut, typically on these possession types of cases, there are various programs that the courts can offer to help resolve the case in a favorable way. It something dealt with on a regular basis in New Haven courts.


Once an individual has been arrested for a New Haven drug charge by the police, they are prosecuted by the state’s attorney. Typically, cases are not immediately assigned to a specific state’s attorney. In New Haven, when an individual appears in court, there is a pool of cases and as their case is called by a prosecutor who is pulling the case from the bucket, that will dictate the prosecutor that the individual talks to during the initial stages of their case.

If they are unable to resolve their case in the primary courtroom, it would be moved to a judicial pre-trial. At that point, the individual meets with one state’s attorney and one judge to discuss their case. That prosecutor handling the case in a pre-trial courtroom has not been assigned that case for a trial, and is only handling the pre-trial docket.

If still unable to resolve the case in a pre-trial setting, then the case will be laterally assigned to a specific prosecutor who would then handle the case at a later trial.

In terms of the case being handled and prosecuted, it depends on the stage at which the individual is at in the case and how the case moves along.