DRUG CRIMES

In the Massachusetts drug crimes are prosecuted aggressively and carry stiff penalties. The prosecutors take these crimes very seriously and will often prosecute offenders to the full extent of the law. In addition to receiving extensive training, police have often conducted a thorough investigation before placing an offender under arrest. Therefore, the odds are often stacked up against an offender from the beginning.

Pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth, the penalties for drug crimes are dependent on the type of drug, amount of drug, and the specific circumstances in each case. In addition, police have a rigid protocol in which they must follow under the United States Constitution and Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. A violation of these constitutionally defined protocols can lead to a suppression of key evidence against the offender or even an outright dismissal of the offender’s case altogether. Drug crimes involve complex issues and harsh penalties therefore it is important to retain an experience attorney to advise you of your rights, options, and defenses.

Possession of a Controlled Substance Elements G.L. c. 94C § 34:

The defendant Knowingly;

Possessed some perceptible amount of a controlled substance in any class or more than one ounce of Marijuana;

The defendant did not have a valid prescription or other legal basis for possession.

Penalties

Possession of Class A Substance:
First Offense: Possession of a Class A substance in Massachusetts (heroin, morphine, GHB, Special K) carries the following potential penalties:
• 2 years in jail;
• $2,000 fine.

Second offense: Possession of Class A substance is a felony and carries the following potential penalties:
• Up to 5 years in state prison;
• $5,000 fine.

Possession of Class B Substance
First Offense: Possession of a Class B substance in Massachusetts (cocaine, crack, LSD, oxycodone, oxycontin, ecstasy, hydrochloride, amphetamine, methamphetamine) carries the following potential penalties:
• 1 year in jail;
• $1,000 fine;

Second or Subsequent Offenses: Possession of Class B substance in Massachusetts carries the following potential penalties:
• 2 years in jail;
• $2,000 fine.

Possession of Class C Substance
First Offense: Possession of a Class C substance in Massachusetts carries the following potential penalties:
• 1 year in jail;
• $1,000 fine.

Second or Subsequent Offenses: Possession of Class C substance in Massachusetts carries the following potential penalties:
• 2 years in jail;
• $2,000 fine.

Possession Class D or E
First Offense: Possession of more than two ounces of marijuana, Class D, or possession of a Class E substance in Massachusetts carries the following potential penalties:
• 6 months in jail;
• $500 fine.

Possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute
In order to prove the defendant guilty of this offense, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

First: That the substance in question is a controlled substance;
Second: That the defendant distributed some perceptible amount of that substance to another person or persons or possessed some perceptible amount of that substance with the intent to distribute it to another person Instruction; and
Third: That the defendant did so knowingly or intentionally.

 

Penalties

Possession with Intent to Distribute Class A Substance
First Offense: Distribution or possession with intent to distribute a Class A drug in Massachusetts is a felony. A conviction for this offense carries the following potential penalties:
• 10 years in state prison;
• $10,000 fine.

Second or Subsequent Offense: Possession of a Class A drug with intent to distribute is a felony in Massachusetts. A conviction carries a mandatory minimum state prison sentence of 3 ½ years and up to the following potential penalties:
• 15 years in state prison;
• $25,000 fine.

Possession with Intent to Distribute Class B Substance
First Offense: Distribution or possession with intent to distribute cocaine, crack or methamphetamine in Massachusetts is a felony. If convicted, this charge carries up to 2 ½ in the house of correction and/or up to the following potential penalties:
• 10 years in state prison;
• $10,000 fine.

Second Offense: Distribution or possession with intent to distribute cocaine, crack or methamphetamine carries up to the following potential penalties:
• 15 years in state prison;
• $25,000 fine.

Distribution or possession with intent to distribute class B drugs, other than cocaine, crack or methamphetamine carries the following potential penalties:
• 2 ½ years in the House of Correction; or
• 10 years in state prison;
• $10,000 fine.

Second or Subsequent Offense: Distribution or possession with intent to distribute class B, other than cocaine, crack or methamphetamine, carries up to the following potential penalties:
• 10 years in state prison;
• $25,000 fine.

Distribution or Possession with Intent to Distribute Class C
First Offense: Distribution or possession with intent to distribute class C in Massachusetts is a felony and carries the following potential penalties:
• 2 ½ years in the House of Correction; or
• 5 years in state prison;
• $5,000 fine.

Second or Subsequent Offense: Distribution or possession with intent to distribute class C drugs carries a mandatory minimum of 18 months in jail and $1,000 fine and up to the following potential penalties:
• 10 years in state prison;
• $10,000 fine.

Distribution or Possession with Intent to Distribute Class D
First Offense: Distribution or possession with intent to distribute class D in Massachusetts is a misdemeanor, and carries the following potential penalties:
• 2 years in jail;
• $500 (minimum) up to $5,000 fine.

Second or Subsequent Offense: Distribution or possession with intent to distribute class D substance carries up to the following potential penalties:
• 2 ½ years in jail;
• $10,000 fine.

Distribution or Possession with Intent to Distribute Class E
First Offense: Distribution or possession with intent to distribute class E in Massachusetts is a misdemeanor and carries the following potential penalties:
• 9 months in jail;
• $250 (minimum) up to $2,500 fine.

Second or Subsequent Offense: Distribution or possession with intent to distribute class E carries the following potential penalties:
• 1 ½ years in jail;
• $500 (minimum) up to $5,000 fine.

Drug Trafficking G.L. c. 94C § 32E

The suspect intentionally:

  1. Manufactured, distributed, dispensed, or cultivated; or
  2. Possessed with intent to Manufacture, distribute, dispense, or cultivate; or
  3. Brought into the Commonwealth;
  4. A specified amount of or any mixture containing an amount of;
  5. A designated controlled substance.

Heroin trafficking carries the following penalties:

  • 18 grams but less than 36 grams will result in a punishment of 3 ½ to 30 years in state prison. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 ½years in state prison and a fine of $5000.00 to $50,000.00;
  • 36 grams but less than 100 grams will result in a punishment of 5 to 30 years in state prison. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in state prison and a fine of $5000.00 to $50,000.00;
  • 100 grams but less than 200 grams will result in a punishment of 8 to 30 years in state prison. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 8 years in state prison and a fine of $10,000.00 to $100,000.00; and
  • 200 grams or more will result in a punishment of 12 to 30 years in state prison. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 12 years in state prison and a fine of $50,000.00 to $500,000.00.

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10 grams or more will result in a punishment of 3 ½ to 20 years in state prison. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 ½ years in state prison.

Marijuana trafficking carries the following penalties:

  • 50 pounds or more will result in a punishment of 2 ½ to 15 years in state prison or 1 to 2 ½ years in jail. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year and a fine of $500.00 to $10,000.00;
  • 100 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds will result in a punishment of 2 to 15 years in state prison. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in state prison and a fine of $2500.00 to $25,000.00;
  • 2,000 pounds but less than 10,000 pounds will result in a punishment of 3 ½ to 15 years in state prison. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 ½ years in state prison and a fine of $5000.00 to $50,000.00; and
  • 10,000 plus pounds will result in a punishment of 8 to 15 years in state prison. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 8 years in state prison and a fine of $20,000 to $200,000.00.

Cocaine trafficking carries the following penalties:

  • 18 grams but less than 36 grams will result in a punishment of 2 to 15 years in state prison. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in state prison and a fine of $2,500.00 to $25,000.00;
  • 36 grams but less than 100 grams will result in a punishment of 3 ½ to 20 years in state prison. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 ½ years in state prison and a fine of $5000.00 to $50,000.00;
  • 100 grams but less than 200 grams will result in a punishment of 8 to 20 years in state prison. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 8 years in state prison and fine of $10,000.00 to $100,000.00; and
  • 200 grams or more will result in a punishment of 12 to 20 years in state prison. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 12 years in state prison and a fine of $50,000.00 to $500,000.00.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug crime you should call for a consultation immediately. I have the resources, training, and experience to investigate your claim and assure that your rights are protected. Please do not hesitate to call my office at 508-753-1807, my personal cell at 508-570-8333 or email me at Jonathan@jdmolleurlaw.com

This information does not constitute legal advice and is written for general information purposes only. Individuals should consult with a lawyer for specific legal advice.

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