Drug Possession and Distribution
Middlesex Drug Possession and Distribution Lawyer
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts takes drug possession, distribution and trafficking very seriously. Many people believe that the difference between the charges is simply the amount of drugs involved. It’s more complicated than that. If you are found with baggies, a scale, small amounts of drugs in separate packages, or other paraphernalia suggestive of drug dealing, you might be charged with intent to distribute even if the drugs were intended for your own personal use. Obviously, the penalties for distribution are more severe than possession. In either case, our attorneys are here to help protect your rights and fight the charges.
The type of drug involved typically determines the severity of penalties in possession cases. For example, if you are caught with less than an ounce of marijuana, and you are over the age of 21, you will most likely receive a civil fine of $100 (similar to a traffic ticket) and sent on your way. Possessing more than an ounce constitutes a misdemeanor and you can face up to 6 months in jail, a fine of $500 and suspension of your driver’s license for one year. However, our Woburn marijuana possession lawyers may be able to obtain an alternative disposition known as a Continuance Without a Finding (CWOF), which may require you to simply serve as little as a 6-month probation. Of course, this is only if we determine that that charges are not likely to be beaten or you decide you do not want to fight the charges for some other reason.
In Massachusetts, controlled substances are classified from A to E, with Class A drugs considered the most dangerous. Here is a breakdown of the various controlled substance classifications and potential penalties for simple possession.
Highly addictive substances such as such as heroin, morphine and GHB. First offense: Up to one year in jail. Second offense: Two and a half to five years in prison.
These substances are considered very addictive and include cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, Oxycontin and LSD. First Offense: Up to one year in jail. Second offense: Up to two years in jail.
Considered to be not as dangerous as Class B substances, these include Valium, Klonopin, Vicodin, Ativan, Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine and certain hallucinogens such as mescaline and magic mushrooms. First offense: Up to one year in jail. Second offense: Up to two years in jail.
This virtually always involves marijuana, which is discussed above.
These are relatively mild prescription drugs like Adderall, narcotics with codeine and certain anti-anxiety drugs. If you are caught with these types of drugs, a first offense will usually involve, at worst, probation or a (CWOF). However, if you are caught using someone else’s prescription, or a fraudulently obtained prescription, the penalties can be more severe.
The penalties for distribution are severe, including the risk of prison time. For a first offense, you can face up to two years in jail or a house of correction, regardless of whether the drug was Class A, Class B or even marijuana. A second offense will bring more serious consequences—in the case of heroin distribution, you face up to five years in prison. Distribution within a school zone or public park can result in harsher penalties, including a mandatory minimum of two years in a jail or house of correction.
Our Woburn drug distribution attorneys can use a number of strategies to defend you against drug related charges. For example, did the arresting officer have the right to stop you and/or search you, your vehicle or home? If so, was the search conducted properly? If an informant was involved in the investigation and charges against you, was the informant credible or just trying to get his or her own sentence for other crimes reduced? These are just some of the tactics we can use to beat the charges against you. The option we choose depends on the circumstances surrounding your particular case.
Defense of drug cases often involves exploiting the mistakes made by the police in the manner in which they collected the evidence. Contrary to the belief of many, the police cannot randomly target you, stop you and search your person, bags, car or home. All to often, the police conduct unlawful stops and searches of people and places. Our attorneys are experienced in analyzing these types of cases and are often successful at exposing these illegal searches and seizures to the Courts. When this happens, the Court suppresses the evidence and will not allow the government to use it against you at trial. Cases like these, where this type of evidence is suppressed, are often dismissed prior to trial.
However, even when we are not successful in suppressing the evidence, these cases can be won. This is based on an analysis of the particular facts of the case and often includes looking at specifically where the drugs were found; how they are packaged; the number of people present; who controls the place where the drugs were found (i.e. house, car, bag, etc.); statements made by the people present (including you); and other items present at the scene. All too often, people are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. They visit a relative or friend, who unbeknownst to them, had drugs in their bag, house or car. Our job is to look at the facts of each case and do our best to win that case.
Only in the event that the case does not have a likely chance of success will we look to other alternatives. We will then negotiate aggressively with the prosecutors to minimize the penalties you may incur.
Given the potential penalties for drug offenses in Massachusetts, you should contact our Woburn drug possession or distribution attorneys as soon as possible. We have helped numerous clients fight the system and come out on the other side with their liberty and dignity intact. We will meet with you for free to discuss your case and explain your options in a clear, straightforward manner.
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