Drug Crimes

Massachusetts, New Hampshire & Maine Drug Crime Lawyer

Since 2002 my criminal defense practice has been devoted to preserving the legal innocence of those charged with criminal offenses, including all types of drug-related cases involving possession, distribution, and trafficking.

These crimes are considered serious.  An experienced criminal defense attorney is needed to protect against these charges, and the potential consequence that a conviction could bring.

I provide my clients with a tenacious defense.  I know what is at stake.

I challenge the assertions and the evidence that the prosecution may seek to introduce, as well as their theories of guilt.  I consider carefully the possibilities of constitutional violations, such as those involving unlawful stops and illegal search and seizures. I will seek to have cases dismissed when evidence was obtained illegally, or when the evidence does not legally support guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

I will advise you of your rights and options, and will take full direction from the decisions you make about how to proceed with your case.

Please call me as soon as possible to schedule a free appointment, and so that I can begin protecting your rights.  In the interim, the following information has been provided as an overview for certain laws concerning drug crimes.

Massachusetts Drug Crimes

Like other states, Massachusetts imposes stiff penalties for drug crimes. While some states argue that drug abuse and related crimes are increasing, others have had to release or transfer many convicted offenders that make up the majority of prison populations. But this does not make punishment more lenient under federal law. Instead, the federal government imposes mandatory sentencing guidelines that guide state courts in setting prison terms.

Common requirements to prove drug crimes in Massachusetts include:

  • Drug possession
    • Having drugs without prescription
    • Must possess perceptible amount
    • Knowledge or intent required
  • Possession with intent to distribute
    • Possess narcotics with intention to sell
    • Enhanced penalties for sale to minor (under 18)
    • Violation if distribute drugs within 1,000 feet of school
    • Or if distribute within 100 feet of public park or playground
  • Drug manufacturing
    • Intentional possession of drug ingredients or precursors
    • Intent to process, produce unlawful controlled substance
  • Drug distribution
    • Intentional possession of perceptible amount of drug
    • Intent to smuggle, transport, or deliver illegal substance

Massachusetts law punishes the possession of any unauthorized substance that is consumed or sold for non-medical purposes. Common controlled substances include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and methamphetamine. FDA-approved drugs are illegal if not prescribed. Possession of large quantities of over-the-counter medication, household or lab equipment, and the necessary ingredients to make illicit drugs may also be used to prove intent to manufacture or distribute.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Drug Crimes

Although state courts have some discretion, federal laws often require states to impose a fixed, multi-year “minimum” sentence” in drug cases, even if disproportionate to the crime. Unlike other cases, imprisonment may have nothing to do with the facts of the case or the individual’s role in the offense.

In drug cases, punishment may include:

  • 15 years or more for possession of 200 grams of cocaine
  • 10 years or more for possession of 100 grams of heroin
  • 2 years or more for any drug sold in any zone
  • Additional court fees and fines
  • Registration as drug offender
  • Probation, if available
  • Community service

Those serving mandatory minimum sentences are not eligible for parole or rehabilitation programs upon release from prison. In some cases, penalties are based solely on the drug quantity or the location of drug activity.

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