Drug Possession Cases
At the MA Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP, our criminal defense lawyers understand that being charged with drug possession is a stressful and frightening experience. Our drug possession defense lawyers will stand by your side throughout the process and will fully explain every legal avenue available to you. If you or a loved one has been charged with drug possession, please Contact Us to speak with an experienced attorney about your case. All initial consultations are free of charge.Drug Possession Crimes in MA
The crime of drug possession is governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C Section 34. Drugs and other controlled substances are broken down into five categories based on their similarities:
- Class A substances - Heroin, Morphine, GHB, and Special K
- Class B substances - Cocaine, LSD, Oxycontin, Ecstasy, Amphetamines, and Methamphetamines
- Class C substances - Clonazepam, Vicodin, and Valium
- Class D substances - Marijuana and Phenobarbital
- Class E substances - lighter doses of prescription drugs containing Codeine, Morphine, and Opium
Drug possession in Massachusetts depends greatly on the amount of the drug involved and the type of drug the defendant possessed. While most drugs have similar sentencing requirements, marijuana is the outlier in Massachusetts drug crime law. Not only has marijuana been decriminalized for certain medical purposes, but in 2008 Massachusetts citizens voted to decriminalize marijuana possession as long as the defendant had less than an ounce of marijuana in his possession. If a defendant is arrested for possessing an ounce or less or marijuana, he can be charged wit ha civil offense for which the only penalty is a $100 fine. If a defendant is found in possession of more than an ounce of marijuana, the penalty is imprisonment for no more than six months as well as a fine of up to $500. If a defendant is found to be in possession of a large amount of marijuana, prosecutors will typically attempt to charge possession with intent to distribute, which carries the same penalty as trafficking. If a defendant is in possession of 50 pounds or more, the possible jail sentence is 2 ½ to 15 years, and a fine of $500 to $10,000.
If the defendant is in possession of 100 pounds or more of marijuana, the defendant can face 2 to 15 years in prison and a fine of $500 to $25,000. If a defendant is in possession of 2,000 ponds or more, the defendant could face 3 ½ to 15 years in prison and a fine of $5,000 to $50,000. Finally, if a defendant is found to be in possession of 10,000 pounds or more of marijuana, the penalty is 8 to 15 years in prison with a fine of $20,000 to $200,000. If a defendant commits a possession crime after already having a previous possession crime on his record, these penalties can significantly increase. In addition, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute carries a mandatory minimum penalty, meaning despite judges having complete discretion in most criminal cases, in these types of cases the judges must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence determined by the legislature.
Drugs other than marijuana typically carry a much more severe sentence. For example, any person who possesses heroin will be sentenced to up to two years in prison and a fine of $2,000. If it’s the defendant’s second offense, that sentence bumps up to 5 years and a fine of $5,000. Like in marijuana cases, if the defendant is in possession of a large amount of drugs, the prosecutor will likely large the defendant with possession with intent to distribute, which is a much more serious crime. If a defendant is found guilty of possession with intent to distribute a Class A or B substance, the penalty is up to 10 years in jail in addition to a fine of $1,000 to $10,000. If a defendant is found guilty of possession with intent to distribute a Class C substance, the defendant could face up to 5 years in jail and a fine of $500 to $5,000. Finally, if a defendant s convicted of possession with intent to distribute a Class D substance, he could face up to two years in jail and a fine of $500 to $5,000.Drug Possession Lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP
If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug possession or is being investigated for possessing drugs, Contact Our Firm to speak with a member of our criminal defense team. Our Boston drug defense attorneys are available around the clock to speak to you regarding your case. All initial consultations are free. You can reach us by telephone at 617.492.3000 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In addition to being available by phone around the clock, all Emails sent to the Greater Boston Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP receive an immediate response. Please Contact Us today to schedule a Free & Confidential Initial Consultation with one of our experienced MA Drug Possession Defense Lawyers.