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Knowingly Being Present Where Heroin is Kept

It is usually not a crime to simply be present in a place where drugs are kept. However, our legislature considers certain behavior, such as selling or using heroin, to be so uniquely dangerous that even allowing that behavior to persist is criminal. Therefore, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C Section 35 makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly be present where heroin is kept. To convict a defendant of this crime, the prosecutor is required to prove one of the two following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant knew that he was at a place where heroin was kept or deposited.
  2. The defendant was in the company of a person and knew that said person possessed heroin.


Knowingly being present where heroin is kept is punishable by up to one year in prison or a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Although at first glance this does not seem like the most serious of penalties, it is important to note that this crime often involves multiple punishments. This is because a conviction for knowingly being present where heroin is kept is not duplicative of convictions for possession of heroin or possession of heroin with intent to sell it. It is not a lesser included offense of either of those crimes.

Speak With an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today at 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199

If you have been charged with knowingly being present where heroin is kept or any other crime, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as you possibly can. This is the best way to protect yourself and to understand your rights and options. At Altman & Altman LLP, our criminal defense team brings more than four decades of experience to the table. With former senior prosecutors on our team, we bring a thoughtful understanding of both sides, and can speak with district attorneys in their own language. What’s more, we speak directly with all of our clients as well, providing them with the personal attention that they need at every stage of our representation. Our highly-seasoned attorneys have unmatched experience in all areas of criminal law, and we want to put that experience to work for you.

Call the criminal defense attorneys of Altman & Altman at 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199 toll-free, or contact us online for a free consultation. We can start explaining your rights and potential defenses.

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