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Massachusetts Drug Crime Defense Lawyer

Have You Been Accused of Possession or Distribution? Talk to Us

Whether this is your first time being accused of a crime or the tenth, whether a misdemeanor or felony, DiBella Law Offices, P.C., can handle your defense. We know you’re anxious and looking at severe penalties. Massachusetts takes drug charges seriously, and a little substance can land you in a lot of trouble.

For almost fifteen years, our law firm has served the people of Boston, Burlington, Andover, Methuen, and even Rockingham County over the border in New Hampshire. We’ve been to trial in local courthouses and we know what defenses work. If we can, we’ll get the charges dismissed. If we can’t, we’ll work to get the charges reduced or get you alternative treatment.

Addiction is a tough road to walk, and we believe in helping people, not punishing them. To schedule a 100% free first consultation, please call us at (978) 327-5140 today. The sooner we get started building your case, the better!

The Common Drug Crimes

In general, the offense you’ll be charged with depends on the amount of controlled substances the police found. Even if the substance was for your personal use, if there was “a lot” of it, law enforcement will try to tack on other charges to make you out to be a dealer. Here are the basic drug crimes in MA:

  • Simple possession: You knowingly or intentionally possessed an illegal drug—whether on your person or in your “control” on your property; for example, in your vehicle.
  • Possession with intent to distribute: You had one or more illegal drugs in your possession with the intent to sell them, usually determined by the amount found. If any sales were made to a minor (anyone under 18), the penalties will increase.
  • Drug trafficking and distribution: Usually involving large amounts of controlled substances and business operations. You smuggle, transport, or deliver drugs for a profit.

“Trafficking” is bringing banned substances into the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the penalties are strictly based on the amount of substances that were found. Parole may be denied for those who used violence, threats of violence, or possessed a weapon during the commission of the crime.

How Massachusetts Classifies Illegal Drugs

Massachusetts has five categories of controlled substances, defined in Section 31 of M.G.L. Chapter 94C. In order of severity, they are:

  • Class A: Includes opiates and more; heroin, codeine, morphine, GHB, Rohypnol, and ketamine.
    • A first offense for possession is punished by 2 years in jail and $2,000 in fines.
    • A subsequent conviction for possession is a felony, punished by up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
    • A first offense for manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with an intent to do the above is punishable by up to 10 years in state prison or up to 2.5 years in jail or a house of corrections; a fine of $1,000 to $10,000; or both. (Section 32)
  • Class B: Includes substances extracted from vegetable origin or by chemical synthesis; opium, opiates, coca leaves, MDMA (Ecstasy), PCP (Angel Dust), fentanyl, methadone, LSD, amphetamine, or methamphetamine.
    • A first offense for possession is punished by 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
    • A subsequent conviction for possession is punished by 2 years in jail and $2,000 in fines.
    • A first offense for manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with an intent to do the above is punishable by up to 10 years in state prison or up to 2.5 years in jail or a house of corrections; a fine of $1,000 to $10,000; or both. (Section 32A)
  • Class C: Includes substances that “depress” the central nervous system, such as diazepam (Valium) and other benzodiazepines; certain levels of opiates and other narcotics; and hallucinogens like psilocybin, mescaline, peyote, or tetrahydrocannabinols (THC).
    • A first offense for possession is punished by 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
    • A subsequent conviction for possession is punished by 2 years in jail and $2,000 in fines.
    • A first offense for manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with an intent to do the above is punishable by up to 5 years in state prison or up to 2.5 years in a jail or house of correction; a fine of $500 to $5,000; or both. (Section 32B)
  • Class D: Includes marihuana, barbital and phenobarbital, chloral hydrate, butyl nitrite, and more.
    • A first offense for possession is punished by 6 months in jail and $500 in fines, as well as the loss of your driver’s license for 1 year.
    • A first offense for manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with an intent to do the above is punishable by up to 2 years in jail; a fine of $500 to $5,000; or both. (Section 32C)
  • Class E: Includes substances with a limited quantity of narcotic drugs along with active medicinal ingredients: codeine, dihydrocodeine, ethylmorphine, diphenoxylate, atropine, opium; and prescription drugs other than these not included in Classes A, B, C, or D.
    • A first offense for possession is punished by 6 months in jail and $500 in fines, as well as the loss of your driver’s license for 1 year.
    • A first offense for manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with an intent to do the above is punishable by up to 9 months in jail or a house of correction; a fine of $200 to $2,500; or both. (Section 32D)

How We Defend Against Drug Crime Charges

There are several ways to tackle the charges against you. Did the officer have probable cause to search your property? Were your Fourth Amendment rights violated? Were you physically in control of the substance at the time? Was there an actual sales transaction that you were a part of, through communication or being present? If not, you cannot be convicted on distribution charges.

Unlike most criminal offenses, which require a specific intent to break the law, you can be in possession of an illegal substance without knowing it. If you have been accused of a drug crime in Massachusetts, don’t confess to make it go away. Call a top-notch criminal defense lawyer at DiBella Law Offices, P.C.

We represent people throughout Massachusetts and south New Hampshire. We’ll examine every detail surrounding your case and protect your legal rights. Call (978) 327-5140 today for a free, confidential case evaluation.