There are two ways that you can be found guilty of drug possession. The first is “direct possession.” Direct Possession is what people typically picture when they think about drug possession. If you are accused of having drugs in your hand, in your pocket, on your person, or in your mouth, those are all forms of Direct Possession. The other form of drug possession is “Constructive Possession.” Someone had Constructive Possession of drugs is they have A) the ability and B) the intent to exercise control over them. If police find drugs in your home or car, you may be charged with drug possession under the theory of “Constructive Possession.”First Offense of Drug Possession vs. Multiple Offenses of Drug Possession:
Some drug offenses carry increased penalties if it is not your first offense. In cases such as these, it can be important to attack not only the new offense, but for your attorney to see if there is any way to overturn the previous conviction.Possession With Intent to Distribute:
Possession with the Intent to Distribute carries the same penalties as actually distributing (selling) drugs. There are many ways that the prosecutor can try to prove that someone in possession of drugs was intending to sell or distribute them. Oftentimes, the prosecutor will have a police officer expert testify that, given all of the evidence, the drugs were more likely for sale as opposed to personal use. This type of testimony can and should be challenged by experienced drug lawyers. The prosecutor’s evidence may include the amount of drugs, the way they were packaged, the presence of scales, baggies, drug ledgers (cuff sheets), or other evidence that the drugs were intended for sale.Possession of Marijuana:
Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is not a crime in Massachusetts unless the marijuana is intended for distribution. Possession of larger amounts is still a crime as is possession with the intent to distribute. If you possess over 50 pounds of marijuana, you will be charged with trafficking, however, smaller amounts can still subject you to charges of distribution or possession with intent to distribute.Possession of Narcotics:
In Massachusetts, narcotics and drugs are referred to as “Controlled Substances.” These terms are interchangeable and possession of a controlled substance of any class is the same as a charge of drug possession or possession of narcotics.Common Types of Drug Possession:
If you are charged with possession of drugs or possession of narcotics, the charge will use the following language:
- Possession of a Class A Substance
- Possession of a Class B Substance
- Possession of a Class C Substance
- Possession of a Class D Substance
- Possession of a Class E Substance
- Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substance Act
Charges of drug possession or a violation of the substance control act can have serious consequences including a lengthy jail sentence. These types of cases can affect your life in other ways such as subjecting you to drug testing, drug counseling, and suspension of your driver’s license. An experienced drug attorney will know how to challenge the evidence in your case and try to get it thrown out based on an illegal search, or to argue your best defense at a trial. There are many legal issued that need to be analyzed in possession cases and experienced drug lawyers will be able to navigate you through the process and get the best outcome in your case.
Schedule your free phone consultation with our drug possession lawyers at Eisenstadt, Krippendorf & Galvin, LLP by filling out our confidential contact form or by calling 24/7 to get live help at (617) 523-3500 right now.Penalties Under Massachusetts Law for Drug Possession:
Possession of Heroin or another Class A Substance can lead to up to 2 years in jail for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense can result in a sentence of up to 5 years in State Prison.
Possession of Cocaine and other Class “B” substances can result in up to a year in jail for a first offense. You also face an automatic loss of license for 1 year.
Possession of a Class C substance has a potential penalty of up to 1 year in jail with a license loss.
Criminal possession of marijuana and other Class D drugs carries the potential for to up to 6 months in jail. Second offenses can lead to up to 2 years in jail.
Possession of a Class E substance has a potential penalty of up to 1 year in jail for a first offense and an automatic loss of license.
All of these crimes can also result in other consequences such as a license suspension, fines, drug counseling, and other conditions and penalties.
If you are being charged with drug possession, you should not make any statements to police and should contact a drug lawyer right away. Sometimes, it might make sense to go to a drug treatment program or seek other counseling soon after your arrest. These are all things that should be discussed with your lawyer, as there are important strategic defense decisions that should be considered as soon as you find out that you are charged with drug possession.What is the Process if I Have Been Arrested for Drug Possession in Massachusetts?
If you have been arrested or summonsed into court for drug possession, the first step in the process if going to be the arraignment. At the arraignment, bail and any conditions of release will be set by the judge. Then, your attorneys should be analyzing your case and preparing your defense. In possession cases, there will oftentimes be a motion to suppress that should be filed and argued that could result in the evidence against you being thrown out. If the police did no have the right to search you, the evidence should be suppressed. Also, your attorneys should be looking at the evidence from the drug lab. Experienced drug lawyers will know how to analyze the scientific from the drug lab to determine if there are effective defenses to your case based on the way that the drugs in your case were tested and handled at the lab. Also, as in any criminal case, you have a right to a trial. In many cases (such as when drugs are found in a car or an apartment) an effective defense can be put forward that the drugs belonged to someone else or that you otherwise did not possess the drugs in question. At any stage of the proceedings, your lawyers can try to negotiate a resolution to your case with the prosecutor and the judge.Will I Go to Jail for Drug Possession?
If you are charged with drug possession, you are facing a potential jail sentence. Every charge of possession does carry the possibility of jail. However, there are many other ways that these cases can be resolved including terms of probation, drug programs, drug counseling, and other conditions. Also, there are many effective defenses in these types of cases that can lead to evidence being thrown out, and the defendant being found not guilty.What is Conspiracy?
Sometimes, in drug cases, a person can be charged with “Conspiracy” or “Conspiracy to Violate the Substance Control Act.” You often see these charges in cases involving a drug deal or a drug transaction. To prove someone guilty of conspiracy, a prosecutor must show that two people engaged in an agreement to break the law, and that they did something to try to make that agreement happen (just an agreement, with no “act in furtherance” of that agreement, is not enough). There are many effective legal defenses that can and should be argued by your attorneys if you are charged with conspiracy.Does a Drug Possession Charge Affect My Driver’s License?
Yes. Conviction of certain drug offenses can result in lengthy license suspensions, oftentimes for one year. This is considered one of the collateral consequences of being charged with a drug offense in Massachusetts and is another reason why these types of crimes should be taken seriously.What if the Police Searched Me Illegally?
The police must be legally justified in searching you, your home, your car, or any other place that the drugs were found. If they were not, your attorneys should be putting forward a “motion to suppress.” At most motions to suppress, a police officer will be required to testify so that they can explain to the judge why they feel that they were justified in conducting the search. Your lawyer will then ask the officer questions and challenge the legality of the search. If the judge finds that the search was illegal. The evidence will be suppressed. If the drug evidence in your case is suppressed, it means that it cannot be used against you and will likely lead to the possession charge against you being dismissed.EKG Law has Experience With Drug Possession Cases
If you have been charged with or are under investigation for drug possession, you need experienced criminal attorneys to work you and protect your rights. Drug offenses carry severe penalties. The drug possession lawyers at Eisenstadt, Krippendorf & Galvin, LLP have successfully defended against narcotics charges at every possible stage of a case. Our drug possession lawyers have successfully filed and argued motions to suppress and dismiss in district and superior courts throughout Massachusetts. All of our attorneys are former prosecutors who have handled hundreds of drug cases, including an Assistant District Attorney specially assigned to the Superior Court Narcotics Division. Our attorneys know how to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Schedule your free phone consultation with our drug possession lawyers at Eisenstadt, Krippendorf & Galvin, LLP by filling out our confidential contact form or by calling 24/7 to get live help at (617) 523-3500 right now.Breakout of Drug Classes: Possession of Class a Substance:
Heroin is the most common Class A Substance, however, Class A includes a number of other drugs as well. Codeine, Morphone, and Ketamine are other common Class A substances. Class A Drugs include:
- Gamma Hydroxy Butyric Acid
Possession of Class B Substance:
Cocaine is the most common Class B drug in Massachusetts. Most Opiates, Amphetamines, and Methamphetamines are also classified under Class B. Ecstacy (MDMA) and Methadone also falls under this class of drug. Class B Drugs include:
- Barbituric Acid
- Lysergic acid
- Methylenedioxy methamphetamine (MDMA).
- Phenyl-2-Propanone (P2P)
- Phenylcyclohexylamine (PCH)
- Piperidinocyclohexanecarbonitrile (PCC)
Possession of Class C Substance:
Peyote and Mescaline both are considered Class C drugs. Hallucinogenic Mushrooms also fall under this class of drugs. Class C also includes:
- Fluoromethcathinone (FMC)
- Methoxymethcathinone (PMMA, PMMC)
- Methylenedioxymethcathinone (MDMC)
- Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)
- Methylmethcathinone (MMC)
- Methylenedioxy amphetamine
- Napthylpyrovalerone (NRG)
- Piperidyl benzilate
- Trimethoxy amphetamine
Possession of Class D Substance:
Marijuana is a Class D Substance and by far the most common drug in that category. Class D drugs also include:
- Butyl Nitrite
- Chloral betaine
- Chloral hydrate
- Isobutyl Nitrite
- Marihuana (marijuana, pot, weed)
Many pills and prescription drugs are considered Class E drugs. Class E is, essentially, a catch-all section stating that prescription drugs that do not fall under any of the other sections are to be considered Class E drugs.
Schedule your free phone consultation with our drug possession attorneys at Eisenstadt, Krippendorf & Galvin, LLP by filling out our confidential contact form or by calling 24/7 to get live help at (617) 523-3500 right now.