DRUG POSSESSION

A conviction for selling drugs can have harsh consequences on not only your liberty but also your right to operate a motor vehicle. Various charges can result in minimum mandatory jail sentences meaning unless you have an experience attorney who can fight the constitutional basis of your arrest or negotiate with prosecutors, you may be facing incarceration

Possession of a small amount of drugs, although certainly not as severe as selling, can still trigger serious implications. Over the years I have learned the most important factor when resolving these types of case is being proactive. Not every case can be won on a Constitutional motion and if we are going to ask a prosecutor or a judge for a break, then we need to provide something in return. That might mean drug testing with clean results, attendance at NA, AA or individual treatment and counseling which in many cases your health insurance will cover. I have found that armed with this framework, it is much easier to negotiate a plea that is quite favorable and most importantly does not involve a loss of motor vehicle license.

DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA

Although marijuana has been decriminalized and is only subject to a $100 fine, it doesn’t mean that everyone should start smoking on street corners and in their cars. I have found that police are charging people more frequently with operating under the influence of drugs and using the odor of marijuana to do a more thorough search (wrongly) of your vehicle. You must also keep in mind that anything over an ounce subjects you to an arrest and or criminal charges. In addition, even if you have under an ounce but the Marijuana is in 4 separate packets, you might still expose yourself to the more strict penalties under the distribution statute. If you choose to smoke, smoke at home. Read More…

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C Section 34 governs the crime of drug possession.  Drugs and other controlled substances are broken down into five categories based on their similarities. Not only are there significant penalties for convictions, but also the RMV consequences can be as serious. I have extensive background in representing individuals charged with drug offenses. I appeared on the O’reilly Factor in 2003 for a groundbreaking case that involved suppressing a KILO of cocaine from Evidence. I utilized statistical analysis to show that the trooper was racially profiling motorist n a certain stretch of highway in Worcester MA

O’reilly Factor Interview- Racial Profiling

  • 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

The crime of drug possession is defined as direct physical control of a controlled substance. In order for an individual to be convicted, he or she must knowingly and intentionally possess a controlled substance from one of the 5 drug classes listed above. A controlled substance will also be considered to be in someone’s possession if the individual has the ability to exercise control over it. If a person did not know he was in possession of a controlled substance or if it was a mistake that the drugs were on his person, then the individual cannot be convicted of the crime.

Punishment
Possession of most controlled substances, including cocaine, is punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year and/or a fine of up to $1,000.00. An individual’s motor vehicle license will also be suspended for a minimum of 1 year. A second offense of unlawful possession of most controlled substances is punishable by up to 2 years in the house of correction and/or a fine of up to $2,000.00. Again, the individual’s motor vehicle license will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year.

Possession of Heroin and Marijuana are punished differently than the rest of the controlled substances that are regulated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Heroin
Heroin is a Class A controlled substance. Possession of Heroin is punishable by imprisonment in a house of correction for up to 2 years and/or a fine of up to $2,000.00. The individual’s motor vehicle license will also be suspended for a minimum of one year. A second offense of possession of heroin is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for at least 2.5 years but no more than 5 years, or by a fine of up to $5,000.00 and imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for no more than 2.5 years.

Marijuana
Marijuana is a Class D controlled substance. Possession of more than one ounce of Marijuana or possession of a controlled substance in Class E  is punishable by imprisonment in a house of correction for up to 6 months and/or a fine of $500.00. The individual’s motor vehicle license will also be suspended for a minimum of 1 year.

The state of Massachusetts has decriminalized the use of the drug marijuana to a certain extent. First time offenders with 28 grams of the drug or less in their possession at time of arrest will face no jail time, only a fine. The offense is treated as a minor traffic violation
If the individual is under the age of 18, he or she must attend a drug awareness program in addition to paying a civil fine of $100.00 and surrendering the marijuana. The parents or legal guardians of the individual will be notified of the offense.

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I have had tremendous success in the area of my practice and understand what needs to be done in order to increase your chances of obtaining a successful result.  If you have questions, please contact me at my office at (508) 791-9001 or by cell phone at (508) 769-7995.   You may also e-mail me Michael@criminaldefenseworcester.com or text me.  I take great pride is a very quick response time and will promptly schedule a free initial consultation at your convenience.  I have also begun to conduct quite a few meetings via FACETIME or SKYPE for those clients who are either out of state or have license issues.