Massachusetts Cocaine Possession/Distribution Charge Lawyer serving Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area including Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy, New Bedford, Taunton, Attleboro, Lowell, Woburn, Medford, Waltham, Wareham, Lynn, Lawrence, Wrentham, Dedham, Salem, Fall River, Brookline, Chelsea, Worcester, Framingham, Everett, Revere, Dorchester and Roxbury and all smaller cities and rural areas in Massachusetts.
Criminal Penalties for Possession of Cocaine
Possession of cocaine is a serious crime in Massachusetts. Penalties for cocaine possession are governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C. Cocaine is a Class B Substance and a conviction for possession of cocaine carries the following penalties:
- 1st Offense: Up to 1 year in a House of Corrections and/or a fine of up to $1,000. An additional fine of $150 to $500. Loss of drivers license for 1 year.
- 2nd Offense: Up to 2 ½ years in a House of Corrections or County Jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. An additional fine of $150 to $500. Loss of drivers license for 1 year.
Additional penalties exist if the cocaine possession occurred within 1000 feet of public or private school grounds or within 100 feet of a playground. [See, Drug Charges in a School Zone.]
In order to be convicted of possession of cocaine the prosecution must prove the defendant:
- knowingly and
- a controlled substance.
The prosecution does not need to prove that the defendant had actual physical custody (i.e., it was in the defendant’s hand or coat or pant pocket) of the cocaine. The prosecutor can prove possession without physical custody if the defendant:
- had knowledge of the cocaine’s whereabouts;
- had the ability to exercise control over it, either personally or through another person, and
- had the intent to exercise control over the cocaine.
For example, someone is in possession of cocaine if it is found in their glove box, car trunk or dresser draw. This is known as constructive possession. Constructive possession exists even though the cocaine is located in the dresser draw or glove box and not on the person. All that is required is knowledge of the cocaine’s location and the ability and intention to exercise control over it. Knowledge is assumed because the cocaine was found in the defendant’s property (i.e. dresser draw, trunk or glove box). The defendant has the ability to exercise control over the cocaine because he or she has access to the property where the cocaine was found.
There is no possession if someone is simply physically near the cocaine and knows it is there. Possession does not exist if someone is simply associated with someone who is in possession of cocaine or at the property where the cocaine was found.
Drug Facts About Cocaine
- Drug Names: Compound name – Cocaine; Alias name – Methyl Benzoylecgonine
- Common Street Names for Cocaine: Bernie, Bernie’s Flakes, Big Bloke, Bernie’s Gold Dust, Big C, Big Flake, Blanca, Blow, Coke, Crack, Flake, Gold Dust, Haven Dust, Have A Dust, Icing, Line, Pearl, Paradise White, Snow White, Snow, Snowcones, Sleigh Ride, Star, White Powder, White Mosquito, Yey.
- Drug Schedule Classification: Cocaine was one of the first substances to be made illegal in the US, and is a Schedule II drug regulated by the DEA. This means it is illegal to possess without a license or prescription.
- Medical Uses For Cocaine: Cocaine is still used by some physicians to stop nosebleeds, and for pain control before minor nose surgery. Dentists or oral surgeons can also use cocaine for anesthesia before procedures.
What is cocaine? Cocaine is classified as a stimulant and it is made from the South American coca plant. It was originally developed as a pain killer.
The drug causes short periods of intense euphoria, energy, alertness, increase stamina and talkativeness in addition to physical effects like increased heart rate and blood pressure. This is usually followed by a crash resulting in depression, lethargy and or a craving or need for more.
Cocaine is usually mixed with talcum powder, corn starch or sugar. The intensity and duration of the drugs effects depends on how it is taken. Cocaine can be smoked or mixed with water and injected. This allows the drug to quickly enter the bloodstream and brain resulting in a quicker, stronger and shorter lasting high. Cocaine is usually rubbed into the gums or inhaled through the nostrils where it enters the blood stream through the nasal tissues which creates a longer-lasting high than smoking or injecting it.
Short term effects of Cocaine
Short term effects of Cocaine use include loss of appetite, increased breathing and respiration, increased heart rate, hyperstimulation, disruption in sleeping patterns, intense euphoria, increased energy, anxiety and paranoia, panic and depression.
Long term effects of Cocaine
Cocaine targets the brain’s reward system and overstimulates it. This may cause pleasurable effects but over time it can change the brain’s reward system and other brain systems which can lead to drug addiction. Tolerance develops with repeated use. Repeated users often need to increase the dosage in order to achieve the same highs that were previously experienced. This increased drug use accelerates the progression of the long term drug effects. Long term effects include permanent damage to the brain and heart, destruction of the nasal tissue, tooth decay, severe depression, addiction, irritability and mood swings, weight loss, liver/kidney/lung damage and respiratory failure.
Call Our Cocaine Possession Defense Attorneys Today To Schedule Your Free Consultation
Our knowledgeable and experienced Massachusetts Cocaine Charge Defense Attorneys at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan are available to assist clients throughout all of Massachusetts, including but not limited to Plymouth County including Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Scituate, Hanover, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Kingston, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Dartmouth, Westport, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Falmouth, Barnstable.
No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call our drug crime attorneys to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.