Greater Boston Area / Taunton Drug Possession Charges Criminal Defense Lawyers

About Massachusetts Drug Crimes Law

pot on scale drug crimes defense lawyersMassachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C Section 34 governs the various drug possession crimes in Massachusetts and explains the various types of drug classes as well as the sentences that accompany a conviction for possession of the different types of drugs. Someone is in illegal possession of drugs if and when they have physical control over any controlled substance without a valid prescription.

In order to convict the prosecution has the burden of proving that the defendant knowingly and willingly had physical control over one of the five classes of drugs without a valid prescription:

Class A (Heroin, GHB, Morphine)

  • First Offense: Up to 2 years in jail and a $2,000 fine. Loss of drivers license for one year.
  • Second Offense: Up to 2 ½ years in state prison (if tried in Superior Court) but no more than 5 years and a $5,000 fine. Loss of drivers license for one year.

Class B (Ecstasy, Cocaine, Oxycontin/Oxycodone, LSD, Amphetamines, Methamphetamines)

  • First Offense: Up to 1 year in jail. Loss of drivers license for one year.
  • Second Offense: Up to 2 years in jail. Loss of drivers license for one year.

Class C (Vicodin, Clonazepam, Valium)

  • First Offense:  State prison sentence up to 5 year and sentence in the house of corrections up to 2 ½ years.
  • Second Offense:  Minimum 1 year and up to 2 ½ years in the house of corrections.

Class D  (Marijuana more than 1ounce)

  • First Offense: Up to 6 months in jail and a $500 fine. Likely though a first offense will result in a continuance without a finding (CWOF). This is where the judge continues the case while you are on probation. If the parameters of the probation for the duration of the probation then the judge will dispose of the case. Loss of drivers license for one year.
  • Second Offense: Up to 2 years in jail, $2,000 fine and or mandatory drug treatment program.

Class E (Codeine, mild doses of Morphine, and Opium)

Taunton Massachusetts Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys

Free Consultation – Defense Trial Law Experience You Can Count On

Marijuana Plant - Drug Crimes Defense AttorneysIf you are being investigated, questioned or charged with a drug crime in Massachusetts, you are facing serious consequences. These consequences may be further enhanced depending on the amount of drugs you are alleged to have possessed. If convicted of a drug crime in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you face consequences ranging from a loss of your driver’s license to imprisonment. We understand the serious nature of the crime you are being charged with and will respond quickly and aggressively on your behalf to prepare your defense strategy for trial.

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In order to achieve the best possible results for our clients, our attorneys take a thorough look at all aspects of your case. We will obtain experts to provide an objective analysis of the evidence. Small details, such as weighing drug evidence in your case could reduce the charges and any potential punishments.

Besides a complete exoneration of the crime, our experienced drug crimes attorneys may be able to undermine the prosecution’s case against you enough for the charges and penalties you face to be substantially reduced. Our legal team also will ensure that you do not face inflated charges adding on due to over zealous prosecutors.

Search Warrants

In order for a warrant to be valid it must meet the following requirements:

  • A neutral and uninterested magistrate, clerk or judge must sign off on it;
  • An adequate showing of probable cause must be presented to the magistrate, clerk or judge and;
  • The particularity of the place to search and the items (drugs in this case) to seized must be sufficiently described in the warrant.

Given the following requirements, a warrant can be challenged one of two ways. If your attorney can show that the warrant was so lacking in probable cause that any belief on the part of the magistrate or the police of its existence was entirely unreasonable then any evidence obtained as result of a search based on that warrant will be suppressed. The second attack challenges the truthfulness of the facts alleged on the warrant. It must be shown that the police officer that presented the warrant to the magistrate, judge or clerk made a false statement either knowingly or with intentional disregard for the truth. Now an inadvertent misstatement by the police officer or a false statement provided by an informant won’t be sufficient. And if the false statement on the part of the police officer wasn’t needed to make a showing of probable cause, or if probable cause would have been established even without the false statement, then false statement won’t serve to invalid the search warrant.

Particularity Requirement

The whole reason behind the search warrant process is to prevent overzealous police from conducting arbitrary and unjustified searches. The law sets out particularity requirements that are meant to prevent the police from going on such witch-hunts. It requires warrants to issue particularity describing the items that are to be seized and the place that is to be searched.

The items that are to be seized must be set out with particularity in the search warrant. This is in order to limit the discretion of the police to the maximum extent possible. A warrant that allows police to seize anything related to drug activity would give police wide ranging discretion to determine what objects are associated with drug activity. A generalized warrant like this would allow the police to determine that a laptop, notebook or safe is something that could be associated with drug activity and is therefore within their discretion to seize. The particularity requirement is put in place to leave nothing to police discretion. By limiting the search to only those items particularly listed in the warrant police are only allowed to look in those places where those items could be found. So if a warrant lists a particular type of drug that is the reason for the search than it would be unreasonable for police to look at contents of a notebook or computer in an attempt to locate that type of because that type of drug could never be found in a computer or notebook.

The place to be searched must be set out with particularity in the search warrant. The warrant must designate and sufficiently describe the building, place, car or house to be searched so the office can, with reasonable effort, identify and determine the place meant to be searched. The reason for this search is to limit the officer’s discretion by making a general search impossible. The particularity requirement must eliminate any probability that other places, not intended under the warrant, might be mistakenly searched.

Marijuana Decriminalization

On November 4, 2008  Massachusetts residents voted to decriminalize possession of marijuana under 1 ounce. If you are found in possession of marijuana under 1 ounce the police will issue you a civil citation for $100. However, you will have 21 days to appeal the citation. Juveniles in possession of marijuana can face a maximum fine of $1,000 and mandatory treatment in a drug abusers program.

Experienced Southeast MA/Brockton Drug Crimes Defense Attorney

Free Consultation – Serving The Greater Boston Area Including Brockton, Quincy, New Bedford, Taunton, Dedham, Wrentham

If you have been charged with drug possession we invite you to call our drug crimes criminal defense attorneys and rest assure that you will taken an the first important step in resolving this matter. A drug conviction on your record can follow you around for the rest of your life. If this is your first offense then call our law office today. Put our experience with the court system to work for you.

Our knowledgeable and experienced Taunton Drug Offense Lawyers at The The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan are available to assist clients throughout all of Southeast Massachusetts, including but not limited to Brockton, Taunton, Bridgewater, Easton, Norton, Randolph, Holbrock, Abington, Hingham,  Rockland,Whitman, Hanson, Halifax, Middleborough, Raynham, Mansfield, Avon, Canton, Stoughton, Rehobeth, Dighton, Berkley, Lakeville and all smaller cities and rural areas in Southern Massachusetts. We also serve the counties of Plymouth, Norfolk, Bristol, Massachusetts.

No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call an experienced Brockton Defense Attorney 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.