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Criminal Defense Lawyer Courtney K. Fogarty of New Bedford, MassachusettsSchedule a Consultation
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts doesn’t look kindly on drug possession charges. Unfortunately, this type of arrest is often a person’s first contact with the legal system. These two factors combined make for one of the most harrowing experiences of your life.
It’s bad enough when you’re arrested for any reason. There’s nothing more dehumanizing than having a pair of handcuffs slapped on your wrists. But when you consider the severe penalties you’re facing for drug possession in MA, it makes a dire situation even worse.
The best thing you can do is hire a skilled and focused New Bedford criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The earlier you have legal representation, the better your odds of avoiding a conviction.
In the state of MA, quite a few factors can affect the charges you’re facing. Every illegal drug falls into a specific category. Class A substances are the most severely prosecuted because they’re the most dangerous, while Class E substances are at the bottom of the list.
Class A Substances include—but aren’t limited to—fentanyl, heroin, ketamine, GHB, and other “designer drugs.” This class also covers opiates, opium derivatives, and opioids.
Class B substances include stimulants, hallucinogens, depressants, and certain opiates. Examples are LSD, amphetamine, and methadone. Possession of these drugs is usually classified as a misdemeanor.
Penalties for these charges include…
As you’ve likely noticed, each class of drugs is less dangerous than the one before it. Class C substances are typically prescribed by doctors in small amounts. It’s when you have too high of a quantity—or no prescription—that these drugs become unlawful. Examples include Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, and Ativan.
Penalties for possession of a Class C drug include…
Class D substances cover barbiturates, inhalants, and greater than 1 ounce of marijuana. Possessing less than 1 ounce of marijuana was recently decriminalized in MA.
Penalties for possession of a Class D drug include…
You should also know that if this is your first offense, you may be eligible to have your records sealed. If you are, you’ll need to complete probation and a court-mandated drug program.
Class E substances are less potent prescriptions like anti-anxiety drugs, anti-psychotic medication, and Adderall. Officially, it covers all prescription drugs that don’t fall into any of the preceding classes.
The worst-case penalties you face for possession of a Class E drug are identical to Class D. More often, the penalties are…
Keep in mind that violating your CWOF can result in the judge finding you guilty. If this happens, you’ll be hit with a license suspension, plus a fine and potential jail time.
You might be surprised to hear there’s several potential defenses for your drug possession charges. Every case is unique, but odds are one of these strategies will be suitable for your situation.
The most important thing to know is that the burden of proof rests with the prosecution. Basically, it’s on them to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that you’re guilty of the crime. That’s why breaking down the state’s evidence against you is a great avenue to explore. You may have a constitutional defense that allows us to suppress or exclude their evidence.
As your defense attorney, we’ll also look at the proof of your drug possession. If there’s no solid evidence that you were ever in possession, it’s impossible to find you guilty of the crime.
There are also situations where the Commonwealth can’t prove the exact chemical makeup of the substance, which makes it difficult for them to build a case against you. By working with a successful Massachusetts criminal defense attorney, you have far more opportunities to defend and win your case.
In Massachusetts, possessing more than 14 grams of a Class A or Class B substance is considered trafficking. If you’re charged with drug trafficking, you face anywhere from 3 to 20 years in prison. You’ll also have to pay a fine ranging between $2,500 to $500,000, depending on the charges.
Here’s an exact breakdown.
Trafficking a Class A Substance (GHB, ketamine, morphine, heroin):
Trafficking a Class B Substance (ecstasy, methamphetamine, amphetamine, hydrochloride, oxycodone, LSD, crack cocaine, cocaine):
If you’ve been arrested for drug possession in Massachusetts, here’s what’ll happen:
For drug possession charges in Massachusetts, you could spend anywhere between 6 months and 5 years. It mostly depends on the class of drugs you were in possession of.
For Class D and E substances, you’re looking at up to 6 months in jail. But if you’re charged with possession of a Class A substance and you’re a repeat offender, your sentence could be up to 5 years.
With a talented defense attorney by your side, you stand a much better chance of avoiding jail time. When you choose Fogarty Law for legal representation, we’ll work with you to craft a solid defense strategy. Our top priority is clearing your name and keeping you out of jail.
At Fogarty Law, we understand that a drug possession charge turns your life upside down. It doesn’t matter if you’re innocent or if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Either way, you’re facing potentially life-changing penalties.
That’s why if you’re arrested for drug possession in MA, you need a lawyer right away. We have over 10 years of successful experience defending our clients in the Massachusetts legal system. When you work with us, we make your case our priority.
You deserve a skilled and knowledgeable New Bedford criminal defense lawyer. As a former prosecutor, Courtney Fogarty has tried hundreds of cases. She’ll work with you to customize an aggressive defense strategy. Most importantly, she always advocates aggressively on your behalf.
Just call us at (508) 317-0339 anytime, day or night, to schedule your free case evaluation.