There are several factors which may aggravate situations during a drug crime arrest, and a person may unknowingly place themselves in a position where they are to face harsher penalties and be convicted of more serious charges.
One common aggravating factor in drug crime arrests is selling drugs near a school property. If a drug sale occurs within 300 feet of a school a person can face charges substantially greater than what they may have faced otherwise. A drug crime committed within a school zone can lead to a minimum of 2 years in jail to a state prison sentence of 15 years, and the fines associated with the charges can rise to an amount of $10,000. A person will face this jail time whether it is their first conviction or a subsequent conviction, where they may not have if the crime was not committed in this particular area.
Drug Crimes and Traffic Violations
When being stopped for a traffic violation with drugs present in the vehicle, it is possible that a driver can face drug charges on top of the traffic violation. A law enforcement official may find reasonable cause to search the car and, if drugs are found, criminal charges will likely issue.
It is illegal in the state of Massachusetts for a person to have drugs or drug paraphernalia in their possession, and this includes inside a vehicle they are driving. If drugs or paraphernalia are found during a traffic stop, this will result in criminal drug charges.
In addition, if drugs or pieces of paraphernalia are found in a vehicle, a person may be charged with driving under the influence of drugs.
Attorneys in Traffic Violation and Drug Crimes Cases
For those who are facing drug charges as a result of a traffic violation stop, the presence of an attorney is invaluable. Many different factors need to be considered in these situations, such as if the driver knew the paraphernalia or drugs were present, if the vehicle was searched in a constitutional manner, or if the substances or equipment belonged to another individual. A Massachusetts drug crime attorney will be able to weigh all defense options in such cases and provide their client with the best possible representation using their knowledge of Massachusetts law.