Facing Drug Possession Charges? Understand What You’re up Against
As with most states across the country, anyone found to be carrying illicit drugs may be arrested and face legal consequences in Massachusetts. Though the prospect of facing drug possession charges may be confusing and frightening, we’re here to help you understand what it could mean should you find yourself in this predicament.
If you’d like to learn more from a professional about your specific case, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our legal experts for a free consultation. Now, let’s look at what Massachusetts residents need to know about the legal guidelines regarding drug possession.
What Counts as Drug Possession?
Unless obtained using a valid prescription, anyone who intentionally carries a controlled substance could face this charge. The state considers any of the following situations as “possession” of a drug:
- Holding it in your hand.
- Carrying it in a pocket or bag.
- Having it under your control (such as storing it in a car’s glove compartment).
Still, it’s important to note that you must have knowingly possessed the substance to be guilty of a criminal charge. Furthermore, Massachusetts does tweak this definition when it comes to heroin; even (knowingly) being in the same house as someone who has the substance in their possession could land you a charge.
Note: Recent changes in Massachusetts law have decriminalized carrying less than one ounce of marijuana.
What Penalties Could I Face?
Though intentionally carrying any controlled substance could land you a charge, its severity does vary depending on what drug you possessed. In Massachusetts, they can range across five classes: Class A to Class E. The most dangerous drugs will fall under the former (most significant penalties), while lesser substances will fall under the latter (least significant penalties).
Penalties will vary from case to case, especially depending on the quality of your legal defense, and can land defendants up to a year of imprisonment or a fine of $1,000 (first offense). Second offenses could carry up to two years in a correctional facility or a fine of up to $2,000 — or both.
Fortunately, recent changes have made it easier for individuals with drug possession charges on their record to have them sealed or expunged, as well as to repeal a license suspension associated with the crime.
The Importance of Quality Representation When Facing Drug Possession Charges
Drug possession charges are always a serious offense that can greatly impact your life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have proper representation to protect your rights and ensure your penalties are as minimal as possible.
At Murphy & Rudolf, LLP, we’re dedicated to helping you fight any legal issues you might come across to help you achieve the best outcome. Regardless of how hopeless you feel your case might be, we guarantee you’ll be provided the toughest criminal defense in the state of Massachusetts.
Ready for us to join your side or just need a simple question answered? Don’t hesitate to contact our team of legal experts — we’re more than happy to help.