Have You Been Caught With Drugs but Not Charged Yet? Here’s What to Do.
The state of Massachusetts takes drug charges very seriously. But like all criminal charges, in order to actually convict you, the prosecutor must prove you committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The best criminal defense attorneys focus on ways to expose flaws or introduce doubts in the evidence required to convict you. If you’ve been caught with drugs but not charged, here’s what you need to know for your best chance at a positive outcome.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been Caught With Drugs but Not Charged Yet?
When you are initially arrested, you may need to provide the police with information such as your name and age. In Massachusetts, you are only legally obliged to tell law enforcement your legal name, and if you are driving, provide proof of identification.
Besides identifying yourself, it’s best not to share any additional information until a criminal defense attorney is present with you. They will advise you of your rights and help you to better understand the options available to you.
Make sure to respond in a respectful and direct manner. Resisting arrest or disrespecting law enforcement can lead to increased charges or additional legal issues. If you’ve been caught with drugs but not charged yet, you’ll want to avoid making the situation worse.
How long do the police have to file charges?
The period of time between an arrest and when the police actually file charges is called the statute of limitations. In Massachusetts, this is six years for non-violent crimes, which includes possession of controlled substances. This does not include time spent living out of state.
How does the law define drug possession?
Anyone who intentionally carries a controlled substance could face a drug possession charge unless it has been obtained through a valid prescription. If you’ve been caught with drugs but not charged, you’ll want to know what you’re up against.
The state of Massachusetts 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 in your control (such as storing it in a car’s trunk or console).
It’s important to note that drug possession falls under two categories: constructive possession and actual possession. The government must prove that you fit either of these categories before you can face a drug possession conviction.
Constructive possession refers to having knowledge of the substance and both the ability and intent to exercise control over it but not having them in your possession at the time of arrest. Actual possession refers to situations where the defendant had the drugs on their person at the time of arrest.
Secure the best lawyer at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP
To protect your future, it’s crucial to hire a drug defense attorney with the right qualifications, a successful track record, and the experience to represent you in court. If you or someone you love has been caught with drugs but not charged, Murphy & Rudolf, LLP is here for you.
Don’t hesitate to reach out today: call us at (508) 570-3037 or fill out a contact form on our website.