Drug Crime FAQ

Below you will find some common questions and answers regarding drug crimes in Massachusetts. Every case is unique, however, and the best source of information for your individual situation will come from your own personal attorney. Please have a look at some of the questions and answers below, and if you would like any more information, or want to know more about your situation and your options, schedule a free consultation with Frank Doran by calling 508-653-1761 today.

What Is The Difference Between A Misdemeanor And A Felony?

In Massachusetts, there are a variety of factors that are taken into account when classifying an offense. When it comes to drug offenses, often this relates to the amount of drugs possessed. For example, less than an ounce is considered a civil offense, whereas anything less than 50 pounds is usually classified as a misdemeanor. Anything larger than that, the quantity is usually considered to be so significant that there is "intent to distribute" and therefore can be considered a felony. Despite these guidelines, there is a lot of room for interpretation, and many instances where there are grey areas. With the right strategy, any charge can be reduced based on the evidence, and as with any case, if you have been found guilty of an offense previously, the punishments become increasingly severe.

What Are The Drug Classes And Why Are They Important?

Any drug that is considered illegal or that you need a prescription to obtain is considered a "controlled substance" and based on the chemical composition are divided into five categories. These categories are called "classes" or "schedules" and range from Class A (such as heroin) to Class E (such as prescription drugs with weak amounts of opiates). The different classes carry different punishments, and can range from imprisonment for up to 10 years for Class A substances to nine months for a Class E violation. Fine amounts change as well and can range from $10,000 to $250 depending on the class.

What Is Drug Court And Will My Case End Up There?

There are a small number of drug courts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and whether or not your case will be tried in these courts is dependant upon your circumstances. The drug courts offer alternative solutions for criminal charges that include weekly sessions, probation, therapy and treatment. Participation in these courts is often limited to individuals with addiction problems and who are willing to undergo treatment. Drug courts are not for everyone, and your attorney can better discuss with you what options may be best for your defense strategy.

Do I Really Need A Lawyer?

Because drug laws in Massachusetts are constantly changing, and because an attorney is fully aware of the most effective strategies for a variety of circumstances, you are significantly more likely to have your case dropped, dismissed, have your charges reduced, or secure a more beneficial plea bargain if you secure the assistance of an attorney. With decades of experience helping those charged with drug crimes, you can trust that after hiring Doran & Doran, P.C., if there is any way to call into question the validity of the charges, it will be found.