Drug Possession Laws in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has some of the strictest drug possession laws in the United States. While the laws pertaining to marijuana possession have recently been relaxed in Massachusetts, anyone arrested for having a certain amount of marijuana or having any amount of other specific drugs may be facing massive fines and mandatory jail time.
New Laws Ease Penalties for Marijuana Possession
For Massachusetts residents and visitors, laws have been revised concerning marijuana possession. For those found to have less than one ounce in their possession, there may be a $100 fine at maximum; but in most cases, this amount or less will not garner a criminal charge as of now. If someone has more than one ounce and it is a first offense, they may face 6 months in jail and a possible fine of $500. For a second offense of possession of more than one ounce, the jail time can top two years and the fine may be up to $2000.
Other Classes of Drugs
Aside from marijuana (a Class D drug), drug possession charges and penalties vary according to the specific drug in Massachusetts. Illegal drugs are broken up into classes and each offense has specific possibilities of prison time. The standard penalties are as follows:
- Class A drugs (heroin, for example)—maximum two year prison, or five years in prison if it is a second offense.
- Class B (cocaine, ecstasy, oxycodone, crack)—maximum one year prison, two years for a second offense
- Class C (Diazepam, Lorazepam)—a prior conviction can lead to two years in prison
Seek Legal Advocacy
Even if you think you fully understand the changing laws and the potential mandatory prison sentences associated with certain drug convictions, having a legal advocate in your corner is an absolute necessity. There are always mitigating circumstances that come into play when it comes to drug possession charges. The motives of the arresting officers, actual evidence proving amount or possession, and legitimacy of search and seizure may all be factors that could help you gain a dismissal or a reduction in charges. Fines and jail time can disrupt your life incredibly and any kind of drug possession conviction can negatively affect your reputation, your job, your family, and your standing in your community. Paul Garrity Law Firm has extensive experience handling criminal defense cases, including drug possession cases that may have seemed bleak or indefensible. However, with the right dedicated and aggressive professional in your corner, a drug possession arrest can be fought successfully. Let Paul Garrity see if a dismissal or a reduction in charges may be possible. When it comes to the possibility of prison time, any possible reduction or probation instead is certainly worth the effort, as is the quest to preserve your finances, your record, your job, and your good name.
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