Drug Possession – Distribution
If you are facing distribution charges or accused of being in possession with intent to distribute, you are up against some serious potential penalties. You are at risk of spending several years in prison if you are found guilty, depending on the exact circumstances of your case.Criminal Charge in Massachusetts? Call (781) 817-6332.
Many people are confused by charges like “possession with intent to distribute”. They wonder how the prosecution could tell what they were intending to do with the drugs in their possession. Interestingly and sometimes to their surprise, it has nothing to do with the amount of drugs.
Instead, the police and prosecution can use several things to determine your intent. Perhaps you had a scale, baggies, or other such tools common in drug dealing. Maybe you did have a lot of a drug but had it packaged in small amounts. Any of these factors could be used in court to show the jury that you intended to sell the product, not use it.
Massachusetts Felony Drug Distribution – Penalties
The penalty you face for distribution or possession with intent depends on the drug in question and the circumstances of your case. Each case is different and there is no substitute for consulting with a defense attorney.
Typically, if this is your first such drug charge, you will face up to 2 years in jail for distribution or possession with intent. This is true no matter what the drug was, whether a Class A or a Class D substance.
A second offense drug distribution charge will bring more serious potential sentences. If you are charged with distribution of heroin, for instance, your second offense can carry up to 5 years in prison.
Ref: MGL § C. 94C
School Zone – Drug Distribution Penalty Enhancments
You can face an additional mandatory minimum 2 years in prison if you are accused of selling, or intent to distribute drugs withing a school zone or other restricted zone. A school zone is defined as withing 1000 feet of a school, and other zones include within 100 feet of a public park.
School zone areas and public park areas can be defined broadly by the prosecution. A day care center could even be considered a school zone.
Within dense areas of development, it can be a challenge not to be within 1000 feet of a school, or 100 feet of a park. And you can bet that a district attorney will charge this in order to keep a mandatory prison term over your head, as leverage in return for forcing a guilty plea to a lesser charge, or even insisting that you act as a witness against other people, or tell them who many have sold you drugs.
These cases can be a messy. Many people charged with a school zone felony drug distribution offense didn’t even know they were in a school zone.
“I was just sitting in an apartment on the second floor!” doesn’t mean you aren’t in a school zone, if there is a school or park on the next block. And it doesn’t matter whether whatever you were doing had anything to do with activity near the school, or involving kids.
Contact me for help in how we can challenge a school zone claim.
How To Fight Massachusetts Drug Charges
In some cases, we may be able to get your charges reduced to possession, taking the crime from a felony charge down to a misdemeanor. Also, if the evidence was taken in an illegal search we may be able to get the charges dropped altogether.
Did the police have permission or a legal right to search your car, house, or person? Was the substance in plain site, or did they have to hunt around, and they didn’t have a search warrant? These are the first questions to investigate to determine of you may have been the victim of an illegal search and seizure.
The defense strategy we use will depend on the specifics of your case. Contact me today so we can talk in detail and I can make some suggestions.
There are always defense tactics we can use. And no case is un-winnable. That doesn’t mean that all cases are good cases, and I will always be upfront and honest about what I think our chances are.
When you are facing charges like these, you need all the help you can get. I am ready to fight for your rights and to ensure you get the best possible results on your day in court. Call me today.
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