2018 Updated Drug Crimes & Penalties

Massachusetts Drug Crimes

Drug crimes and penalties are very serious in nature and should never be taken lightly. The state legislature is continuously working to develop and amend drug laws and policies in order to help address the needs of its population at a given time. For instance, the current opioid crisis has been the basis for many recent changes to the drug laws in our state.

The state continues to define and schedule illegal drugs into a classification system such as Class A, Class B or Class C. Where a drug falls within this classification system may determine the potential penalties an individual will face for drug related charges. Illegal drugs include, but are not limited to: heroin, Fentanyl, cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy, or unauthorized prescription drugs like Vicodin. State and federal statues strictly prohibit the use, manufacture, or distribution of all illegal drugs.

Recent legislation passed in 2018 referred to as the Criminal Justice Reform Act reflects some of the changes that have been made to Massachusetts drug laws and sentences, including for instance the re-classification of Fentanyl as a Class A illegal drug.

The chart below reflects an updated list of various Massachusetts drug crimes and their potential penalties based on the most recent 2018 legislative changes. This list is not exhaustive and it is critical that you contact an experienced drug crimes attorney if you are facing any of these, or other, drug related charges. An experienced attorney who is up to date on the law will provide you with the best opportunity to defend against any drug charges you are facing.

Table of Penalties Under New Law

Note: Fines not included in Penalty category.

Possession

Class of Drug

G.L.

Penalty

Class A (Other than Heroin)

c. 94C, §34

0-1 year HOC

Heroin

c. 94C, §34

0-2 years HOC

Heroin 2nd/Subsequent

c. 94C, §34

2 ½ - 5 years prison or 0-2 ½ HOC

Note: No mandatory language

Class B

c. 94C, §34

0-1 year HOC

Class C

c. 94C, §34

0-1 year HOC

Class D

c. 94C, §34

0-1 year HOC

Class E

c. 94C, §34

0-6 months HOC

2nd/Subsequent

Class A, B, C, or D

c. 94C, §34

0-2 years HOC

Distribution / Possession with Intent

Class of Drug

G.L.

Penalty

Class A

(Now includes Fentanyl, Carfentanil, etc.)

c. 94C, §32(a)

0-10 years prison or 0-2 ½ years HOC

Class A 2nd/Subsequent

c. 94C, §32(b)

3 ½ -15 years prison – True Mandatory

Class B

c. 94C, §32A(a)

0-10 years prison or 0-2 ½ years HOC

Class B 2nd/Subsequent

c. 94C, §32A(b)

0-10 years prison – no HOC alternative

Class B – Cocaine or Meth

c. 94C, §32A(c)

0-10 years prison or 0-2 ½ years HOC

Class B – Cocaine or Meth

2nd/Subsequent

c. 94C, §32A(d)

0-15 years prison – no HOC alternative

Distribution / Possession with Intent – Cont.

Class of Drug

G.L.

Penalty

Class C

c. 94C, §32B

0-5 years prison or 0-2 ½ years HOC

Class C 2nd/Subsequent

c. 94C, §32B(b)

0-10 years prison or 0-2 ½ years HOC

Class D

c.94C, §32C

0-2 years HOC

Class D 2nd/Subsequent

c. 94C, §32C(b)

0-2 ½ years HOC

Class E

c. 94C, §32D

0-9 months HOC

Class E 2nd/Subsequent

c. 94C, §32D(b)

0-1 ½ years HOC

Trafficking

Note: These mandatories all include “true mandatory” language

Marijuana – 50-100lbs

c. 94C, §32E(a)(1)

2 ½ -15 years prison or 1-2 ½ years HOC

Marijuana – 100-2000lbs

c. 94C, §32E(a)(2)

2-15 years prison

Marijuana – 2000-10,000lbs

c. 94C, §32E(a)(3)

3 ½-15 years prison

Marijuana - + 10,000lbs

c. 94C, §32E(a)(4)

8-15 years prison

Cocaine/Meth – 18-36g

c. 94C, §32E(b)(1)

2-15 years prison

Cocaine/Meth – 36-100g

c. 94C, §32E(b)(2)

3 ½-20 years prison

Cocaine/Meth – 100-200g

c. 94C, §32E(b)(3)

8-20 years prison

Cocaine/Meth – 200+g

c. 94C, §32E(b)(4)

12-20 years prison

Heroin, etc. – 18-36g

c. 94C, §32E(c)(1)

3 ½-30 years prison

Heroin, etc. – 36-100g

c. 94C, §32E(c)(2)

5-30 years prison

Heroin, etc. – 100-200g

c. 94C, §32E(c)(3)

8-30 years prison

Heroin, etc. – 200+g

c. 94C, §32E(c)(4)

12-30 years prison

Fentanyl/Carfentanil – 10+g

c. 94C, §32E(c ½)

3 ½-20 years prison

Massachusetts Drug Crimes Attorney

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Boston, it is to your advantage to speak with a qualified drug crime attorney. If convicted, you will face life altering punishments. You cannot afford to take your drug crime charges lightly. By hiring an experienced attorney, you can ensure that your rights are not violated and that you receive the legal representation you need to successfully combat your drug charges.

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