Boston Drug Possession
Drug possession in Boston can be a serious charge that demands a vigorous defense. Drug possession charges can include a wide variety of prescription drugs and controlled substances, including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and more. Massachusetts determines the penalties for drug possession based on a classification system that ranks drugs from Classes A-F, with Class A being the drugs that are considered the most dangerous and therefore the most harshly penalized.
In some cases, charges of possession of very small quantities of illegal substances may be resolved without a trial. Prosecutors and judges are sometimes willing to offer probation, fines, and substance abuse treatment programs rather than prison sentences for small quantities and first offenses.
However, large quantities of drugs suggest intent to distribute and may be punished much more harshly. If you are convicted of possessing a large quantity of drugs, you may face the harsh environment and loss of liberty that comes with incarceration in the state prison. In addition, your sentence may include payment of fines, a permanent record, and loss of your driver’s license. All of these penalties are made more harsh if there are particular facts involved in your case, such as possession within 1000 feet of a school or playground.
Regardless of how big or small the case may be, it is wise to consult an experienced Boston criminal defense attorney who can explain your rights, determine a sound long-term strategy, and advocate for you with prosecutors and judges.Possible Defenses to a Drug Possession Charge
A skilled criminal defense attorney can work up several possible defenses, depending upon the circumstances of your case. Most drug possession cases are built on seizure of actual drugs. Therefore, the first step is to figure out if there are constitutional or other grounds on which to suppress the evidence of drugs.
For example, your attorney can bring a motion to suppress on the grounds of an unreasonable search and seizure. You are protected against unreasonable search and seizure by both the federal and state constitutions. The police must explain a legitimate reason to have searched you or your property.
Similarly, your attorney may also bring a motion to suppress incriminating statements you may have made before your Miranda rights were read to you. Your attorney may have ideas for several other possible motions that can be brought on constitutional grounds. There may also be valid ways to attack the evidence on procedural or technical grounds, such as faulty lab analysis.
If there is no way to get the charges dismissed, an experienced criminal defense attorney will work to negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf, or create reasonable doubt with the jury. The prosecutor in a drug possession trial must prove every element of the charges brought “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is a high standard, but a good criminal defense attorney can work with the facts of your case to create doubt in the minds of jurors. If this does not work, he can try to persuade the judge that you deserve a lesser sentence. In all aspects of your case, retaining an attorney with experience in drug possession cases can mean the difference between being sent to jail and being free to get back to your life.
If you have been accused of drug possession, consult an experienced Boston criminal defense lawyer who can help you fight the charges or obtain the most favorable resolution. Stephen Neyman has spent more than 20 years defending the rights of the accused, and knows how to navigate the criminal justice system. Contact us at (617) 263-6800 or via our online form.