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The potential penalties range widely depending on the charge, the drug involved, and the quantity. Simple possession of cocaine, for example, is a misdemeanor, which can carry up to one year in the house of correction. A second or subsequent offense for simple possession of cocaine carries up to two years. If you’re charged, however, with Possession With Intent to Distribute or Manufacture cocaine, then it’s a felony charge, and the penalty can range from two and half years in the house of correction to ten years in state prison. Certain subsections carry a one year of mandatory minimum. Second and subsequent offenses can go anywhere from ten to 15 years in state prison, with a mandatory minimum of two to three and a half years. The differences in sentencing all depend on what charge of Possession With Intent to Distribute you’re dealing with in terms of cocaine.

If you’re charged with cocaine Trafficking, the length of the sentence and the mandatory minimums vary widely depending on the amount involved. Cocaine in the amount of 18 to 36 grams has a sentence from two to 15 years in state prison, with a two-year mandatory minimum. For 36 to 100 grams, the sentence ranges from three and a half to 20 years in state prison, with a three-and-a-half-year mandatory minimum sentence. If the amount is 100 to 200 grams, the range is eight to 20 years in state prison, with an eight-year mandatory minimum sentence. Finally, 200 grams or more has a 12- to 20-year state prison sentence, with a 12-year mandatory minimum. If you’re convicted of Trafficking (for cocaine or any other drug charge), the penalty also has a collateral effect of a five-year registry loss of license.

Heroin and fentanyl charges fall under a different section of 94(c), which is where you can find the drug offenses for the state of Massachusetts. Possession of heroin with a first offense is a misdemeanor with a sentence of up to two years in the house of correction. Second or subsequent offenses are considered felonies and face at least two and a half years in the house of correction or no more than five years in state prison.

Possession of fentanyl is the same as heroin (not more than one year in the house of correction), and if it’s a second or subsequent offense, it’s not more than two years in the house of correction. When you’re dealing with a fentanyl charge that’s Possession With Intent to Distribute, it’s now a felony, with no more than ten years in a state prison or two and a half years in the house of correction. Second or subsequent fentanyl charges of Possession With Intent to Distribute are looking at a three-and-a-half-to 15-year state prison sentence, with a three-and-a-half-year mandatory minimum sentence.

Trafficking offenses for heroin and fentanyl also carry substantial penalties. Trafficking in heroin, 18 to 36 grams, carries a sentence of three and a half to 30 years in a state prison, with the mandatory minimum of three and a half years. If it’s 36 to 100 grams, it’s a five-year to 30-year state prison sentence, with five years being the mandatory minimum. If it’s 100 to 200 grams in heroin, it’s an eight-year to 30-year state prison sentence, with an eight-year mandatory minimum. And if it’s 200 grams or more, it’s a 12-year to 30-year state prison sentence, with 12 years being the mandatory minimum. Again, the collateral consequence of each sentence is also a five-year registry of motor vehicles and loss of license. When you’re dealing with Trafficking in fentanyl, ten grams or more carries state prison time between three and a half to 20 years, with three and a half years being the mandatory minimum sentence (and again, a five-year registry loss of license).

Marijuana offense penalties vary greatly in Massachusetts in part because of the recent legislative changes that have decriminalized marijuana to some degree. To be actionable, a marijuana charge involves a person knowingly in possession of more than one ounce of marijuana. I used the term “actionable” because it’s lawful to possess less than one ounce of marijuana if you’re 21 years or older. If someone is 18 to 21 years old, possession of two ounces or less is a civil offense.

As for marijuana penalties, if it’s a first offense for Possession of over one ounce, it’s considered a misdemeanor and carries not more than six months in the house of correction. Second and subsequent offenses are still misdemeanors, with not more than two years in the house of correction. The other more serious charges of marijuana would be Possession With Intent to Distribute or Manufacture. The first offense is not more than two years in the house of correction, and the second or subsequent offense is not less than one year or not more than two and a half years in the house of correction.

Marijuana also has a Trafficking charge, and the offense is similarly greater than regular Possession. Trafficking from 50 to 100 pounds of marijuana carries two and a half to 15 years in state prison, with two and a half years being the mandatory minimum. If it’s 100 to 2,000 pounds, it’s two and a half to 15 years in state prison, with two years being the mandatory minimum. If it’s 2,000 to 10,000 pounds, it’s three and a half to 15 years, with three and a half years being the mandatory minimum. And if it’s over 10,000 pounds, it’s an eight-year to 15-year sentence, with an eight-year mandatory minimum.

The sentencing ranges vary greatly depending upon the quantity of the substance involved and the particular substance.

For more information on Drug Charges Defense in Massachusetts, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (508) 503-6440 today.

James Caramanica

Time Is Of The Essence.
Call Us Now To Get Started
(508) 503-6440