Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Changes in the Law Help Drug Offenders

The 27-year-old law that suspended the driver’s licenses of drug offenders has been repealed in Massachusetts. Many politicians and community leaders have tried for many years to get the law changed. Now, it has finally happened. Prior to this new legislation, a person convicted of a drug crime lost their driver’s license. Many believed the old law was too strict for drug offenders who were trying to get employment or focusing on improving their lives.  In addition to not getting their license suspended, drug offenders will not have to pay the $500 reinstatement fee. A qualified criminal defense attorney can explain how the new changes in the law will affect your case.

Despite these new changes, Massachusetts remains one of the toughest states for prosecuting drug offenses. The Commonwealth upholds harsh penalties for most drug crimes. Although Massachusetts decriminalized small amounts (under 1 oz.) of marijuana a few years ago, possessing larger amounts and selling marijuana is still a crime. The police can charge you with a felony drug charge if they believe you are selling it.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in America. Although some states have legalized recreational use of marijuana, Massachusetts still considers it a criminal offense. However, Massachusetts does allow doctors to recommend the use of marijuana for the treatment of certain medical conditions. Massachusetts permits qualified patients to have a sixty day supply worth of medical marijuana for medical conditions. The patient must register with the state and keep their state-issued medical marijuana card on their personage all the time. Other illegal drugs are heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and PCP. Being arrested for a drug crime usually involves the following:

  • Possession - An individual possesses a drug without a valid prescription.

  • Manufacture - An individual makes or packages a synthetic chemical substance or drug.

  • Use - An individual used or consumed an illegal drug with no prescription from a medical doctor.

  • Distribution - An individual sells or smuggles an illegal substance.   

Individuals convicted of drug crimes often receive penalties that do not match the crime. Many of them may spend years or decades behind bars for distributing or trafficking a small amount of marijuana. If you are arrested for a drug crime, you should remain quiet and not discuss the incident. Let the police know you will only talk about the case when your attorney is present. Tell your attorney about any activities during your arrest involving any unlawful search and seizure as this information is not admissible in court. After your arrest, you will meet with a magistrate, who will set your bond. You can choose to pay the bond entirely or request the help of a bondsman.

If you are arrested for a drug crime, the outcomes may be serious and life-changing. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Edward Molari can provide you and your family with legal advice that might help to prevent the Commonwealth from proving its case. He can explain your rights and provide personalized legal services in your situation. Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.