Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Three Helpful Tips for Responding to Drug Possession Charges

Boston law enforcement arrested a man in West Roxbury in March 2020. The arrest occurred after the man was found by law enforcement with amphetamine and methamphetamine in New Hampshire. The man was subsequently released so he could turn himself over to New Hampshire law enforcement. The man is reported to be a sergeant in Internal Affairs. The Boston Police Department reports that the sergeant has been on leave since earlier this year and that the department’s anti-corruption unit is investigating the incident. The suspect has been with the Boston Police Department since 2002.  

No two drug charges are identical. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, however, takes each of these offenses seriously. Consequently, it is critical to understand as much as possible about how to respond to these charges. This article reviews some helpful strategies that will likely improve your legal standing if you are charged with a drug-related offense.

Do Not Forget Your Constitutional Rights

Even though Massachusetts lawmakers take drug charges seriously, law enforcement must still observe your Constitutional rights when pursuing these charges. For example, the Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Consequently, if you can show that law enforcement performed an unlawful search or seizure, you may very likely be able to get the drug charges dropped.

Be Aware of the Various Charges

While it is not necessary to commit all of Massachusetts’ drug laws to memory, you should realize that various charges can be brought against a person in the Commonwealth. Not only do different charges require the prosecution to establish different facts, but the severity of charges also ends up influencing what penalties you end up facing. Some of the most common drug charges initiated in Massachusetts include:

  • Possession occurs if a person is found with any type of illegal substances on his or her body. Penalties for this offense vary substantially based on the type and amount of drugs among other factors.

  • Possession with intent to sell or deliver is an elevation from possession and results in more serious penalties. These charges are made if law enforcement decides that the suspect planned on selling drugs.

  • Distribution involves delivering, selling, trafficking, or importing drugs. A conviction for this offense results in devastating penalties.

  • Drug manufacturing charges vary based on the type and amount of drugs being produced. These charges often carry significant penalties.

Recognize Entrapment

Law enforcement sometimes coerces individuals into purchasing or interacting with drugs so an arrest can be made. If you can establish that your actions were the direct result of law enforcement’s coercement or force, however, you will likely be able to argue entrapment. Note, though, law enforcement is known to lie and distort the facts to make arrests on drug charges. Lying by law enforcement alone does not amount to entrapment. 

Obtain the Assistance of a Seasoned Criminal Defense Attorney

When people are charged with criminal offenses, they are often left uncertain about how to respond or what they can do to combat the charges. Schedule a free case evaluation with attorney Edward R Molari today.