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Drug Crimes Involving Minors

Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Boston and Suffolk County Residents Facing Serious Narcotics Offenses

The United States is battling a drug crisis. While prosecutors take a hardline approach to all drug charges, few are more aggressively prosecuted than those drug crimes involving minors. If you face a Boston drug crime involving a minor, you face enhanced punishments over and above the already strict penalties for drug offenses. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy is a Boston criminal defense lawyer with more than 25 years of hands-on experience representing clients facing all types of drug distribution charges.

The Government Wants to Protect Children

Not only is the drug trade illegal, but it is also dangerous. In an effort to keep children out of the industry, lawmakers created very harsh penalties for anyone who uses minors to facilitate a drug deal. There are two types of drug crimes involving minors, and both involve mandatory minimum sentences if you are convicted.

Using Minors to Sell Drugs

Selling drugs is a risky business, especially on the retail level. In most Boston drug-selling operations, the people at the top are not the ones who are on the street corner selling the drugs. Instead, they rely on others to make the sales, giving them a small piece of the profit. Under state law, if the person you used to sell drugs was a minor, you can be charged with inducing or abetting a minor to distribute or sell controlled substances.

Using a minor to sell drugs is a separate crime from the actual sale of the drugs. Thus, if you are arrested for inducing or abetting a minor to distribute or sell controlled substances, you will face charges related to the underlying drug sale, as well as for using a minor to facilitate a drug transaction. While the punishment for selling drugs varies depending on the amount and type of the drug, the crime of inducing or abetting a minor to distribute or sell controlled substances carries a mandatory sentence of five years in state prison and a maximum of 15 years, which can run consecutive to any other sentence you receive.

Selling Drugs to Minors

The enhanced penalties for drug crimes involving minors are not limited to situations in which someone uses minors to sell drugs. Massachusetts law also provides for additional penalties for those who sell drugs to minors. The punishment associated with selling drugs to a minor depends on the type of drug sold.

Class A Substances (heroin, fentanyl, ketamine) – A mandatory minimum sentence of five years in state prison with a maximum of 15 years in state prison and a fine between $1,000 and $25,000.

Cocaine or Crack – Although cocaine and crack are Class B substances, lawmakers separate these drugs from other Class B substances when it comes to selling to minors. Selling cocaine or crack to a minor carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in state prison with a maximum of 15 years in state prison and a fine between $1,000 and $25,000.

Other Class B Substances (ecstasy, opium) – A mandatory minimum sentence of three years in state prison with a maximum of 15 years in state prison and a fine between $1,000 and $25,000.

Class C Substances (diazepam, mescaline, magic mushrooms) – A mandatory minimum sentence of 2.5 years in state prison with a maximum of 15 in state prison, or a term of at least two years in a house of correction, and a fine between $1,000 and $25,000.

Notably, for you to be convicted of selling drugs to a minor, the prosecution must prove that you knew or had some reason to believe that they were under 18.

Contact an Experienced Boston Drug Crimes Lawyer

Drug crimes involving minors involve mandatory minimum sentences that can send you away for a long time. If you are facing allegations that you sold drugs to a minor or used a minor to sell drugs, reach out to the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy for immediate assistance. Attorney Murphy has extensive experience developing strong defenses in these cases, including litigating motions to suppress and challenging the facts that may result in an aggravated sentence. With his help, you can rest assured that your case—and your future—are in good hands. To learn more, and to schedule a free, confidential consultation, call Attorney Murphy at (617) 367-0450 today.

Client Reviews
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"Highly Recommended. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy absolutely helped me out in my time of need. When I met him in his Boston office he put me right at ease and explained the criminal process to me in a way I could easily understand and in a manner that gave me complete confidence. I was facing a criminal wanton destruction of property charge in Barnstable District Court. On the day of the case, he was at the courthouse waiting for me and my wife. Mr. Murphy handled the hearing in a very thorough and professional manner putting us through our testimony and making a powerful argument to the decision maker. My case was thrown out and I could not be happier with the service from Attorney Murphy. I highly recommend him to you as a skilled legal advocate!" Rob, Avvo User
★★★★★
"Excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer. From the first consultation I knew Patrick Murphy was the right choice for my criminal defense. He was knowledgeable of the laws and knew how to build up a strong defense for my case. Every phone call and email I made was promptly answered. When it came time for my hearing, Patrick was prepared and able to get the criminal complaint against me dropped without ever becoming charge! Would highly recommend this attorney to anyone seeking a top quality defense attorney to handle their case!" John, Avvo User
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"OUI Not Guilty Verdict. Patrick Murphy provided excellent service as council on my case. He worked diligently over a long legal process that spanned over 3 years. He was able to take my case to a Jury Trial and get me a Not Guilty verdict through he expert knowledge of the law and expertise in cross examination of the prosecutions witnesses. He was very professional and available at anytime night or day to answer questions." Chris, Avvo User
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"Highly Skilled and Professional Lawyer. Attorney Pat Murphy did a great job guiding me through an A&B charge, and most importantly getting the case dismissed in a very timely manner. He is very professional, returns call promptly, and did a great explaining his strategy and the legal process to me. I was confident throughout the whole process that I was in good hands and would receive the best possible outcome in my case. Would highly recommended Attorney Murphy." Avvo User
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"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User