Drug offenses continue to represent a large percentage of the criminal cases in the District, Municipal and Superior Courts of Massachusetts. Drug crime charges often involve unlawful possession, distribution or trafficking of substances like cocaine, crack-cocaine, heroin, Ecstacy, marijuana, LSD, or the possession or sale of unauthorized prescription medicine such as Percocet, Oxycontin and Vicodin. In every drug case, there are essential elements of the charge that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. In each case the Commonwealth must establish that the defendant charged with a drug crime:
- knowingly and
- a controlled substance.
If the actual criminal charge involves manufacturing, distribution, possession with intent to distribute, trafficking or an even more serious drug charge, the basic elements are amended to include the additional factors involved. A controlled substance is defined by statute in Massachusetts. See G.L. c. 94C, s. 1. In determining the facts a judge or jury may consider all relevant evidence introduced in the case, including the testimony of expert witnesses or any other witness to support or dispute the allegation that the material in question is in fact a controlled substance. This element was usually met when the prosecutor introduced into evidence a drug certificate summarizing the result from an analysis performed by a chemist at the state drug laboratory. Presently, under new case law, the chemist is now required to come to court to testify and the defense attorney has an opportunity to confront and vigorously cross-examine the chemist at trial on all testing procedures performed or not followed.Punishment for Drug Convictions in Massachusetts
Drug convictions, whether they occur in the District, Municipal, or Superior Courts of Massachusetts can result in penalties ranging from court fines to lengthy minimum mandatory house of correction or state prison sentences. If you are charged with a Massachusetts drug offense, the type of drug and quantity possessed will be carefully scrutinized by the prosecutor. If the drug was sold to a minor or distributed or possessed with the intent to distribute in a school zone or park zone, law enforcement will take a very aggressive approach to prosecuting the case. If you are a first time drug offender with a cocaine possession conviction your case may be continued without a finding (CWOF) and dismissed after a certain period and you may request to have your criminal history sealed.
In any drug case, it is important to have an experienced and knowledgeable Massachusetts drug crimes attorney to provide a serious and vigorous defense to any drug crime charge. The stakes are simply too high for the average person facing a drug charge. If you are convicted of a drug crime in Boston or any other Massachusetts community, you may be subject to punishment including jail, a lengthy probation term, hefty fines and fees, mandatory loss of your driver's license from 1-5 years, and ongoing drug testing and treatment. If you violate your probation terms you could be sentenced to jail. If you are not a citizen and you are convicted of a Massachusetts drug crime, you face deportation, exclusion from admission into the United States or denial of naturalization under our immigration laws.Boston, Massachusetts Drug Crimes Lawyer
Attorney Patrick J. Murphy is an aggressive Boston criminal defense attorney experienced in successfully representing clients charged with drug crimes. Attorney Murphy knows that drug cases can be won by challenging the constitutionality of the search and seizure actions of law enforcement by filing of a Motion to Suppress Evidence in every drug case. Aggressive cross-examination of police officers and other law enforcement officials by an talented lawyer is crucial to expose lies and other contradictions at motion hearings and at trial. Often, drug cases can be won at trial or drug charges can be reduced to lesser included offenses by exposing weaknesses in the necessary elements of each charge or by challenging the prosecutor's so-called expert witness in court. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy will do everything possible to ensure that your constitutional rights are not violated and that you have the best possible legal defense to avoid a Massachusetts drug conviction.
If you have been charged with a Massachusetts drug crime, put your trust in a reputable and experienced drug crimes lawyer. Contact Attorney Patrick J. Murphy today for a free and confidential telephone conference at (617) 367-0450. You may also contact us online and Attorney Murphy will respond to you right away.
Attorney Murphy has extensive experience handling cases involving the following drug offenses:
- Possession of Drugs or Drug Paraphernalia
- Possession with Intent to Distribute Drugs
- Distribution of Drugs
- Drug Trafficking
- School Zone/Public Park Drug Violation
- Conspiracy to Violate Drug Laws
- Drug Crimes Involving Minors
- Defenses to Drug Crimes
- Motion to Suppress Illegally Obtained Drugs
- Federal Drug Crimes
- Drug OUI