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Drug Crimes

Springfield Drug Crimes Lawyer Dan Daly has litigated hundreds of drug cases over the course of his career. His knowledge of drug crimes span the courtroom and street as he has prosecuted, defended, and arrested individuals for numerous drug offenses over the course of his career. This unique experience give Attorney Daly insight into the proper lines of attack for every drug case. Qualified to handle any drug charge imaginable, here are some of the more common drug crimes you will see prosecuted throughout Massachusetts’ courts.

Drug Possession - M.G.L. Ch. 94C, § 34

Any person accused of knowingly being in possession of a controlled substance will be charged under this section of the statute. “Possession” can be actual, joint, or constructive. With actual possession, a person physically has a controlled substance on their person. With constructive possession, the Government must prove that a person has knowledge of the controlled substance and the ability and intent to exercise dominion and control over it. Joint possession is a theory of prosecution whereby the Government alleges that the controlled substance is possessed by multiple people, either by actual or constructive possession. With any drug case, the Government must produce a drug analysis certificate to show that the alleged substance is what it purports to be. Defense of drug charges can sometimes rest on faulty chemical analysis of the substance at issue, but more often than not, it rests with whether the accused was in “possession” or whether they were “knowingly” in possession. The following penalties apply for those convicted under this statute:

Possession of a Class A Substance:

  • A jail sentence not to exceed 2 years, or
  • A fine not to exceed $2,000.

Possession of a Class B Substance:

  • A jail sentence not to exceed 1 year of imprisonment, and/or
  • A fine not to exceed $1,000.
Possession with Intent to Distribute - M.G.L. Ch. 94C, § 32

Falling between the crimes of “Possession” and “Distribution” is the crime of Possession with Intent to Distribute. As the name of the offense suggests, the Government will bring this charge if a person is in possession of a controlled substance and has the intent to distribute it. Distribution usually equates to “selling drugs” however this offense also covers individuals who intend to share or even give away the substance for free. Often times this offense is charged inappropriately as law enforcement and prosecutors like to “stretch” a simple possession case into a “possession with intent” case. Analysis into these types of charges rest with the quantity of drugs at issue, the manner in which it is packaged, whether there are large amounts of currency present at the time of the arrest, whether there are scales, baggies, or other drug paraphernalia present, and sometimes whether there was a prior distribution observed by law enforcement prior to the arrest. While all the defenses available to a “Possession” case are available when charged with this offense, additional litigation is focused on undercutting the “intent” element. Even when the Government has a strong case to present, often times an experienced Springfield Drug Offense Lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to amend the charges down from Possession with Intent to a Simple Possession case.

The following penalties apply for those convicted under this statute:

Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class A Substance:

  • Up to 10 years in state prison OR up to 2.5 years in a house of correction or jail, and/or
  • A fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000
  • Suspension of driver’s license.

For a subsequent offense:

  • A 5 year mandatory minimum in the state prison not to exceed 15 years, and
  • A fine ranging from $500 to $25,000, and
  • Suspension of driver’s license

Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class B Substance:

  • Up to 10 years in state prison OR up to 2.5 years in a house of correction or jail, and/or
  • A fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000
  • Suspension of driver’s license.

For a subsequent offense:

  • A 3 year mandatory minimum in the state prison not to exceed 10 years, and
  • A fine ranging from $2,500 to $25,000, and
  • Suspension of driver’s license.
Distribution of a Controlled Substance- M.G.L. Ch. 94C, § 32

A person will be charged with Distribution of a Controlled substance if they are alleged to have manufacture, dispensed, or distributed a controlled substance to another person. There is no requirement that money must be exchanged for the substance at issue, and despite marijuana now decriminalized in Massachusetts, it is still illegal for a person to distribute it without the proper licensing. The same penalties apply for this offense that apply for Possession with Intent to Distribute.

School Zone/Park Violation - M.G.L. Ch. 94C, § 32J

A very serious and common “enhancement” that applies to Possession with Intent cases and Distribution cases is a “School Zone” violation. There are enhanced penalties at play for a person that commits a drug violation (simple possession is excluded) within 300 feet of a school or 100 feet of a public park or playground. Springfield Drug Offense Attorney Dan Daly is trained to examine whether these types of offense have been appropriately charged. The defense investigation must focus on whether the alleged conduct falls within the purview of the statute (i.e. whether the distances are accurately measured and whether the park or building qualifies for protection under the statute). If convicted under this statute, the flooding penalties apply:

  • State prison sentence from 2.5 up to 15 years, or jail sentence from 2 years up to 2.5 years, and
  • A fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000
  • Imposition of the sentence is a true minimum mandatory which must be served “on and after” the sentence imposed for the underlying drug offense.

Whether charged with Trafficking, Distribution, or Possession, Springfield Drug Offense Attorney Dan Daly possesses the knowledge and ability to deconstruct the Government’s case against you. Contact Daly Law, P.C. immediately to protect your rights and defend your freedom.

Client Reviews
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I’d definitely hire Daly Law again and have already recommended Daniel to my family and friends. He did a fantastic job handling my case Taylor G.
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Attorney Daniel Daly is a lawyer’s lawyer - literally. His knowledge, integrity, and sheer determination to deliver for his clients is what sets him apart from other lawyers. When you need legal representation you want someone you can trust who will work hard on your behalf and that is just what you get with Dan. I can’t recommend him enough. BD O’Brien
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5 stars…Dan was excellent every step of the way. His communication was great and he really knows what he’s doing. Highly recommend! Mike T.