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Massachusetts State Drug Crimes + Penalties

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2021 | Drug Crimes

Drugs and drug paraphernalia

Drugs in the Massachusetts legal system are divided into groups, or classes. A class can refer to one or more types of drugs, and drug crimes within each class carry penalties. Conviction of any type of drug charge carries far-reaching consequences, and the importance of being represented by an adept criminal defense attorney cannot be overemphasized.

Massachusetts Drug Classes

Massachusetts General Laws c.94C §31 defines the drug classes as follows:

  • Class A: Drugs included in this class are GHB, heroin, Special K, ecstasy, and heroin. Many Class A Drugs are sold in liquid or powder forms.
  • Class B: Drugs included in this class are LSD, oxycodone, hydrochloride, amphetamine, oxycontin, cocaine, and opium. Similar to Class A drugs, Class B drugs are usually sold in liquid or powder forms.
  • Class C: Class C drugs are less severe than those found in Class A or Class B, and include psilocybin magic mushrooms, and prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin.
  • Class D: Drugs included are marijuana (over an ounce) and hashish.
  • Class E: Class E drugs contain a limited amount of narcotics, and are usually less powerful prescription drugs that are not included in Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D.

Possession, Trafficking, & Sale

Ever wonder what the differences are between possession, trafficking, and the sale of narcotics in Massachusetts? Following is a breakdown.

  • Possession: A charge of possession means that the defendant either knowingly has the drug actually on them or has custody and control over the drug.
  • Trafficking: Trafficking a drug means that a defendant possesses a narcotic and has the intent to distribute or sell it, or the actual distribution or sale of the narcotic. Severity of trafficking charges depends on the weight of the narcotic.
  • Sale: Trafficking refers to the sale of drugs on a larger scale while a charge for selling drugs is more appropriate for smaller scale sales.
Possession Subsequent Possession Trafficking Sale
Class A Up to 2 years of incarceration and/or $2,000 fine Second offense: Up to 5 years of incarceration and/or $5,000 fine 14-28 grams: 5-20 years of incarceration and/or $5,000 to $50,000 2-10 years of incarceration and/or $2,500 to $25,000
Class B 1 year of incarceration and/or $1,000 fine Second or Subsequent offense: 2 years of incarceration and up to $2,000 fine 14-28 grams: 3-15 years of incarceration and/or $2,500 to $25,000 2-10 years of incarceration and/or $1,000 to $10,000
Class C 1 year of incarceration and/or $1,000 fine Second or Subsequent offense: up to 2 years incarceration and $2,000 fine
Class D Up to 6 months incarceration (in some circumstances); $500 fine; and 1 year loss of license (mandatory)
Class E Up to 6 months incarceration (in some circumstances); $500 fine; and 1 year loss of license (mandatory)

A Knowledgeable Massachusetts Criminal Defense Firm

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Massachusetts, you need experienced counsel you can depend on from a premier criminal defense firm. At Maceo Law, P.C., we understand the impact a drug conviction can have on your personal and professional life, and fight for your defense. You may contact us by calling 617-208-0505 or via our contact page.

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