Drug Trafficking Charges Attorney Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, drug trafficking is considered a more serious offense then merely possessing illegal substances. Fines and penalties become even more severe whenever these crimes are committed near a school zone or public park. There are also additional sanctions involved with the possession of paraphernalia or needles. Drugs are classified into classes, and each class has different remedies under Massachusetts law. The five classes of drugs here include:
Class A : This is the most serious class of drugs, which includes Heroin and "designer drugs" including Special K and GHB.
Class B : These drugs are less addictive than Class A drugs but are still considered very dangerous. Cocaine, Methadone, LSD and Methamphetamine are included in this class.
Class C : Mostly consists of narcotics and prescriptions that are commonly abused. Examples include Vicodin, STP, Mescaline and Codeine.
Class D : Drugs that are mostly used for recreational purposes such as Marijuana and Phenobarbital.
Class E : Prescriptions that contain light doses of narcotics such as Tylenol 3.
In addition to the different classes of drugs, penalties become more severe whenever large quantities are being trafficked. A person convicted of trafficking less than 28 grams of Heroin will receive a mandatory prison sentence of five years, or a maximum of 20 years. Some convicted of trafficking more than 200 grams will receive a minimum sentence of 15 years for the same offense. When charged with trafficking a Class D substance, defendants can receive one year in prison if they handle 100 lbs. or less but can be sentenced to a mandatory 10 year sentence for trafficking more than 10,000 pounds.
One of the biggest mistakes police in Massachusetts make when charging people with drug trafficking is illegally seizing evidence. Many times, criminal defendants are unaware of the legal doctrine known as fruits of the poisonous tree. This doctrine states the any evidence obtained from an illegal act may not be used in court. An experienced drug trafficking lawyer is aware of this doctrine and will make sure any evidence used by the state was obtained by the proper methods.
Another element that leads to convictions on drug trafficking charges is the use of police informants. Often the testimony of these informants is unreliable and may be based on unscrupulous motives. In order to have their own drug trafficking charges dropped or reduced, informants may agree to testify against another individual or plant evidence in a location where it will be easily discovered. Sifting through an informant's testimony and aggressively cross-examining him or her is essential to a strong defense against drug trafficking charges.
If you have been charged or are under investigation for drug trafficking you need to speak with a proven, experienced attorney as soon as possible. Rosemary Curran Scapicchio has years of successful experience defending serious and complex drug trafficking charges in Massachusetts and Federal courts.