Elements of a Massachusetts Drug Trafficking Case
Drug trafficking is a serious criminal offense in Massachusetts. If you are convicted, you are facing a mandatory prison sentence. You need an experienced Boston drug crimes lawyer to review the facts of your case, assess your legal options, and help you present your best defense.
In order to obtain a Massachusetts drug trafficking conviction, the Commonwealth must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
(1) “Trafficking” behavior
The law defines drug “trafficking” broadly, to include (a) manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or cultivating a controlled substance, or (b) possessing a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or cultivate that substance, or (c) transporting a controlled substance across state lines from another state into the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
(2) Knowledge or intent
The defendant must have “knowingly or intentionally” committed the acts charged as drug trafficking; and,
(3) An unlawful amount of drugs
Lastly, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant’s activities involved a minimum amount of the particular controlled substance, as established by the law. The penalties for drug trafficking are directly linked to the amount of the controlled substance involved; the greater the amount, the more severe the penalty. For example, an offense of drug trafficking in marijuana requires a minimum weight of 50 pounds. Marijuana trafficking in an amount between 50 and 100 pounds results in a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for one year, while trafficking in an amount above 10,000 pounds requires a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years. Similarly, an offense of drug trafficking in heroin requires a minimum weight of 14 grams (punishable by a mandatory minimum prison term of 5 years). Conviction of heroin trafficking in an amount of 200 grams or more, by comparison, results in a mandatory minimum prison term of 15 years.
Contact a Massachusetts Drug Offense Lawyer
The War on Drugs is being hard-fought in the state of Massachusetts. If you are charged with a drug trafficking offense, you need a smart, experienced Boston drug crimes lawyer on your side to protect your rights. The lawyers at the Mahoney Criminal Defense Group will aggressively challenge the State’s evidence against you by means of a motion to suppress, and piercing cross-examination at the suppression hearing and, if necessary, at trial. Please contact us is you would like to discuss drug charges brought against you.
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