When it comes to drug possession and sales, cocaine is one of the leading illegal drugs in Massachusetts. Due to the violence and other associated crimes surrounding cocaine use, distribution, and trafficking, MA has become increasingly tough on cocaine charges. Whether in powder or rock form, getting busted for cocaine possession or distribution carries steep penalties in the Bay State.
If you find yourself facing these charges, the first step is to consult with an experienced Boston defense attorney. A drug conviction can haunt you for years, negatively impacting your ability to get the job you want, and even to find housing. It can also affect child custody arrangements. Drug charges are not something you want to try to fight on your own; the right attorney can make all the difference in the world.
Penalties for Cocaine Possession, Sale, and Trafficking
In MA, as in most states, cocaine possession, sale, and trafficking are felony crimes. Even possession of a small amount of the drug can put you behind bars for up to one year. As with most crimes, the penalty is largely dependent on the circumstances of the underlying offense, as well as past criminal history. If you were busted with a small amount of cocaine intended for personal use and have no criminal record, your penalty will likely be much less severe than that of a three-time offender. The standard penalties for these crimes are as follows:
- Possession, first offense: Up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
- Possession, subsequent offense: Up to two years in jail, and up to $2,000 in fines.
- If you are found in possession of over 14 grams, the charges will be elevated to trafficking.
- Sale, first offense: Up to 10 years in prison, and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Sale, subsequent offense: Up to 15 years in prison, and up to $25,000 in fines.
- Trafficking, 14 to 28 grams: Up to 15 years in prison, and up to $25,000 in fines.
- Trafficking, 28 to 100 grams: Up to 20 years in prison, and up to $50,000 in fines.
- Trafficking, 100 to 200 grams: Up to 20 years in prison, and up to $100,000 in fines.
- Trafficking, over 200 grams: Up to 20 years in prison, and up to $500,000 in fines.
Do I Qualify for a Diversion Program?
As you can see above, the penalties for everything from simple possession to trafficking are quite severe. But there is some good news. The state of MA offers diversion programs for some low-level, non-violent drug offenders. If you were charged with cocaine possession and this is your first offense or second offense, a skilled MA drug defense attorney can help you determine if you are eligible for a diversion program. In many cases, individuals charged with possession are more in need of addiction treatment than time behind bars.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Drug Defense Lawyers Serving All of MA
If you have been charged with drug possession or trafficking, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been fighting for the rights of individuals charged with crimes for more than 50 years. Especially when it comes to non-violent drug charges, we believe that rehabilitation is better achieved in treatment programs than prisons. Our attorneys have an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced, or dismissed entirely. We will analyze the details of your case to determine the most appropriate legal strategy, and your lawyer will position you for the best possible outcome. If you’ve been charged with any type of criminal offense, from petty theft to manslaughter, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.