Cocaine is one of the most heavily-trafficked illegal drugs in Massachusetts today. Unfortunately, cocaine possession, trafficking and distribution are often associated with gang activity and other forms of violences. As such, even possession of a small amount of cocaine can land you in prison.
Cocaine is regulated at the state and federal level. In MA, penalties for cocaine-related crimes are severe. In some cases, you may be able to get a plea bargain in exchange for information that helps prosecute high-level traffickers. MA also has specialized drug courts for low-level offenders. If you qualify for such a program, you may be able to avoid jail time in exchange for treatment and rehabilitation. No matter what your situation, it is absolutely essential to hire skilled legal representation. A Boston drug crimes defense attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with cocaine possession or distribution.
Penalties for Cocaine Possession and Distribution
As with any criminal charge, the penalties for cocaine possession, distribution and trafficking can vary based on prior criminal history and the particulars of your case. If you have been charged with a cocaine-related crime, you may be facing the following penalties
- Possession – first offense: Up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. It is considered trafficking if you have 14 grams or more in your possession.
- Possession – second offense: Up to two years in jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
- Sale – first offense: Up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. It is considered trafficking if you have 14 grams or more in your possession.
- Sale – second offense: Up to two years in jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
- Trafficking – between 12 and 28 grams: Three to 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
- Trafficking – between 28 and 100 grams: Five to 20 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.
- Trafficking – between 100 and 200 grams: 10 to 20 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
- Trafficking – over 200 grams: 15 to 20 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines.
In MA, cocaine in powder or rock form (crack) is a Class B Controlled Substance. In addition to severe penalties and fines, you will end up with a criminal record if you are convicted. Having a record for cocaine possession or distribution can negatively impact your ability to get a job or housing for years into the future.
In many cases, prison is the absolute worst place for an individual charged with a drug crime. If you were found in possession of a small amount of cocaine, a treatment program may be a better option than time behind bars. If you qualify for such a program, you might walk away with a clean record once you’ve satisfied all of the program’s requirements, including obeying all laws, submitting to regular drug and alcohol testing, avoiding certain people, and completing a drug treatment program. A MA drug crimes defense attorney can help you protect your rights if you’ve been charged with any type of drug crime.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Drug Crimes Defense Law Firm
If you have been charged with any type of drug crime, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with crimes for more than 50 years. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys have an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced, or dismissed entirely, and we will fight tirelessly to keep you out of jail and to keep your record clean. Humans make mistakes. Don’t make another one by hiring the wrong attorney. If you’re facing charges for cocaine possession, sale or trafficking, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.