The narcotic drug sentencing laws in Boston varies according to the classifications of narcotic drugs and the amount. A narcotic drug is one that is associated most strongly with opiates and opioids that derive from the opium plant such as opium, morphine, and heroin. Narcotics are also derivatives of morphine and heroin such as hydrocodone. However, in a legal context, a narcotic is one that is prohibited and does not necessarily mean one that is derived from the poppy plant. Boston narcotics possession lawyers use the broader term of narcotics as illegal drugs. To understand the seriousness of narcotics necessitates the understanding about the different classifications of drugs. There are five classifications of narcotics in the State of Massachusetts of Class A, B, C, D, and E. These roughly correspond to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) Schedule of Drugs.
Class A substances are those substances that do not have a currently accepted medical use and that have a strong potential for abuse. These drugs can cause potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some Class A substances include heroin and other opiates such as morphine derived from the poppy plant, and designer drugs such as GHB and Ketamine otherwise known as Special K.
Class B substances are drugs that have potential for abuse, but with less potential than Class A drugs. However, these drugs have the possibility to create severe dependence and are still considered dangerous. Some examples of Class B include prescription drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, Dexadrine, OxyContin (oxycodone), but also illegal drugs such as cocaine, PCP, and methamphetamine
Class C drugs are drugs or substances that have a moderate to low potential for abuse. Some examples include prescription tranquilizers and narcotics such as diazepam (Valium) and Hydrocodone (Vicodin). This drug classification also includes illegal drugs such as mescaline and psilocybin mushrooms.
Drugs such as marijuana and chloral hydrate, phenobarbital are Class D drugs. These drugs, substances, and chemicals have a moderate to low potential for dependence. Other substances such as ketamine, anabolic steroids, or testosterone are in this category.
The last class of drugs is the Class E that are lighter doses of prescription narcotics containing codeine, morphine, or opium.
Narcotic charges in Boston can vary and Boston narcotics possession lawyers are aware that sentencing depends on the class of drug, the intent of the owner, and the amount found in possession. There are 4 primary charges of possession, possession with intent to distribute, trafficking, and conspiracy to violate the drug laws. Massachusetts state law states that, “No person knowingly or intentionally shall possess a controlled substance unless such substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order, from a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by the provisions of this chapter.” This means that you cannot have illegal drugs. This also means that you cannot have legal drugs without a valid medical prescription, nor can you sell prescription drugs without being licensed to do so as a doctor or other health professional that can prescribe.
An example of how the law is pursued would be that it is, according to state law, a worse offense to manufacture and sell cocaine than it is to buy and use cocaine. First time possession of cocaine, a class B substance, is up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $1000. You also can lose your driver’s and professional licenses as well as being made ineligible for student loans and grants. Possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute has a penalty of a 2 ½-year jail sentence and a fine of not less than $1,000 and up to $10,000.
Offenders who have second and subsequent offenses can face a 3-year mandatory state prison sentence and a maximum sentence of 10 years. The fines for this offense are in the range of $2,500 to $25,000 as well as a mandatory 3-year loss of licenses. This is on top of any federal charges that might be brought against the offender. In contrast, Class E drugs potentially have lighter sentences and, like Class B, the penalties are lighter or harsher based on illegal possession and distribution.
While these drug classes may sometimes seem confusing, there is always help available. You can find professional and knowledgeable Boston narcotics possession lawyers at EKG law firm who can assist you with your narcotics case. Please contact us at 617-523-3500 for more information as to how we can help you.