Distribution and Possession with Intent to Distribute in Massachusetts | Possession with Intent to Distribute

Differences between Distribution and Possession with Intent to Distribute

In Massachusetts, the decision by law enforcement whether to charge an individual with Distribution or Possession with Intent to Distribute is fact-specific and determined on a case-by-case basis. To support a charge of distribution, law enforcement must have probable cause to believe the defendant provided, or “distributed” narcotics to another individual, usually, in an exchange for money.

 

In cases with limited or no evidence a drug transaction occurred and the defendant is in possession of narcotics and items indicative of distribution (i.e., cash, plastic baggies, scales), an individual will likely be charged with possession with intent to distribute. In a number of possession with intent to distribute cases, the defendant is in possession of a large quantity of a narcotic or narcotics.

Penalties for Distribution and Possession with Intent to Distribute

Distribution / Possession with Intent to Distribute Class A

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C Section 32, distribution and possession with intent to distribute a Class A controlled substance (e.g., heroin, fentanyl) is a felony punishable by up to ten years imprisonment in state prison and a $10,000 fine. If the charges are prosecuted in district court, the maximum penalty is 2 ½ years incarceration in the house of correction. 


Under M.G.L. c. 94C s. 32, a conviction for a second or subsequent offense carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison with a mandatory minimum state prison sentence of 3.5 years.


Distribution / Possession with Intent to Distribute Class B

Distribution and Possession with Intent to Distribute Class B (e.g., cocaine, methamphetamine) is a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years incarceration in state prison or two and one-half years in the house of correction. A conviction may also result in a fine up to $10,000.

 

Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 94c §32A, a second or subsequent offense is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment in state prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

 

Distribution / Possession with Intent to Distribute Class C

Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class C controlled substance and Distribution of Class C is a felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment in state prison or 2 ½ years in the house of correction. M.G.L. c. 94c §32B further authorizes a fine of up to $5,000 upon a conviction.

A conviction for a second or subsequent offense is punishable by up to 10 years in state prison or 2 ½ years in the house of correction.


Distribution / Possess with Intent to Distribute Class D

 Pursuant to MGL c. 94c s. 32C, Distribution and Possession with Intent to Distribute Class C is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to two years in the house of correction and a fine of up to $5,000. A conviction for a second or subsequent offense is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and two and one-half years in the house of correction.

 

Contact Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer

 

Possession with Intent to Distribute and Distribution charges carry the potential for serious penalties in Massachusetts, including mandatory minimum prison sentences and lengthy incarceration. With the possibility of prison time, it is important to hire a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney experienced in handling drug cases. A skilled attorney may be able to negotiate a reduction in charges to simple possession or demonstrate that the evidence obtained by law enforcement was the result of an unlawful search and should be suppressed.

 

Lead attorney of Riccio Law, LLC, Anthony R. Riccio, is a former Massachusetts prosecutor who handled dozens of drug cases during his time as an assistant district attorney in Bristol County. As a criminal defense lawyer, Attorney Riccio has obtained dismissals on drug trafficking cases and has successfully argued for the suppression of evidence in multiple drug cases due to unlawful warrantless searches.

 

If you or a loved one is facing drug charges in state court or federal court in Massachusetts, contact Riccio Law here or at (508) 226-4500 to schedule a free consultation. With offices in Quincy and Attleboro, Riccio Law represents individuals on criminal charges all throughout Massachusetts, including Boston and the Greater Boston area, Norfolk County, Plymouth County, Bristol County and southeastern Massachusetts . 

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