Drug Possession Laws in Massachusetts

In spite of the changes made by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in minimizing some mandatory sentencing requirements, being arrested for possession of drugs in the Massachusetts carries harsh sentences, fines and a potential loss of driving privileges.

Under Massachusetts law, except for possession of amounts of less than one ounce of marijuana, possession of drugs may result in the following penalties and jail time:

  • Class A Substance – Special K, morphine, GHB and heroin are in this category and first time offenders will face upwards of two years in prison, fines of up to $2,000 and a mandatory one year loss of your driver’s license. Second offenses are prosecuted as felony charges and the penalties are far more severe.
  • Class B Substance – a first conviction for possession of oxycodone, oxycontin, ecstasy, amphetamines, crack and other similar drugs will typically result in a one year jail sentence, a fine and mandatory driver’s license revocation for one year. Second convictions can double the jail time and fines.
  • Class C Substance – any drug which may depress the central nervous system (such as codeine derivatives) fall into this category and the penalties are similar as those associated with Class B substances.
  • Class D & E Substances – any possession of more than one ounce of marijuana or other drug classified as a D or E substance may result in up to six months of jail time and a $500 fine as well as the mandatory surrender of your license for one year. It is important to note that under new sentencing guidelines, those who have a clean record may be assigned to probation instead and have their public (but not law enforcement) record sealed.

In addition to these penalties, anyone who is convicted of a drug charge in Massachusetts is ineligible to own any type of handgun, even after they have served their sentence and paid the necessary fines.

Each year, law enforcement officers in Massachusetts arrest more than 20,000 residents on various drug possession charges.  If you have been arrested in Worcester County and facing a misdemeanor or felony drug charge hiring an experienced Worcester drug defense attorney can make the difference between jail time and freedom. Contact us to speak with one of our criminal defense attorneys.


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