Articles Posted in Drug Crimes

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Heroin Trafficking Lawrence Massachusetts

Heroin Trafficking

Late last week I got a call from a new client greatly concerned because he had just been arrested and charged with heroin trafficking in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The man was at an apartment in Lawrence apparently looking for some heroin to satisfy his habit. Several other customers were there as well. While buying a small quantity of the drug several law enforcement officials entered the home pursuant to a search warrant. A search revealed in excess of two hundred grams of heroin, an amount consistent with trafficking. Everyone present was arrested and charged with trafficking heroin. Continue reading →

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How Can I Prove Someone is Lying at My Trial?

Central to almost every criminal case is the issue of credibility. The defense is almost always challenging the testimony of a police officer, an expert witness or an eye witness to a crime. Not every alleged crime is caught on tape. Sometimes the defense and the district attorney have to rely on witnesses to establish and prove their cases. One of the most common questions I get from prospective clients is how can I prove someone is lying at my trial? Continue reading →

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Diversion Instead of Prosecution of Drug Possession

At least one Massachusetts district attorney seems to understand that not everyone who possesses drugs or commits crimes as a result of drug addiction needs to be prosecuted and treated like a criminal. The Essex County District Attorney’s Office frequently utilizes a decade old treatment program to educate, rehabilitate and forgive select offenders rather than forcing them to defend criminal charges. In that county, diversion instead of prosecution of drug possession charges is the preferred course of action for select crimes. Aspects of the program from a criminal defense perspective are discussed in this article. Continue reading →

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You Need a Lawyer for a Drug Possession Case

Drug possession is one of the most common criminal charges in Massachusetts. Thousands of arrests are made throughout the state yearly for possession of controlled substances. Unfortunately many people are now aware of the consequences of a conviction for this offense. They think that walking out of the courthouse is a win and that they are free and clear. Young people, in particular college students try to handle these cases themselves simply to avoid having their parents find out that they have been charged with a crime. This post examines some of the consequences of having a drug conviction and the likely outcome of these cases if you are properly represented. The bottom line is that you need a lawyer for a drug possession case. Continue reading →

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Drugs Found in Hidden Compartment

It is very common for me to represent someone pulled over for a motor vehicle infraction and ultimately charged with drug trafficking. I am convinced that most of these cases originate from a hunch; i.e. person of color driving a car in a predominantly white neighborhood. Or, they are Hispanic and Black people stopped at the Massachusetts border simply because they are of color. The scenario is similar. Pull them over and start searching the car without probable cause. A repetition of this pattern is bound to bear results. And guess what? On some occasions drugs are found in a hidden compartment in the car. No matter who hires me, the driver or one of the passengers, I get the same question: is this case provable? Continue reading →

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Heroin and Cocaine Trafficking Defense Attorney Fighting Racial Profiling

Anyone coming into Massachusetts from the New York area and heading into eastern Massachusetts is probably going to use Route 84 with the intention of getting on the Massachusetts Turnpike. A significant number of the people using this route find themselves pulled over just after entering Massachusetts. Many of them are astounded at their introduction to this state. They get pulled over. They are asked for their license and registration. They are detained at the point of the stop of an inordinate period of time. Then, without explanation they are forced to get out of their car. They are searched. The car is searched. And, if there are illicit substances in the car or on their person they get charged. Continue reading →

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Dudley District Court Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney

The courthouse in Dudley serves the Worcester County towns of Sturbridge, Southbridge, Oxford, Charlton, Dudley and Webster. Route 90 crosses this jurisdiction as does Interstate 84. For a rather quiet, rural jurisdiction the amount of drug cases that pass through this court is incredible. Our Boston office is about an hour and a half drive to the town of Dudley. Yet despite the distance we are retained on several serious drug cases in this court each year. Most of these cases involve drug trafficking; usually heroin and sometimes cocaine. While Dudley District Court is where many drug trafficking cases originate, most are resolved in the Superior Court in Worcester. Recent observations about the origins of many of our Dudley drug cases has prompted me to publish this post. Continue reading →

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The Fine Line Between Drug Dealer And Drug User

In Massachusetts as in most states there is a fine line between drug dealer and drug user. When people think of drug dealers they usually think about two types of people. One, the street dealer who sells small quantities and makes money on volume. Two, the major trafficker who sells drugs in multiple kilos or pounds. Today, especially with opiates such as heroin or oxycodone, the more common drug dealer is the person who sells just enough to support his or habit. Defending people falling into this category should be pretty easy, right? Guess again. District attorneys are rarely sympathetic to this situation and prosecutions are approached aggressively. Continue reading →

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Mandatory Minimum Sentences May Be On The Way Out

Just two days ago an article on revealed a bold and hopefully accurate prediction by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants . . . that mandatory minimum sentences will be repealed. A decade or two ago a majority of the Massachusetts criminal defense bar could not imagine this would ever become a real discussion. However, less than three years ago mandatory minimum sentences for some drug crimes were reduced and the threshold weight of drugs for certain trafficking offenses was increased. Perhaps the legislature now understands what Justice Gants’ means when he stated that abolishing these types of sentences “makes fiscal sense, justice sense, policy sense and common sense”. Continue reading →

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Texting and Driving in Massachusetts

Recently my office has seen a rash of criminal cases originating when the operator of a motor vehicle is stopped for suspicion of texting while driving. The newly enacted law, G.L. c. 90 Section 13B states that anyone caught sending or reading an electronic message while driving will be fined. Fines range from one hundred dollars for a first offense to two hundred fifty dollars for a second offense and to five hundred dollars for a third and all subsequent offenses. Unlike an OUI case, operation for this statute does not include texting while a vehicle is stationary. The police are jumping on this law as justification for stopping people they suspect are up to something other than simply texting. The stops are resulting OUI complaints and various Massachusetts drug crimes charges. Luckily, the law against texting and driving in Massachusetts is one that is difficult to prove and a large majority of these stops will be suppressed. Continue reading →