Heroin is considered a class “A” substance in Massachusetts because it is a highly addictive controlled substance. It is commonly referred to as dope, and sometimes by its color, such as brown, or black tar heroin. Once heroin enters the body, it converts into morphine, which causes the user to experience a sense of relaxation and euphoria, also known as a high. Overdosing on heroin is fairly common as users develop a severe addiction to the controlled substance. Several Massachusetts heroin drug charges are prosecuted daily in most Massachusetts courts.
Heroin Drug Charges
There are a number of different charges in Massachusetts concerning heroin. Each crime carries a different punishment, and the punishments increase in severity with the nature of the crime.
- Possession of heroin. A first offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to 24 months and/or payment of a fine, which can be up to $2,000. Repeat offenders face more jail time, between 2.5-5 years, or with the payment of a fine of up to $5,000. A possession conviction for heroin will also result in the suspension of an offender’s driver’s license for at least a period of one year.
- Possession of heroin with the intent to distribute. This offense can include and is sometimes referred to as manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possession with the intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense heroin. Punishment for a first offense can be up to 10 years in state prison or up to 2.5 years in in a jail or house of correction. The fine can range from $1,000-10,000. Repeat offenders must serve a 5-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
- Heroin trafficking. Heroin trafficking generally refers to the illegal sale and distribution of heroin in an amount that is so large that it is unlikely to be only for personal use. The punishment associated with this crime is broken down based on the quantity of heroin that is being dealt or sold, with 18 grams being the minimum amount of heroin required to be considered trafficking.
- Conspiracy to violate drug laws. Conspiracy is commonly charged in conjunction with possession or intent to distribute heroin, especially if the defendant’s involvement in a drug bust is unclear.
Drug Bust Yields More Than 100 Grams of Heroin
Three young Massachusetts men were recently arrested after a drug raid by police yielded over 100 grams of heroin, a 9mm handgun and more than $24,000 in cash, NECN reports. Luis E. Hiciano, 22, of Andover, Joselin Eliezar Reina-Mercedes, 23, of Methuen, and Luz D. Made, 21, of Lawrence, were arrested after the drugs were found during a search by detectives in an apartment. Each man was charged with trafficking over 100 grams of heroin, while Hiciano was further charged with possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and distribution of heroin.
Contacting An Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Drug Defense Lawyer