Criminal Possession Laws in Massachusetts
Often times, the “war on drugs” ends up claiming all too many victims, forcing citizens out of their rights. If you are being investigated or arrested for a drug-related offense, before you speak to anyone, you need a lawyer. Hire the team of specialists at Your Legal Rights Criminal Lawyer today and have our knowledgeable team fight for you. Massachusetts’ drug possession crimes and laws are as follows.
Controlled Substance Possession
Massachusetts’ law prohibits an individual from knowingly or intentionally possessing any controlled substance without a valid prescription. You can face punishment of up to one year of incarceration and/or up to a $1000.00 fine. Typically fines and amount spent vary on the substance itself and the amount found on your person. To be found guilty of possession, you must:
- Have knowledge of the substance
- Have actual possession of it, meaning on your person or in your control
If the charge is for heroin possession, you do not need to be in actual possession of the substance to face criminal liability. Mere knowledge that the heroin is present is enough to carry criminal liability of up to one year of incarceration and/or up to a $1000.00 fine. Actual possession of heroin (first offense) carries criminal liability of up to two years in the house of corrections and up to a $2000.00 fine. Subsequent offenses carry criminal liability of up to five years of incarceration in the state prison and/or a fine of up to $5000.00 and imprisonment in jail or the house of corrections for up to 2 and a half years.
Marijuana Laws in Massachusetts
Marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts for persons age 21 and older. That being said, it still cannot be consumed in any form in public or on federal land. You may have up to 1oz on your person and up to 10oz in your home. Like alcohol, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana. However, possession of more than one ounce of marijuana carries criminal liability of up to one year of incarceration and/or up to a $1000.00 fine. Additionally, employers, landlords, cities, and towns may have their own policies concerning the use of recreational marijuana. It is best to check these rules when starting a new job, moving into a new living space, or town to make sure you are not in violation of these policies.