What are the drug paraphernalia laws in Massachusetts?
Under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 94C, Section 32I, it is illegal for a person to sell, possess or purchase with the intent to sell, or manufacture with intent to sell drug paraphernalia knowing that it would be used to plant, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture process, prepare, convert, ingest or otherwise introduce into the human body an illegal controlled substance.
Massachusetts uses a very broad definition as what can constitute drug paraphernalia. Generally speaking, it can be any equipment that is used by drug dealers to help create and prepare illegal narcotics for sale. It can also be any equipment that is used for the ingestion of illegal substances by drug users. Regardless of the reason for the equipment, the charge is a serious one. If you are faced with such a crime, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced attorney immediately.
What are some types of drug paraphernalia?
- rolling papers
- ziplock bags
- crack pipes, straws, dollar bills and razors
- bongs, bowls and grinders
- pill presses, capsules, glue
- needles, syringes, mirrors, spoons
What are the penalties?
If you are found guilty of a drug paraphernalia offense, you can be sentenced between one and two years in a house of correction. You can also have a fine imposed between the amounts of five hundred and five thousand dollars.
If you are found guilty of selling drug paraphernalia to anyone under the age of 18, then you could be imprisoned in a state prison for anywhere between three and five years. You would also face a fine between one thousand and five thousand dollars.
What constitutes a drug paraphernalia charge to be a misdemeanor or a felony?
If the crime involves the sale of drug paraphernalia to a person who is under the age of 18, it is a felony. This means that there is a possibility of a state prison sentence.
If the crime does not involve selling drug paraphernalia to a person who is under eighteen years of age, then it is a misdemeanor. Even though it is a misdemeanor, the charge still carries a maximum possible jail sentence of two years.
What happens if I am arrested for a drug paraphernalia charge?
Sometimes these charges are lumped in with more serious crimes such as drug trafficking. In any event, it is crucial to get in touch with attorneys who are experienced in the field of drug crimes. Our lawyers can review your case and determine whether or not the police had a legal right to conduct a search of your home, vehicle or person. We can determine also if the police had a legal right to seize any property from your home, vehicle or person. It is quite possible that your constitutional rights were violated and we can help utilize that in the defense of your case.
How a drug paraphernalia defense attorney can help you:
Drug paraphernalia crimes are taken seriously by the police and prosecutors and are often accompanied by other serious crimes. Our attorneys have handled various drug crimes ranging from simple possession crimes to serious drug traffic offenses. Your defense may be based on any number of factors and may focus on several important questions such as: did the police need a warrant to conduct a search?; was the warrant technically defective?; if a warrant was not required, was the search still justified?; was the seizure of the paraphernalia a constitutional violation? Were you aware that the item was to be used as drug paraphernalia? There are many more possibilities to your defense. In order to find out what they are, you should contact our office so that we can help you achieve a successful result.