Heroin trafficking in Massachusetts, under MA G. L. c. 94C, § 32E, is the possession with intent to distribute or the actual distribution of a certain amount of heroin, a Class A substance in Massachusetts. Opium and morphine also fall under this section of the heroin trafficking statute. This statute was also recently amended to specifically include Fentanyl. Each trafficking sentence for heroin, opium, morphine, or Fentanyl requires a mandatory minimum sentence and therefore, it is essential to your defense to hire Massachusetts Heroin Trafficking Attorney Stephen Neyman, who has represented countless individuals charged with drug trafficking.Recent News for Heroin in Massachusetts
With heroin addiction on the rise throughout the country, and in Massachusetts especially, police departments have begun to change how they arrest and prosecute heroin addicts. The move throughout the nation has been to treat addiction, especially to heroin, as a disease. Because of this, in May of 2015, the Police Chief of Gloucester, Massachusetts chose to help addicts with recovery. Police Chief Leonard Campanello announced, through a Facebook post, that anyone who walked into the police department with drugs or drug paraphernalia (i.e. needles) would not be charged and would be sent to a treatment facility. Since this announcement, over 50 police department across the country have followed Chief Campanello’s decision, with over 100 police departments planning to do so as well. Heroin addiction is a serious and life altering addiction and Boston Heroin Trafficking Attorney Stephen Neyman knows the impact this can have on an individual and a family, and has worked with countless individuals faced with various drug charges to obtain the best results for them.Changes to Heroin Trafficking Law in Massachusetts
In 2012, MA G. L. c. 192 was passed that changed the threshold amounts for Massachusetts trafficking charges. Currently, the law is as follows:
- For at least 18 and less than 36 grams of heroin, Massachusetts requires a mandatory 3 ½ year state prison sentence and a $5,000 fine
- For at least 36 and less than 100 grams of heroin, Massachusetts requires a mandatory 5 year state prison sentence and a fine of $5,000
- For at least 100 and less than 200 grams of heroin, Massachusetts requires a mandatory 8 year state prison sentence and a fine no more than $10,000
- For trafficking over 200 grams of heroin, then punishment is a 15 year mandatory state prison sentence and a fine of $50,000
Under the old law, the trafficking threshold weights were changed and penalties were much more severe than the newly passed law. The old law was as follows:
- For at least 14 grams but less than 28 grams of heroin, the court imposed a mandatory 5 year state prison sentence
- For at least 28 grams of heroin but less than 100 grams, Massachusetts imposed a 7 year mandatory state prison sentence
- For trafficking between 100 grams but less than 200 grams of heroin, the mandatory sentence was 10 years in state prison
- For trafficking over 200 grams of heroin, the punishment was a 15 year mandatory state prison sentence
The new law is Chapter 192 of the Acts of 2012, “An Act Relative to Sentencing and Improving Law Enforcement Tools.” It is known as the “Three Strikes Act” and “Melissa’s Bill.” The act contained an emergency preamble and became effective August 2, 2012. It made important changes to the Massachusetts drug crimes statute, Chapter 94C. It also affected laws involving parole eligibility, parole hearings, review in capital cases, DNA sample collections from those who have been convicted of crimes, and the habitual offender law. Heightening the threshold amounts is a positive change for those who have been accused of trafficking, but the law contains many provisions which might be bad news for persons charged with or convicted of crimes in Massachusetts.
Likewise, another new law passed in 2018, entitled an Act Relative to Criminal Justice Reform, made changes to the existing drug trafficking laws by specifically including Fentanyl and all analogs of Fentanyl under the Class A trafficking statute.
This new law relative to Fentanyl trafficking is as follows:
- For at least 10 grams, the legislature has imposed a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 3 ½ years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison.
Heroin and Fentanyl trafficking charges are extremely serious due to the potential mandatory punishments. If you have been charged with trafficking of a controlled substance, it is critical that you contact a Boston, Massachusetts Heroin Trafficking Attorney immediately. Stephen Neyman has successfully represented clients charged with trafficking in courts all over Massachusetts.Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, P.C. (617) 263-6800
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, P.C. is a Boston-based criminal defense practice. Attorney Stephen Neyman is among Massachusetts’ best criminal defense lawyers. He has been representing the criminally accused for more than two decades, and his level of expertise is top notch. If you have been charged with heroin trafficking or any other Massachusetts crime, you can reach Stephen Neyman by calling (617) 263-6800 or by sending an e-mail. Initial telephone consultations are free and confidential. Do not wait when your liberty is at stake.