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According to Massachusetts law, drug trafficking is defined as the possession of a specific threshold quantity of controlled substances with the intent to distribute or sell them, or the actual distribution of illicit narcotics.
With respect to federal law, the US Sentencing Guidelines define a “drug trafficking offense” as,
“An offense under federal, state, or local law that prohibits the manufacture, import, export, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) or the possession of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) with intent to manufacture, import, export, distribute, or dispense”
Similarly, under Massachusetts state law, trafficking is defined as,
“Knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or cultivating or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or cultivate” a controlled substance, i.e., illegal drug.,
This type of drug crime is the most serious of all in the United States since the amount of drugs necessary for trafficking charges is significant.
What are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking is considered a very serious drug crime under both United States federal laws and under the law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If charged with a drug trafficking offense, you face serious jail time. Sentences vary based upon the type of illicit substance, the amount/quantity of the substance, and/or whether there are also any prior convictions.
The penalties for drug trafficking depend on the controlled substances involved in the crime. It is important to understand that all first-time drug trafficking offenses are considered felonies, which come with a mandatory minimum prison sentence as a result of a conviction.
The first-offense penalties for drug trafficking include:
- Cocaine – Trafficking between 18 grams and less than 28 grams can lead to a maximum prison sentence of 15 years—with a mandatory minimum of two years.
- Heroin – Trafficking between 18 grams and less than 36 grams can result in a maximum prison term of 20 years—with a mandatory minimum of three and a half years.
- Fentanyl – Trafficking at least 10 grams of fentanyl or any other derivative form can lead to a maximum prison sentence of 20 years—with a mandatory minimum of three and a half years.
- Cannabis – Trafficking at least 50 pounds of marijuana can result in a maximum prison term of 15 years—with a mandatory minimum of one year.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, if convicted, you could be sentenced to numerous years in prison, up to and including life. In addition, trafficking crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences. In Massachusetts, the shortest drug –related mandatory minimum sentence is 1 year in jail; the longest, for trafficking in “hard” drugs in large quantities, is 12 years. Again, that’s the minimum sentence you can receive in such cases.
Federal court mandatory minimum sentences are even more stringent, beginning at 5 year and 10 year minimums for certain first offenses, and ranging all the way up to life in prison — as a minimum for dealing in large quantities after having 2 or more prior offense convictions.
Skilled Boston Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer
Drug trafficking crimes are not only extremely serious charges, but can be very complicated, involving multiple classes of substances, weight calculations and conversions, and sentencing charts, tables and guidelines. If you are facing a drug trafficking charge, you need to hire an experienced drug crimes lawyer who is familiar with all aspects and nuances of defending a drug crimes case.
Not only does criminal defense lawyer Brad Bailey have extensive experience defending drug trafficking cases, he’s also a former state and federal prosecutor who served in the U.S. Attorney’s elite Drug Task Force during his time as a federal prosecutor in Boston. While there, he never lost a case and earned the coveted “Outstanding Prosecutor” award. This expertise not only made his transition to criminal defense attorney a natural fit, but also, because he has handled drug cases on all sides of the criminal justice spectrum, it provides Brad with a unique perspective and skill set, which consistently enables him to achieve successful outcomes for his clients.
Below is a small sampling of handled trafficking-related drug crime cases:
- Commonwealth v. Dell’Isola, a cocaine trafficking case
- Commonwealth v. Williams, an Oxycodone trafficking case
- Commonwealth v. Betancourt, an Oxycodone trafficking and money laundering case
- Commonwealth v. Schlehuber, a cocaine trafficking case
- Commonwealth v. Grandoit, trafficking in cocaine
- Commonwealth v Esperance, trafficking in cocaine
Contact Brad Bailey Law Today!
If you are accused of drug trafficking, you need to hire the best drug crimes defense attorney you can find, a lawyer with the experience and determination to aggressively protect your rights, your reputation, your assets, and your freedom. Brad Bailey is that lawyer.
Contact Brad Bailey Law today for a confidential, phone consultation. He will listen to you, assess your situation, evaluate your jeopardy, advise you on your best course of action, and identify an effective defense strategy; all in the strictest of confidence.
The Right Choice for Your Case
"We cannot recommend Brad Bailey more highly to anyone facing criminal charges in any court at any level."Anonymous
"Brad Bailey is one of the best attorneys I've had. He's easy to talk to and listens. Gives great advice and is ready to do work hard for a positive outcome."Krysten O'Donnell
"This is one smart and hard-working attorney. He is attentive and he was ready to fight any angle the prosecutors could come up with. His experience in the legal forum is significant and it shows."Canda Share
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