Understanding Prescription Drug Charges in MA

Are Prescription Drugs Controlled Substances?

In Massachusetts, prescription drugs are considered controlled substances. The classification of these drugs as controlled substances underlines the gravity of prescription drug charges and highlights the rigorous laws in place to combat their misuse. Misuse of prescription drugs is a significant issue that the state grapples with, and understanding the legal implications associated with these charges is crucial.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C, or the Controlled Substances Act, delineates five schedules for drugs, from Class A to Class E, each representing a varying degree of severity. Charges can vary depending on the type and strength of the prescription involved in a prescription drug case.

Notwithstanding the state laws, the federal government also plays a pivotal role in regulating prescription drugs. Analogous to Massachusetts laws, the federal government categorizes prescription drugs into schedules, each representing a varying degree of potential for abuse and dependency.

Common prescription drugs that are classified as controlled substances include:

  • Adderall
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Percocet
  • Phenobarbital
  • Oxycodone
  • Valium
  • Vicodin

Review our blog for common examples of prescription drug-related offenses.

Severity of Penalties for Prescription Drug Crimes

When prescription drugs are obtained, distributed, or used improperly, it can lead to severe legal consequences in Massachusetts. The state's stringent approach to tackling this issue is a reflection of the broader national effort to curb the increasing rates of prescription drug abuse.

Whether the prescription drug charges stem from state or federal laws, it's crucial to understand that the penalties tied to conviction are considerably severe. A conviction can lead to serious legal and personal ramifications, drastically impacting the life of the convicted individual.

Consequences and penalties of a prescription drug crime conviction can include:

  • Incarceration: Depending on the severity and frequency of the crime, a person convicted can face imprisonment, potentially for a significant number of years.
  • Fines: High financial penalties often accompany a conviction, significantly affecting the convicted individual's economic stability.
  • Probation: Convicted individuals may be placed under strict supervision, limiting their freedom and subjecting them to regular check-ins with a probation officer.
  • Mandatory drug counseling or rehabilitation: Convicted individuals may be mandated by a court to enroll in drug treatment programs.
  • Permanent Criminal Record: A conviction for a prescription drug crime can result in a permanent criminal record, which can create hurdles in securing employment, housing, and education opportunities.
  • Loss of certain rights: Depending on the severity of the crime, convicted individuals may lose certain civil liberties like the right to vote or the ability to possess firearms.

In addition to the aforementioned impacts, a conviction for a prescription drug crime can also profoundly affect other areas of one's life. For instance, the outcome of family law matters, like child custody, may be complicated or adversely impacted by a criminal record. Employment opportunities could be significantly hampered. Certain professions, particularly those in healthcare, law, or public service, may be entirely inaccessible to those with a drug conviction.

The ripple effects of a drug crime conviction are far-reaching and can significantly disrupt one's life.

Importance of Legal Representation in Prescription Drug Charges

If you find yourself facing charges related to prescription drugs, it is of paramount importance to secure legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced attorney like ours at Brad Bailey Law can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of the legal system and the specifics of drug laws, both at the state and federal levels.

The importance of obtaining immediate legal representation when facing prescription drug charges cannot be overstated. The potential long-term consequences of a conviction underscore the need for trusted legal counsel. Reach out to our Boston-based firm online to schedule a consultation today. We are standing by to answer your questions.