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Common Misconceptions About Drug Charges

Law Office of Joseph M Pacella Nov. 16, 2022

Drugs on dark tableIn the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a person may be arrested and charged with a drug offense, such as drug possession, drug manufacturing, drug paraphernalia possession, drug trafficking, and possession with intent to distribute. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misleading information out there regarding these drug charges. As a result, a person facing drug crime accusations may easily end up in the worst possible situation without experienced guidance or representation. 

At the Law Office of Joseph M Pacella, I have devoted my career to offering experienced legal counsel and protecting individuals facing drug charges from the worst possible penalties. As a strategic Massachusetts criminal defense attorney, I can investigate every aspect of your case, determine the best defenses to fight your charges, and improve your chances of a brighter tomorrow. My firm proudly serves clients in Springfield and throughout Western and Central Massachusetts. 

Drug Charges in Massachusetts  

Under Massachusetts drug laws, it is an offense to knowingly or intentionally possess, manufacture, sell, or deliver illegal substances. Any individual who violates a drug law provision in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may be facing harsh penalties, depending on the amount and type of substances involved, the defendant's criminal history, and other surrounding circumstances. 

Common Myths and Facts About Drug Charges 

There are numerous false narratives and collective popular beliefs about drug charges in Massachusetts. However, knowing what to expect after a drug-related arrest and being able to differentiate facts from fiction can make it easier to manage your case. Understand your rights, as well as common facts and myths about drug charges in Massachusetts. 

Myth #1: Marijuana is legal, so I can't get arrested for it. 

This is a common misconception. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, individuals who are older than 21 years are allowed to purchase and use recreational marijuana. However, this doesn't mean you can have any quantity of marijuana on you at all times. Essentially, you may be arrested and charged with marijuana possession for having more than 1 ounce of marijuana on you or selling more than 50 pounds of marijuana. 

Myth #2: I can't be arrested for drugs that aren't mine. 

This is not true. If the controlled substances were found physically on you, you might be arrested and charged with actual possession. Similarly, you may face constructive drug possession charges if the substances were found in a place under your care or control or within your vicinity – regardless of whether you knew about the illegal substances or not. 

Myth #3: It's only my first offense, so it's not a big deal. 

A drug crime is a serious offense, and you should never take such allegations nonchalantly. A drug conviction could result in hefty fines, incarceration, and a criminal record. In addition, you may suffer other immediate and life-long consequences, including difficulties in getting certain loans, housing, future employment, public benefits, and education opportunities. With your freedom, career, and future on the line, you must go the extra mile to fight your drug charges.  

Myth #4: If I give someone drugs and they overdose, that's not my problem. 

This is another common misconception. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, deaths resulting from drug overdose are no longer regarded as solitary incidents. The doctor, dealer, individual, emergency personnel, or drug distribution company who gave the victim the drugs may likely face homicide charges in connection with the drug overdose case.  

Myth #5: If I'm convicted, it'll fall off my record in 7 years. 

This is not true. If you have been convicted of a drug-related offense in Massachusetts, it won't fall off your record after seven years. In fact, the drug arrest or conviction may be on your record permanently. In order to remove the drug conviction from your public record, you must file a petition to expunge or seal your criminal record. 

Myth #6: Hiring an attorney won't help. 

It is never advisable to face drug charges without experienced guidance and representation, even if you believe you’re guilty. A knowledgeable drug crimes defense attorney can help assess and investigate every aspect of your case and craft a legal defense to help fight your charges. In addition, your legal counsel can gather factual evidence in an attempt to refute the accusations against you, establish your innocence, and eventually get your case dropped or dismissed. 

Getting Reliable and Skilled Legal Representation is Crucial 

Facing drug crime charges can be overwhelming and terrifying. If convicted, you may be subject to lengthy imprisonment, massive fines, a criminal record, other harsh penalties, and life-long consequences. However, knowing what to expect can help make your case feel more manageable. Therefore, when charged with a drug crime, you need to act quickly and retain a reliable criminal defense attorney for trusted guidance and to help build your defense strategy. 

At the Law Office of Joseph M Pacella, I'm committed to providing highly-skilled representation and detailed legal guidance to clients facing drug crime charges. Using my in-depth understanding of Massachusetts laws – from both prosecution and defense perspectives – I can represent you diligently in every phase of the legal proceedings. I will keep fighting for your legal rights and help you achieve the most favorable outcome for your unique situation. 

Don't face your drug charges alone. Contact me at the Law Office of Joseph M Pacella today to schedule a simple case evaluation with a dependable drug crimes defense lawyer. I can help you navigate the Massachusetts criminal justice system and represent you aggressively in your case. My firm proudly serves clients in Springfield and throughout Western and Central Massachusetts, including Palmer, Westfield, Northampton, and Amherst.