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Drug Crime Penalties

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In 2018, Massachusetts overhauled its sentencing system for drug crimes. Among other things, sentencing ranges for a wide range of drug offenses were changed and fentanyl was reclassified as a Class A substance. Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense.

The chart below summarizes the new sentence ranges for many of the most common drug crimes. This list is not exhaustive and is always subject to change.  You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure you are receiving full and complete advice regarding potential sentencing exposure. Please also note the chart does not include potential periods of probation or fines.  I

Possession

Class of DrugStatutePenalty
Class A (other than Heroin)G.L. c. 94C, §340-1 year HOC
HeroinG.L. c. 94C, §340-2 years HOC
Heroin 2nd/SubsequentG.L. c. 94C, §342 ½ – 5 years prison or 0-2½ HOC
Note: No mandatory language
Class BG.L. c. 94C, §340-1 year HOC
Class CG.L. c. 94C, §340-1 year HOC
Class DG.L. c. 94C, §340-1 year HOC
Class EG.L. c. 94C, §340-6 months HOC
2nd/Subsequent
Class A, B, C, or D
G.L. c. 94C, §340-2 years HOC

Distribution / Possession with Intent

Class of DrugStatutePenalty
Class A (Now includes Fentanyl, Carfentanil, etc.)G.L. c. 94C, §32(a)0-10 years prison or 0-2 ½ years HOC
Class A 2nd/SubsequentG.L. c. 94C, §32(b)3 ½ -15 years prison – True Mandatory
Class BG.L. c. 94C, §32A(a)0-10 years prison or 0-2 ½ years HOC
Class B 2nd/SubsequentG.L. c. 94C, §32A(b)0-10 years prison – no HOC alternative
Class B – Cocaine or MethG.L. c. 94C, §32A(c)0-10 years prison or 0-2 ½ years HOC
Class B – Cocaine or Meth 2nd/SubsequentG.L. c. 94C, §32A(d)0-15 years prison – no HOC alternative
Class CG.L. c. 94C, §32B0-5 years prison or 0-2 ½ years HOC
Class C 2nd/SubsequentG.L. c. 94C, §32B(b)0-10 years prison or 0-2 ½ years HOC
Class DG.L. c.94C, §32C0-2 years HOC
Class D 2nd/SubsequentG.L. c. 94C, §32C(b)0-2 ½ years HOC
Class EG.L. c. 94C, §32D0-9 months HOC
Class E 2nd/SubsequentG.L. c. 94C, §32D(b)0-1 ½ years HOC

Trafficking

Note: These mandatories all include “true mandatory” language

Class of DrugStatutePenalty
Marijuana – 50-100lbsG.L. c. 94C, §32E(a)(1)2 ½ -15 years prison or 1-2 ½ years HOC
Marijuana – 100-2000lbsG.L. c. 94C, §32E(a)(2)2-15 years prison
Marijuana – 2000-10,000lbsG.L. c. 94C, §32E(a)(3)3 ½-15 years prison
Marijuana – + 10,000lbsG.L. c. 94C, §32E(a)(4)8-15 years prison
Cocaine/Meth – 18-36gG.L. c. 94C, §32E(b)(1)2-15 years prison
Cocaine/Meth – 36-100gG.L. c. 94C, §32E(b)(2)3 ½-20 years prison
Cocaine/Meth – 100-200gG.L. c. 94C, §32E(b)(3)8-20 years prison
Cocaine/Meth – 200+gG.L. c. 94C, §32E(b)(4)12-20 years prison
Heroin, etc. – 18-36gG.L. c. 94C, §32E(c)(1)3 ½-30 years prison
Heroin, etc. – 36-100gG.L. c. 94C, §32E(c)(2)5-30 years prison
Heroin, etc. – 100-200gG.L. c. 94C, §32E(c)(3)8-30 years prison
Heroin, etc. – 200+gG.L. c. 94C, §32E(c)(4)12-30 years prison
Fentanyl/Carfentanil – 10+gG.L. c. 94C, §32E(c)(½)3 ½-20 years prison

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