The difference between possession of drugs and possession of drugs with the intent to distribute is significant under Massachusetts law. For example, if you possess heroin under Massachusetts law, that is a misdemeanor, whereas, if you possess heroin with the intent to distribute the same, that is a felony. While this difference is clear, a frequently litigated issue is whether the misdemeanor or the felony charge is appropriate, according to criminal attorney Shane W. Surrette of Worcester MA.
For instance, if someone is arrested for possessing a large amount of heroin, without any cash on their possession, or any packaging materials, or any other items that might suggest distribution, does the amount alone suggest distribution? The Commonwealth will argue that a large amount of heroin is consistent with someone who is going to distribute the heroin, whereas, it may be a situation where the person uses a large amount of heroin each day and it is for personal use.
Obviously, the more items the police find that link the heroin to an intent to distribute will enhance the Commonwealth’s case, and will enable an expert to say that possession of the items are more consistent with an intent to distribute than for personal use. If you or someone you know is faced with such a situation, don’t go at it alone. Search for a criminal attorney in Massachusetts who is experienced in this type of situation.