Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Understanding the Serious Nature of Fentanyl-Based Criminal Charges

A Dominican national was charged on May 27th in Boston in connection with trafficking fentanyl. It was later revealed in a charging document that eight kilograms of fentanyl, one of which also contained valeryl fentanyl, and a fentanyl analog were found at the man’s residence. Being convicted of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl carries various penalties including imprisonment, supervised release, and fines. Additionally, the possession of any of fentanyl’s pharmaceutical forms can lead to various penalties including arrest, the suspension of a driver’s license, the suspension of a professional license, substantial fines, criminal prosecution, and a variety of other repercussions. 

Fentanyl is a Dangerous Drug

Fentanyl is a synthetic, opioid-derived painkiller that is viewed as one of the most dangerous drugs on the market. Despite its risks, fentanyl is classified by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration as a schedule II substance which means fentanyl has a high potential for misuse as well as the tendency to cause physical and psychological dependence. Criminal penalties associated with the distribution and possession of a Schedule II substance are determined by the quantity of the substance possessed by an individual at the time of the arrest. 

Massachusetts Crimes Associated With Fentanyl

Fentanyl is available in a variety of forms in the United States. Without a prescription, it is a serious criminal offense to distribute, possess, or use fentanyl. Furthermore, possessing expired medication or more than the amount of the fentanyl that is prescribed also violates both Massachusetts and federal laws. People charged under Massachusetts law for fentanyl-related offenses can face misdemeanor penalties if a small amount is involved. A person can face felony charges if he or she is unlawfully found with a large quantity of fentanyl. 

Defenses Exist to Fentanyl Charges

As a person facing a drug charge, it is important to remember that not all arrests lead to convictions. One of the most common defenses involves a person’s Fourth Amendment rights, which includes the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Law enforcement can violate the Fourth Amendment in various ways while searching a person’s home, vehicle, or body. For example, searches under the Fourth Amendment are viewed as presumptively invalid unless a warrant exists. In situations where evidence was obtained only due to a violation of a person’s Fourth Amendment rights, law enforcement can often move to exclude evidence. Another one of the most common ways to defend against a fentanyl charge is to show that possession of fentanyl was actually lawful, which means that the person carrying the drug had a permissible reason to be in possession of the drug, like a medical condition. 

Obtain the Assistance of a Drug Crime Defense Attorney

Drug crimes in Massachusetts carry various penalties that can end up substantially impacting your life. One of the best things to do if you are facing a drug crime charge is to promptly obtain the assistance of a skilled defense lawyer. Schedule a free case evaluation with attorney Edward R Molari to begin responding to your charges.