Articles Posted in Drug Crimes

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Automatic License Suspension for Drug Convictions

One of the unintended consequences of being convicted on criminal drug charges in Massachusetts was that your driver’s license would automatically be suspended. However, thanks to a new law that unanimously passed in both chambers of the Legislature and was signed by Governor Charlie Baker, this automatic driver’s license suspension for drug crimes has been repealed and the five hundred dollar reinstatement fine associated with the suspension has been lifted, too. Luckily, the repeal is effective immediately. Anyone whose license was suspended under the old law will have it reinstated within thirty days of the new bill’s passage, and any records related to the driver’s license suspension will be protected from public access. Continue reading

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Victims of Annie Dookhan

Countless criminal defendants who received drug convictions based on evidence handled by the state drug labs have been closely watching the developments in the Annie Dookhan case. Annie Dookhan was a former crime lab analyst who in 2012 admitted to mishandling hundreds of evidence samples and labeling samples as drugs, even when the samples were not drugs or were not properly tested. Once Dookhan’s misconduct was discovered by state police during a lab audit, it came to light that there were potentially hundreds of wrongful convictions made on Dookhan’s test results. Criminal cases that involved Dookhan’s handling of drug samples began to be reviewed and hundreds of convictions have already been overturned. Conventional thought was that victims of Annie Dookhan would sue for being wronfully convicted.  Continue reading

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Hair Evidence

The Massachusetts state police recently have begun to review numerous criminal cases where convictions were made based upon hair sample evidence according to WCVB 5 News. Apparently state crime lab workers were trained on how to perform hair evidence analysis testing incorrectly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and a number of criminal defendants have been wrongfully convicted as a result of this improper analysis technique. Continue reading

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Making and Selling Fake Drugs

It often comes as a surprise to those who are arrested by the police for making or selling fake drugs that the charges are just as serious as being caught dealing in real, illegal substances. You can face jail time, steep fines, and significant penalties. You might think that because you are not in fact making and selling a real illegal drug that your actions are simply no harm no foul. You did not really do anything wrong, right? That is absolutely untrue. Continue reading

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Drug Paraphernalia

Law enforcement in Massachusetts take the possession and sale of drug paraphernalia very seriously. That is to say, getting busted with drug paraphernalia is nearly as bad as being busted with illegal drugs in Massachusetts. Under M.G.L. Chapter 94C, Section 32I, it is illegal for a person to sell, possess, or purchase with the intent to sell or manufacture with the intent to sell, drug paraphernalia, knowing that the buyer or user will use the paraphernalia to do illegal drugs. Continue reading

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Hearsay in Massachusetts

You have probably heard it raised as an objection in movies or television shows, “Objection! Hearsay, Your Honor.” But what is hearsay? What does that mean? Many people think of it as “he said, she said” evidence, which is partially correct. Hearsay in Massachusetts (and for that matter everywhere) means that someone said something to someone, but the information did not come directly from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.  Continue reading

What is Entrapment?

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Entrapment Defense

Entrapment is a defense that can be raised in criminal cases where a criminal defendant was persuaded by law enforcement officers to commit the crime he or she is charged with. In order for an entrapment defense to work, the defendant must not have had any previous intention or be predisposed to commit the crime, and must only have done so at the encouragement of law enforcement or some other government officer (local or state police, undercover agents, federal agents, etc.). Continue reading

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Controlled Substances

The Boston Globe recently reported a story about a settlement that Massachusetts General Hospital will pay to the federal government after allegations that the hospital’s lax internal controls over employee access to controlled substances resulted in the theft of thousands of prescription pain medication pills. Drug diversion, which is the use of controlled substances for nonmedical purposes, was alleged against the hospital after it was discovered that a handful of nurse employees were stealing oxycodone and other painkillers over a period of three and a half years, spanning from October of 2011 until April of 2015. Continue reading

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Convicted Drug Offenders

The Massachusetts Senate recently unanimously approved a bill that is geared towards allowing convicted drug offenders to keep their driver’s licenses. The push behind the new bill is to address the issue of how difficult it is for convicted drug offenders to get a job with a criminal record, let alone how difficult it is to get to work without a driver’s license. This tough-on-crime approach is outdated and makes things considerably more difficult for those who have drug convictions. A recent blog post concerning the current state of the law can be found here.  Continue reading

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Massachusetts Drug Offense Conviction

One of the lesser known but significantly impactful consequences of a Massachusetts drug offense conviction is that you will lose your driver’s license. Under 540 CMR 20.03, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your driving abilities when you violate the Controlled Substance Law of the Commonwealth (M.G.L. c. 94C) or the controlled substance laws of any other state or country. Driver’s licenses can be suspended for one to five years depending on the drug conviction. Continue reading

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