Massachusetts Possession of Heroin Charge
If you or a loved one are faced with a charge of Possession of Heroin, it is important you know that this is a charge that can often be worked out.
The most critical thing to do if your family member or friend is facing a heroin charge, is to get them into a treatment program.
Heroin is a dangerous drug and its effects can sometimes result in the death of the user. As a result of iits lethality, it is a drug that judges will be very concerned with so it is important to ensure the person charged- especially if they are young or in college- goes through treatment. The best thing that can be done is if a treatment plan is sought as soon as possible, as the court will consider this in their resolution of the case.
In many cases a Possession of Heroin charge can be resolved with a resolution, the District Attorney may look for a “continuance without a finding”. A “continuance without a finding” is considered an admission to the charge and will result in a probationary period of drug testing. If the DA agrees to pre-trial probation, there will technically be no conviction if the charge continues for a period of time with the idea that the case will be closed if the conditions are met. Such conditions may include some type of drug treatment or drug testing.If There is a Dispute Over the Charge
Sometimes an individual may not have actually had the heroin on them and will still be charged with possession of heroin.
What if I didn’t have any heroin on me?
This can occur if a car was stopped by the police, and everyone in the car was charged with being in possession of the heroin that was found.
In the eyes of the law, possession does not always have to be actual, it can be constructive. In other words, if someone in the car possesses heroin, the other passengers are assumed to have ability to access the heroin. This can be a difficult to prosecute as the Commonwealth must prove that the person had dominion or control over the heroin.
Factors that would be considered to determine if the person had dominion/control include:
- ...the proximity of the individual to the heroin (how close they were to the heroin) and/or;
- ...if they had touched, used or grabbed it while they were in the car.
In some cases, a motion to dismiss can be led based on a constructive issue. In many cases this would be an issue to address during the trial stage.What to Do Next
Typically a drug charge will be resolved before trial during the pre-trial conference, unless the individual has a bad record. Accordingly, it is important you discuss a heroin charge with an experienced drug crime lawyer to assess the possible outcomes to your case and what defenses may be available to you.
If you have any questions about a Possession of Heroin charge, please contact me directly at 781-686-5924.Further Reading on Drug Charges in Massachusetts: