Criminal Justice Reform: Drug Offenses

On April 13, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a new bill that made a number of important changes to the Massachusetts Criminal Justice System. Some of the most significant changes for criminal defendants relate to the re-organization of certain drug laws. Fentanyl and other opioids Given the national opioid crisis in the country, the Massachusetts Legislature used this bill to address some of the laws related to certain synthetic opioids. First, multiple varieties of fentanyl and carfentanil have been re-defined as “Class A” drugs. Possession or distribution charges for Class…Read more

Criminal Justice Reform: Good Samaritan Law

On April 13, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a new bill that made a number of important changes to the Massachusetts Criminal Justice System. One part of the law that was amended was the “Good Samaritan Law.” The “Good Samaritan Law” (M.G.L. c. 94C § 34A), protects from criminal prosecution people who experience drug overdoses, and people who call for emergency medical help for another person experiencing a drug overdose. The law was put in place in order to encourage people to seek medical assistance for drug overdoses, without fear…Read more

Dorchester: Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute (DISMISSED)

Summary of Facts: Our client was suspected of possessing firearms, leading to a search warrant being granted for our client’s home. Police stopped our client, took the keys to our client’s home, and entered. Inside they discovered a bag filled with marijuana. Our client was then charged with possession with intent to distribute a Class D Drug (marijuana). Action: Attorney Christopher Coughlin represented our client. Attorney Coughlin filed a motion to suppress the evidence seized at our client’s home, arguing the invalidity of the search warrant. On the date of trial, months after…Read more

Medical Marijuana and Drugged Driving in Massachusetts

Voters in Massachusetts voted in November 2012 to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, but lawmakers are still working out the details of how to incorporate the reform into the state's existing regulatory structure. One issue that is likely to grow increasingly relevant for medical marijuana users in Massachusetts is the issue of drugged driving and how such charges are prosecuted in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts drugged driving law Massachusetts law provides that a driver can be charged with OUI for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, including…Read more

Dangerous Synthetic Drug “Molly” Has Hit the Streets of Boston

"Molly" - a nickname derived from "molecule" - is a highly addictive synthetic drug that has burst onto the U.S. club scene and is being abused mostly by younger people. Boston residents will recall four young deaths from Molly overdoses in city music venues in the summer of 2013. Unfortunately, what is called Molly could be anything at all, so ingestion is a real health risk. Molly comes in pill, powder, capsule or liquid form, and usually contains Methylone or MDMA, very similar compounds. MDMA is active ingredient in the illegal drug Ecstasy.…Read more