We represent individuals accused of crimes involving narcotics and other drugs, including cocaine, crack, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA), amphetamines, oxycodone, and other prescription drugs. A complex variety of state and federal laws govern drug offenses, which can range from civil or regulatory infractions to misdemeanors to felonies carrying the potential for prison sentences up to life. Although there is considerable overlap between state and federal drug laws, there are differences. Often one or the other provides for more significant penalties for the same conduct. For example, simple possession of small amounts of marijuana can be punished by prison time under federal law, but under state law is not criminal at all. We have handled cases involving allegations of possession, importation, distribution, trafficking, and possession with intent to distribute numerous different types of drugs. We can assist in all phases of a criminal matter, including the initial police investigation, a grand jury or show cause hearing, pretrial hearings, discovery, trial, and if necessary, sentencing and appeals.
Drug cases often involve motions to suppress, arguing that police officers found drugs or other evidence through an illegal or unconstitutional search. If such a motion is granted, the government cannot use that evidence at trial, so in many cases suppression leads to the dismissal of charges. In one cocaine trafficking case, we obtained a dismissal of all charges after winning a motion to suppress evidence. And in a marijuana case, we succeeded in suppressing evidence of two dead bodies and a trail of blood leading to the safe-house in which our client was found, and our client was acquitted of all charges. We will litigate promising motions to suppress in order to ensure that our clients do not have to face evidence that was improperly obtained.
At the sentencing phase of drug cases, and especially in federal court, the sentencing guidelines and sentencing enhancements can have an outsized impact on the potential penalties for a given offense. A past history of even minor drug or violent offenses can lead to severe mandatory minimum sentences or sentencing ranges. We always examine prior convictions for ways to vacate them, and have successfully challenged such prior convictions. For instance, one client facing a 10-15 year sentence as a so-called “career offender” instead received a sentence of three to four years after we were able to clear away past charges on his record. We are familiar with the complex statutes and guidelines involved and have also been able to negotiate favorable resolutions for many clients. For a client charged as a leader in an ecstasy and marijuana operation, we secured a sentence of 60 months where the Guidelines Range was 210 to 260 months. And in a federal case arising out of a marijuana growing operation, our client was sentenced to just five months.
We work to achieve the best possible results for our clients, whether that be acquittal or dismissal of charges, reduction to lesser charges, less severe sentences, or probation or alternative dispositions. Drug crimes can be extremely serious and can result in harsh prison sentences, but often a better outcome is possible. If you have been charged or suspect you might be charged with a drug offense, we encourage you to call us at (617) 742-6020 to speak with an attorney.