Defining Drug Distribution in Boston: Crime and Penalties

In Massachusetts, the possession of a controlled substance is a crime. However, even more serious than the crime of possession of a controlled substance is the crime of distributing or intending to distribute a controlled substance. If you have been charged with a drug distribution crime in Boston, our Boston criminal defense lawyer at The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski can help.

What Is Drug Distribution Under Massachusetts Law?

In order to understand what constitutes a drug distribution crime in Massachusetts, it is first important to define “controlled substance” and “distribution” under Massachusetts law.

Per Massachusetts Controlled Substances Act, Section 1 – Definitions, a controlled substance is a drug or substance in any schedule or class referred to within the code. The full list of scheduled drugs, per federal law, can be found online on the website of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.

Distribute, per the same section of law referenced above, is defined as the delivery of a controlled substance (other than by administering or dispensing). Typically, this just means transferring drugs from one party to another; it does not necessarily mean that money is exchanged.  

Penalties for Drug Distribution in Boston

How the crime of drug distribution is penalized depends upon the type of drugs involved.


  • Class A substances. As found in Chapter 94 C, Section 32 of Massachusetts General Laws, a person who distributes or possess with intent to distribute a class A substance will be subject to imprisonment of up to 10 years in state prison or 2.5 years in a house of correction or/and a fine of between $1,000 – $10,000 for a first conviction.



  • Class B substances. The distribution of Class B substances is also punished harshly in the state. The penalties for a first-time distribution conviction involving a Class B substance are the same as they are for a Class A substance.



  • Class C substances. A conviction of distribution or possession with intent to distribute involving a Class C substance can result of an incarceration period of 2.5 years in a jail or up to five years in state prison, or/and a fine of between $500 – $5,000.



  • Class D substances. While the potential fine for a distribution crime involving a Class D substance is the same as it is for a Class C substance, the potential incarceration period is reduced to a maximum of two years in a house of correction.



  • Class E substances. Finally, the distribution of a Class E substance is the least-serious distribution crime, and will result in a maximum incarceration period of nine months in a house of correction, or/and by a fine of between $250 – $2,500.


Our Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

If you are facing drug distribution charges in Boston, our Boston criminal defense lawyer can start working on your case today. You have a right to high-quality legal representation, and we are ready to serve you. Please call today to learn more about our legal services – dial (978) 397-0011 now.