Massachusetts criminal defense Attorney Blog
Aggressive Defense of All Criminal Matters
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Probation Violation and Detention Hearing

Starting in September Massachusetts will be implementing new rules for probation violation and detention hearings. The proceedings effected are what are currently known as preliminary probation hearings and final probation surrender hearings. The former will be called a probation detention hearing. The latter will be referred to as a probation violation hearing. A new set of procedural rules will be enacted and evidentiary standards have been somewhat modified. These rules will apply to the Boston Municipal Court and the Massachusetts District Courts. The rules changes are subtle. They do however have more organized and just feel about them. Some of these rule changes are discussed below. Continue reading →

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Unlawful Detention and Interrogation

This past weekend I got a call from someone telling me that her cousin was involved in a motor vehicle accident where someone died. She was being held at one of the Boston police stations. The caller was clearly intelligent. Her cousin told her that she could not leave the police station. The caller then spoke with one of the detectives who told her that her cousin “was not in custody” but also that “she could not leave the station”. Another lawyer from my office called the police station and the detective told just what the caller had told me. This prompted me to write about the question: how long can the police hold someone if they are not under arrest. Continue reading →

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Unreasonable District Attorney

The district attorneys in most Massachusetts counties have strong training divisions. Experienced prosecutors run internal seminars educating young lawyers on a myriad of subjects. Among other things these seminars include how to try a case, the amount of bail to request for particular matters, legal standards for evidentiary challenges, trending criminal law issues and more. Continue reading →

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Watch Our For The Dishonest Probation Officer

Anyone on probation in Massachusetts knows just tenuous your situation can be. Any new arrest is grounds for being surrendered. A failure to comply with the conditions of probation will result in a surrender notice being issued. While the large majority of probation officers are hard working and hones there are a few who are not. These people are dangerous. You have to be mindful of the vindictive dishonest probation officer who thinks his job is to put people in jail rather than monitor their probation or help them overcome the problem that landed them in criminal court. Continue reading →

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Finding The Right Criminal Defense Attorney

For most people, being charged with a crime is an unnerving experience. The first thing someone might do is get on the Internet and research the statute under which he has been charged. This is a really bad idea. You will look at the statute and see a potential jail or state prison sentence. Panic will start to set in. So, you might next use the Internet to find a criminal defense attorney. The website might provide you with similar information. This might not make you feel any better. Keep this analogy in mind. When you don’t feel good you might go to the symptom checker on the Internet. And guess what? You will quickly learn that you have a terminal illness. Yet once you meet with a doctor you find out that you only have a pulled muscle. So while the Internet and criminal lawyer websites might be a good starting place for representation you have to do more to find the right person to represent you. Here are my thoughts on how to find the right criminal defense attorney for your case. Continue reading →

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Assault and Battery on Police Officer Defense

I was recently reading and article in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune about Methuen, Massachusetts police officers with assault arrests in their background. The article, written by Douglas Moser on July 16, 2015 identifies two Methuen officers charged with violent crimes. One was facing with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. The other was charged with assault and battery on police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly person. All cases were dismissed. None of this prevented the men from becoming police officers. I have no problem with this. However, when reading the article I am reminded about the hurdles attorneys face when defending assault and battery on police officer cases. Continue reading →

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Pretrial Probation for a Felony or a CWOF For a Misdemeanor

Anytime you can dispose of a criminal case and not have a record you should really think about taking the deal that is on the table. Unless there are potential collateral consequences the risk of going to trial usually outweighs the reward. Obviously this is not always the case. There are times when an experienced lawyer will be confident recommending challenging a constitutional violation or having a jury waived trial over a pretrial resolution. But usually the opportunity for pretrial probation or a continuance without a finding is preferred. There are however times when a decision between pretrial probation for a felony charge or a CWOF for a misdemeanor must be weighed. Here are some thoughts on that dilemma. Continue reading →

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Furnishing Alcohol To Minors

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 138 Section 34 makes it a crime for anyone to knowingly furnish alcohol to someone under the age of twenty-one. This law is strictly enforced. Typically we see an increase in these charges around this time of year. Graduation parties and gatherings after prom tend to grab the attention of law enforcement. Neighbors complaining about noise, traffic congestion and large assemblies of young people trigger a visit from a local patrol officer. Their response is predictable. Enter the property where the party is being hosted. Question its patrons about their age, take a look into windows and doorways and contact the adult host. Once the officers learn that alcohol is being consumed by minors names are taken, the party is broken up and criminal applications and summonses issue. Furnishing alcohol to minors in Massachusetts is now considered a serious crime and if you are charged with it you need to hire a lawyer.  Continue reading →

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The Police Want To Talk To Me…What Should I Do?

Several times each month I get a similar call from a perspective client telling me that “the police want to talk to me…what should I do?”. My advice never waivers. I have always been consistent in my belief that nothing good comes from talking to the police. Again today I received one of these calls. This call made me think about a certain patterns of conduct that police engage in and my assessment of their reasons for doing so. Here are my thoughts on that subject. Continue reading →

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Defending Date Rape Allegations in Massachusetts

When someone is charged with rape in Massachusetts the indictment reads that the defendant “did unlawfully have sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, with the named victim and compelled said person by force and against her will, or compelled said person to submit by threat of bodily harm”. Those words are read to the jury just before opening statements. The jury has already been impaneled and sworn. The defendant stands alone while the clerk reads those words. Nothing in those words qualifies or describes the act in any way. You are charged with rape. So, defending date rape allegations in Massachusetts is serious. These allegations are incredibly terrifying for the accused. Continue reading →