Massachusetts criminal defense Attorney Blog
Aggressive Defense of All Criminal Matters
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Default Warrants and Bail Hearings in Massachusetts

If you fail to appear in court when scheduled to do so you will be defaulted. This may or may not be your fault but regardless you can assume that if you are in default an arrest warrant has issued. So naturally, when you finally do appear in court you can expect that the issue of bail will arise and you will have to convince a judge to release you or to set an affordable, modest bail. Default warrants and bail hearings in Massachusetts go hand in hand. This article looks at some issues associated with both and how you can help yourself when you are in default on a criminal case. Continue reading →

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In Massachusetts there is a major difference between possession of drugs and possession with the intent to distribute drugs. With the exception of marijuana possession with the intent to distribute drugs is a felony. Law enforcement can be aggressive by charging people with drug felonies at times when only possession of the substance should be charged. Frequently people charged with Massachusetts drug felonies retain me to fight the charges claiming they possessed the drug for personal use and never intended to distribute the substance. This is common and has prompted me to write on the difference between possession and possession with intent to distribute drugs in Massachusetts.

The Difference Between Possession and Possession With Intent

The Difference Between Possession and Possession With Intent

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If I Get A Summons Or A Subpoena Do I Have To Go To Court

Aside from lawyers not many people want to go to court. The thought of being called as a witness can be intimidating. The majority of people simply don’t want to get involved in criminal legal matters. Very few people want to testify against someone. No one wants to take time out of his or her day to wait around a courthouse, possibly for hours, only to be inserted into other people’s problems. As such, it is not surprising that I get asked the question: “if I get a summons or a subpoena do I have to go to court?”. This post examines answers to that question in Massachusetts. Continue reading →

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Bail for Rape Cases

One of the questions I am asked by people who expect to be charged with a crime is the amount of bail they will have to post once the case gets filed. The answer varies from case to case and from person to person. The answer to this question also depends on the judge hearing the bail argument, the district attorney prosecuting the case and the county where the case will be prosecuted. There are no formulas for setting bail in Massachusetts. I was recently retained on two very different rape cases and the amount of bail set pleasantly surprised both of these clients. Each asked me “is there a standard bail for rape cases in Massachusetts”. This post explores this issue. Continue reading →

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Prosecuted For Bouncing A Check

Forty-nine out of the fifty United States have laws making writing a bad check a crime. The crime is known as larceny by check. The Massachusetts law prohibiting this conduct is G.L. c. 266 Section 37. That statute makes it a crime to write or pass a check knowing that there do not exist sufficient funds to cover the check. Simply passing the instrument satisfies the prosecution’s burden of going forward with these charges unless the accused covers the bad check within two days of being notified that the check has bounced. Fraudulent checks exceeding two hundred fifty dollars can result in a felony complaint issuing. Several times each month I get a call about one of these cases. The client usually asks if he or she can be prosecuted for bouncing a check. The answer is usually “yes, you can be prosecuted or that crime” however the likelihood of being convicted depends on factors discussed below. Continue reading →

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Perhaps the most common complaint I get from clients about police officers involves stops, searches and seizures for apparently no reason. The client will tell me that he wasn’t doing anything and that the cops searched him anyway. Or someone might say that he was pulled over, removed from his car and that he and the car were searched. Now keep in mind none of these people would need my services unless the police found something during the illegal search that suggested a crime was committed. So the next question I get asked is “how can I prove that the police searched me for no reason?”. This article examines what criminal defense lawyers can do in these situations.

The Police Searched Me For No Reason

The Police Searched Me For No Reason

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MethLa1

Massachusetts Drug Lab Defense Attorney

Just a couple of weeks ago the owner of a two family home in Amesbury, Massachusetts saw some “strange equipment inside a common area” of the property. Consequently, she called the police. They quickly obtained a search warrant and notified members of the DEA. The search warrant was executed and authorities found materials used to manufacture crystal meth and GHB. No suspects have yet been arrested. This post examines what can happen to the suspects when they are arrested, how the prosecution will try to prove its case and some defenses to the potential charges. Continue reading →

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Massachusetts Rule of Criminal Procedure 14 mandates that the district attorney surrender to the defense virtually everything in its custody or control that is at all relevant to the case. The rule lays out some specific items that fall within its purview however case law is clear that the list is not exhaustive. The list includes statements made by the accused whether or not those statements were recorded. Grand jury minutes and statements of witnesses must be provided. A list of civilian witnesses, law enforcement personnel and expert witnesses must be surrendered. All documents generated and evidence obtained must be given to the defense in a timely manner. Identification procedures must be disclosed. All promises or inducements made to witnesses need to be articulated to the defense as well. Finally, there is a catchall phrase that “any facts of an exculpatory nature” have to be turned over. When prosecutors fail to turn over discovery in criminal cases there can be consequences, some of which are explored below.6a00d834516a0869e20162fdcdd6cb970d-800wi Continue reading →

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Perhaps the most common complaint I get from clients about police officers involves stops, searches and seizures for apparently no reason. The client will tell me that he wasn’t doing anything and that the cops searched him anyway. Or someone might say that he was pulled over, removed from his car and that he and the car were searched. Now keep in mind none of these people would need my services unless the police found something during the illegal search that suggested a crime was committed. So the next question I get asked is “how can I prove that the police searched me for no reason?”. This article examines what criminal defense lawyers can do in these situations.

Massachusetts Search and Seizure Lawyer

Massachusetts Search and Seizure Lawyer

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Not everyone who gets charged with a crime in Massachusetts was present at the time the crime was committed. There can be any number of reasons why this happens. Sometimes witnesses or the police are given the wrong name at the time the case is reported. This can be deliberate or simply a mistake. Other times people are charged because they own some property that is connected to the crime. For instance, owners or lessees of property can be charged with drug trafficking if their home was searched and drugs were found…even if they were not home at the time of the search. Similarly, the owner of a car might be charged with a crime in which the car was involved such as leaving the scene, hit and run or operating recklessly or to endanger…even if no one saw the car owner actually driving the vehicle. Under these circumstances and others I have had clients come into my office and ask “how can I be charged with a crime if I was somewhere else at the time”. This post offers some thoughts on this issue and how to avoid getting convicted.

Charged With a Crime and not at the Scene

Charged With a Crime and not at the Scene

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