Kidnapping is a felony charge, and is considered to be a violent crime in Massachusetts because the act of kidnapping involves forcibly or secretly confining a person against his or her will. Violent crimes carry serious consequences, and being charged with a violent crime, such as kidnapping, means that your rights could be at risk. Situations leading up to a kidnapping charge might be complicated. The kidnapping could have been a mistake, an exercise in poor judgement, or a misconstruing of the facts. In any case, if you are facing a kidnapping charge, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side fighting for you. Kidnapping charges in Massachusetts must be defended properly. Continue reading →
How can a parent be charged with kidnapping their own child? The answer: easily. Out of 260,000 kidnapping cases each year, 200,000 of those cases involve members of the child’s own family. Often, the kidnapping charge is the result of an ongoing custody or divorce battle, and many times the person charged had no ill will or malice in their actions. Nonetheless, kidnapping is a federal offense and a state offense, and a conviction could lead to drastic personal and financial consequences. There are severe criminal consequences of a parental kidnapping charge. Continue reading →
Shortly after 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning Framingham, Massachusetts police received a call for a disturbance on Dinsmore Avenue. When they arrived they heard a woman screaming. The officers entered the home and found Marvin Alvarenga holding his ex-wife and her daughter against a wall. The ex-wife was bloodied and bruised. The daughter complained about having suffered some injuries as well. The ex-wife told police that she met with Alvarenga the previous night for dinner. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the woman having a Restraining Order against Alvarenga dismissed. Apparently the meeting did not go well. The woman told the police that Alvarenga then forced her to drive him to her Framingham home where he beat her. He did however permit her to contact her daughter who went to the home. Once she entered the property it is alleged that the daughter was not allowed to leave and was threatened with a beer bottle. Alvarenga is being charged with Assault by Means of a Dangerous Weapon, Assault and Battery, Kidnapping, Intimidation of a Witness and Violating a Restraining Order. Alvarenga has an open Assault and Battery case on which bail was revoked. Through his lawyer Alvarenga denied all allegations. The case is pending in the Framingham District Court.
Typically in cases involving Domestic Violence witness credibility becomes a critical issue. This is because the defenses to these cases implicate a history between the parties that is usually admissible as evidence at trial. Massachusetts Criminal Lawyers will tell you that very often the initiator of a Restraining Order makes his or her application to gain an advantage or control over someone with whom they are involved. Take this case for instance. Why would the “victim” want to meet with Alvarenga for dinner to discuss vacating the existing Restraining Order? Keep in mind that the issuance of the order contemplates a judge finding a substantial likelihood of an immediate danger of abuse. This is based on an affidavit and/or the testimony of the complainant who admits to being in fear of this person. It hardly makes sense for someone truly feeling this way to drive from Framingham to Boston to discuss terminating the order over dinner. This will hurt the woman’s credibility. Alvarenga should have known that the dinner meeting constitutes a violation of the order. I have seen many cases where the complainant contacts the defendant, usually by text, email or voicemail message. This action is naturally designed to elicit a response. The response constitutes a Violation of the 209A Order that is virtually indefensible. Most troubling about this is that this action is deliberate on the part of the “victim”. I have represented countless people who have responded to the unsolicited contact and found that to be the basis for the issuance of a complaint. Once again, the “victims” can use this tactic to gain a personal advantage over the accused or as a form of retaliation for some non-criminal issue with which they took issue.
While the ex-wife’s credibility might be questioned at least as to some of the counts, Alvarenga’s problems are going to come from the police officers testimonies. They heard the screams, witnessed some of the incident and saw the ex-wife in a bloodied condition. While the Kidnapping counts might easily be challenged the Assault Charges are going to be more difficult to beat.
This week the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued its opinion in Commonwealth v. Rivera, SJC – 10802 Commonwealth v. Rivera, a case in which the defendant was convicted of attempted kidnapping. The facts presented in Rivera are as follows:
In early September of 2008 in the afternoon a boy was walking on a busy street in Dorchester. The boy was picking up a prescription for his mother. A car driven by the defendant came up next to him. The defendant told the boy to get into the car. The boy said no. He then went into the store to get the prescription. The entire incident took about two seconds. A witness saw the car. She took the defendant’s plate number. She then saw the boy leave the pharmacy. She asked him what happened and then she called the police. The police arrested Rivera. During an interrogation Rivera admitted that he wanted the boy to go back to his home and listen to some music. After the district attorney presented the prosecution’s case the defense moved for a required finding of not guilty. The motion was denied. The jury convicted Rivera. He was sentenced to two years in the Suffolk County House of Correction with six months to serve. He was also required to register as a sex offender.
Reversing the conviction the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reasoned that the district attorney failed to present evidence sufficient to prove that Rivera had the intent to “forcibly or secretly” confine the boy, an element necessary to sustain a conviction for attempted kidnapping. The Court cited Commonwealth v. Banfill, 413 Mass. 1002, 1003 (1992), a case with similar yet more egregious facts still not sufficient to sustain a conviction for these charges. In Banfill, the defendant had interaction with a girl for a longer period of time; twenty five seconds. As in this case, the defendant in Banfill told the child to get in his truck.
The lone dissenter in this case stated that the defendant’s act of ordering the boy into his car with the admitted intention of taking him to his home satisfied the requirement of an overt act designed to “secretly confine” the boy. The dissent argued that the evidence could permit a jury to conclude that Rivera intended to abduct the boy. This was demonstrated by both his actions on Dorchester Avenue, the scene of the incident and his admission to police upon his arrest.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman handles Criminal Appeals throughout Massachusetts state and federal courts. A conviction by a jury or judge does not mean that your case is over. In this case, had Rivera not appealed his conviction he would have had to register as a sex offender.
Osei Kwame of Waltham, Massachusetts has been charged with Kidnapping in the Quincy District Court. According to reports Kwame picked up a couple in Boston just before 2:00 a.m. The pair wanted to go to Billings Street in Quincy. They ended up on Billings Road instead. One of the passengers asked the defendant to take him to the correct address. The male later got out to pay and Kwame took off with the female in the back. The woman and remaining passenger called the police from her cell phone. Kwame failed to stop for the officer. He was ultimately apprehended. Kwame has been charged with Kidnapping and Failing to Stop for a Police Officer.
The crime of Kidnapping in Massachusetts is proscribed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 26. To convict someone of this offense the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that without authority the defendant forcibly confined another person within Massachusetts against the person’s will. A conviction for kidnapping in Massachusetts carries with it a potential ten year state prison sentence. Kidnapping charges are prosecuted in the Superior Courts. The crime is a felony. Failure to Stop for a Police Officer is a violation of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 25. There is a one hundred dollar find associated with someone being responsible under that statute. The bail in this case was only seven hundred fifty dollars. This suggests a couple of things. First, Kwame’s Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer did an excellent job arguing bail. Second, perhaps the facts are not nearly as egregious as the article seems to indicate.
Mark McConnell of Osborne Street in Salem, Massachusetts has been charged with Possession of Child Pornography and Distribution or Dissemination of Child Pornography in the Salem District Court. It is alleged that McConnell had downloaded photos and videos of girls who according to the district attorney had been Raped and Kidnapped. The prosecution stated that McConnell used a file-sharing program to access the illicit material. Bail was set at ten thousand dollars cash. Apparently McConnell was caught by law enforcement logging on to a file sharing service on June 15, 2010. His IP address was accessed and a Search Warrant was issued. McConnell’s computer was seized during the search. Over seven hundred illicit photos were found on the hard drive. It is unclear as to whether this case will be prosecuted in the district court or the Essex County Superior Court. It is also possible that this case will be prosecuted in the Massachusetts Federal District Court.
Salem, Massachusetts Child Pornography Defense Lawyer
Possession of Child Pornography and Dissemination of Child Pornography are both felonies in Massachusetts. The former is prohibited by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 29C. A conviction for that offense carries a maximum five year state prison sentence. The latter crime is proscribed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 29B. A conviction for that crime carries a minimum ten year sentence and up to twenty years in state prison. Prosecutors in Massachusetts take the position that file sharing constitutes distribution even if the defendant downloaded the material only and never actually sent the material to someone else. This is a major point of litigation in these cases right now. Anyone charged with one of these crimes in Massachusetts should immediately hire an experienced Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer who has defended Child Pornography cases. McConnell will likely have defenses to these charges and pursuing these defenses should start now.
Adrian Clarke of Boston and Lloyd Smith of Nantucket were charged in the Lynn District Court with Kidnapping and Raping a thirty two year old woman this past weekend. Bail for each was set at five hundred dollars. The Lynn Item reports that the woman, a prostitute was working in Boston Saturday night when she was approached by the defendants. She was forced into their vehicle and taken to a warehouse in Lynn. Both men forced her to have intercourse with them and to perform oral sex on them. They then put her back into the van and dropped her off at a street corner. The woman contacted the police who stopped the defendants in their vehicle. It is also reported that the defendants gave a different story. They negotiated a fee for her services. She agreed to go with them to Lynn. While on the way the defendants purchased some condoms. After engaging in the consensual, paid for sexual acts the victim fell asleep. She was then driven part way home but refused to get out of the car, offering to refund their money if they took her back to Boston. The defendants refused to do so. The charges are pending in the Lynn District Court. The prosecutor may choose to indict this case to the Essex County Superior Court in Salem.
Lynn, Massachusetts Rape, Kidnapping Defense Lawyer
From the perspective of a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney cases like this are difficult for the district attorney to successfully prosecuted. The “victim’s” story sounds more like a failed business venture than a Rape or Kidnapping. There will possibly be a chain of evidence supporting either the victim or the defendant’s story. There are cameras at toll plazas that might show where the woman was sitting the van and her demeanor. There may well be cameras at the store where the condoms were purchased either inside the store, in the parking lot or both. There will be evidence supporting or contradicting the stories that can be found at the warehouse. There might be cameras at the gas station in Revere where one of the defendants claims to have originally intended to drop off the woman. Any Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer with experience defending cases in Lynn and Essex County will look into these matters while defending his or her client.
Erick Garcia’s former girlfriend went to the police station last Thursday around 3:00 in the afternoon claiming that Garcia had committed several crimes against her including, Assault and Battery, Kidnapping, Stalking and Assault With a Dangerous Weapon after refusing to accept the couple’s breakup. The woman reported that Garcia drove up to her, and dragged her into his car at knifepoint. Garcia further threatened that if he ever found her with another man he would kill both of them. He then stabbed her car seat with the knife and threatened to kill her daughter. It is alleged that some of the Threats were made by text message. Garcia is being held without bail pending a Dangerousness Hearing. The Massachusetts man now stands charged with those crimes in the Framingham District Court.
Crimes involving Domestic Violence in Massachusetts are taken very seriously. Many of the crimes with which Garcia has been charged are felonies. There is a good chance that this case will be prosecuted in the Superior Court. Almost any time allegations such as this are made judges tend to hold the defendant without bail and schedule a dangerousness hearing at the request of the district attorney. It is critical that people charged with crimes involving these types of charges Hire an Experienced Massachusetts Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer. Getting the right lawyer can help you get released with a bail or possibly on personal recognizance. It is equally important to hire a lawyer who has successfully defended cases like these.
Last Friday Daniel O’Brien was arrested in Littleton, Massachusetts after trying to entice a twelve year old girl to meet him at a local train station. O’Brien is from Virginia. Authorities claim that after months of online exchanges with the girl he came to Massachusetts by train as planned. When he arrived he was met by local police and arrested him. O’Brien had a return ticket for the girl in his possession. Charges of Attempted Kidnapping and Child Endangerment are now pending in the Ayer District Court. Bail was set at fifty thousand dollars cash.
Typically in cases like this law enforcement officials are able to produce email and other computer generated correspondences between the victim and someone else. Identifying that other person accurately can be problematic. People use other people’s computers. Predators use fictitious names. IP addresses help narrow the search for the suspect but do not necessarily direct police to the culprit. Defending these case can be challenging. In Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyers who Defend Internet or Cyber Crimes are necessary in these types of cases. Your best chance of success is hiring a Massachusetts Internet Crimes Lawyer to protect your rights. Prosecutors take these cases very seriously and they are usually prosecuted in the Superior Courts.
Michael Ehlert is eighteen years old. Michael Leoni is seventeen year old. Both live in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Both are now facing serious felony charges in the Lynn District Court. It would not surprise me at all to see these charges indicted and prosecuted in the Essex County Superior Court in Salem. According to reports Ehlert and Leoni viciously attacked a school age boy who was walking home in the early evening hours on October 29, 2009. When the boy passed by the defendants they dragged him into a local cemetery, choked him, beat him, kicked him and searched him for money. They made him smoke a cigarette, stole his wallet and made him lead them to the victim’s home where they located and stole his iPOd. As a result of these acts Leoni has been charged with Assault With Intent to Rob, Kidnapping, Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon and Larceny. Ehlert has been charged with the same crimes along with Intimidation of a Witness. All of these Crimes are Felonies in Massachusetts.
In the context of these facts all of these crimes are considered very Serious Felonies in Massachusetts. The Robbery charge alone carries a maximum life sentence. Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon carries a potential ten year sentence. Kidnapping convictions can also result in the imposition of a ten year state prison sentence. There are however a few thoughts that come to mind when reading about this case. How was it that nobody saw the victim being dragged into the cemetery? Why did he not yell out for help when walking back to house? Could he have run away when going back to his home or could he have yelled out to a neighbor for help? Was the attack unprovoked or was there something that precipitated the event? These are questions that an Experienced Massachusetts Defense Lawyer will address in preparing the defense of these defendants.