The mere words “indecent assault and battery” are troubling to anyone reads about this crime. The general title of the offense suggests that a serious sex crime has occurred. The prosecution can prove an indecent assault and battery anytime the accused touches someone on a portion of the anatomy understood to be private. Kissing someone on the mouth can in some circumstances satisfy the prosecution’s burden of proof. This at times makes defending an indecent assault and battery a difficult task. This post examines some things to consider when defending someone against these charges. Continue Reading
People who have had more than one experience with the Massachusetts criminal justice system probably have certain expectations stemming from their prior cases. Some of these experiences were good, and others not so good. Yet second time around you know what you want in your lawyer and you make sure that you get it. However, for many if not most people getting charged with a crime is a once in a lifetime occurrence. Your liberty and perhaps your life is at stake so you want to make sure that your selection of a criminal defense lawyer is the right one. Whether the charge against you is a simply motor vehicle crime or a major felony like a rape you need to know what your lawyer should be doing for you. This post will hopefully help you with that decision and answer the question “what should I expect from my criminal defense lawyer?”. Continue Reading
There is an inherent desire for anyone accused of committing a crime to defend himself by telling his own “story”. Innocent people charged with a crime want everyone to hear that they did not do it and they want those words to come out of their own mouth. People charged with crimes that exceed what they actually did want to explain to everyone what “really” happened. When preparing a criminal case most of my clients ask me “Is it a good idea to testify at my criminal trial?”. The answer varies from case to case. This post examines some of the thoughts criminal defense lawyers have on this subject. Continue Reading
Yesterday the father of a teenager accused of kidnapping, rape and other Massachusetts sex crimes was indicted for misleading a police investigation. Authorities alleged that the police requested Matthew Cyckowski surrender his son’s cell phone. Cyckowski provided his own instead. The crime proscribed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268 Section 13B(1)(b)(iii) which provides in relevant part that anyone who misleads a police officer with the intent to obstruct that investigation is guilty of a felony and can be punished by up to ten years in prison. This post discusses this portion of that statute and concerns that may confront parents in similar cases. Continue Reading
Last week employees at an Arlington, Massachusetts restaurant called police to report “suspicious behavior”. Police went to the location where they located a camera concealed in a flower basket that was photographing women using the bathroom. The police arrested Joseph Hennessey and charged him with photographing an unsuspecting person in the nude as well as disturbing the peace. This crime has more recently been referred to as upskirting. The case is now pending in the Cambridge District Court.
Anytime a criminal defense lawyer gets a police report and sees that his client allegedly confessed to a crime a red flag goes up. Was the confession made voluntarily? Was it recorded? How long did the interrogation last? What promises or inducements did the police make that prompted the defendant to tell them what they wanted to hear? Was the accused impaired by alcohol or drugs? Finally, does the defendant speak English and if not was an interpreter present for the interrogation. This post examines one of my recent cases where the defendant supposedly confessed to a rape and our approach to challenging criminal confessions in Massachusetts.
In an effort to address college rape and sexual assault claims the California legislature is honing in on some new laws focusing on consent. The law if passed will require that on all college campuses run by the state consent must be verbalized or written and obviously given in advance of the sexual activity. Consent cannot be assumed. While the details of the law are being debated it is agreed that “lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silent mean consent”. Reading this law makes me wonder how long it will take before Massachusetts tries to tackle this issue. Continue Reading
I have a large number of clients who got to me through my website and one of my blogs. All of these properties make reference to remaining silent. I have posted countless times about the dangers of meeting with the police without having consulted with a lawyer. I have posted about this in social media. Every day I read at least one Google Plus post about someone who decided to meet with the cops rather than consult with a lawyer. Every time I read about this or hear about it one thing sticks out. The person who talked to the cops got charged with a crime and never would have had he remained silent. And again today, someone called me telling me that the police called them asking “me to go to the station to tell my side of the story”. My advise was simple don’t do it.
Very few criminal acts are considered more hideous than rape. This crime is commonly defined as non-consensual forcible sexual intercourse. The element of force is required in every rape case. Force must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. However, there is no requirement that the district attorney prosecuting one of these cases show that the complainant was beaten or held down. There is no requirement for the district attorney to show actual force in the commission of this act. The force necessary to prove a rape need not be physical. Constructive force satisfies the prosecutor’s if proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This post discusses a common defense to some rape cases focusing on the issue of consent.
Yesterday I received a call from a client. He told me that the police in a certain suburban Boston, Massachusetts town wanted to talk to him about a sexual assault. When pressed he learned that the allegations were hideous – rape of a child. He had absolutely no idea what the police were talking about. He wanted to talk to them and I told him not to under any circumstances. Fortunately the man took my advice. With a little digging we learned more about the allegations. The man is married. He recently caught his wife cheating on him. They have three children together. She applied for a restraining order against him. It was not granted. Consequently she called the police and told them that she had been having sex with him since before her sixteenth birthday. This post articulates reasons why I tell all clients never to talk to the cops. Continue Reading