Imagine that you are out on the town with your friends having a good time. You have not seen each other in a while, and thought that it would be fun to get some drinks and catch up. After throwing back a few, you all start to reminisce about your younger, crazy days together. Pretty soon a walk down memory lane turns into action: Your group decides to go out and do something crazy like when you were younger! Your group ends up at a local nightclub, and while exercising poor judgement due to your excessive drinking, one of your friends dares you to pull the fire alarm. You are under the influence and not thinking clearly, so you decide to take the dare. You quickly run up to a fire alarm and pull the handle. Panic and confusion at the club ensues because the patrons do not know that there is no real emergency. The club has to be evacuated, and the fire department arrives to conduct an inspection before anyone is allowed to return to the club. Now you are going to be charged with disorderly conduct.
Any experienced criminal defense attorney will tell you that if you charged with domestic assault and battery and you are not a citizen you are at risk of being deported. That risk has increased exponentially over the past several months. This is likely the result of the current political climate in this country. Government agencies such as ICE and Homeland Security are now taking an active look at these cases before disposition. In many instances they are monitoring domestic assault and battery cases involving non-citizens shortly after arrest or arraignment. This post examines one such case and what is needed to prevent deportation. Continue Reading
In recent years there has been an immense effort to combat the availability of an opioid drug, such as fentanyl, in Massachusetts, which was brought about by an increased rate of opioid-induced death. Fentanyl, a Class B controlled substance under Mass. Gen. Laws Chapter 94C, Section 31, is used to cut other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, and is extremely addictive. The use of fentanyl skyrocketed because it has the effect of enhancing the potency of other drugs that it is mixed with, but this is also what makes fentanyl so incredibly dangerous. Continue Reading
Back in May of this year, it was suspected that a 62-year-old woman was kidnapped from her assisted living facility in Newton. The woman, identified as June Doe, a pseudonym, went missing in the middle of the afternoon after living at the facility for only two months. All that was found of Ms. Doe at the facility was her empty wheelchair. Ms. Doe disappeared shortly after being visited by a long-time friend, according to a news report by Boston.com. Police were concerned about the safety and well being of Ms. Doe since she had recently suffered a stroke, leaving her with diminished capacity, and because she was on important medication. Ms. Doe was found two days after being taken, when she was admitted to a Boston hospital. Continue Reading
This is not an uncommon story. Someone from out of state comes to Massachusetts. They bring with them a firearm lawfully purchased and possessed in another state. They don’t know the gun laws in Massachusetts. Their home gets broken into and the gun gets stolen. They do what any law abiding citizen would do. They report the firearm stolen at the nearest police station. And guess what happens next? They are charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and possibly improper storage of a firearm. Someone shrewder might call a lawyer first and ask what to do “if I have no FID card and my gun gets stolen”? Continue Reading
Kidnapping is a serious crime in Massachusetts. It is considered a violent crime and is thus a felony charge. Criminal defendants who are facing kidnapping charges are at risk of jail time, loss of their freedom, and long-term impacts on their life if they are convicted. That is why it is so important to work closely with a skilled kidnapping criminal defense lawyer to develop your strongest possible defense strategy, and to try and reduce the charges as best as possible in light of your specific circumstances. It is important that you receive fair treatment under the law, and Our Attorney can help you. Continue Reading
Within the past few months, Massachusetts drug testing labs have been under fire for two separate instances in which chemists working for the state engaged in misconduct that potentially could have an impact on thousands of drug convictions. Both Annie Dookhan and Sonja Farak were chemists at state run drug sample testing labs who engaged in behavior that produced inaccurate test results. The drug chemist’s misconduct has been greatly scrutinized for months now. Continue Reading
Those individuals who are worried about their criminal record costing them a job opportunity can breathe a sigh of relief after the Massachusetts Probation Service revamped its criminal record sealing procedures. The process of sealing a criminal record in Massachusetts used to take months, but now can be resolved in a matter of days, according to a recent article in the Boston Globe. Workers at the Massachusetts Probation Service have reduced the backlog of cases seeking sealing and now can process an application within a few days turnaround time.
Nearly thirty years ago, when I first started practicing law it was rare to have a client ask me to help him withdraw a guilty plea. Case law in that area had not been well developed. Access to criminal convictions was limited. Deportation, denial of naturalization or exclusion from admission to this country was not what it is now. That has all changed dramatically in the past decade. Criminal history databases are much more sophisticated. Employers and the government can more easily find out that someone has a record. So now, many times each month I get inquiries from people in need of withdrawing guilty pleas and vacating convictions. Continue Reading
A consolidated case is being heard in Concord, the Milford Daily News reports, that will determine whether the use of breathalyzer testing devices to gather proof that a driver was operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI) of alcohol is scientifically sound. The reliability of the chemical breath testing devices is in question, which has prompted the courts to put a hold on hundreds of pending OUI cases across the state until the matter of whether these testing devices produced reliable evidence of a DUI. Continue Reading