The recent revelation of a non-disclosure agreement signed by the Boston Police Department at the request of the FBI has raised some concerns in the criminal defense world after a public records request generated proof of Boston PD’s investigation activities. The Boston Police Department admitted publicly to entering into a non-disclosure agreement with the FBI concerning cell phone tracking technology. Cell phone tracking is a controversial investigative technique at this point in time because it is used by many law enforcement agencies, but there are privacy concerns over whether using cell phone trackers should be authorized. Continue Reading
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If No One Read Me My Rights Will My Case Be Dismissed?
I get this question every day. “If no one read me my rights will my case be dismissed?”. The answer depends on what you said, when you it and perhaps most importantly what the cops say you said. The rights referred to here are your Miranda rights. Everybody knows what these rights are however very few people outside of the criminal law profession know how they are applied. Hopefully this article will shed some light on the meaning of these rights and the actual application of these rights. Continue Reading
Furnishing Alcohol To Minors In Massachusetts
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
Massachusetts Criminal Accord and Satisfaction and How it Works
Massachusetts has a statute that in some instances essentially permits a person accused of certain crimes to pay the victim in exchange for getting the charges dismissed. The statute, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 276 Section 55 states that a person charged with an assault and battery or a misdemeanor that could also be the basis for a civil lawsuit can pay the victim in exchange for having the charges dismissed. Of course, this type of resolution, known as a Massachusetts criminal accord and satisfaction needs to be in writing and approved by a judge. Continue Reading
What Happens at a Probation Surrender Hearing in Massachusetts?
Probation surrender hearings are proceedings that are initiated after someone violates a condition of probation. Once the probation officer learns of the violation he or she issues a notice of surrender. That document orders the defendant to come into court to defend the allegation that a violation occurred. Probation violations are very common. People who receive surrender notices call my office, often in a panic and ask what is going to happen at the probation surrender hearing. The answer to that is always case specific however some thoughts on the subject are laid out below. Continue Reading
Black Lives Matter Protesters Arrested for Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest
Over the past year, numerous Americans across the country have passionately vocalized their stance against state law enforcement violence towards unarmed criminal suspects who are African American. A movement has begun that supports raising awareness of this nationwide issue, and activists who belong to the movement have banded together to organize protests in a number of states. The main entity in the movement that is gathering traction with the people is a campaign known as Black Lives Matter. Unfortunately, many of the people involved in these gatherings are getting charged with crimes such as disorderly conduct, resisting arrest. Continue Reading
When Teens Stand Accused: Hire A Criminal Defense Lawyer
We never like to think that our teenagers are bad, or could become involved in some sort of crime or vandalism. We like to think that our kids are generally well-behaved, law-abiding citizens. But countless young adults find themselves wrapped up in allegations of crime. Sometimes it is a matter of the teen exercising poor judgement, sometimes the teen is caught at the wrong place at the wrong time, and sometimes it is the result of false allegations. Whatever the case may be, if your teenaged son or daughter is facing allegations of wrongdoing, you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Continue Reading
The Alibi Defense And How It Works
One of the best defenses to a criminal accusation is the alibi defense. This defense tells a jury or judge that you didn’t commit the crime with which you were for one very compelling reason…because you weren’t there. I have had countless clients come into my office and tell me that they have an alibi that they want me to advance it on their behalf. That request always triggers a very serious discussion about the alibi defense and how it works. And believe it or not, more times than not the client decides that perhaps the alibi is not his best defense. Continue Reading
How Prosecutors Can Use Your Social Media Information Against You
Believe it or not, there are virtually no laws limiting the way police and prosecutors use your private information online. For this reason, social media sites have become a veritable playground for criminal investigators. Information is used to defame a defendant well before trial and even used at times to lead to an arrest. Prosecutors looking for ways to seal their case will scourge information in these accounts to defame the defendant’s character. The smallest post or picture can be twisted to support their case. For the reasons below, consider suspending all social media use or consult an attorney on how to repair any damage that has already been done. Remember, prosecutors can use your social media information against you. Continue Reading
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