During the summer time, when the kids are finally out of school, many families take the opportunity to spend time together at amusement parks together. One very popular local family fun destination is Canobie Lake Park, located in Salem, New Hampshire. Canobie has a reputation as a safe place where families can indulge in the thrills of roller coasters, enjoy some live entertainment and play carnival-style games. Continue reading →
The Lawrence Eagle Tribune reports that a Lawrence Massachusetts man faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in state prison if convicted of charges stemming from a drug bust. Marcelo Perez, 48, of 210 Lawrence St., was charged with drug crimes including two counts of trafficking cocaine, two counts of unlawful possession of a handgun, two counts of unlawful possession of ammunition and possession of a dangerous weapon.
Three local authorities worked together focusing on suspected drug activity in the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot on Main Street in Haverhill Massachusetts. Reports indicate that when he was arrested Perez had loaded .38 caliber pistol and 305 grams of cocaine in his jacket. With the assistance of the Tewksbury K9 unit, police discovered a hidden compartment in the back floor of Perez’s jeep. It has been reported that the authorties seized an additional 30.7 grams of cocaine another loaded handgun, a box of ammunition and a digital scale. Police estimated the street value of the cocaine at $6,500.
If you have been charged with any drug crime in Massachusetts, it is imperative that you have an experienced defense attorney on your side. Most drug arrests stem from a search that has been conducted by the police. Attacking the legality of the search is often times the first step to a successful litigation of a drug offense. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this is done by filing a motion to suppress evidence seized from a defendant, his or her car and/or his or her home or apartment. Our Attorney has successfully litigated these types of motions. If the evidence is suppressed the government is left without a case.
Based on the recent Supreme Court decision of Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, it is imperative that a qualified defense lawyer attack any drug certificate that the District Attorney attempts to introduce in order to establish that the seized substance is in fact an illegal drug. The Supreme Court has indicated that the Commonwealth cannot merely introduce a drug certificate to prove that a retrieved product is contraband. Based on this new case law, in most cases, the Commonwealth is required to produe a chemist that examined the item and determined that is was an illegal drug. The Courts and the District Attorneys’ offices are scrambling to try to get around this requirement. If you find yourself facing drug charges you must have an experienced Massachusetts criminal lawyer on your side to fight for all of your rights.
A routine trip the doctor’s office turned fatal when a disgruntled patient stabbed his psychiatrist during a treatment session and then was shot and killed by an off duty security guard, Paul Langone. According to The Boston Globe, Dr. Astrid Desrosiers, a well respected and well known instructor of psychiatiry at Harvard Medical school, experienced what has been called a “psychiatrists worst nightmare” when patient, Jay Carciero of Reading Massachusetts, stabbed her during an office visit. It is believed that Carciero was being treated by Desrosiers on Staniford Street, where Massachusetts General Hospital leases space for its Bipolar Clinic and Research Program.
According to reports, Langone entered the area an ordered Carciero to drop his weapon. When Carciero refused, the guard shot him in the head. Carciero was pronounced dead at the Massachusetts General Hospital. At this time, it is believed that Langone was properly licensed to carry a gun in Massachusetts.
As the authorities continue to investigate the matter, Langone has been lauded as a hero. In Massachusetts, an individual is allowed to act in self defense or in defense of another. If evidence of self-defense or defense of another is presented, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense or in defense of another. For the jury to acquit a defendant when these types of defenses area raised the jury must have a reasonable doubt whether or not the defendant acted in self-defense or in defense of another. Although it does not appear that the security guard will be charged with a criminal offense in this case, defense of another would clearly be a viable defense under these circumstances.
Additionally, it is good that the security guard had a license to carry a firearm. The Massachusetts firearms laws are very strict and a conviction for illegal possession of a firearm carries a minimum mandatory sentence of eighteen months in prison. In the event that an individual is charged with possession of a loaded firearm, the potential penalties are even more severe and are imposed on and after the sentence for the underlying charge.
If you have been charged with a violent crime in Massachusetts or charged with illegal possession of a firearm you must have an experienced lawyer on your side. Depending on the circumstance, a motion to suppress evidence and or statements should be filed that may dispose of the case.
According to The Lawrence Eagle Tribune, a Lawrence Massachusetts man was arrested and charged with carrying a firearm without a license, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, and possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card. The Tribune reports that police were called to the Fern Street neighborhood due to reports of a man firing up to six gunshots “over his head.” During the early morning hours, a neighbor heard commotion and went to his window where he saw a pair of men. One of the individuals was “holding a gun over [the other person’s] head.” After repeatedly firing the gun, witnesses stated that the man walked into an apartment on Fern Street in Lawrence.
The police arrested this defendant and three of his roommates. The paper reports that one of the roommates was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest while the other two were charged as keepers of a disorderly home. Police recovered a .32-caliber semiautomatic handgun behind the home. Shell casings were also recovered from the street.
If you have been charged with any crime, you must contact a Massachusetts defense attorney to ensure that all of your rights are protected. In any case where “possession” of the alleged item is an element of the crime and experienced trial attorney can evaluate whether filing a pre-trial motion to suppress the evidence is a viable option. A successful litigation of a motion to suppress evidence means the suppression of the physical evidence and often times dismissal of the case against a defendant.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it important that you contact a criminal attorney familiar with the elements that the government must prove to secure a conviction. For example, to prove the crime of discharging of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling or other building in use you can face a penalty ranging from by a fine of not less than fifty nor more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than three months, or both. However, there are exceptions to the enforcement of this law that include the lawful defense of life and property; any law enforcement officer acting in the discharge of his duties; (c) persons using underground or indoor target or test ranges with the consent of the owner or legal occupant thereof; (d) persons using outdoor skeet, trap, target or test ranges with the consent of the owner or legal occupant of the land on which the range is established; (e) persons using shooting galleries, licensed and defined pursuant to statute; and (f) the discharge of blank cartridges for theatrical, athletic, ceremonial, firing squad, or other purposes in accordance with the statute.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in a 4 to 1 decision, ruled that the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office misinterpreted the “dangerousness statute” when proseuctor’s moved for detention against defendants charged with illegal possession of a firearm. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled against Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter’s interpretation of Massachusetts General Laws § 58A (1), which permits the Commonwealth to move for pretrial detention if a defendant has been charged with “any other felony that by its nature involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person of another may result.”
In Commonwealth v. Young, following a § 58A hearing on October 26, 2007, a judge in the District Court, citing “firearm w/o license, FID” as predicate offenses, ordered that the defendant be detained pending trial. Young filed a petition for review of the pretrial detention order in the Superior Court. See § 58A (7). The petition was allowed and bail was set at $7,000 cash.
The Commonwealth subsequently sought relief from a single justice pursuant to G.L. c. 211, § 3, contending that possessory firearm offenses come within § 58A (1), which permits the Commonwealth to move for pretrial detention if a defendant has been charged with “any other felony that by its nature involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person of another may result.” § 58A (1) (residual clause). The single justice reserved and reported the cases to the full court. The Court agreed with the defendant and held that unlicensed possession of a firearm does not manifest a disregard for the safety and well-being of others, and therefore lacks the “menace of dangerousness” inherent in the crimes specifically included in § 58A (1). Justice Spina, writing for the majority, explained that, “[U]nlicensed possession of a firearm does not, by its nature, involve a substantial risk that physical force against another may result.”
If you have been charged with a violent crime or with illegal possession of a firearm in Massachusetts it is crucial that you have an experienced defense trial attorney from the beginning of your case. In order to prove illegal possession of a firearm the government must prove that an individual was in illegal possession of a working firearm. To prove possession the prosecutor must convince the jury that the defendant had actual physical or constructive possession of the alleged firearm. In order to prove constructive possession the government must prove that the defendant had the intent and ability to control the alleged firearm. They must also prove that the alleged weapon was capable of firing. If the firearm was not successfully fired on the first attempt, that is a fertile grounds to develop a successful defense.
Successful litigation of a weapons offense usually includes filing and litigation many non evidentiary and evidentiary pretrial motions. Non evidentiary motions often include a motion to inspect the firearm and for the defendant’s expert to present during any testing [DNA, fingerprinting and test firing]. In this type of offense, as with most offenses when an individual is charged with illegal contraband, an evidentiary motion to suppress physical evidence should be filed.
The Salem News reports that James Chouinard of Peabody Massachusetts was arrested and charged with three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. According to reports, the police responded to an apartment located in Peabody Massachusetts after Chouinard’s sister requested that he be “checked on.” Apparently, he called his sister and informed her that he “took” a lot of pills. When the police arrived, the authorities claim that Chouinard would not let them in and waved a sword at them. He was charged with three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. The Salem News reported that he was transported to the Salem Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
In Massachusetts, assault by means of a dangerous weapon is a felony. See, M.G.L. Chapter 265 section 13A. If a defendant is convicted for assault by means of a dangerous weapon in the Superior Court, he or she can receive a sentence of up to five years in state prison. If he is convicted in a district court he or she faces up to two and one half years in jail.
To prove this offense, the government must prove an assault and that it was committed with the use of a dangerous weapon. The prosecution can prove that the defendant’s actions was an attempted battery or was an immediately threatened battery. Under the first theory, the Commonwealth must prove that the defendant intended to commit a battery and came reasonably close to doing it. Under this theory of assault, it is not necessary for the Assistant District Attorney to prove tht the victim was put in fear or was even aware of the attempted battery. The second form of assault is commonly referred to as a “threatened battery.” Here, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant intended to put the victim in fear of an imminent battery and committed an act which the victim reasonably perceived as an imminently threatening battery.
The aggravating element in this crime is that the assault was committed with a dangerous weapon. The dangerous weapon does not have to be a gun, knife or other item that is commonly believed to be a weapon. Any object can be a weapon if it has the apparent ability to inflict harm. Cigarette lighters, shoes, and even a pencil may be considered a dangerous weapon in the appropriate circumstances.
If you are charged with simple assault, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon or any violent offense it is imperative that you contact an experienced defense attorney as early as possible. In order to successfully defend against these types of crimes. It is important to have a trial attorney on your side early in the case.
According to The Lowell Sun, Eric Sideri, owner of Angela’s Coal Fired Pizza in Tyngsboro Massachusetts, is being held without bail after his arraignment in Lowell District Court. Sideri is charged with kidnapping and beating up a manager, Oliveira, whom he suspected stole $20,000 from the business. According to reports, after the restaurant closed on Saturday night, Sideri cornered Oliveira beating him up with a baseball bat and a stick. Sideri allegedly stuck a large gun in the manager’s mouth and threatened to kill him if he did not answer questions about the missing money.
According to prosecutors, Oliveira claimed that he was taken to the restaurant’s back door and shown “a white SUV with its tailgate open and blue tarp covered with trash bags inside.” Sideri then allegedly told him, “I will kill you and nobody will know.”
The defendant’s attorney painted a much different picture of the events. The defendant claims that a confrontation occurred after Sideri confronted Oliveira about the missing money. Sideri claims that he acted in self-defense during the incident and that Oliveira fabricated the kidnapping and beating story to offset any charges that Sideri would file against him.
Following bail arguments by both sides District Court Judge Michael Uhlarik ordered that Sideri be held without bail. Sideri returns to the Lowell District Court on Thursday when a “dangerousness hearing” will take place.
According to the Lawrence Eagle Tribune, a North Andover man was arrested and charged with attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a household member and illegal possession of a handgun. According to the paper, the defendant allegedly beat up his live in girlfriend then attempted to shoot her mother when she tried to protect her. It is also alleged that the defendant pointed a gun at the woman’s mother however, the gun did not fire. It was reported that the police found a loaded semi-automatic weapon within blocks of the incident.
The woman was treated at the Lawrence General Hospital, located in Lawrence Massachusetts, for injuries as a result of the beating. She obtained a restraining order from the police. The defendant was arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant in New Hampshire.
If you have been the defendant in a restraining order it is important that you know your rights. The complaining witness must demonstrate to the judge that he or she has reasonable apprehension of immediate physical harm. The fear or apprehension must be reasonable and also must be rimminent. Initially, a temporary restraining order usually issues. The defendant is supposed to be served with a copy of the order and generally there is a court hearing within one week. If the defendant does not appear and the complainant requests a continuance of the order, the order is routinely extended. The order can be extended for up to one year at a time. Upon expiration of the order the complainant can request that it be continued, however the defendant has a right to be present.
If an individual is the recipient of a restraining order in Massachusetts, it is important that he or she reads all of the conditions. For example, some of the orders simply order that the defendant not “abuse” the complainant. Other conditions may provide that the defendant “stay away” from the complainant and sometimes children.