Aggressive Defense of All Criminal Matters
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Today’s Lowell Sun reports that a Dracut, Massachusetts man has been held pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 276 Section 58A at least until a judge can hear the prosecution’s petition for detention on dangerousness grounds. The forty five year old man allegedly assaulted a woman with a handgun. She called the police. Officers responded, searched the home and found a loaded gun. The man has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and possession of drugs that were found in his possession. Massachusetts Assault Defense Continue reading →

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More and more we are seeing searches and arrests made in Massachusetts that stem from the use of drug sniffing dogs. Take for the example the case of Johnny V. Nunez, a Boston man arrested last night for trafficking heroin. Nunez was stopped on Route 93 for routine motor vehicle violations. Drug paraphernalia was found in his car prompting the trooper to call for a K9 unit. The dog arrived, “hit” on the car and an ultimate search revealed the presence of more than a kilo of heroin. None of this would have occurred without the use of the drug sniffing dog. This post focuses on the legality of using drug-sniffing dogs in Massachusetts as discussed in Commonwealth v. Feyenord, 445 Mass. 72 (2005).  Continue reading →

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I cannot even begin to count the number of times a week people call my office and ask what they should do because they think the cops are looking for them. The answer depends on what happened and why the client thinks he or she is wanted. For instance, yesterday someone called me concerned because police outside of an infamous massage parlor spotted his car and left a message for him to call them. Last week another man called me after the police went to his house and talked to his wife about a hit and run accident involving his car. Today, someone called my because he heard that there might be a warrant for his arrest out of a particular town and he wanted to know what to do. This post discusses some thoughts I have what to do in Massachusetts if you think the police are looking for you.warrants Continue reading →

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Recently, police officers in Massachusetts have been building drug investigations based on leads from “concerned citizens”. These leads come in the form of formal complaints or tips. Some are anonymous. Sometimes the individual making the complaint is identified. Today, a local newspaper reported on one of these investigations taking place in Danvers shopping centers and malls. Apparently local citizens, possibly merchants had grown concerned about what they believed to be drug transactions in their parking lots. A local drug task force followed up on the leads. As a result, two Boston men were arrested for selling cocaine and charged with trafficking in the Salem District Court.Defending Trafficking Cases in Massachusetts Continue reading →

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21 United States Code Section 331(c) makes it a crime for anyone to receive in interstate commerce a cosmetic that is misbranded. This is a crime that is rarely seen prosecuted in this area. Unfortunately Rossi Tavarez, a thirty seven year old Dorchester, Massachusetts woman is facing federal criminal charges for allegedly violating this law. According to reports, back in 2011 Tavarez was offering lip and buttocks augmentation through injections for a fee of seven hundred dollars per injection. She used a substance that was labeled for external use. The actual product was something not identified on the label. It was in fact a silicone-based product that could create the cosmetic enhancements desired.Massachusetts Federal Crimes Defense Continue reading →

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As a Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer I learn something new about laws every day. This is in part because criminal law constantly evolves. It is also due to the fact that not all laws are defined in black and white terms. When Massachusetts laws are vague advocating a particular position might involve comparing our laws to the laws of other states. So, a few days ago a perspective client came into my office to discuss a problem he has relative to having sex with a prostitute. While looking into some interesting legal defenses to his case I stumble upon articles about the state of Hawaii modifying laws to preclude cops from having sex with prostitutes. It came as a surprise to me to learn that at least until now, it was okay for the police to engage in sex with prostitutes and pimps as part of their investigative function. Upon reflection maybe I shouldn’t have been. Sex with prostitutes legal Continue reading →

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On April 11, 2014 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the emergency aid exception to the search warrant requirement applies to animals. The case, Commonwealth v. Duncan was reported to the Court by a Superior Court judge after ruling in favor of the defense on a motion to suppress evidence seized during a warrantless search.  This issue had never been addressed by the Massachusetts SJC. The facts and rulings are discussed below. warrant Continue reading →

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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. sexual-assault_jpg_475x310_q85 Continue reading →

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Today’s Lawrence Eagle Tribune has an article about two Lawrence men who were trying to melt a gun in a microwave at a local hotel. Socorro Vargas-Martinez and Hector Perez were renting a room at the hotel in which there was an explosion. Investigating officers determined that the explosion originated from within the microwave as the gun was being cooked. The firearm had an obliterated serial number and it is theorized that perhaps the two were trying to melt that number off of the weapon. Charges were filed against both for malicious destruction to property over $250 and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. This post looks at what happens in Massachusetts when you obliterate the serial number on a firearm.Obliterated Serial Number Continue reading →

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Cape CodToday’s Portland Press Herald reports that two Massachusetts residents have been apprehended in Maine and will be brought back to Falmouth to face felony charges. Leah Wiinikainen and David Byron were allegedly involved in a shooting over the weekend. Details of the Massachusetts case have not been released however Byron has been charged with assault with intent to murder, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm and more. Wiinikainen was charged with being an accessory after the fact. This post examines the crime of accessory after the fact, when it is prosecuted and some defenses to the charge.  Continue reading →