Aggressive Defense of All Criminal Matters
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Clerk Magistrate Hearing

Over the years I have repeated my strong belief that you need a lawyer at any criminal proceeding in Massachusetts courts. Recently this sentiment became apparent to one of my clients who questioned the need for legal representation at a clerk magistrate hearing. He really thought that he could handle a particular situation on his own and soon realized that proceeding that way would be a major mistake. This post discusses aspects of that case with an emphasis on the importance of being properly represented in a criminal court proceeding. Continue reading →

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You Need a Lawyer for a Restraining Order Hearing

Criminal defense lawyers in Massachusetts spend lots of time sitting in courtrooms waiting for their client’s cases to be called. The time is often occupied by conferencing cases with the assigned district attorney, reading the advance sheets and chatting with colleagues. Somedays, like today, I find myself watching and listening to the cases that are being heard before mine. One of these cases reinforced my strong belief that you need a lawyer for a restraining order hearing. Here is why. Continue reading →

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Diversion Instead of Prosecution of Drug Possession

At least one Massachusetts district attorney seems to understand that not everyone who possesses drugs or commits crimes as a result of drug addiction needs to be prosecuted and treated like a criminal. The Essex County District Attorney’s Office frequently utilizes a decade old treatment program to educate, rehabilitate and forgive select offenders rather than forcing them to defend criminal charges. In that county, diversion instead of prosecution of drug possession charges is the preferred course of action for select crimes. Aspects of the program from a criminal defense perspective are discussed in this article. Continue reading →

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You Need a Lawyer for a Drug Possession Case

Drug possession is one of the most common criminal charges in Massachusetts. Thousands of arrests are made throughout the state yearly for possession of controlled substances. Unfortunately many people are now aware of the consequences of a conviction for this offense. They think that walking out of the courthouse is a win and that they are free and clear. Young people, in particular college students try to handle these cases themselves simply to avoid having their parents find out that they have been charged with a crime. This post examines some of the consequences of having a drug conviction and the likely outcome of these cases if you are properly represented. The bottom line is that you need a lawyer for a drug possession case. Continue reading →

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Backpage, Prostitution and Sex For a Fee

Backpage.com is perhaps the most utilized medium for soliciting sex for a fee in Massachusetts. The website is easy to navigate and saturated with adult sexual opportunity. Just look at today’s edition. Under the “adult” section the top bulleted reference is “escorts”. Underneath this is “body rubs”. The list goes on. When you enter the page there are literally hundreds of advertisements and pictures offering sexual services. Backpage, prostitution and sex for a fee are nowadays synonymous in the Commonwealth. Hundreds of men and women are arrested as a result of activities solicited from this website regularly. This post examines the many ways using backpage.com for sexual services can get you in serious trouble. Continue reading →

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During the course of my career as a criminal defense attorney I have seen an increasing number of parents being charged for using force to discipline their children. The degree of force has ranged from a benign “grabbing” to more significant striking. Usually, these criminal charges were deemed indefensible in the sense that using any force for the purpose of discipline against a child would not be accepted as a defense in court. Thus, these cases were resolved by pretrial probation or continuances without a finding when in fact there should have been legal mechanism available for defending these allegations. Recently, the parental privilege defense was examined and approved in the Commonwealth.Punishment_of_the_Paddle,_1912 Continue reading →

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DNA Evidence

By now everybody has heard stories about how DNA evidence linked someone to a crime or, alternatively helped someone win a criminal trial. Not everyone however is aware that it is never too late to use DNA evidence to prove your innocence and right a wrong. Just today, a case decided by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court awarded a man who was convicted in 2003 of rape a new trial. This post discusses that case, Commonwealth v. Cameron, SJC-11835, and how DNA evidence is giving the accused another shot at freedom. Continue reading →

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258E Harassment Prevention Order

To adequately show “harassment” to obtain a 258E harassment prevention order someone must convince a judge that the defendant has committed a minimum of three acts of “willful and malicious conduct” directed at someone “with the intent to cause fear, intimidation, abuse, damage to property” and that those acts do “in fact cause fear, intimidation, abuse to property”. Initially, the plaintiff will file a complaint for protection from harassment in the district court where he or she lives. A judge will review the papers and determine whether the order should issue temporarily or if a two party hearing should be held. Continue reading →

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Dangerousness Hearings in Massachusetts

In today’s world of cable television, the Internet and social media prosecutors are often afraid of making reasonable bail arguments at criminal arraignments. They take a look at the charges, scan the police report and in an abundance of caution they move for detention under the Massachusetts dangerousness statute. Judges usually detain the accused for a short period of time, two to three days being the norm. This period of incarceration is naturally inconvenient at a minimum. However, it affords your lawyer time to effectively work towards your release and better prepare your defense. Dangerousness hearings in Massachusetts can prove beneficial to the ultimate result in your case. Continue reading →

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Sexual assault allegations are common on college campuses throughout the country. Usually a male student is accused of committing some sort of illegal act on a female student. As a matter of fact, in nearly thirty years of practice I have never had a woman charged with rape on a college campus. In most campus rape cases the reporting of the crime is delayed. Rarely do the campus or local police receive a complaint and make an immediate arrest. Instead, some sort of investigation begins. This is where college students accused of rape make their biggest mistake. They talk to the police and inadvertently confess to the crime. This post talks about some steps you can take to protect yourself if you are being investigated for a sex offense at your school.1338267538T9pvfs Continue reading →