Kaitlynn Niles of Lynn, Massachusetts and three friends rented a hotel room at the Red Roof Inn in Framingham, Massachusetts two days ago. At approximately eleven at night Niles went to the front desk and attempted to get change for a counterfeit fifty dollar bill. A wary employee recognized something to be wrong with the bill and called the police. The officers went to the room and noticed marijuana smoke coming from inside. They also saw money in plain view. Two of the occupants, Niles and Joshua Jefferson from Lowell gave false names to the officers. Jefferson was searched. In his possession police found four hundred fifty dollars cash and a scale. Jefferson admitted to making the money from Selling Marijuana. On of the other occupants in the room , Elias Breit admitted to buying from Jefferson. Officers conducted a Search of the room during which they located Drug Distribution Paraphernalia and more counterfeit cash. Jefferson has been charged with Distribution of Cocaine, a Second and Subsequent Offense, Distribution of Marijuana, Second and Subsequent Offense and Conspiracy. Niles was charged with Uttering a False Note.
Uttering a false note in Massachusetts is a felony. The proscription is set out in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 267 Section 5 which states “[w]hoever, with intent to injure or defraud, utters and publishes as true a false, forged or altered record, deed, instrument or other writing mentioned in the four preceding sections, knowing the same to be false, forged or altered, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years or in jail for not more than two years.” To prove this offense the district attorney must show four things beyond a reasonable doubt: 1) that the defendant either used or tried to use the note as being genuine, 2) that the note was counterfeit, 3) that the defendant knew it was counterfeit and 4) that the passing of the note was done with the intent to defraud. In this case the district attorney will want to introduce the additional counterfeit bills the police seized in the hotel room to show that Niles was not making a mistake when trying to change the fifty dollar bill, rather that she knew it was a fake and that she was trying to get real money in exchange for the fake. These cases are often continued without a finding particularly if the defendant does not have a criminal record and the amount passed is small.
As to Jefferson, he has some problems. I will repeat again my admonition that it is never a good idea to talk to the police without first engaging the services of a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer. If the statements the police attribute to Jefferson are true then he has admitted to committing the felony for which he is being charged. This was stupid and unnecessary. Breit too made a big mistake. The facts of this article suggest that if he had said nothing then the charges against him might not stand and be subject to a dismissal after a Motions Hearing. Let me say it again. You have no obligation to talk to the police. When you do you are likely to get yourself in more trouble. Contact a lawyer before speaking to anyone.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman is committed to defending the accused. Call us now at 617-263-6800 or email us with a question. We are always available to meet with you and to start defending you.