Not Just Dookhan: Crime Labs Should Be a National Scandal

The relatively recent case of Annie Dookhan bungling an untold number of cases in Massachusetts drug lab where she worked might be shocking, but it’s not new. Over the past several years, crime labs across the country have been under scrutiny for everything from a lack of proper standards to poor hiring practices and little oversight. While the case of Dookhan is serious, to be sure, it is only a symptom of the bigger problem.

Read More
Can You Be Arrested For A Post On Facebook?

Can You Be Arrested for A Post on Facebook?

Any post or update you make on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or other social media or blog can be used as evidence against you in court, in a criminal or civil case.

There have been many stories of employers checking up on an applicant’s public postings, occasionally using compromising material to weed out those they deemed as bad apples. Then we learned the extent to which our Facebook privacy is compromised, and can be easily handed over to private enterprise.

With all of its potential ills and the countless scenarios of things going wrong by publicizing your views and activities to the world, most people didn’t think  that Facebook posts, alone, could result in criminal charges sending you to prison for upwards of two decades. Until recently.

Read More
Boston Area Crime Rates Down

Boston Area Crime Rates Down

Although Boston area citizens and visitors suffered major casualties and injuries as a result of the recent Boston Marathon bombing event, other basic crime statistic reports provide a significant ray of hope regarding a drop in overall crime rates. This statement is based on comparing the first quarter of 2013 to the same period of 2012.

The Boston Police Department’s (BPD) preliminary statistics reveal a 14% decrease in various crimes during the first few months of 2013 as compared to the same time period in 2012. The crimes covered by these statistics include violent crime and property crimes: homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and vehicle theft (these statistics also include the attempted form of these crimes – except for actual homicide and aggravated assault).

Read More
Massachusetts Physicians And The New Medical Marijuana Regulations

Massachusetts Physicians and the New Medical Marijuana Regulations

Now that permanent regulations governing the distribution and use of medical marijuana have been adopted by the Massachusetts Department of Health (DOH), all physicians and patients must carefully comply with these guidelines. After all, it’s still a violation of federal law to buy, use or sell marijuana. As part our our continuing series examining the new medical marijuana law as part of changes to Massachusetts drug laws, let’s examine how it affects medical practitioners.

Read More
Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Regulations:  Key Definitions

Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Regulations: Key Definitions

Now that the state of Massachusetts has finalized its regulations governing the sale of medical marijuana, it’s important to understand the definitions  If you are interested in the use of medical pot, or the legal infrastructure around it’s availability, it requires a bit of reading. The good news is that the state seems to have done a reasonably thorough job of mapping out the path to medical marijuana in Massachusetts.

Read More
Mass Supreme Judicial Court: Sharing A Joint Not A Crime

Mass Supreme Judicial Court: Sharing a Joint Not a Crime

In light of the 2009 law that decriminalized possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, people have felt a bit more free to have pot on them without risking a jail sentence. Still, questions and challenges within the courts were inevitable and a few recent rulings from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts have served to clear a few things up.

Firstly, it is not against the law to share a joint.

Read More
Boston, Massachusetts: Recent Crime Data

Boston, Massachusetts: Recent Crime Data

In 2011, Boston employed 2,156 law enforcement officers to protect the public and investigate crimes. So, for every 1,000 residents, the city had 3.45 officers available – a ratio that was slightly higher than the state’s average of 2.52 officers. All of these professionals were sorely needed to combat the city’s overall violent crime index of 442.3, a rate considerably higher than the U. S. national average of 213.6 that same year.

Read More
Current Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Draft Regulations Overview

Current Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Draft Regulations Overview

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s draft regulations for handling the sale of medical marijuana are now posted on its website. Details addressed include specific medical condition eligibility, which medical professionals can prescribe, defining a legal 60 day medical supply, and when patients have the right to grow their own. Ongoing debate regarding these regulations will continue through April 20th.  The Massachusetts Public Health Council still hopes to pass a final draft of these regulations on May 8, 2013.  If that occurs, these legal guidelines will take effect on May 24, 2013.

Read More
Bill To Reduce Solitary Confinement In Massachusetts Prisons

Bill to Reduce Solitary Confinement in Massachusetts Prisons

Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Elizabeth Malia have filed a bill in the Massachusetts Senate demanding a reduction in the length of solitary prison confinement time in line with the changes that have been brought about in other states. Their demands come in the wake of a series of similar bills that have been filed in other states like Florida and passed in Maine. Although the Massachusetts Senate has yet to approve the bill, support for the bill has already been heard from various quarters. So, it would not be irrelevant here to look into the issue of solitary prison confinement and the specific situation in Massachusetts.

Read More
Mass. Medical Marijuana Industry Prepares For Take-Off

Mass. Medical Marijuana Industry Prepares for Take-Off

When medical marijuana legislation comes to town, money stands to be made—a whole lot of it. Budding entrepreneurs and existing business success stories are waiting in the wings for the Massachusetts medical marijuana program to be finalized so they can get started in the new  territory. From dispensary operators, to edible-manufacturers, consulting firms, and attorneys—there are many opportunities to make some serious money off of the marijuana movement.

Read More
Medical Marijuana In Massachusetts Like “Wild West” Without Regulations

Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts like “Wild West” Without Regulations

Voters passed legislation for medical marijuana in Massachusetts several months ago, but the Commonwealth is taking a while to get their ducks in a row when it comes to regulating the new industry. The Department of Public Health initially said it would be ready with regulations by May 1. Now they have backed off that promise, saying instead they will try to aim for the date, or as close to it as possible.

Read More
Medical Marijuana Law Needs To Be Implemented Promptly

Medical Marijuana Law Needs to be Implemented Promptly

Many Massachusetts cities are towns are hoping to slow down or stop the medical marijuana ballot initiative passed by Massachusetts voters in November of 2012. The state’s voters legalized, by a wide margin, the dispensing of medical marijuana to ease the pain of those with serious medical conditions like ALS, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. A physician can prescribe marijuana for medical use, and a patient receives a registration card allowing them a 60 day supply. From the start, there is no ‘carte blanche,’ no unlimited access. 

Read More

Warrant

Outstanding Warrant? Protect Yourself Against Being Jailed for a Traffic Stop With Proactive Legal Help! If you have an outstanding criminal warrant for your arrest in Massachusetts, you live in constant fear of any traffic stop or encounter with the…

Read More

Unregistered Vehicle

Don't let a Mistake Lead to a Criminal Record! Arrested or Summonsed in Massachusetts for Operating an Unregistered Vehicle? A guilty finding in Massachusetts on a charge of operating an unregistered vehicle carries with it the penalties or a license suspension for 60 days,…

Read More

Trespassing

Arrested in Massachusetts for Trespassing? Fight Back! Trespassing may seem like a relatively minor criminal charge, but there can be unfortunate life consequences for anyone who ends up with a permanent criminal record. A criminal conviction will show up on a…

Read More

Threatening

Arrested for Threatening to Commit a Crime? The charge of threatening to commit a crime is surprisingly common in Massachusetts courtrooms. A good lawyer may have a number of opportunities to beat the charges since the evidence of the crime is often only…

Read More

Suspended

Don't let a Massachusetts Criminal Charge Ruin your Life! Charged with Operating on a Suspended License or other Criminal Motor Vehicle Charge in Massachusetts? Being arrested on an Operating on a Suspended License charge is a difficult and humiliating experience,…

Read More

Shoplifting Laws

Massachusetts Shoplifting Charge Info For an overview of Massachusetts shoplifting defense, see my complete and detailed shoplifting penalties page here. Shoplifting Legal Terms Asportation, Shoplifting by: Asportation simply means to carry away. Civil Relief: Retailers often try to get you to…

Read More
School Zone

School Zone

Arrested in Massachusetts for Possession w/Intent to Distribute in a School Zone? Possession of Drugs with Intent to Distribute within a school zone is a very serious charge in Massachusetts, with a mandatory minimum of 2 years in prison if…

Read More

Reckless Driving

Don't let a Massachusetts Reckless Driving Traffic Charge Give you a Criminal Record! Charged with Reckless Driving or other Criminal Motor Vehicle Charge in Massachusetts? Reckless driving is a criminal charge under Massachusetts traffic law. Under Massachusetts criminal statutes, "reckless driving" is…

Read More
Probation

Probation

On Probation in Massachusetts? Need a Probation Hearing? Arrested for a Probation Violation? In my criminal defense practice, I handle probation surrender hearings and violations quite frequently. If you are in need of a lawyer to handle your probation surrender…

Read More

Pre-Trial

Massachusetts Criminal Pre-Trial Conference / Hearing A pre-trial conference is a meeting with the district attorney about the charges against you. It is often the first court date after your arraignment. The prosecutor will typically offer you a deal to plead guilty…

Read More

Possession of Meth

Fight a Massachusetts Meth Possession Charge! Methamphetamine is a drug that carries a significant stigma. When you are accused of meth possession, you don’t only have to worry about the legal penalties, but also the potential damage to your reputation…

Read More
Possession Of Heroin

Possession of Heroin

Fight a Massachusetts Heroin Possession Charge! Heroin is considered one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs in existence. The public health and safety risks are why penalties can be so severe. In addition, many cops and prosecutors are aggressively…

Read More

Minor Alcohol Arrests

Fighting a Minor Alcohol Possession Charge In the summertime, arrests for minor in possession of alcohol in Massachusetts go up. This is not shocking or scandalous stuff. It's just kids being kids, being outside, having time off from school, partying, going to concerts, and…

Read More

OUI

If you have been arrested on an "OUI" charge in Massachusetts, Operating Under the Influence, you want a lawyer with the most experience defending those kinds of cases. Massachusetts OUI charges can be tricky, since there are often complicated license…

Read More

Malicious Damage

Arrested in Massachusetts for Malicious Damage? Malicious damage of personal property is a charge that is usually associated with vandalism and graffiti, or a personal or domestic dispute that gets out of hand. It is sometimes known as criminal mischief.…

Read More

Larceny

Don't Let a Criminal Larceny Charge Ruin Your Life! Arrested for Larceny or Shoplifting in Massachusetts? A Massachusetts theft, embezzlement or larceny charge can have serious consequences if not handled properly. The earlier you call me, the more I can do to…

Read More

Juvenile Law

Fight Back Against Any Juvenile Charges! Are you or your child facing juvenile charges such as delinquency or youthful offender status? Having an experienced defense lawyer argue your case in either a criminal or school administrative matter can greatly increase…

Read More

Indecent Assault

Indecent Assault is a serious charge in Massachusetts, carrying with it tremendous risks of severe penalties if not handled properly.  According to the Massachusetts Laws, Indecent Assault is when you place your hands on a person in an inappropriate or sexual…

Read More

Firearms

Don't Let a Gun Charge in Massachusetts Ruin Your Life! Arrested for Possession of a Firearm in Massachusetts? A Massachusetts firearm possession without an FID card charge is considered a serious crime. MA firearms law requires mandatory jail time if you are…

Read More

Disorderly Conduct

Arrested in Massachusetts for Disorderly Conduct or Disturbing the Peace? Under Massachusetts law, if you cause a disturbance which creates a public hazard, and serves no legitimate purpose, you can be charged with a disorderly person offense, also known as disorderly…

Read More
Drug Dealing

Drug Dealing

Arrested in Massachusetts for Drug Dealing? Possession of Drugs with Intent to Distribute is a very serious charge in Massachusetts, with a strong likelihood of jail time if convicted. Drug dealing and distribution charges can be a particularly complicated area…

Read More

Criminal Record

How to Get a Copy of Your Own Massachusetts Criminal Record (CORI) OBTAINING YOUR OWN CRIMINAL RECORD For a copy of your own criminal record, this form must be notarized OR signed by a correctional facility official and mailed to our office with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Please…

Read More

College

Don't Risk College Expulsion of Revocation of Student Loans with a Massachusetts Criminal Conviction! Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer can Help Protect your Education and Future Career If you are a college student in Massachusetts charged with a crime, a criminal conviction…

Read More

Arraignment

What can you Expect at your Massachusetts Criminal Arraignment? If you've been arrested in Massachusetts, your first appearance in court on a criminal charge is the arraignment. This usually takes place the next business day after your arrest. At an…

Read More

Fraud

Arrested for Fraud in Massachusetts? The crime of fraud in Massachusetts covers a wide variety of activities, from identity theft or unauthorized use of a credit card, to complex financial matters. A Massachusetts fraud charge can have serious consequences, and…

Read More

Burglary

A Massachusetts burglary charge can have very serious consequences. For unarmed burglary, penalties can go up to 20 years in prison. If you are convicted as a repeat offender, the minimum sentence is 5 years in prison. An armed burglary…

Read More