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Category: Criminal Defense

An Overview of the Massachusetts Melanie’s Law

Legislation known as “Melanie’s Law” was passed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2005. This Massachusetts statute is intended to make penalties for operating under the influence of alcohol (OUI) more severe. The enactment of this law helped to usher in new and enhanced periods of license suspension or revocation and further established the Commonwealth’s Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Program. Melanie’s Law is named for 13-year-old Melanie Powell, who was struck and killed by a

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“Hands Free” Law Headaches Already Beginning

As of February 23rd, 2020, Massachusetts has implemented the “hands-free” law. Penalty of violating this law is $100.00 for the first offense. While a $100.00 fine may seem like a minor consequence, you should be aware that this law can easily expose additional violations.   Picture this scenario: John Smith is driving on a suspended license. He believes that if he obeys all the other rules of the road, there’s no chance of getting caught.

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Common Questions About Criminal Defense

When it comes to criminal law, there is much confusion regarding how the system works. This article addresses some of the most commonly asked questions regarding criminal law. For specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact our law office for expert advice pertaining to your individual situation. What are the different roles of law enforcement? It’s essential to understand the different distinctions between law enforcement agencies as each has different powers and jurisdictions. All law enforcement

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Sealing a juvenile criminal record in Massachusetts

People make mistakes—particularly young people. While a certain amount of risk-taking and boundary-testing is normal, even beneficial, teenage behavior, juveniles can be held responsible for their actions in a court of law if teenage hijinks turn criminal. However, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognizes both that young people make mistakes and that young people can reform themselves. When certain conditions are met, it is possible to seal a juvenile criminal record. By sealing a juvenile criminal

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Halloween Mischief – The difference between “fun” and “felony”

As a chill fills the air and the leaves turn, children across New England eagerly await Halloween and the candy it promises. Halloween is a favorite holiday not only for children, but for many teens and young adults as well. While for most young people Halloween remains a night of good, clean fun and a good scare or two, some teens and young adults might indulge in a darker side of the holiday. On the

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Cannabis DUI

Marijuana and derived cannabis products are now legal for private, at-home consumption in Massachusetts. With the use of THC products now legal and in the open, it becomes even more important to remember continuing legal restrictions on and best practices surrounding their consumption. One of the foremost issues at the intersection of law, good citizenship, and cannabis is that of driving under the influence of marijuana and marijuana-derived products. Most people are familiar with the

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Can I legally smoke recreational marijuana in public in the state of Massachusetts?

While marijuana use is legal in Massachusetts for people 21 and older, that doesn’t mean you can use it anywhere you want. Only adults 21 or older can legally purchase and possess marijuana, except for those who are registered patients. Consuming even legally purchased cannabis in Massachusetts at a public place is illegal under state law. This covers smoking, vaping, and cannabis-infused foods. While your safest bet is smoking in your home, if you have

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What happens to me if I refuse to take a Breathalyzer test when pulled over?

Drivers in Massachusetts ought to be especially wary when they see those blue lights flash behind them, given the spotty track record of the Breathalyzers used to test for DUI violations by police departments across the Commonwealth. Sober, responsible drivers found themselves in a lot of trouble because of inaccurately prepared and used Breathalyzers. Since 2017, numerous legal challenges and complaints have surfaced regarding the main Breathalyzer model used in the state, the Draeger 9510

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Motor Vehicle Homicide charge was the result of a frosted windshield.

This morning’s frost reminded me about something I heard about last year and caused me to pause and warm up my teenager’s car before he left for school today. An employee of a friend of mine was in a rush one morning and scraped only a part of his windshield. His life changed irrevocably because of this. As he pulled out of his driveway to head to work, he didn’t see the jogger on his

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SJC overturns more drug convictions.

Last week, the Supreme Judicial Court of MA overturned more drug convictions resulting from the chemist at the Amherst drug lab. Additionally, the Court is requiring Attorney General Maura Healy’s office to cover the cost of reaching out to all persons affected by this decision. The result is that there are potentially 13,000 convictions that will now be overturned. Some of those convicted may still be serving time in jail for their convictions. The criminal

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