Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Four Things to Know About the Charge of Misleading Law Enforcement

A woman in Quincy was arrested in September following a man’s stabbing death. The woman was taken into custody in Weymouth on a murder warrant that was issued from a Quincy District Court. The victim was stabbed to death in a parking lot close to the intersection of Hancock and Woodbine Streets in Quincy. Law enforcement was notified about the stabbing soon after and the victim was taken to Boston Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead. Besides the woman who was charged with the murder, law enforcement also arrested another woman who was charged with misleading law enforcement during the investigation. 

If you have been charged with misleading law enforcement in Massachusetts, you likely have several questions about these charges. The following outlines several important details that you should understand about these charges.

Massachusetts Takes the Offense of Misleading Law Enforcement Seriously

Prosecutors in Massachusetts are charging individuals with misleading law enforcement in growing numbers. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268 Section 13B prohibits the activity and makes it a crime to mislead an individual who is performing a criminal investigation. 

What the Prosecution Needs to Satisfy a Charge

To convict a person of this charge, the prosecution need only establish that a person made a report of an offense to a law enforcement officer, that the report was false, that the defendant intentionally made the false report, and that the defendant knowingly made the false report to a law enforcement officer. Charges can then be prosecuted in either district or superior court. Because the Commonwealth takes these charges seriously, sentences can result in those who are convicted facing extended time in prison.

The Prosecution Must Prove You are Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

To be convicted of misleading law enforcement, the prosecution must establish that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Beyond a reasonable doubt means that the prosecution must convince the jury that there is no other reasonable explanation that can be made from the evidence at a trial. This standard means that there are several ways to establish that the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence for a charge.  

Several Strong Defenses can be Raised to Charges of Misleading Law Enforcement

There are fortunately several strong defenses that can be raised in response to the charge of misleading law enforcement. One, a person might be able to argue that there was a mistake of fact and that the individual lacked the criminal intent to mislead law enforcement. It might also be possible to argue that the person to whom the report was made was not covered under the act or that the report was not false at the time that it was made. 

Retain the Assistance of a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with murder is one of the most serious criminal offenses in Massachusetts. To respond to these charges, it is critical to retain the assistance of a skilled lawyer who can help you make sure that you have the strongest criminal defense possible. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today for assistance.