Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

How Do Prosecutors Calculate Drug Quantities for Trafficking Charges in Boston?

Trafficking charges can be quite serious in Boston, and the severity of these charges often depends on the specific drug quantities involved. But how exactly do prosecutors calculate the weight or dosage of drugs that defendants may have had at the time of their arrest? Some might assume that this is simply a matter of weighing the drugs, but the process is more complex than many realize. Judging by a recent case, some might even argue that the process is unfair.  

Sentencing for Cocaine Trafficking Depends on the Quantities Involved

On a general note, the potential sentences for cocaine trafficking depend on the quantities involved:

  • Between 18 and 36 grams: Between two and15 years in prison, suspension of driver’s license for five years, and fines of up to $25,000. A conviction could also lead to a lifetime ineligibility for a Commercial Driver’s License. 
  • Between 36 and 100 grams: Between 3.5 and 20 years in prison, suspension of driver’s license for up to five years, and a fine of up to $50,000. Possible lifetime ineligibility for a Commercial Driver’s License. 
  • Between 100 and 200 grams: Between eight and 20 years in prison, suspension of driver’s license, and potential lifetime ineligibility for a Commercial Driver’s License. 
  • 200 grams or more: Between 12 and 20 years in prison, five-year driver’s license suspension, and possible lifetime ineligibility for a Commercial Driver’s License. 

Cutting Agents are Included in Weight Calculations

What many people do not understand about prosecutors’ weight calculations is that cutting agents are included. For example, the entire weight of a bag that contains 60% cutting agent and 40% cocaine would be used for these calculations. In one case involving Brockton drug trafficking charges, a defendant was charged with cocaine trafficking between 18 and 36 grams, even though these calculations were based on bags that contained zero cocaine. 

Fortunately, the defendant was able to work with Edward R. Molari to fight these charges. This Boston defense attorney had the bag examined by an expert, and the resulting lab report showed that the presence of cocaine was extremely low. In fact, it was so low that it was comparable to trace cocaine levels found on an average paper bill. As a result of this strategy, the weight was revised to a level under 18 grams, and the defendant received a much lower sentence with no mandatory minimum. 

Where Can I Find a Drug Crimes Attorney in Boston?

If you have been searching for an experienced defense attorney in Boston, look no further than the Law Office of Edward R. Molari. We have helped numerous defendants fight trafficking charges over the years, and we are well aware of prosecutors’ questionable processes when it comes to calculating drug quantities. With our assistance, you can push back against these strategies and fight for your constitutional rights. Book your consultation today to get started. 

Why a Judge Denied an Attempt to Dismiss Brockton Police Negligent Operations Charges

In May of 2021, the former chief of the Brockton Police veered off the road on I-495 before striking two vehicles. The police cruiser went across three lanes, and the crash injured five people – including one toddler. He subsequently faced charges for negligent driving – although he initially walked free after the crash. The case went completely unreported for months – and it was only after an NBC investigation that the incident came to light. Reporters also discovered that this police chief had been charged with negligent driving before and that he had attempted to have these charges dismissed. Now, this individual is attempting to have these new charges dismissed as well – and he is not having much success. But why exactly did a judge deny his attempt to have his charges dismissed? 

Former Police Chief Faces Overwhelming Evidence Against Him

When denying the attempt to have the case dismissed, the presiding judge pointed at various forms of evidence laid out against the defendant. This evidence includes testimony from numerous eyewitnesses who saw the police cruiser veer across three lanes of traffic before striking multiple vehicles. The judge stated that this evidence was "clearly sufficient" and specifically highlighted testimony from a Massachusetts State Police trooper who responded to the scene of the crash. 

Speaking about the crash, this State Police trooper explained:

"He essentially didn't know what happened, and I pointed out what had happened, that he came off the ramp, that he rear-ended a vehicle in the breakdown lane, and he went out into the highway and collided with another SUV. So I pointed it out to him."

Interestingly, it seems that a private citizen issued a criminal complaint against the former police chief. Initially, no police authority brought about these charges. The complaint states that:

"It seems on review that the Police Chief had absolutely no control of the vehicle at any time during the crash. The only plausible reason is that the Police Chief was, literally, asleep at the wheel. This is supported by the Chief's own statement 'it all happened so fast. I do not know what happened.'"

Evidence is an Important Consideration for Judges When Dismissing Criminal Cases

Judges must review evidence when considering whether or not to accept a petition to dismiss criminal cases. Specifically, under Commonwealth v. Daley, 66 Mass. App. Ct. 254 (2006), the "danger must come from Defendant's driving" in the case of a negligent driving charge. 

Where Can I Find a Criminal Defense Attorney in Boston?

If you have been searching for an experienced criminal defense attorney in Boston, look no further than the Law Office of Edward R. Molari. With our assistance, you can strive to have your criminal charges dismissed quickly. While this police chief might have failed to have his charges dismissed, there are many situations in which this strategy can be successful. Reach out today to discuss your legal options and get started with an effective defense strategy. 

Can You Really Go to Jail for Improper Storage of a Firearm in Massachusetts?

One of the first things people learn in gun safety courses is the proper storage of firearms. All responsible gun owners can agree that storing your firearms is incredibly important, especially if you have children in your home. But can you really go to jail for improper storage of a firearm in Massachusetts? The answer may surprise you.


Man Faces Up to 12 Years After Boy Fatally Shot by Improperly Stored Firearm


A man in Boston is now facing a maximum sentence of 12 years after a fatal accident involving improper storage of a firearm. The 22-year-old defendant stored his firearm in a fanny pack in a residence where a 12-year-old child had easy access to it. All reports seem to indicate that the child accidentally shot himself in the chest with the weapon after taking it out of the fanny pack. The gunshot wound proved to be fatal. 


As a result, the defendant has been charged with improper storage of a firearm near a minor, an offense that comes with a maximum prison sentence of 12 years. The minimum sentence is 1.5 years in prison. Alternatively, a jail sentence of between 1 and 2.5 years may be possible, plus a fine of up to $15,000. 


How Should I Store My Firearm in Boston?


Massachusetts has strict guidelines on how guns should be stored. You essentially have two options: Install a locking device directly onto the firearm itself, or lock the firearm in some kind of container. If you choose the second option, you do not need to install a safety lock on the firearm itself. In addition, authorities in Massachusetts "recommend" that you store ammo and guns separately – although this is not explicitly required. 


A safety device installed directly onto the weapon must prevent the firearm from discharging. There are specific firearm locks available, and these may be installed directly onto the trigger guards. With the trigger disabled, the firearm is not operable. A gun lock may also be looped through the firearm in a manner that holds its bolt open, preventing the firing pin from moving forward. Many gun owners use bike locks in this manner. Some might argue that a zip tie is also acceptable, although it is best to use a more secure option. Guns may also be "disabled" by removing certain components and storing them separately. For example, you might remove the bolt on a bolt-action hunting rifle. However, authorities in Massachusetts make it clear that a locking safety device is the only acceptable option. 


One might argue that if the aforementioned defendant had put a simple lock on the zip of his fanny pack, he might have avoided the tragedy. However, it is not clear whether this locked fanny pack would classify as a proper "container" under Massachusetts law. In reality, the wording refers primarily to gun safes or hard-shelled, tough gun cases. 


Where Can I Find an xperienced Defense Attorney in Massachusetts?


If you have been searching for a Boston defense attorney who can help with firearm offenses, look no further than the Law Office of Edward R. Molari. We know that it might seem ridiculous to face charges simply because you forgot to secure your firearms on a single occasion, but legal consequences are a real possibility in this situation. Book your consultation today to discuss potential defense strategies geared toward your unique situation. 

Alleged Cover-Up By Federal Criminal Police: Murder Suspect Sues for Wrongful Conviction

Facing accusations for crimes you did not even commit is a nightmare that most people prefer not to think about. But for many people in Boston, this experience becomes an inescapable reality. Today, the Boston Police Department is facing a lawsuit after a man falsely accused of shooting his cousin was exonerated. Unfortunately, this innocent individual had already spent almost two decades behind bars before finally walking free. What happens if you find yourself in a similar situation?


BPD Faces Federal Lawsuit for Wrongful Conviction


The BPD is facing a number of shocking allegations in connection with this lawsuit. These include witness tampering, concealment of evidence, and other offenses. The police seemed to have been intent on putting the plaintiff behind bars, even if it meant paying off witnesses and tipping the scales of justice against him. 


The plaintiff is now 25, having spent most of his youthful years in prison. In 2021, he was finally released from prison after key documents surfaced. These documents showed that police had concealed evidence from prosecutors that implicated another suspect. In addition, the police seem to have paid witnesses to testify against the plaintiffs. Those who refused to participate in this kangaroo court were threatened with criminal charges. Police also promised to drop charges against at least one witness in exchange for his favorable testimony. These actions helped condemn the plaintiff to a prison sentence. 


In an official complaint filed against the BPD, the plaintiff's legal counsel stated:


"The BPD's lawless culture further resulted in a pattern, practice, and/or custom of deliberately fabricating and coercing evidence as well as withholding exculpatory evidence. "Defendant City of Boston had notice of a widespread practice by its

officers and agents under which individuals suspected of criminal activity, such as Shaun, were routinely deprived of exculpatory evidence, were subjected to criminal proceedings based on false evidence, and were deprived of their liberty without probable cause, such that individuals were routinely implicated in crimes to which they had no connection and for which there was scant evidence to suggest that they were involved."


Can I Keep Fighting My Charges Even Behind Bars?


This story shows that it is possible to continue fighting your charges even after you are placed behind bars. Not only that, but the story shows that it can be incredibly beneficial to continue searching for evidence. Although no one can take back the many years this plaintiff spent in prison, he will likely receive compensation when this trial goes before a jury (or is settled out of court). 


Where Can I Find a Qualified Defense Attorney in Boston?


If you have been wrongfully accused of a crime you did not commit in Boston, the obvious choice is to get in touch with a qualified defense attorney at your earliest convenience. With help from a lawyer, you can fight wrongful accusations and avoid prison time in the first place. Alternatively, you can continue fighting for your rights if you are already behind bars. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan. 

Footprints Lead to Murder Suspect: But is This Evidence Really Admissible?

The average person's understanding of the criminal justice system is based on what they see on TV. In this highly-polished, carefully-choreographed world, detectives are portrayed as technological savants and logical geniuses. Scientific evidence in the form of fingerprints, DNA, and ballistic data is always irrefutable. 

In reality, criminal justice is rarely straightforward. Evidence may point in one direction but may not provide a conclusive link between suspects and their alleged crimes. Unfortunately, this doesn't stop authorities from perpetuating causal links that do not exist. Concerns on this subject have been raised after bloody footprints led investigators to a suspect in Newton. But putting aside the sensational headlines, how reliable is this evidence?

Investigators in Newton Rely on Footprints to Track Down Suspect 

On June 27, it was reported that an arrest had been made in connection to a random, triple murder in Newton. Police apparently examined bloody footprints in order to track down a suspect, and they seem confident about the reliability of this evidence. One investigator stated:

"Like fingerprints, the skin of people's feet is unique and leaves an impression that can be compared."

Police eventually located the suspect "staggering" down a road and took an impression from his feet. This apparently provided them with a clear match to the footprints found at the murder scene. 

Are Footprints Admissible Evidence?

But despite the confidence expressed by the authorities, questions may be raised in court about the reliability of this evidence. Consider the fact that in 2017, the American Association for the Advancement of Science issued a report on this subject and found that:

"[...] examiners should avoid claiming that they can associate a latent print with a single source and should particularly avoid claiming or implying that they can do so infallibly, with 100% accuracy."

The reality is that fingerprint (and footprint) examination is not the "exact science" that authorities purport it to be. If examiners cannot claim to be 100% accurate in their findings, then by very definition, it cannot be used to determine a suspect's guilt. Remember, the prosecution must establish their guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." Even a 1% chance of an inaccurate fingerprint examination could create sufficient doubt. 

Remember that while the science behind fingerprint examination is questionable at best, the science behind footprint examination is virtually non-existent. Criminal responsibility may be called into question in the aforementioned triple-murder case – even if the suspect did, in fact, commit the crime. 

Get in Touch With a Criminal Defense Attorney in Massachusetts Today

If you have been accused of a serious crime in Massachusetts, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Choose the Law Office of Edward R. Molari, and you can approach this situation with a measure of confidence and efficiency. The reality of criminal justice is far different from what you see on television. The only way to get a sense of how this system really works is to speak with an experienced attorney. Book your consultation today to get started. 

The Jack Jones Airport Scandal: Will He Be Convicted?

The United States is one of the few places in the world where law-abiding citizens are allowed to bear arms. While this is true, there are certain locations that Boston firearm owners should be wary of. Perhaps at the very top of this list is Logan Airport. While it is acceptable to transport firearms by plane with the right permissions, you may face consequences if you give no prior warning of your firearms after these items are discovered in your luggage. This is a legal issue that NFL player Jack Jones is currently facing. But how bad is it? Was this just an honest mistake? Will he be convicted of crimes? 

Jack Jones Caught with Two Loaded Firearms at Logan Airport

The TSA has announced that Jack Jones was caught with two loaded firearms and an undisclosed amount of ammunition at Logan Airport. He is now facing a number of charges, including unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, possession of a large-capacity feeding device, and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card. Shortly after the TSA discovered the firearms in his luggage, the athlete was taken into custody. 

These charges would suggest that Jones is in serious trouble. The lack of a firearms license suggests that he did not legally have a right to possess these weapons. The possession of a large-capacity magazine may make these consequences particularly serious. It is now reported that he faces a total of nine gun charges. One has to wonder whether these weapons were obtained legally. 

Are Large-Capacity Magazines Allowed in Massachusetts?

While a large-capacity magazine may be legal in Jones’ home state of Arizona, they are not legal in Massachusetts. In Boston, gun owners are limited to pistol magazines with a capacity of 10 cartridges or rounds. One of the most popular pistol magazines in Arizona is a 30-round, extended magazine – which is completely illegal in Massachusetts and Boston. In a somewhat obscure fashion, Massachusetts has exempted magazines manufactured or possessed before September 13th, 1994. However, it is unlikely that Jones’ magazine falls into this category. 

 Was it an Honest Mistake?

Jones’ decision to arrive at the airport with two unlawfully-possessed pistols and a large-capacity magazine may be more understandable than many give him credit for. Arizona is much more supportive of gun rights compared to Massachusetts, and he may have been confused about these legal differences. In addition, he may have genuinely forgotten that he put these guns in his luggage. Mistakes happen, and sometimes defendants can escape consequences if they can show that the guns were not carried “knowingly.”   

Where Can I Find a Firearms Lawyer in Boston?

If you have been searching for an experienced firearms lawyer in Boston, look no further than the Law Office of Edward R. Molari. As a Boston criminal defense attorney with many years of experience, Edward R. Molari has dealt with many cases involving firearms possession. We know that honest mistakes can often lead to unintended legal consequences, and we can defend your rights. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective defense strategy. 

Multiple Attorneys Face Sex Crime Charges in Boston

There is always a sense of shock when attorneys are charged with crimes in Boston. These individuals are closely linked with the law itself – and to see them breaking the law is surprising, to say the least. Some might argue that along with judges and juries, attorneys are tasked with ensuring the integrity of our legal system. Two attorneys recently faced sex crime charges in Boston, and these stories show that anyone can find themselves in court with serious allegations, even if they genuinely did nothing wrong.  

Lawyer Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges

On June 5, it was reported that a corporate attorney had been arrested for sexual assaults that allegedly occurred 15 years ago. He has pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated rape, two counts of kidnapping, one count of assault with intent to rape and one count of indecent assault and battery. Three women have come forward, alleging that the man held them at gunpoint before sexually assaulting them. A fourth woman claims that she was attacked by the man while jogging but managed to escape. 

FBI agents apparently collected a drinking glass from the lawyer's office and used it to compare DNA evidence found at the crime scenes. The defendant's defense attorney points out that if this DNA evidence was obtained without a warrant, it should not be admitted in court. The defendant has been suspended from his job pending the outcome of the criminal case. 

Another Lawyer Found Not Guilty for Similar Charges

On June 9, another Boston attorney was found not guilty of two counts of rape. The alleged victim claims that she was sexually assaulted during the morning after partying with the man and another female friend. Apparently, the prosecution failed to present a convincing case, and the defense exposed several inconsistencies in the victim's recollection of the event. 

It is worth mentioning that numerous observers seemed completely confident that the man would be found guilty. This should serve as a cautionary tale not to jump to assumptions, as the only real way to determine the validity of allegations is through the official legal process. Media reports and rumors can sensationalize these stories – especially when attorneys are involved. The headline of an attorney being charged with rape is often seized upon with enthusiasm by journalists without any consideration for the actual evidence. Although juries can be influenced by these "juicy headlines," a solid defense attorney can cut through to the underlying truth.  

Where Can I Find an Experienced Defense Attorney in Boston?

If you find yourself facing serious charges in Boston, it is time to get in touch with a qualified criminal defense attorney. Choose Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law, and you can get started with an effective defense strategy right away. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty – and your right to an attorney is something you should take full advantage of. Reach out today to get started. 

I Was Pulled Over for Tinted Windows in Boston: Is That Even Legal?

If you have been driving in Boston for a few years, you are probably aware that police pull people over for minor violations. This might be nothing more than an inconvenience for some. But what happens if this traffic stop leads to something much worse? What happens if the police discover evidence of a much more serious crime? Suddenly, you are facing serious consequences for a traffic stop that probably should not have happened in the first place. But is this even legal? What does the Constitution say about these situations, and how can you defend yourself against criminal allegations? 

Three Arrests Made After Suspects Stopped Due to “Excessively Tinted Window”

On May 25, three individuals were arrested in downtown Boston. They had been pulled over for driving in a car with what police called “excessively tinted windows.” After the traffic stop, the vehicle and the suspects were searched – and an illegal firearm was allegedly found in their possession. 

According to United States and Massachusetts law, the reason for the initial traffic stop matters a great deal. For the traffic stop to be justified, there must be some kind of law being broken, something that is serious enough to put other people in danger. You might argue that a broken tail light affects traffic safety, especially at night. But even then, the argument is rather thin. When dealing with tinted windows, on the other hand, it is obvious that police are simply searching for an excuse to pull people over and search them. 

Can Police Legally Pull Me Over for Tinted Windows?

First of all, it is worth mentioning that tinted windows are legal in Massachusetts. The law states that as long as these windows allow 35% of light to pass through the glass, they are fully acceptable. The fine for this violation is $250 – making it a minor offense that is far less dangerous than driving drunk or even having a broken tail light. 

Furthermore, one has to wonder how a police officer can detect whether a window allows more than 35% of the light to pass through. They are simply relying on their best judgment, and it is obviously impossible for a human being to detect the difference between a 34% tint and a 36% tint with their naked eye. In addition, you should know that a traffic stop does not automatically give police permission to search you or your vehicle. Ask for a search warrant before consenting to any searches. 

Where Can I Find a Criminal Defense Attorney in Boston?

If you have been searching the Boston area for a qualified criminal defense attorney, look no further than Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law. We know that many of these traffic stops are completely unconstitutional, and we can push to have your charges dropped due to these obvious constitutional violations. Settling for a public defender may leave you with a lawyer who is not prepared to fight for your rights. Contact us today to immediately get started with an effective action plan. 

The Use of Digital Evidence in a Massachusetts Assault and Battery Case

With the rise of the digital world, digital evidence has become incredibly important in criminal law. In fact, most criminal trials today involve at least some digital evidence. If you have been charged with assault and battery related to a domestic dispute, you should know that the prosecution will almost certainly search for digital evidence they can use against you. But how might this digital evidence affect your case? Is digital evidence even admissible in court? How do you protect your data privacy? Let’s find out: 

What is Digital Evidence – and Why is it Important?

Examples of digital evidence include:

  • Text messages
  • Emails
  • Social media posts
  • Photos/videos saved on your phone
  • Downloaded files
  • Internet surfing history

These are just a few examples, and there are almost limitless types of digital evidence thanks to the wide-ranged nature of the internet. 

But why might digital evidence be important in your assault and battery case? In many cases of domestic violence, it’s a “he said, she said” type of situation. If there were no witnesses of the alleged violence, the prosecution might try to use digital evidence to support their claims. 

For example, they might show that you threatened the victim with text messages. They might also show that you chatted with friends and talked about how much you wanted to physically hurt the victim. 

You might have visited questionable websites – perhaps researching how to get away with certain crimes or use certain weapons. Someone might have videotaped the entire incident on their smartphone with your knowledge. There are many possibilities. 

What are Your Privacy Rights in Massachusetts?

Privacy rights on social media are not strong in Massachusetts. The general consensus is that once you post something on social media, there is “no reasonable expectation of privacy.” But there are some exceptions to the rule. Back in 2022, the Massachusetts Supreme Court expanded privacy rights for social media users. 

This came after a defendant had posted a video of himself holding a gun on Snapchat. Of course, this only applies to posts and not text messages. The Massachusetts Supreme Court was clear on this subject in 2021, stating that there is absolutely no expectation of privacy when it comes to text messages. 

What You Can Do to Protect Your Privacy Rights

You can take steps to protect your privacy in a simple way: Refuse to hand over your smartphone unless police have a warrant. It is really that simple. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified Defense Attorney in Massachusetts?

If you are facing charges of assault and battery in Massachusetts, you should get in touch with a defense attorney as soon as possible. Choose Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law, and you can immediately get started with an effective action plan. We know that digital evidence can make or break your entire case. With our help, you can push back against digital evidence and invalidate it. We can also help you present digital evidence of your own that proves your innocence. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan. 

Department of Justice Cracks Down on Darknet Drug Smuggling

For those who do not know, the “darknet” is the part of the internet that cannot be reached with a search engine like Google or Bing. But unlike the “deep web,” it’s not enough to simply know the web address of the site you wish to reach and enter it manually. If you want to access the darknet (sometimes called the “dark web”), you need a special browser. While the deep web constitutes about 95% of the entire internet, the dark net makes up just 5% of the web. True to its name, this part of the internet is filled with all kinds of unsavory things, including human smuggling operations, hitmen for hire, and illegal drugs.  

But what happens if you use the darknet to carry out your drug operation? Is it really as “hidden” as it seems? A new operation by the Department of Justice is cracking down on these operations, and it is having considerable success. 

Department of Justice Announces “Record-Breaking” Darknet Operation

On May 2, 2023, the Department of Justice announced record-breaking seizures and arrests as part of an international operation against darknet drug trafficking. This is Operation SpecTor, and it has resulted in 288 arrests so far. The operation also led to the seizure of 117 firearms, over $53 million in cash, and 850 kilograms of drugs. 

Coordinated in the United States, Europe, and South America, the operation involved the FBI, Europol’s Cybercrime Centre (EC3), and a wide range of other organizations. Attorney General Garland stated:

“Our message to criminals on the dark web is this: You can try to hide in the furthest reaches of the internet, but the Justice Department will find you and hold you accountable for your crimes.”

The FBI also specifically mentioned several Mexican cartels, pointing out that they have become extremely active on the darknet for their drug smuggling operations. A number of high-profile arrests were made over the years, sending numerous defendants to prison for decades. 

Brazilian Drug Trafficker Arrested in Boston

On May 5, 2023, it was reported that a Brazilian drug trafficker had been arrested by Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Boston. A field officer described this individual as a “public safety threat,” and he may be sent back to Brazil. It is not clear whether this arrest was connected with the aforementioned Operation SpecTor, but it is clear that multiple enforcement agencies are cracking down on these operations. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Defense Attorney in Massachusetts?

If you have been charged with drug smuggling on the darknet, it is imperative that you get in touch with an experienced defense attorney in Massachusetts at your earliest convenience. Although the Justice Department takes this situation very seriously, there are a number of defense strategies you can potentially employ to mitigate your legal consequences. Book your consultation today to get started.