Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Holiday Blues and OUI/DWI Arrests

The holiday season is a time for parties and celebrations with family or friends. One sure way to dampen the holiday spirit is for you to be charged or accused of an OUI/DWI (operating under the influence of alcohol or driving while intoxicated). This will zap the jolly out of the holiday season for you and the friend or family member who has to stop by the police station and get you out of jail. An OUI/DWI arrest is a real party pooper for everyone involved. Your first phone call should be to a criminal defense attorney who can provide you with legal advice and solutions to lessen your charges.

Often times OUI/DWI arrests increase during the holiday season as many law enforcement agencies are on high alert to find impaired drivers who are making the holiday travel season unsafe. The warning signs that may signal to a police officer that you are drinking and driving may include:

  • Driving too fast (speeding)

  • Driving too slow

  • Failing to stop at a stoplight or stopsign

  • Failing to yield

  • Driving erratically

  • Swerving and crossing lanes

Police officers can stop any motorist when they feel there is reasonable suspicion of driving while impaired or involvement in criminal activity. During the holiday season, police officers may conduct DUI checkpoints. DUI checkpoints are often referred to as a DUI roadblock or a sobriety checkpoint. DUI checkpoints are specific locales or streets by which police officers set up a roadblock to check motorists for signs of alcohol or drug usage.

DUI checkpoints are designed to ensure that the roads are safe for motorists and free of drunk drivers. While the practice is common, it is not legal in every state. However, Massachusetts is one of the states that makes it lawful to conduct DUI checkpoints. DUI checkpoints in the Commonwealth can be performed throughout the year.

After a police officer suspects you of operating a vehicle while impaired or under the influence of alcohol, he or she will usually ask you to perform a series of tests called field sobriety tests. These tests may include standing on one leg, walking a straight line, or speaking a few sentences to test abnormalities in your speech patterns. The police officer will check your eyes to determine pupil dilation.

If you fail the field sobriety tests, the officer will probably take you to the police station and ask you to participate in chemical blood alcohol level tests. These tests can be conducted by testing your blood, urine, or breath (breathalyzer). If you test above a .08% blood alcohol level, you will be charged with an OUI/DWI.

You can refuse to take a chemical blood alcohol level test. Your refusal can work against you sometimes, as a refusal of the test can invoke an implied consent statute. This automatically causes a suspension of your driver's license for a period of time.

In Massachusetts, a refusal to take a chemical blood alcohol level test will result in a six-month automatic license suspension. However, a refusal cannot be used to insinuate guilt in an OUI/DWI case. When you refuse to submit to a chemical blood alcohol level test after three prior DUI offenses, your license will be suspended for life.

If you have been accused or charged with an OUI/DWI, you should immediately consult a criminal defense attorney. The consequences can be devastating and may include jail time, license suspension, and fines. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

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The Link Between Disorderly Conduct and Indecent Exposure

Disorderly conduct (disturbing the peace) may seem like a simple and common act in the eyes of many people. It happens almost every day. However, in Massachusetts, you could face serious legal consequences if you are charged with disorderly conduct. When charged with disorderly conduct, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney who can explain the severe outcomes possible and help you understand your legal rights. In Massachusetts, the law defines a disorderly person as an individual whose actions cause alarm, annoyance, or inconvenience to the general public. These actions may include:

  • Fighting in public

  • Threatening behavior

  • Violent actions

  • Orchestrating a hazardous or offensive situation

In Massachusetts, the link between disorderly conduct and indecent exposure is outlined in Massachusetts Law Section 53. Both of these crimes are punishable under this statute. In both cases one can serve time in jail up to six months. They are each misdemeanor offenses.

Indecent exposure can range from urinating in public, displaying various forms of nudity, minor sexual acts, to open and gross lewdness. It is a deliberate exposure of private parts, such as one's buttocks, genitalia, or female breasts. To be convicted of indecent exposure, it must be proved that the defendant performed one of the following lewd acts:

  • Exposing their buttocks, genitals, or female breast to others

  • Intentionally exposing these private parts to others

  • Openly exposing private parts with the intent of revealing them to unwilling members of the public

  • Exposing oneself to create a distress or shock reaction

  • Succeeding in creating a shock or distress due to exposing one's private parts

However, indecent exposure can become more severe when it involves open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior. Committing this form of indecent exposure is a felony offense. Open and gross lewdness and lascivious behaviors are prohibited and discussed in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 16. If you are convicted of this crime, you could serve time in the state prison for up to three years or jail time for up to two years and pay a fine.

This Massachusetts law was created to punish individuals who intentionally and openly participate in or showcase lewd sexual acts on unwilling people or the public.  The law does not apply to sexual expressions that may take place in an environment considered private. If a nosy neighbor peeks through your window to watch you and your spouse perform lewd and lascivious sexual acts in the privacy of your home, you will not be in violation of this law. However, if you display your bizarre fetish involving lewd and lascivious sexual acts on the front lawn or rooftop for everyone to see, you could not only shock your neighbors but also be charged with open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior.

If you have been accused of disorderly conduct or a crime involving indecent exposure, it cannot only be embarrassing but also, it can have severe consequences on your life. You should contact a criminal defense attorney to explore your legal options. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

Crimes Involving Guns

Guns are often used in a variety of crimes. Many times, these guns are obtained illegally or stolen. If you have been charged with a crime involving a gun you need to speak with a reliable criminal defense attorney who can explain your legal options.

Massachusetts gun owners are required by law to report the loss, theft, or recovery of a gun to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services and the licensing authority in the city of the owner's residence. A failure to make the appropriate report of loss or theft of the firearm can result in the suspension or permanent revocation of the owner's Firearm Identification Card or license to carry firearms in the Commonwealth.

Many times the guns that are stolen from everyday citizens are used to commit crimes in the community. Crimes involving guns may include the criminal possession of a gun. A possession of a gun may become illegal when:

  • The weapon of possession is illegal

  • A person is not allowed to possess a weapon

  • An individual carries a weapon in a particular area that prohibits firearms

It is illegal to possess a gun in a no-weapons zone, in a courthouse or other areas deemed illegal to carry a gun. Crimes involving a possession of a gun may include:

  • Carjacking with a deadly weapon

  • Battery with a deadly weapon

  • Armed robbery

Individuals who commit a crime utilizing a gun will make the incident more serious, resulting in a harsher penalty. A well-versed criminal defense attorney can discuss the possible outcomes and consequences of your case. Often a misdemeanor charge will become a felony charge if a gun is used to perpetrate the crime. Simple assault is often viewed as a misdemeanor with a lighter sentence, but assault with a deadly weapon will become a felony with harsher penalties and a longer jail sentence. Persons who usually cannot possess a gun include:

  • Minors

  • Mentally ill persons

  • Individuals with a felony conviction

  • Fugitives fleeing the law or justice

  • Illegal or unlawful aliens

There are many federal gun laws that have stiff penalties for crimes involving guns. You can serve up to 10 years for making a false statement to obtain a firearm. You can get up to five years in prison for carrying a gun inside a school zone. If you steal a firearm, ammunition, or explosives, you could face up to 10 years in prison. If you use or carry a firearm during the commission of a felony, your punishment could be five years to life in prison. In some cases, if a death occurred during the commission of a crime involving a firearm, you could receive the death penalty.

Crimes involving guns can have serious consequences and you may lose many of your rights and privileges if convicted. If you have been accused of crime involving a gun, you should immediately consult a criminal defense attorney. The outcomes can be devastating and may include significant jail or prison time and fines. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

Holiday Gifts and Thieves

The holiday season is a joyous time of cheer and merriment, but it also can be a dangerous time when criminals break into homes or cars to steal presents. Breaking into cars as people shop for gifts always increase during the holiday season. Law enforcement suggests shoppers follow these rules to keep their presents save inside the car and away from holiday thieves.

  • Park your car in a well-lit and traveled area

  • Keep your car doors locked

  • Keep expensive items out of view

  • Put Christmas gifts in the trunk of car

  • Do not leave keys in the car

If you are charged with “breaking and entering” a car, home, or other personal property, the consequences can be serious. You should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to learn your legal options.

Penalties will vary for "breaking and entering" into another person's home or personal property. It depends on the time of day the incident occurred. When the crime happened at night, the penalties may include up to 20 years in prison.

If the "breaking and entering" happened during the day hours, the perpetrator can get up to 10 years in prison. If the perpetrator was carrying a firearm, the penalties increase to a minimum of five years in prison.

To be convicted of “breaking and entering," it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the following elements took place.

  • The perpetrator committed the crime during a particular time (night or day).

  • The perpetrator did break into a building, ship, vessel, or vehicle belonging to another person.

  • The perpetrator entered a building, ship, vessel, or vehicle belonging to another person.

  • The perpetrator had intent to commit a felony.

In the Commonwealth, it is also illegal to create or carry burglary tools with the intent to use them in a crime or allow these instruments to be used in a crime. These instruments could be tools for prying open doors, windows, vaults or other materials used for entry or stealing from the personal property of another person. The penalties for possessing a burglary tool with intent to use it may include up to 10 years in prison.

A crime that is associated with "breaking and entering" is trespass. To be charged with trespass, one must knowingly enter a private property or structure without any authority to enter the property or dwelling. Even though there is no intent to commit a crime inside, the unlawful entry of trespass is a crime by itself. You can be charged or arrested. Penalties for trespass include up to 30 days in jail, along with a fine or both.

If you have been accused of "breaking and entering" or a similar crime, you should immediately consult a criminal defense attorney. The consequences can be devastating and may include significant jail or prison time and fines. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

Halloween Pranks and Crimes

 

The little monsters, ghosts, and goblins will be out for a trick or treat on Halloween night, but there will also be criminals searching for opportunities to commit serious crimes. Here are a few Halloween pranks that can get you into heaps of trouble with the law on October 31st.

Vandalism, or destroying property, is a Halloween prank that can get your kids or you in trouble with the police. Egging a house may leave permanent damage, and owners may get mad and file a lawsuit against you. Even toilet papering a building could have legal consequences. Vandalism can carry very stiff penalties in the Commonwealth. If you have been accused of vandalism or destroying someone's property, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney and get legal help.  

Slashing tires or painting a car with shaving cream or toothpaste can be grounds for a visit to the local police headquarters. Halloween pranks may seem fun at the time, but they are illegal and can have severe legal outcomes.

Many communities have established curfews for Halloween night, and youngsters who do not take heed of these curfews may find themselves in trouble. Stealing a street sign or taking Halloween ornaments from a neighbor's yard may seem harmless, but these activities are considered crimes.

On Halloween night, college students may be more likely to consume alcohol while attending Halloween parties, and drunk driving and other alcohol-related offenses can rise during these celebrations. In the Commonwealth, driving under the influence of alcohol is a crime. In Massachusetts, the maximum blood alcohol level is 0.08% for adults drivers and 0.02% for a driver who is under 21 years of age. It is illegal for persons under 21 to drink alcohol. If you are charged with an alcohol-related offense (OUI/DUI) or underaged drinking, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

If your adolescent child or teenager is involved in Halloween pranks and crimes, he or she can face serious consequences such as being detained by the juvenile court system, community service, probation, fines, and possibly a blemish on his or her public record for life. Adults who commit these crimes may face stiffer penalties that could include hefty fines and possible jail time.

Halloween can be a fun time, but it also can be a dangerous time for children who participate in the annual Night of Mischief. The website of The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) provides safety tips for parents to ensure their children are safe on Halloween night. NCPC suggests the following safety tips:

  • Older kids should trick-or-treat in groups; kids walking around alone are never as safe as those in groups, and especially not at night. Younger kids should be accompanied by a parent or trusted neighbor.

  • Review the route for trick-or-treating beforehand and set a time set when kids should be home. Also, have a plan if your child gets separated from his or her friends or from you.

  • Remind your children not to enter strange houses or cars.

  • Remind your children not to eat treats until they have come home. To help ensure this, feed them a meal or a substantial snack before they go out.

  • Check all treats at home in a well-lighted place. Be especially wary of anything that is not wrapped by the factory or that is no longer sealed.

  • Remind kids not to eat everything at once, lest they be green even without the makeup

  • Ask your Neighborhood Watch or local citizen’s group to haunt (patrol) your community.

  • Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police or sheriff’s department.

If you have been a victim of a Halloween prank or crime, you should call your local law enforcement for help. If you or your child has been accused of a Halloween crime, you should immediately consult a criminal defense attorney.

The consequences can be devastating and may include severe punishment or hefty fines, maybe both. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

 

Citations and the Law

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, individuals who commit a driving violation will receive a citation that may require an appearance in court, payment of a fine, loss of license, or jail time. However, G.L. c. 90C, § 2 states that a defendant should receive a copy of that traffic citation during the time and location of the violation or within a reasonable amount of time to determine the violation. When an improper or untimely citation is issued by the police, it can be used as a defense by the defendant. In fact, it could establish a motion for dismissal of the violation. If this happens to you, please hire a criminal defense attorney.

G.L. c. 90C, § 2, is commonly known as the "no-fix" law. It was created to reduce the risk of police manipulation of citations and to offer a notice to defendants of possible criminal charges. To use this as a defense or strategy for dismissal, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney, who can outline a distinctive plan for your particular case. He can examine all factors that may result in a dismissal.

Major violations of Massachusetts traffic laws may include citations for driving while intoxicated or leaving the scene of an accident. These two incidents will carry harsh penalties in the Commonwealth. Minor traffic violations that may result in a citation may include driving too fast (speeding), driving too slow. or not observing traffic signs or signals correctly.

If an individual commits an act that warrants a citation, the police officer will not arrest the individual. However, you are required to identify yourself. When the police officer issues a citation, you will have to sign it. Signing a citation is not an admission of guilt. Your signature means that you received the citation and understand its terms. If you do not sign the citation, the police officer can charge you with a refusal to sign the citation.  The citation will also provide information about the time and location of your court appearance. You should remember to remain quiet because any statement you say can be used against you in court.

When receiving a citation, you will often have the option to request a hearing. In these hearings, you may get the opportunity to reduce your fine, create a payment plan or establish a community service alternative. However, if you wish to contest a citation, you can request a contested hearing by which you will contest your case before a judge. You should always speak with an attorney, who can help you in your contested hearing.

If you have been charged with a violation and improperly received a citation or did not receive one at all from the police officer, you should contact a criminal defense attorney to examine your case.  Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce or dismiss your charges if any citation improprieties exist. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

Use of a Vehicle Without Authority

Jamil Campbell failed to stop at a stop sign in Boston, and he ended up being arrested for not being authorized to use a rental car, along with other charges. The rental car was impounded by police. Using a vehicle without authority is considered illegal in the Commonwealth. There is a gray area in this particular case because Campbell claims his mother gave him authority to use the vehicle and the rented car was officially in her name and not his. This case raises questions regarding who may grant authority to use a rental car, driving a rental car without permission, and the appropriate steps an arresting officer can take in this situation.

Use of a vehicle without authority in the Commonwealth is addressed under Massachusetts Law Chapter 90 Section 24. The law concludes that if you use a motor vehicle without the permission or authorization from its owner, you have committed a crime and you can be charged with use of a vehicle without authority. If you have been charged with such a crime, you should contact a reliable criminal defense attorney because this law can be complex and ambiguous. Your attorney may be able to get the charges dismissed. He or she can explain the key factors or elements that must be proven by the prosecution. According to Massachusetts Court 5.660 Instruction regarding the use of a vehicle without authority, the following elements must be proven in your case:

"The defendant is charged with knowingly using a motor vehicle

without authority.  Section 24(2)(a) of chapter 90 of our General Laws

provides that “. . . whoever uses a motor vehicle without authority knowing

that such use is unauthorized . . .” shall be punished.

In order to prove the defendant guilty of this offense, the

Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

First:  That the defendant used a motor vehicle;

Second:  That at the time he (she) used that motor vehicle, he (she)

did so without the permission of the owner, or the permission of some

other person who possessed the legal right of control ordinarily exercised

by the owner; and

Third:  That at the time he (she) used the motor vehicle, the defendant

knew that he (she) was not authorized to use that vehicle.

A person “uses” a motor vehicle within the meaning of the law if he

rides in it, either as the driver or as a passenger. It is not necessary that the

defendant personally drove or controlled the vehicle, only that he (she)

rode in it while it moved. The Commonwealth may prove that the defendant was not authorized

to use the vehicle either by testimony from the owner or other person in

charge of the vehicle, or through inferences that you are reasonably able to

draw from all the circumstances.

Finally, the defendant must have known that his (her) use of the motor

vehicle was unauthorized.  If it has been proved that the defendant was a

passenger in the vehicle, that fact alone does not establish that he (she)

knew that he (she) was not authorized to use it.  You should consider all of

the circumstances, and any reasonable inferences which you can draw

from the evidence, in determining whether the defendant had actual

knowledge that his (her) use of the vehicle was unauthorized. If the

defendant did not know that his (her) use was unauthorized, you must find

him (her) not guilty. "

In Massachusetts, the punishment for the use of a vehicle without authority can have stiff consequences. When found guilty of a first offense, a person can serve a minimum of 30 days and up to two years in jail. He may have to pay fines up to $500. The consequences may be even harsher for second or third offenses.

If you have been charged with using a vehicle without authority and feel you have been wrongfully accused, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately. The consequences can be devastating and may include jail or hefty fines, maybe both. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

Understanding Embezzlement Charges

What is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement usually happens when an individual takes the property or money of another person, who has entrusted that individual with the responsibility of taking care of these assets for them. Embezzlement most often occurs in a business or employment setting. It is considered to be a white collar crime, and you should contact a criminal defense attorney when you are charged with embezzlement.

What are the Elements of Embezzlement?

For a person to be charged with embezzlement four elements must be present:

  • A fiduciary relationship (entrustment) between the two parties must be established

  • A perpetrator gained access to the property through a fiduciary relationship

  • A defendant must have taken ownership of the assets or transferred them over to another individual

  • A defendant intentionally committed the crime

How Does Embezzlement Happen?

Embezzlement can involve an employee who takes money from their employer. It may involve a bank teller, store clerk or financial advisor who takes money from a client or customer. It may include employees who have possession of company property, such as a company car, computer laptop or a corporate card. They use these items for their personal gain or individual use.

One of the most common forms of this crime is accounting embezzlement. This involves altering or changing records to cover up a theft involving money. The defendant is entrusted with the possession of the money and then is accused of using the money for their personal use or gain.

Many times, persons who commit embezzlement will take a lump sum of money at one time or they may steal small amounts of money over a longer period of time to afford getting caught.  Embezzlement may include falsifying records, fake billings, Ponzi schemes or creating payroll checks to non-existing employees.

What are Some Common Defenses Used in an Embezzlement Case?

Common defenses for embezzlement charges may include:

  • Duress: Forced to commit the crime through personal fear or potential physical harm

  • Not Enough Evidence: Insufficient evidence to prosecute a defendant in the case

  • Entrapment: Defendant was setup to commit the crime

  • No intent to commit a crime: Defendant intended to return the money or property

What are the Consequences of an Embezzlement Charge?

The consequences of an embezzlement charge can vary depending on the severity of the crime. In Massachusetts, an embezzlement charge is punishable under established larceny laws. Punishments may be established, according to the amount or valuation of the stolen property or money. In some cases, a conviction can result in up to five years in state prison or up to two years in jail, plus a hefty fine of up to $25,000.

What Should You Do if You are Charged with Embezzlement?

If you are a victim of embezzlement, you should call your local police. If the evidence warrants, law enforcement may submit your claim to the district attorney's office and start prosecution procedures. If you have been charged with committing embezzlement, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. The consequences can be devastating and may include jail or prison time. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

Cybercrime

 

The cyber world has improved society in many outstanding ways, but it has also opened the door to a host of crimes. Cybercrimes are committed through social media, the internet, and other tools of modern technology. Many criminals use these items to abuse children, extort money, or steal identities. Years ago, criminals committed these crimes in person, but in today's cyber world, criminals can carry out these crimes with a simple smartphone or laptop computer. Below are some examples of cybercrimes.

Computer Crime

Computer crimes govern a very broad category, and a computer or the internet is utilized to commit these crimes. Often in a court of law, computer crimes can carry offenses or punishments equivalent to larceny or fraud. A criminal defense attorney can explain the possible outcomes of a computer crime conviction. Computer crimes may include:

  • Hacking a computer or interfering with an individual's computer access

  • Modifying, copying, using or damaging computer programs, software, or data

  • Utilizing a computer to commit a scam or fraud

  • Stealing data or information from a computer

  • Accessing a computer system or network without permission

  • Utilizing a computer to falsify information

  • Incorporating a virus into a computer system

Sexting

Sexting is the delivery of suggestive materials or nude photographs through a text message. Sexting can be performed on smartphones or computers. Sending suggestive pictures to minors can lead to criminal charges. Sending suggestive pictures featuring minors can lead to charges of distributing child pornography, which can have severe consequences. Depending on the circumstances, a conviction of sexting can cause the perpetrator to be placed on a lifelong sex offender registry.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that uses digital technology such as computers, smartphones, cell phones, social media, text messaging, chat rooms or websites to intimidate, harass, or stalk an individual. It can include threats of violence or the distribution of sexually explicit photos or messages to embarrass or shame the victim.

Cyberbullying is enforced under bullying laws in most states. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, cyberbullying falls under general criminal statutes related to bullying. It may involve harassment, stalking, or annoying conversation via phone or electronic communication. Stalking can happen in person or as a cybercrime using electronic technology.

Phishing

Phishing is a cybercrime by which an individual sends legitimate-appearing emails in an effort to obtain personal or financial data from email responders. Often the messages appear to come from legitimate and well-known websites that the recipient may use or be familiar with in business. Individuals should never respond to these bogus emails.

Identity Theft

One of the most serious cybercrimes is identity theft. Many identity thieves utilize the internet and electronic technology to steal personal information. The perpetrators can hack computers and steal social security numbers, bank accounts, personal emails, and other private information.

If you have been charged with committing a cybercrime, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. The consequences can be devastating and may include jail or prison time. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

The Consequences of Forgery

Janet is a little short on cash, so she slips into her grandmother's room and takes checks from her grandmother's purse, writes a check to herself for $700, and signs her grandmother's name. She goes to the bank and persuades the teller to cash the check. She visits the local mall and goes on a shopping spree by stealing grandma's money. She convinces herself it is not a crime since she was taking money from her grandmother. In the eyes of the law, though, Janet has committed a crime, and it is called forgery.

The above scenario occurs in numerous ways in real life, and the consequences can be serious. If you are charged with forgery or a related crime you should seek the counsel of a criminal defense attorney.

Forgery can be punished as a felony by the state, as well as by the federal government. Forgery happens when someone decides to alter, use, or possess a falsely written document to commit fraud. The crime of forgery involves documents with legal significance, and they may include:

  • Personal Checks

  • Court seals & records

  • Property Deeds & Titles

  • Currency

  • Money orders

  • Promissory notes

  • Official Identification Cards

Making a signature without authorization or allowing another individual to fraudulently sign a document is punishable under forgery laws. The crime of uttering is closely related to forgery. Some courts consider them the same. Forgery involves the creation of a false document, and uttering is the act of knowingly using a forged document.  A person can be charged with uttering when he or she knowingly circulates or uses a forged document created by another person. In order for forgery to be proven, the following factors must be present:

  • The document must have some form of legal significance

  • Changing or altering the appearance of document

  • Making or creating a false document

  • Having the potential of defrauding a normal individual

  • Possessing the intent to deceive or defraud.

If you are charged with felony forgery, you may face hefty fines, loss or suspension of certain privileges and may spend time in federal prison. In the Commonwealth, the punishment for committing forgery may include fines, jail or prison. The laws and punishment for forgery in Massachusetts are outlined in 267 Ma. Gen. Laws Ann. § 2.

If you have been charged with committing forgery, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. The consequences can be devastating and life-changing. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

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