Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

How to Respond if Questioned by Law Enforcement

Four individuals were recently arrested in connection with several robberies that occurred close to the Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. Law enforcement reports that there were several muggings in the area over the last few weeks. These attacks have been described as “aggravated assaults” that involved the theft of cell phones, money, and wallets.

Shortly after 3 in the morning, Boston law enforcement noticed a group of around a dozen people who were allegedly loitering in front of four No Trespassing signs close to Milk and India streets. Law enforcement then arrested four individuals as well as seized drugs, firearms, and cash. All four individuals were subsequently arraigned in Boston Municipal Court. Two individuals were charged with unlawful possession of ammunition, unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, and trespassing. Another one of the individuals was charged with possession with intent to distribute drugs. The fourth individual was arraigned on an existing warrant and also charged with trespassing. Eight other individuals who were questioned by law enforcement were permitted to leave.

You are Not Obligated to Answer Questions Asked by Law Enforcement

You have a Constitutional right under the Fifth Amendment to remain silent if you are questioned by law enforcement. You are not obligated to talk to law enforcement even if you feel you are not lawfully permitted to walk away from the police. Law enforcement cannot punish you for refusing to answer questions. It is almost always the best choice to decline to answer questions asked by law enforcement and promptly seek the assistance of an attorney.

What Happens if You Do Not Exercise Your Fifth Amendment

If you do not utilize your right to remain silent and instead speak to law enforcement, it is important to remember that anything you say or do could end up being held against you in a court of law. If you do speak to law enforcement, you must remember that lying or telling false versions of what happened could get you into even worse trouble. It is often the case that people who decide to continue speaking to the police can end up finding themselves in additional penalties besides the initial charge.

What to Do if Law Enforcement Threatens to Subpoena You

Law enforcement sometimes threatens to subpoena people who refuse to answer questions. If law enforcement threatens to subpoena you, you are not obligated to answer any questions at that time. Law enforcement may or may not be successful in obtaining a subpoena. If you receive a subpoena, you should promptly obtain a lawyer, or if you have one notify them about this. You must follow a subpoena’s orders regarding when and where you must report to court. 

Obtain the Assistance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, you should not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Defending Against Animal Cruelty Charges

Norfolk law enforcement recently arrested a teenager who was filmed engaging in sexual activity with a horse at Turner Hill Equestrian Stables. The 19-year-old in question handed himself over to law enforcement and was arraigned on several charges relating to the sexual intercourse and activity with the horse as well as breaking and entering into the stable. 

The suspect was then placed on bail in anticipation of a hearing to assess if he is a danger to the public. The Norfolk Police Department expressed thanks to the public for becoming involved in the case.

Surveillance camera footage taken from the stables showed the individual sexually abusing a horse. The man was spotted on video footage having intercourse with a mare. The stable owner reported that the man unplugged all of the security cameras at the stable except for one. The man is believed to have knowledge about horse handling and might have spent time at the stable previously due to how he secured and distracted the horse during the criminal act. 

The owner of the stable expressed shock and discomfort that the sexual crime had occurred in the pleasant environment of the stable. Forensic data was gathered from the animal, which was not injured during the assault. 

Massachusetts Law Addressing Animal Cruelty

Chapter 272, Section 77 of Massachusetts General Law prohibits people from abusing and neglecting animals. Massachusetts classifies this offense as a felony and anyone convicted of violating this law can end up facing five years of imprisonment in a state prison or two and a half years in a house of corrections. A conviction under this law can also lead to a person facing fines of up to $2,500. 

Common Examples of Animal Cruelty

Animal cruelty takes many forms but some common examples of these violations include overworking animals to exhaustion, beating or mutilating an animal, leaving an animal in a parked car on a summer day, or willfully abandoning animals at the side of the road. Animal cruelty can also encompass engaging in any type of sexual interaction with an animal.

Defenses Exist to Massachusetts Animal Cruelty Charges

Like all other types of Massachusetts laws, sometimes people end up facing animal cruelty charges even though they have not committed an offense. In these situations, it is helpful to remember that some important defenses can be raised in response to animal cruelty charges in Massachusetts. 

Sometimes, what might look like animal cruelty was self-defense or a person protecting someone else from an attacking animal. This certainly is not the only defense that can be raised in response to animal cruelty. Other times, mistaken identity might be involved. Law enforcement also might have violated Fourth Amendment or other constitutional rights when arresting the suspect or gathering evidence about how the offense occurred.

Speak With an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Being convicted or even charged with a crime can come with various penalties. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation. 

How a Drug Conviction Can Negatively Impact Your Future

Various drugs, as well as cash, were seized by law enforcement during “Operation Lunch Break” on June 11 when several arrests occurred in New Bedford in connection with the Geraldo Rivera Drug Trafficking Organization. The organization operated in the New Bedford area and its members distributed fentanyl cocaine, marijuana, and opioids throughout the area. The investigation located many individuals who were identified in the criminal activity. Five residential search warrants in New Bedford, as well as two warrants in Rhode Island, were executed as well as 14 arrest warrants.

What many people fail to understand is that having a drug charge on your record can lead to various obstacles in countless parts of your life. This article reviews just some of the various consequences that you could end up facing if you are charged or convicted of a drug-related offense.

Asset Forfeiture

Getting arrested for a drug-related offense with the intent to distribute or any other serious drug charge can lead to the forfeiture of your assets. This can occur even if the charges you face are later dismissed. 

Child Custody Issues

If you are in the middle of a custody battle for your child, receiving a criminal conviction could end up making your situation much more difficult. You will likely have your character drawn into question due to a past conviction. Understandably, your child’s other parent will likely want to create as strong an argument for custody as possible, which likely means that they will use any evidence possible to bring your character into question.

Employment Can be Negatively Impacted

All employers want to hire someone that they can trust. A growing number of workers are starting to perform background checks on candidates who they consider to be worth hiring. After applying for a position, your potential employer will likely ask whether you have a criminal record. Unfortunately, having a criminal charge for a drug-related offense can substantially impact your chances of obtaining a position in countless industries. Furthermore, you could end up in even worse trouble if you attempt to lie and say that you do not have any such charge. 

Loan Eligibility Can be Negatively Impacted

Banks and financial institutions are known to deny loans to applicants who have criminal records. You might be classified as a “high risk” because entities that loan money often want to ensure that an applicant can repay a loan. Without a loan, you could have difficulty obtaining a vehicle or a home. 

Losing Your Employment

Many people obtain a security clearance as part of their employment. If these individuals receive a drug conviction, they will likely end up losing their clearance and consequently their position. Receiving a drug-related charge can also end up impacting countless other qualifications that result in a person’s unemployment. 

Speak with a Drug Crime Lawyer Today

Deciding how to respond to a drug crime charge in Massachusetts can be overwhelming. One of the best things that you can do is to obtain the assistance of a compassionate criminal defense attorney. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today for assistance.

Strategies You Can Utilize to Fight Firearm Charges

Four Vermont men were recently arrested on gun charges following a report of a fight at a Massachusetts hotel. The charges are related to both unlawful possession of a gun and ammunition. Law enforcement states that a call was received from a man who claimed that he was being beaten up in a hotel parking lot and threatened with a gun. This man was later treated and released from an area hospital. The four men were arraigned in court and could end up facing additional charges after both drugs and cash were found in a hotel room in which they were staying. 

If you have been charged with a firearm offense in Massachusetts, it is critical to understand that these charges are taken extremely seriously and that the offenses can lead to felony convictions. Fortunately, if you are charged with a firearm offense in Massachusetts, your lawyer can create various strategies to respond to these charges. 

Weaken Eyewitness Credibility

The credibility of eyewitnesses is not an issue that your criminal defense lawyer can explore during a preliminary hearing, but much can be made of this point both at trial and during pre-trial motions. Even if your lawyer does not file a motion with the district attorney to discover who provided the information that led to your arrest, there are various other ways to challenge and attack the credibility of people who provided testimony that led to your arrest. 

Create an Argument to Attack Constructive Possession

The prosecution will also often attempt to argue that a person had constructive possession of a firearm. Constructive means that the prosecution will argue that the firearm was found in a person’s “immediate control” instead of on that individual’s person. To argue against constructive possession, your attorney will often argue against other individuals in the area who owned the property. Your lawyer will also point out other individuals who had access to your property. By focusing on these areas, it is sometimes possible to create questions about reasonable doubt that can eventually lead to an acquittal. 

Lack of Criminal Intent

Some offenses involve the presence of criminal intent. Establishing intent beyond a reasonable doubt, however, is often a particularly challenging task. Without the defendant admitting so, the prosecution often must utilize evidence and witnesses to argue that such intent existed. A skilled lawyer can challenge the admission of evidence as well as argue that evidence does not lead to the inference that the person charged with the crime is beyond a reasonable doubt. Consequently, it is a good idea to avoid speaking with law enforcement and attorneys following your arrest. 

Fourth Amendment Violations

The Fourth Amendment protects individuals against unreasonable search and seizure. Unfortunately, law enforcement sometimes acts in a way that violates the Fourth Amendment. In these situations, it is critical to understand that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment can be subsequently held out of a court of law. 

Contact a Firearm Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense related to firearms, you should not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.

False Sexual Assault Allegations

A football coach at Brockton High School was recently charged with sexually assaulting a child. Boston law enforcement later arrested the man on several charges, which included rape of a child, trafficking a person for sexual servitude, and possession of child pornography. During his role as a volunteer coach, the coach’s duties did not routinely involve unsupervised contact with students. Also, as required by Massachusetts law, the coach had passed a Criminal Offender Information check before being accepted as a volunteer. Additional details about the arrest are still pending.

While some people find it hard to believe, false rape and sexual offense allegations are not uncommon. This article examines some of the most common reasons why people decide to make up these types of charges. 

The Main Categories of False Accusers

Even though every situation is different, data shows that false accusers often fall into one of the following groups:

  • Personal gain is sometimes financial or an accuser makes such an allegation to receive medical care. Other times, a person who makes a false claim hopes to have another type of benefit from making such a claim.

  • Sometimes, individuals who are suffering from psychosis or personality disorders argue that they have been the victims of sexual assault. 

  • A large number of rape allegations arise from relationships that have taken wrong turns. In these situations, accusations often arise for random reasons, which often include revenge. For example, a former lover might make up a sexual charge to seek revenge on someone. 

  • Some people make false sexual allegations because they need an excuse. A person might be trying to cover something like an infidelity or a shameful sexual encounter.

  • It is sometimes the case that a person raises fake sexual allegations because that individual encounters “false memories.” Memories are often thought to be a reliable way of recalling something that occurred. However, there are countless situations in which a person’s brain creates false memories. 

The Gray Area of Sexual Allegations

A gray area exists in many sexual allegations. These allegations include should be viewed as things like memories interrupted by alcohol, mixed signals, and a lack of understanding about what sexual assault means. It is not unheard of for a person to attempt to cover up a potentially embarrassing situation by alleging sexual assault. 

The Repercussion of False Rape Accusations

Sexual allegations are not something that should be considered lightly. After all, even false sexual assault allegations can lead to serious repercussions for the individual who is charged. These charges can result in difficulty with countless things including pursuing professional degrees, obtaining a license, receiving a loan, and living in certain areas.

Talk with a Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

Even being charged with a sex offense in Massachusetts can lead to serious repercussions that substantially burden how a person lives his or her life. As a result, it is often a good idea to obtain the assistance of a skilled attorney to respond to these charges. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Three Tips for Responding to Bank Fraud Charges

A Boston police officer in was recently indicted by a federal grand jury on bank fraud charges, one count of possession of an unregistered firearm, one count of making a firearm in violation of the National Firearms Act, one count of transferring a firearm in violation of the NFA, two counts of bank fraud, and two counts of making false statements to a bank. The charges are related to the officer’s role as owner of a retail gun shop in Tyngsborough. Bank fraud charges as well as violations of the National Firearms Act can lead to lengthy imprisonment, years of supervised release, and substantial fines. 

Common Types of Bank Fraud

Many types of bank fraud are charged as federal crimes because they occur within interstate commerce. The resulting penalties for a federal crime are often significant and can create obstacles that last the rest of a person’s life. Some of the most common types of criminal offenses that lead people to end up facing bank fraud charges include:

  • Pretending to be a financial institute to fraudulently convince others to transfer assets to your ownership.

  • Changing the names of checks or other financial documentation that has been provided to you. Other times, people attempt to change the amount of money that is involved in a transaction.

  • People who rely on fraud as well as other methods to obtain jobs at financial institutes. These individuals then perform fraudulent activity in this position that involves the finances of others at the institute. 

  • Sometimes, people commit fraud by taking out loans knowing that they will not be able to pay them because they have recently filed for bankruptcy. 

Remember Bank Fraud Takes Many Forms

The federal law addressing bank fraud is broad and allows prosecutors to pursue charges in many different ways. To obtain a conviction, the prosecution must only establish that you are engaged in a scheme to artifice or defraud a financial institute. Bank fraud can include faked documents, forged checks, mail fraud, and mortgage fraud. 

Do Not Speak to Law Enforcement

When law enforcement performs any type of arrest, they will often try to get the person who is arrested to make incriminating statements that can be later used against the individual. Law enforcement is also permitted to try to trick you into either lying about evidence or confusing you. 

Hold Onto Your Records

Prosecution for bank fraud charges relies heavily on financial records. To give your lawyer a better understanding of how strong the evidence against you is, you should make sure to retain copies of all your financial records. 

Contact a Fraud Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with fraud in Massachusetts, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. One of the best steps that you can take in such a situation is to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Understanding the Serious Nature of Fentanyl-Based Criminal Charges

A Dominican national was charged on May 27th in Boston in connection with trafficking fentanyl. It was later revealed in a charging document that eight kilograms of fentanyl, one of which also contained valeryl fentanyl, and a fentanyl analog were found at the man’s residence. Being convicted of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl carries various penalties including imprisonment, supervised release, and fines. Additionally, the possession of any of fentanyl’s pharmaceutical forms can lead to various penalties including arrest, the suspension of a driver’s license, the suspension of a professional license, substantial fines, criminal prosecution, and a variety of other repercussions. 

Fentanyl is a Dangerous Drug

Fentanyl is a synthetic, opioid-derived painkiller that is viewed as one of the most dangerous drugs on the market. Despite its risks, fentanyl is classified by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration as a schedule II substance which means fentanyl has a high potential for misuse as well as the tendency to cause physical and psychological dependence. Criminal penalties associated with the distribution and possession of a Schedule II substance are determined by the quantity of the substance possessed by an individual at the time of the arrest. 

Massachusetts Crimes Associated With Fentanyl

Fentanyl is available in a variety of forms in the United States. Without a prescription, it is a serious criminal offense to distribute, possess, or use fentanyl. Furthermore, possessing expired medication or more than the amount of the fentanyl that is prescribed also violates both Massachusetts and federal laws. People charged under Massachusetts law for fentanyl-related offenses can face misdemeanor penalties if a small amount is involved. A person can face felony charges if he or she is unlawfully found with a large quantity of fentanyl. 

Defenses Exist to Fentanyl Charges

As a person facing a drug charge, it is important to remember that not all arrests lead to convictions. One of the most common defenses involves a person’s Fourth Amendment rights, which includes the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Law enforcement can violate the Fourth Amendment in various ways while searching a person’s home, vehicle, or body. For example, searches under the Fourth Amendment are viewed as presumptively invalid unless a warrant exists. In situations where evidence was obtained only due to a violation of a person’s Fourth Amendment rights, law enforcement can often move to exclude evidence. Another one of the most common ways to defend against a fentanyl charge is to show that possession of fentanyl was actually lawful, which means that the person carrying the drug had a permissible reason to be in possession of the drug, like a medical condition. 

Obtain the Assistance of a Drug Crime Defense Attorney

Drug crimes in Massachusetts carry various penalties that can end up substantially impacting your life. One of the best things to do if you are facing a drug crime charge is to promptly obtain the assistance of a skilled defense lawyer. Schedule a free case evaluation with attorney Edward R Molari to begin responding to your charges.

Advice on Responding to False Sex Crime Charges

 

A man from Chicago was arrested in Boston at the beginning of June and charged with sexual exploitation of children as well as the receipt of child pornography. After an initial federal court appearance in the Northern District of Illinois, the man was detained following a detention hearing. Charging documents reveal that in June 2020, the man threatened and manipulated a Massachusetts minor through Snapchat as well as text messages that requested the minor make and send images and videos of the minor engaged in sexual conduct. The investigation revealed that both the Snapchat account and phone number utilized to contact the victim belonged to the man. A subsequent search of the man’s phone revealed that the victim had sent over one thousand media files to the man’s Snapchat account. Several of the files included child pornography. 

The charge of sexual exploitation provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of receipt of child pornography carries similar penalties. 

If you are charged with a sex crime in Massachusetts, there are some important details that you should know before responding to these charges.

External Motives Often Exist to Make False Allegations

It is critical for your attorney to assess whether a false motive existed for the sex crime allegation to be made. While it would be ideal if no one would ever lie about sex crimes, this is sometimes not the case. To overcome the inclination to believe the victim, you will be required to show that they had a reason to lie. Motivations can include things like revenge or jealousy. 

What Words Are Used Can Make a Significant Difference

A judge has minimal time to make assessments and determinations about the alleged victim and perpetrator. Word usage can play a critical difference in influencing whether a person is convicted. For example, using words like “victim” and “defendant” sends a subtle message about guilt to the jury. 

Prepare the Accused to Testify

Many sex crime cases end up as a version of “He said/She said.” In these situations, the jury tends to treat the victim as a credible witness and has an automatic disdain for the person charged with the offenses. In other situations, the jury is more forgiving if the accused appears nervous or has an angry outburst. The accused should do everything possible to create a good relationship with the jury, which sometimes means fully preparing to provide testimony about how the incident occurred. 

Obtain the Assistance of an Experienced Sex Crimes Attorney

Deciding how to best respond to a sex crime charge is never easy, but one of the best steps that you can take in doing so is to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation. 

 

Advice on Responding to False Sex Crime Charges

 

A man from Chicago was arrested in Boston at the beginning of June and charged with sexual exploitation of children as well as the receipt of child pornography. After an initial federal court appearance in the Northern District of Illinois, the man was detained following a detention hearing. Charging documents reveal that in June 2020, the man threatened and manipulated a Massachusetts minor through Snapchat as well as text messages that requested the minor make and send images and videos of the minor engaged in sexual conduct. The investigation revealed that both the Snapchat account and phone number utilized to contact the victim belonged to the man. A subsequent search of the man’s phone revealed that the victim had sent over one thousand media files to the man’s Snapchat account. Several of the files included child pornography. 

The charge of sexual exploitation provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of receipt of child pornography carries similar penalties. 

If you are charged with a sex crime in Massachusetts, there are some important details that you should know before responding to these charges.

External Motives Often Exist to Make False Allegations

It is critical for your attorney to assess whether a false motive existed for the sex crime allegation to be made. While it would be ideal if no one would ever lie about sex crimes, this is sometimes not the case. To overcome the inclination to believe the victim, you will be required to show that they had a reason to lie. Motivations can include things like revenge or jealousy. 

What Words Are Used Can Make a Significant Difference

A judge has minimal time to make assessments and determinations about the alleged victim and perpetrator. Word usage can play a critical difference in influencing whether a person is convicted. For example, using words like “victim” and “defendant” sends a subtle message about guilt to the jury. 

Prepare the Accused to Testify

Many sex crime cases end up as a version of “He said/She said.” In these situations, the jury tends to treat the victim as a credible witness and has an automatic disdain for the person charged with the offenses. In other situations, the jury is more forgiving if the accused appears nervous or has an angry outburst. The accused should do everything possible to create a good relationship with the jury, which sometimes means fully preparing to provide testimony about how the incident occurred. 

Obtain the Assistance of an Experienced Sex Crimes Attorney

Deciding how to best respond to a sex crime charge is never easy, but one of the best steps that you can take in doing so is to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation. 

 

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You Respond to Sex Crime Charges

An Andover doctor was recently charged with illegally filming a woman while engaging in sexual intercourse with her. The doctor, an employee of Lahey Hospital, was arraigned for two counts of illegal wiretapping. The woman accused him of secretly filming her while she both took a shower and engaged in sex with the doctor from 2011 to 2013. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime in Massachusetts and you know you did not commit the charge in question, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that things will simply resolve on their own. In reality, however, this rarely happens. If you are charged with a sex crime, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of an experienced sex crimes attorney. The following are some common ways that an attorney can help you in this situation.

Careful Review of Your Case

An experienced criminal defense lawyer will review the facts of your case to assess how to best respond. The best sex crimes attorneys will review the prosecution’s case to determine what strategy would lead to the best possible results. This might mean dismissing your case, exoneration, or obtaining reduced charges. 

Reduce Your Charges

The best criminal defense lawyers can have charges entirely dropped, exclude evidence from court so victims end up facing a less serious crime, or even get charges reduced. Remember, even if you did commit a sex crime, it is still possible with the assistance of a seasoned defense attorney to successfully argued that your charges should be reduced. 

Building a Defense to Sex Crime Charges

Knowledgeable sex crime lawyers can review the details surrounding your case to decide what would be the best defense possible. Some of the most common defenses raised in sex crime cases include: 

  • Arguing that the victim consented to the act and that as a result, the act in question was not a violation of the victim’s rights, or the act was not criminal. It is often particularly challenging to show that consent existed, though. 

  • There have been countless cases in which a person who at first seems like a victim is later discovered to have a motivation like revenge that led to bringing a criminal charge against the other person. If an external motivation can be demonstrated, it might be possible to have your charges dropped. 

  • Sometimes, a person charged with a sex crime will plead innocent. This means that the individual did not engage in any type of activity that warranted the charges. Arguing innocence is often difficult unless a person can establish why the alleged victim initiated the charges.

Speak With an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

Sexual offense convictions carry more than potential imprisonment and potential fines, they can also lead to lasting social stigmas that can interfere with a person’s ability to live in certain places or pursue certain careers. If you are charged with such an offense, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation. 

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