Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

A Quick Guide to Massachusetts Firearm License Laws

At the beginning of September 2021, a road rage victim contacted 911. The victim revealed that the driver of a Ford Focus had pointed a pistol outside of the driver’s vehicle on Route 95. 

This report was subsequently transmitted to all nearby law enforcement. Within a short period, a law enforcement officer was able to locate the vehicle. Fortunately, the officer was able to stop the vehicle without anyone getting hurt. 

Law enforcement promptly informed the driver about the reason for the stop. The driver was then from the vehicle so law enforcement could perform a more thorough search. A frisk of the area where the driver was seated was performed. Law enforcement subsequently located a firearm below the driver’s seat. The driver lacked adequate licensure to carry a firearm. The driver was then placed under arrest. Law enforcement also later determined that the driver lacked a driver’s license. 

Law enforcement was transported for booking. A bail commissioner set the man’s bail at $5,000. The suspect was later scheduled for arraignment at Lowell District court. The driver now faces charges related to possessing the weapon without an FID card as well as operating the vehicle without a license.

Massachusetts Firearm License Laws

To either carry or possess a firearm in Massachusetts, you must first obtain a license to do so. While several types of licenses exist, the most popular types of licenses include: 

  • Firearm identification card (FID)

  • License to carry (LTC)

  • License to possess a machine 

A person can file at their local police department for any of these licenses. To obtain a license, a person will be required to complete a safety course based on the type of license. Unfortunately, some types of criminal offenses can leave a person unable to obtain a firearm license.

Important Details About FID Licenses

FID licenses have several requirements, which include:

  • A person must be 15 years of age or older to apply for a license

  • Individuals under the age of 18 must provide authorities with a letter of permission from their parent or guardian.

  • The applicant must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the application process 

  • To obtain an FID, a person must complete either a certified firearms safety or hunters safety course and have the certificate during the application process 

  • Be legally qualified to obtain a license

  • Provide two references on the associated application

Defending Against FID License Charges

It is a good idea to speak with your attorney regarding what defenses you might be able to raise in response to a firearm charge. Some of the most common types of defenses include:

  • Law enforcement might have performed a search or seizure that violates your 4th Amendment rights. In these situations, it might be possible to file a Motion to Suppress to argue that your constitutional rights were violated.

  • Some offenses require a person to know where a firearm is. If you were not aware that a firearm offense was around, this might serve as a defense. 

  • Firearms must count as firearms under Massachusetts law. Some weapons that might first look like firearms might not actually fall under this definition. 

Contact an Experienced Firearm Offense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with a firearm offense in Massachusetts, you could end up facing countless serious obstacles. To respond to these charges, one of the best things that you can do is obtain the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari to schedule a free case evaluation.

How to Respond if You Have Been Charged With a Massachusetts Sex Crime

An ex-cardinal was recently arraigned on assault and battery charges in a Dedham District Court. During a hearing, the cardinal pleaded not guilty and was ordered to return to the courthouse for a pretrial hearing with several conditions set for his release. The cardinal was required to pay a $5,000 cash bail, to have no contact with the alleged victim or anyone else under the age of 18, not to leave the United States, and to surrender his passport. The cardinal was also warned that if he is charged with a criminal offense at any time until his pretrial hearing, he could be incarcerated.  

The cardinal is the first former or current cardinal in the United States to have been criminally charged with sexual abuse. The charge is connected to the cardinal’s sexual assault of a 16-year-old boy during a 1974 wedding reception. While the charges in question are from 50 years ago, Massachusetts law permits the accuser to pursue charges for the sexual offense. The statute of limitations for criminal cases in Massachusetts was established to “toll” or pause when offenders are out of state. Because the cardinal never lived in Massachusetts, the statute of limitations does not apply to his case. In most cases, the statute of limitations for battery on a person over 14 as well as indecent assault in Massachusetts is six years, which begins at the time that a victim turns 16. 

If you are facing sex crime charges, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about how to proceed. Many people will assume that you are guilty of this criminal offense even before you begin to defend against these charges. Remember that you are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty. If you have been charged with a sexual offense, there are some important steps that you should remember to follow as some things you should definitely not do. 

Speak to Someone You Trust

Facing sexual assault allegations can substantially disrupt the life of the person who is charged. Given that these offenses carry a substantial social stigma, some people notice that individuals charged with the offenses begin to act guilty before a hearing has even occurred. In these situations, it is common for people to feel overwhelmed by these charges, which can lead to the person admitting to offenses that they did not commit or failing to take adequate steps to make sure their rights are fully protected.

Never Talk to the Alleged Victim

If you have been charged with sexual assault, avoid interacting with the witness. Not only are there often legal orders in place forbidding such contact, but chances are also high that the victim could pursue additional charges against you. 

Avoiding Tampering With Witnesses

You might inaccurately document what witnesses say, or it might end up perceived this way. If inconsistencies exist between what a witness said and what you argue they said, you might be viewed by the prosecution as modifying your story.

Contact a Knowledgeable Massachusetts Sex Crime Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime in Massachusetts, you can end up facing serious repercussions even if you are not later convicted of the offense. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation. 

Important Massachusetts K9 Laws You Should Understand

Two men in September 2021 were arrested in Tewksbury on charges of drug trafficking as well as various other offenses related to fentanyl and crack cocaine that were found in their motor vehicle. Law enforcement responded to reports of a suspicious motor vehicle parked in the Walmart parking lot and commented that both driver and passenger appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Law enforcement also reports that items appearing to be drug paraphernalia were in plain sight. 

While investigating the incident, law enforcement states that one of the men tried to run away but that he later ended up in custody. A K9 unit then performed a search, which led to the discovery of 14 grams of fentanyl and the arrest of the second individual. Both men who were charged with offenses were later due in District Court for drug tracking offenses involving over 10 grams as well as possession of crack cocaine and possession of counterfeit notes. One of the suspects also faces an additional charge for operating under the influence of drugs. 

Law enforcement has utilized K9 forces for several years in detecting the presence of drugs. Our lawyers understand the complex law related to drug searches, including those involving K9 forces.

Carey v. Commissioner of Corrections

This case involved the department of correction’s decision to implement a policy that subjected visitors to correctional facilities who are not lawyers due to searches by K9 forces. The court in this case found that this policy was not inconsistent with the department's regulations but that the department failed to adhere to Administrative Procedure Act requirements. The case was then remanded to Massachusetts Superior Court for entry of a judgment declaring that the department was required to (although it had not) meet the requirements of the Act when it adopted the regulation. The court found that the Act did not conflict with existing department regulations. 

Lesson learned: The police can conduct K9 searches of people who visit Massachusetts correctional facilities.

Commonwealth v. Lawson

A defendant’s motion to suppress marijuana that was found in his vehicle lies at the heart of this case. Massachusetts lower court found that there was no justification for a search for narcotics or to search a vehicle with a K9 force. The Massachusetts Appellate Court disagreed with this decision, though. The Appellate Court found that where the defendant was unable to show a valid driver’s license as well as demonstrated nervous behavior, had a prior drug distribution record, had a vehicle equipped with multiple air fresheners, and possessed a large amount of cash, sufficient reasons existed to search the vehicle with or without a K9 force. 

Lessons: Where sufficient reason exists, law enforcement can decide to use a K9 force to inspect your vehicle. 

Contact a Drug Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one is faced with a drug-related criminal offense, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact attorney Edward R. Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.

What You Need to Know About Massachusetts Prostitution Sting Charges


A man in Johnston was recently arrested and charged during a sting operation. The man was charged with felony human trafficking following his arrest inside of a Rockland hotel room. Law enforcement posted an online ad for sex and a female officer went undercover as an escort. The man subsequently made contact with the undercover officer, and agreed to meet her at a hotel room to pay her $100 for sex. 

The man specifically asked the officer if she was “working for herself,” according to the police report. The man later arrived at the hotel driving a Santa Fe with Rhode Island plates. The man was provided with a room number, and was arrested when he knocked on the door. Four other individuals were also taken into custody during the sting operation and were arraigned in Hingham District Court. Each of the men was charged with one count of trafficking an individual for sexual servitude. The man pleaded guilty and was released from custody to await sentencing.  

How Sting Operations Work

Law enforcement often relies on online tools to make prostitution arrests. Police officers will likely create ads on sites like Backpage or Craigslist. When someone responds to the ad, the responses are recorded and the responder can often be convinced to meet in real life. 

Various Behaviors Can Increase Your Likelihood of Arrest

Sex crimes carry serious legal penalties and can damage every other aspect of your life. One of the best ways to avoid charges is to follow some simple advice:

  • Avoid saying anything that might be construed as incriminating via phone, text, or online 

  • Never visit a location with the expectation that you will be able to pay for sexual acts

  • Under no circumstance agree to render payment in exchange for the services of a sexual act 

  • Stay away from sites like BackPages or Craigslist that advertise arrangements of this kind 

Understand the Defense of Entrapment

Entrapment can be used to defend against sting operations that involve sexually-related charges. Entrapment occurs when law enforcement or other authorities convince an individual to engage in a criminal act that the individual otherwise would not have performed. Law enforcement, however, can offer the exchange of sexual services to see how a person responds. 

Do Not Hesitate to Speak With a Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

Even if you are not convicted of the sex crime with which you are charged, the impact on your life can be devastating. If you or a loved one is facing a sex crime charge, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.


Why You Should Never Run From Law Enforcement

Lewiston law enforcement states that two men now face charges following a drug bust that turned into a chase. The arrest came after law enforcement responded to reports of a drug overdose and arrived to find a man in an unconscious state in a hallway. The police administered Narcan, and the man was transported to a medical facility from which he was subsequently released. 

Law enforcement reports that one suspect left both a backpack and his sneakers before running away from law enforcement. This man climbed the roof of the apartment building and then jumped to a nearby rooftop. The man then entered the building through a fire escape before he jumped out of a third-story window. Law enforcement later caught up to the man. 

After obtaining a warrant, law enforcement searched the backpack to discover 425 Oxycodone pills as well as a loaded 9 mm handgun. Law enforcement also searched an apartment connected to the overdose and discovered another 119 Oxycodone pills, 118 grams of either heroin or fentanyl, 11 grams of crack, and $966 in what are believed to be drug proceeds. Law enforcement states that the man who fled has subsequently been charged with trafficking Schedule W drugs as well as illegal possession of a firearm and refusal to submit to arrest. 

Another resident of the apartment was charged with robbery and theft due to claims that he robbed a man at knifepoint recently. Items stolen during the theft were subsequently found during the arrest and search. 

Suspects who run from the police can end up facing some undesirable consequences. The following are some reasons why you should not run from the police, regardless of what criminal charges you believe you are facing. 

Law Enforcement is Likely to Use Physical Force

Law enforcement commonly tells people to stop resisting while they are being arrested. When you try to flee from law enforcement, you will likely be chased. If you elude one law enforcement officer, other officers will likely also be informed of your description and  location. As a result, you could end up tackled and injured because so many officers are looking for you. You may also be tased, or even shot.   

You are Giving Law Enforcement a Reason to Stop You

Law enforcement cannot stop you unless they have a sufficient amount of suspicion to do so. To stop you, law enforcement must believe that something criminal is happening. Running away from law enforcement for little to no reason can end up giving an officer reasonable suspicion to stop you. As a result, regardless of whether you are guilty or innocent, an officer will be able to question you to assess why you ran. 

You Will be Viewed as Having Something to Hide

Law enforcement will assume that because you are running away, either something is wrong or that you are attempting to conceal your involvement in a crime. If you run and law enforcement catches up with you, they will likely search you. If you do have something to hide, law enforcement will almost certainly discover it during this search. 

Obtain the Assistance of a Drug Defense Attorney

Massachusetts takes drug charges seriously, and these convictions can lead to serious penalties. If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug crime, you should not hesitate to speak with a compassionate defense lawyer. Schedule a free case evaluation with attorney Edward R Molari today. 


What to Do if You are Stopped by the Police While Carrying a Firearm


A Massachusetts State Police officer recently arrested a man after they found firearms in his vehicle during a routine traffic stop. The man was arrested and charged with various offenses including four counts of illegal possession of a large capacity weapon in commission of a felony, counts related to unlawful ammunition possession, possessing a firearm while committing a felony, possessing a class B drug while having the intent to distribute, and various other motor vehicle charges. 

Law enforcement was observing traffic when the man’s vehicle was spotted driving through a work zone that was clearly marked with lights as well as cones and signs. While law enforcement followed the vehicle they noticed that its registration expired in January 2020. 

After the vehicle was stopped, law enforcement spotted a rifle inside. The driver, who lacks a firearm license, claimed that the gun was an air rifle. Following a quick inspection, however, law enforcement discovered that the rifle was actually a firearm loaded with a round in the chamber and ready to fire. Law enforcement then located other firearms on the floor of the passenger side. All four of the firearms lacked serial numbers.

Following the driver’s arrest, another assault weapon was found while searching the vehicle. Law enforcement also discovered various ammunition, shell casings, a large quantity of prescription medications, and almost $5,000 in cash. 

The driver was subsequently booked on a bail of $10,000 and scheduled for arraignment. 

What to do When You are Being Pulled Over

After you notice police lights and sirens behind your vehicle, take the following steps:

  • Put on your flashers

  • Pull over to a safe location at the side of the road

  • Put your vehicle in park

  • Lower your front windows

  • If you can easily access your identification, do so

  • Avoid using humor while interacting with law enforcement officers

  • Remember that sarcasm will do little to improve your situation

  • Avoid arguing about the initial reason why you were stopped 

Massachusetts Law Prohibits Firearm Usage

Each state has unique laws addressing carrying firearms in motor vehicles. Some of the Massachusetts laws that you should understand if you are carrying a firearm in a vehicle include:

  • Massachusetts prohibits the possession of firearms in a vehicle, whether loaded or unloaded, unless the possessor is at their residence or place of business. Another exception to this regulation exists if the individual possesses the proper licensure. 

  • An individual with a license to carry may carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle only if the weapon is under that individual’s direct control. 

Contact a Firearm Crime Defense Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime involving possession of a firearm, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact attorney Edward R. Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation today.


Developing Defenses for Drug Trafficking

In June 2021, Massachusetts law enforcement arrested eight individuals during a drug bust that allegedly involved methamphetamine trafficking between California and New England. Law enforcement with Boston’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces seized 152 pounds of methamphetamine during the raid.

Last year, in October 2020, law enforcement received information about drug trafficking activities involving large scale methamphetamines in the Boston area. Law enforcement later identified one of the suspects who was arrested as a methamphetamine trafficker. From February to April 2021, law enforcement engaged in three controlled purchases of methamphetamines from the group.

Drug trafficking involves the possession or transportation of any illegal substance with the intent to either distribute or sell. For the prosecution to establish drug trafficking, they must establish that the person charged was in possession of a sufficient amount of a controlled substance. Methamphetamine is just one of the most commonly trafficked substances. A conviction of drug trafficking can result in a person facing prison sentences, probation, and fines. If you or a loved one has been charged with drug trafficking, it is important to remember that there are several strategies you can follow to defend against these charges. 

Attacking the Credibility of Witnesses

Many cases involving drug trafficking occur due to evidence gathered from confidential information. In countless cases, confidential informants are people either receiving money or attempting to reduce their own drug charges. If you can establish that a witness’s credibility should be questioned, it is often possible to create a strong strategy to respond to the charges you face.

The Charge is the Result of Entrapment

Many drug trafficking charges are the result of sting operations conducted by law enforcement or the sale of drugs to an undercover officer. These cases can often lead to claims of entrapment, which is a difficult defense to establish but if proven can be used to defend against the charges that a person faces.

Lack of Evidence Supporting a Warrant

Your defense lawyer often can create a strong defense to a drug trafficking charge if it can be shown that the warrant obtained by law enforcement is not supported by sufficient evidence. Your defense team might also establish that the evidence used against you was obtained illegally and as a result inadmissible in a court of law. One of the most common constitutional rights that is violated is the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Evidence of Sale

The prosecution must establish that the drugs in question were for sale and not simply intended for personal use. If no aspect of sale can be shown, a charge of drug trafficking will not stand. By challenging the evidence that drugs were being sold, it is often possible to change a lesser charge than drug trafficking. 

Speak With a Compassionate Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, one of the best things that you can do is obtain the assistance of an experienced defense attorney. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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.