Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Four Things to Remember About Massachusetts Fentanyl Trafficking Charges

The Hampden District Attorney has revealed that investigators discovered three kilograms of pure fentanyl as well as cash, cocaine, and guns in raids that occurred in Belchertown and Springfield in December 2020.  

One kilo of cocaine was found in a box under a Christmas tree at the home of a suspected drug trafficker. Massachusetts troopers had stopped the man’s vehicle on December 5th and discovered a kilo of cocaine in it. Two days after the man was arrested, Massachusetts troopers discovered two other men with 2.8 kilos of fentanyl in the backs of their vehicles. A day later, two other men were arrested and charged with illegal gun possession, drug trafficking, and other criminal offenses. 

The Hampden District attorney stated that a large amount of fentanyl is believed to be in the area. He also stated that the arrests and drug seizures were the result of investigatory efforts by several departments. The suspects are currently still being arraigned in a court of law. 

If you or a loved one is charged with trafficking in narcotics, it helps to understand some important details about the nature of these charges. 

What it Means to Traffick Drugs

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 94C Controlled Substances Act, Section 32E(c) defines the act of drug trafficking as either intentionally or knowingly distributing, dispensing, manufacturing, or possessing with the intent to distribute, dispense, or manufacture a controlled substance. 

Trafficking Carries Harsh Penalties

Drug trafficking convictions in Massachusetts can result in substantial penalties. This often includes a minimum period of imprisonment as well as fines. Additionally, those convicted of drug trafficking, and sometimes even those who are simply charged, end up facing challenges that substantially disrupt their personal and professional lives. 

Elements of a Drug Trafficking Conviction

To convict a person of drug trafficking, the prosecution must establish several elements beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements include the following: 

  • The defendant either intentionally or knowingly

  • Had active or constructive possession of the substance

  • The amount possessed satisfies the established trafficking definitions

  • The substance was possessed with the intent of being distributed to another 

Defenses to Drug Trafficking Charges Exist

Several common defenses are raised in response to drug trafficking charges. One of the most common strategies is to file a motion to suppress, which can end up impacting what evidence is permitted to be used at a trial. Motions to suppress might establish that the search of a person, home, or vehicle was unconstitutional, that the informant who provided details leading to the arrest was unreliable, or that an initial traffic stop that led to the discovery of drugs was unlawful. 

It is also sometimes possible to argue that a drug trafficking charge should be reduced to a criminal charge that carries less stringent penalties.

Do Not Hesitate to Obtain the Assistance of a Criminal Defense Lawyer

It is often a confusing and overwhelming experience to face criminal charges in Massachusetts. One of the best things you can do in such a situation is to obtain the assistance of a skilled defense attorney. Do not hesitate to contact Attorney Edward R. Molari so that he can begin protecting your rights and fighting for the results you deserve.

How to Defend Against Breaking-in Charges

A man was arrested in November at the Barking Crab in the Seaport part of Boston. After responding to a reported break-in at the restaurant, law enforcement officers found the man stealing bottles of alcohol. The suspect then fell and cut himself on broken bottles as he attempted to flee the police. The suspect was then taken by the police to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

How Breaking and Entering is Categorized

Massachusetts Chapter 266 Section 16 defines the crime of “breaking and entering at nighttime with the intent to commit a felony” or “burglary.” This offense is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in state prison. To be convicted of the offense, the prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that a person committed the following:

  • At night time. The element of night includes the time between one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.

  • Breaks into a structure belonging to another person. The word ‘break’ is confusing, and the prosecution need not establish that a person broke anything. Instead, breaking can be found in the exertion of any type of physical force.

  • Enters a building or structure belonging to another person. This does not mean that a person’s entire body enters the structure; just a hand or arm is enough.

  • With the intent to commit a felony. Many times, it is difficult to show a person had the intent to commit a crime. If a person lacked intent, the only offense with which a person can be convicted would be trespassing, which is a much less serious offense.

Given these complexities, several strong defenses can be raised in response to a breaking and entering charge. This article considers just a few of the most common defenses.

Common Defenses to Breaking and Entering

Some of the most common defenses that are raised in response to breaking and entering charges include:

  • If the property owner consented to the individual’s location on the property, a defense might exist. Courts interpret consent narrowly, though. This means that if a property owner consented for a person to be one part of the property but not the area where the breaking and entering occurred, consent cannot be used as a defense.

  • If a person was mistaken about the property in such a way that the intent aspect of breaking and entering is negated, a person can raise a strong defense. This might involve a person breaking and entering someone else’s property while under the mistaken belief it was the trespasser’s property or that the property belonged to friends or family who provided that individual with consent.

Speak With a Criminal Defense Attorney

Remember, being convicted of breaking and entering or one of several other theft crimes in Massachusetts carries serious penalties including imprisonment, fines, and the lasting reputation of being a thief. To maximize your chances of avoiding these charges, you should not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation, during which time attorney Molari will review your available options to respond to charges.

What Process is Involved in an Illegal Firearm Charge?

Massachusetts law enforcement arrested a 47-year-old man at the Ruggles MBTA station in Boston. On the man’s person, law enforcement discovered a loaded pistol, three spare magazines that were fully loaded, a knife, and a bullet-proof vest. Law enforcement has also stated that the man is suspected of compiling chemicals that can be used to manufacture explosives. Additionally, law enforcement states that the man adheres to an anti-government extremist ideology.

Massachusetts has a rigorous body of law addressing what constitutes illegal handgun usage. If you face a criminal charge related to a firearm or other weapon, the Massachusetts criminal process can be nerve-wracking. In hopes of making this process easier to understand, the following briefly reviews the common phases in the criminal trial process. Remember that you are presumed innocent until you are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Citation or Arrest

If law enforcement views your offense as a less serious one, you will likely be given a paper citation to appear in court. Many crimes, however, result in an arrest, which means that you will be brought to the police department for processing. You will then be given a future date for an arraignment unless you are held without bail. You will likely also be searched during this time.

Hearing for Misdemeanors

For many misdemeanors, a clerk’s magistrate hearing will occur next, during this time the Commonwealth must identify enough evidence that allows them to charge a person with a crime.

The Arraignment Process

Arraignments are often held for people charged with the most serious crimes. Some of the reasons why a Massachusetts District Court will ask a person to appear for an arraignment include that a person was arrested and placed in jail, a person received a summon to appear without being arrested, and a person appeared at a clerk magistrate’s hearing the clerk found probable cause to charge the individual with a crime.

Pre-Trial Conferences and Negotiations

Before a trial, your lawyer will attempt to negotiate a plea bargain. This means that in exchange for a guilty plea, the prosecution might agree to a lesser sentence.

Pre-Trial Hearings

As part of settlement negotiations, a case will sometimes have other hearings to assess other pre-trial results.

Criminal Trial

If a case proceeds to trial without a plea bargain, the trial process will likely include several stages. These stages include things like opening statements, evidence presentation, and closing statements.

Verdict and Sentencing

If a court determines that a person is guilty of a criminal offense, the judge will likely sentence a person immediately if the hearing involved a misdemeanor. If a felony is involved, sentencing will often take much longer.

Obtain the Help of a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

Remember, while the United States Constitution acknowledges certain gun rights, these firearm rights are not absolute. If you are convicted of a firearm-related offense, you can suddenly find yourself facing a variety of challenges. One of the best things to do is contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after finding out about a firearm charge. Attorney Edward R Molari will then remain committed to making sure that you have the strongest legal defense possible. Contact attorney Molari today for assistance.

What Covid-19 Crimes are There in Massachusetts?

Law enforcement in Massachusetts arrested a man in November after he spit at two female hikers and claimed that he had COVID-19. The man had confronted the two women for not wearing masks on a popular trail close to the New Hampshire border. In a video of the confrontation, the man tells one of the women to put on a mask. This echoes an executive order by Governor Baker stating that anyone over the age of 5 in the state is required to wear a face covering.

Police later stated that the man is charged with assault and battery as well as making a false threat of a biological agent. Law enforcement also noted that it had received numerous anonymous tips after releasing a video of the confrontation. This led to the man being arrested outside his residence with no incident. The man was arraigned in Winchendon District Court and pled not guilty. 

Following the issuing of stay-at-home orders, Boston saw a significant rise in crime. This is just one of the many ways in which our daily lives have been impacted by the pandemic. People have also had to contend with new laws, ordinances, and emergency orders designed to keep COVID-19 under control by banning gatherings of certain sizes and restricting movements. As a result, there are understandably some questions and concerns about how criminality functions during the pandemic. 

Assault With a Deadly Weapon

The example that began this article is just one report of many. Since the pandemic began, countless reports have emerged about people either deliberately or intentionally coughing on others to infect them with COVID-19. Some of these cases have occurred at stores, restaurants, and other locations where people are asked to wear masks to protect those around them. Other disputes have occurred in public and involve people who have disagreements about how often and in what setting you should wear a mask. When these cases have occurred in Massachusetts, individuals have been left facing “threat of a biological agent” charges. General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 269 “Crimes Against Public Peace” makes it illegal for a person to threaten to use a biological agent among other types of weapons.

Quarantine Violations

There have been countless cases of people who have violated quarantine orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. A person in Massachusetts who commits such an action could easily end up facing reckless endangerment charges under Massachusetts law. To convict a person of such charges, however, prosecutors in Massachusetts would likely first need to establish that a person was exposed to COVID-19 but violated quarantine orders and endangered the lives of others.

Team Up With a Compassionate Criminal Defense Attorney

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts takes the transmission of COVID-19 seriously. As a result, Massachusetts strictly enforces several laws about COVID-19 in the state. If you or a loved one is charged with such an offense, you need an attorney who will remain dedicated to your case. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today for assistance.

Four Things to do Immediately Following a False Sex Crime Charge

A Boston pharmacist is currently being held without bail following charges related to the possession of more than 15,000 suspected items of child pornography as well as conspiring with an out-of-state man to rape a child. The man has since pled not guilty to the charges, which include conspiracy to commit child rape as well as multiple child pornography-related counts, including dissemination, enticement, and possession. Boston law enforcement claims to have evidence of alleged criminal offenses that range from February 2019 to June 2020. 

Many people in Massachusetts have criminal records, and a large group of those individuals have been charged as sex offenders. While law enforcement in the Commonwealth does a good job of prosecuting drug crimes, not everyone who is convicted or accused in Massachusetts of sex crimes is guilty of wrongdoing. If you have been falsely accused of sex crimes in Massachusetts, there are some critical steps that you should promptly take.

Create a Strong Defense 

If you have been falsely accused of a sex crime, it is a good idea to immediately begin constructing a strong defense. Plans often include things like retaining the services of a professional who can provide psychological testing to confirm your innocence. Many people also take the action of collecting evidence that can exonerate them from charges. 

Be on Your Best Behavior

If you are facing a sex charge, it is critical to remain alert to everything that you say and do. Some actions that you should take include not making any ill-advised comments that could end up jeopardizing the outcome of your case. Not only does this advice apply to actions taken in real life, but also to anything posted to social media accounts.

Stay Alert to Investigators

As your sex charge case proceeds, you should remain alert to investigators who will attempt to collect evidence about your guilt. Investigators will rely on various techniques to reveal incriminating details about you and your past. This might mean uncontrolled phone calls or other efforts to lure you into providing incriminating details. Stay on guard to investigators as you navigate your charge. 

Do Not Get Discouraged

Regardless of how you feel about your case, it is important to not get discouraged. Sex crimes are a serious matter in Massachusetts, which means that a person often must go the extra distance to prove their innocence. Despite how difficult the situation might seem, it is a good idea to remain optimistic and engaged in proving your innocence until you are exonerated. Hiring an experienced attorney who will remain dedicated to the positive outcome of your case is one of the best steps you can take toward feeling better about your future.

Speak With a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

Conviction of a sex crime in Massachusetts can result in serious consequences including a tarnished social reputation and difficulty pursuing career opportunities. As a result, it is critical for people charged with these offenses to promptly retain the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.

What Happens to Items Seized by Law Enforcement

Boston law enforcement recently recovered seven illegal handguns in eight hours. As a result of this discovery, nine individuals were arrested for various firearm offenses after the loaded weapons were confiscated in Dorchester, East Boston, Mattapan, and Roxbury. The arrested individuals between the ages of 19 to 49 who came from areas throughout Massachusetts.

One of the most common questions that people who are charged with criminal offenses in Massachusetts ask besides where one can find an experienced criminal defense lawyer is how to get property back following seizure by law enforcement. The answer to whether you can expect to see items confiscated by law enforcement again depends on the nature of the property. Whether you will be able to get your property back is influenced by the reason why the item was seized in the first place. The following reviews the four possible paths for property following confiscation by law enforcement.


Contraband is property that is confiscated because it is against the law to possess it. Some of the most common examples of contraband include counterfeit money, illegal drugs, and illegal firearms. If property is classified as contraband, it will be held as evidence until your case is over, at which point the property might be destroyed. Your lawyer will be made aware of any contraband items and will likely examine the items before trial. If your lawyer can argue that possession of the items was lawful, you might have the item returned. Otherwise, the item would likely be destroyed during trial.


The prosecution has the power to temporarily hold property that is believed to have been used in the commission of a crime or is the product of a crime. Law enforcement can also seize property that is believed to have been evidence of a crime even if a person is not arrested, charged, or convicted.


Civil asset forfeiture is a process that allows the government to seize cash and assets that are believed to have been acquired or used from criminal activity. The process allows law enforcement as well as prosecutors to seize property without arresting or charging anyone with a crime. If a person loses their forfeiture in a civil case, law enforcement is permitted to keep or sell the property. Unfortunately, there are various cases of law enforcement misapplying forfeiture powers.


If you had valuables on you at the time that you were arrested, law enforcement will often take these items and hold them until you are released to prevent them from being stolen. In most cases, you will need to provide the appropriate voucher as well as government-issued identification before these items are returned to you.

Speak with a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one is charged with a firearm-related offense in Massachusetts, it is in your best interest to promptly retain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Do not hesitate to contact attorney Edward R Molari.

Four Things to Know if Charged With Intent to Distribute

Law enforcement in Massachusetts at the beginning of October arrested seven alleged drug dealers in the Methadone Mile area. Law enforcement officers also helped more than 25 alleged buyers pursue treatment for their drug addictions. Law enforcement also identified several individuals who are reputed to sell drugs in the Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard section of Boston. The investigation resulted in the discovery of a substantial amount of drugs in the area. Law enforcement made various charges against those who were arrested including distribution of Class B drugs, trafficking class A drugs, trafficking Class B drugs, and possession with intent to distribute Class A drugs.  

If you have been charged with the possession or intent to distribute a drug in Massachusetts, there are several things to understand about these charges. 

These Charges Carry Repercussions

A charge of drug possession or intent to distribute is a serious criminal offense that can significantly impinge on your civil liberties. Besides having a criminal history, a person’s social reputation can also be destroyed by drug charges. A charge for possession also denotes that a person is using drugs. A person charged with intent to distribute faces stricter penalties and a greater risk of losing liberty in comparison to possession charges.

Denying Possession of Drugs

Merely being in the proximity of drugs does not mean that they are in a person’s possession. Instead, a person has to intentionally or knowingly have control over an object for possession to be found. This means that if a person is found in a car with someone else who is possessing drugs or at a party with someone possessing drugs, that does not make an individual guilty of possession of narcotics.

What to Do if You are Charged With Possession or Intent to Distribute

If you are under investigation for a possession-related offense, you should hire a skilled defense attorney as quickly as possible. Oftentimes, a skilled defense attorney will not hesitate to become involved in the discovery process and will begin to gather video evidence and lab reports to determine whether you actually were in possession of drugs at the time of your arrest.

You Have Constitutional Rights

The 5th Amendment grants individuals the opportunity not to incriminate themselves, while the 4th Amendment states that a person shall be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.  An experienced criminal defense attorney can make sure that your rights are protected and can help you make decisions about your future in a way that benefits your health as well as your constitutional rights. Three things that a lawyer can do to make sure that your case has a positive outcome includes assessing whether or not you have a drug problem, whether the problem places your loved ones in jeopardy, and whether you should pursue rehabilitation. 

Speak With a Boston Drug Crime Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug-related offense in Massachusetts, it can be overwhelming to decide how to best respond. One of the helpful strategies that people should take in such a situation is to promptly retain the assistance of a skilled attorney. Do not hesitate to schedule a free case evaluation with attorney Edward R Molari.

Three Things to Know About Massachusetts Firearm Charges

Law enforcement in Boston arrested nine individuals in September during five unrelated firearm incidents within one 24-hour period. One arrest occurred when law enforcement spotted a Jeep Cherokee that was reported as a stolen vehicle. After the Jeep crashed into the parked vehicle, three individuals ran from the vehicle. Two of these individuals were arrested while a third was identified and released. One of the individuals is facing several charges including carrying a dangerous weapon. The other four incidents occurred within three hours.  

The first incident occurred when law enforcement pulled a vehicle over and discovered a firearm with 10 live rounds of ammunition in a passenger’s pocket. This resulted in illegal weapon charges. 20 minutes later, law enforcement responded to calls about a shooting in Roxbury. After arriving at the scene, law enforcement saw a large crowd fighting outside a restaurant. Among the group was one man holding a gun in his hand. This man was arrested after he tried to run from the scene. Soon after, law enforcement arrested two more individuals and recovered a firearm at a traffic stop close to Dorchester’s Bowdoin Street and Adam Street. The fifth and last arrest occurred when law enforcement pulled over a vehicle. After discovering that this driver had only a learner’s permit and the passenger did not have a valid license, law enforcement discovered two guns.

If you were pulled over and arrested for unlawful possession of ammunition or a firearm, it is important to understand this serious offense can result in jail time if you are convicted. The following reviews some important things to understand about firearm charges in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Has Some of the Most Serious Firearm Penalties

Firearm as well as ammunition charges in Massachusetts are classified as some of the most stringent laws in the state. Under Massachusetts law, possessing a firearm or ammunition if you are not licensed to do so is classified as a criminal offense that can result in several years in prison as well as hundreds of dollars in fines. It is critical to act quickly and retain the assistance of legal counsel if you are charged with a firearm or ammunition related offense.

Recognize the Elements Associated With These Offenses

To be charged with an unlawful firearm or ammunition offense in Massachusetts, the prosecution must establish several elements to satisfy the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements include:

  • The person being charged had possession of the item.

  • The ammunition or firearm satisfies the state’s definition.

  • The person being charged was aware that the item was in his or her possession.

Massachusetts License Laws Apply to Ammunition and Firearms

Massachusetts license requirements apply to both firearms and ammunition. Licenses must be obtained through the appropriate police department. The state acknowledges several types of licenses that dictate what types of firearms a person can own and carry as well as the amount of ammunition a person can carry on them at any one time.

Speak With a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

Law enforcement in Massachusetts takes firearm offenses seriously. As a result, if you or a loved one is charged with an ammunition or firearm-related offense, it is in your best interest to promptly retain the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Contact attorney Edward R. Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Three Ways to Defend Against Larceny of a Motor Vehicle Charges


A Peapod delivery driver was making its rounds in September when a man hopped in the truck and drove off in an unknown direction. Law enforcement soon after responded to a call for the stolen vehicle and spoke with the victim to gain a description of both the suspect as well as details about the truck. Hours later, law enforcement spotted the vehicle traveling School Street in Jamaica Plain. Law enforcement followed the truck until it stopped in a driveway where law enforcement placed the driver under arrest. The suspect was later charged with larceny of a motor vehicle.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 28 addresses larceny of a motor vehicle. This law prohibits the act of stealing as well as buying, concealing, possessing, and receiving a motor vehicle that a person knows or has reason to know is stolen. The Commonwealth takes this offense seriously and a conviction can result in up to 15 years in prison as well as a fine of $15,000. As a result, it helps to understand there are several ways to respond to these charges. This article reviews just some of the most common ways to respond to these charges.

You Lacked the Intent to Steal the Vehicle

The prosecution in a larceny of a motor vehicle case must establish that the person being charged had the intent to steal the vehicle. This means that a person must have had the intent to permanently deprive someone else of use of the vehicle. As a result, the offense does not apply when a person decides that they only want to steal a vehicle for a short amount of time. If there is not sufficient evidence to establish intent to steal a vehicle, the prosecution will not be able to make a conviction.

You Believed the Vehicle Was Yours

If you took the vehicle with the belief that it was yours, you can likely create a strong argument that you did not have the intent to steal the vehicle. Sometimes, the prosecution might even make an error about ownership and the person being charged will be the owner of the vehicle. Other times, it might be possible to present evidence demonstrating that you had a lawful claim to the vehicle. 

Consent Was Given

To be convicted of larceny of a vehicle, the prosecution must establish that you took the property against the owner’s consent. As a result, if you can establish that the owner consented to your taking of the vehicle, you can create a strong defense to these charges.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being convicted of stealing a motor vehicle can result in lasting consequences including large fines, imprisonment, and a tarnished social reputation. As a result, it is in your best interest to obtain the assistance of an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney to respond to these charges. Do not hesitate to schedule a free case evaluation with attorney Edward R Molari today.


Four Things to Know About the Charge of Misleading Law Enforcement

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

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

Massachusetts Takes the Offense of Misleading Law Enforcement Seriously

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

What the Prosecution Needs to Satisfy a Charge

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

The Prosecution Must Prove You are Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

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

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

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

Retain the Assistance of a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney

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