Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Crime Classifications

There are various types of crime classifications. They range from non-serious classifications to severe classifications with harsh consequences. It is important for defendants to know the differences between crime classifications and how they will impact the punishment defendants will receive if convicted. Crime classifications normally fall into three categories that include infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. A criminal defense attorney can help you better understand how they will affect your situation.

Infractions

Infractions are the lowest form of crime classifications. These crimes generally involve giving an individual a ticket or citation. Infraction violations require little or no time in court or jail. These crimes are simple violations, such as a traffic violation or jaywalking. However, it is important to quickly address these crimes. Ignoring infractions may result in additional hefty fines and penalties.

Misdemeanors

A misdemeanor is a crime classification that is less serious than a felony, yet more serious than an infraction. Misdemeanors are usually punishable by either a fine or stay in a local county jail. Jail time is normally less than a year. Often they are distinguishable by three classes, which may include high or gross misdemeanors, ordinary misdemeanors, and petty misdemeanors. Petty misdemeanors may include a short time, less than six months, in a local jail or a fine. Realizing the consequences of a misdemeanor conviction is important. Your criminal defense attorney can help create a defense to reduce the outcomes of a misdemeanor conviction. Common misdemeanors may include trespassing, public drunkenness, petty theft, or vandalism.

Felonies

Felonies are more severe than misdemeanors, and the consequences are more devastating to the convicted. Felonies may include grand theft, arson, murder, rape, kidnaping, burglary, terrorism, illegal drug use and possession, fraud, or embezzlement. Felonies are the most serious type of crime classification and are usually classified by degrees, such as first-degree felony or second-degree felony. First-degree is the most serious. However, the Commonwealth does not classify felony crimes into different classes. Instead, each criminal law includes potential penalties for each individual felony. If one is found guilty of a felony, the person will most certainly spend time in prison, not a local jail. Criminal fines for those guilty of committing a felony can be thousands of dollars. Your criminal defense attorney can explain the various felony laws and how they might impact your case. He or she can create a defense to help reduce the prison time.

A felony conviction will be a part of your permanent criminal record. Being convicted of a felony crime can affect your housing and job prospects. A felony conviction will keep you from voting, carrying firearms or obtaining various professional licenses in the Commonwealth. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you explore plea options and other defense strategies. You want to avoid any felony conviction if you can because the life-changing impact can be permanent.

If you want to learn more about crime classifications and how they impact your case, you should contact a criminal defense attorney. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

Drunk Driving Accidents and Arrests

With the winter months behind us in the Commonwealth and warmer weather approaching, more folks will be coming out of hibernation to enjoy the spring and summer weather in Massachusetts. Spring and summer means more people will be on the road, and also that the chances of being involved in a drinking and driving accident increase significantly.

What Should You do After a Car Accident with a Drunk Driver?

If you have been in an accident, make sure you are physically safe and out of danger. If your car can be moved, drive it to the shoulder of the highway. If you are hurt, take care of any wounds or injuries. Call 911 to get medical help, if necessary.

If the other driver is coherent, get his or her insurance, license plate number, and other personal information. If other people witnessed the accident, ask for their contact information. If you are injured in the accident or the other driver is intoxicated, call your local law enforcement immediately.

Collect and save evidence by taking pictures of your injuries and damage to the cars involved in the accident. Contact a reliable attorney who can explain your legal options.

What Should You do if You are Pulled Over for Drunk and Driving?

If your are being pulled over by a police officer while driving, drive your car off the road and and to a safe stopping location. One of the first things the arresting officer will do is observe your behavior and actions. Your behavior will be documented in his or her report, which may impact your case. The officer will make a mental note of how you drove your car off the road. If you are driving erratically, it will be noted on the police report.

Officers are trained to be aware of their surroundings to keep themselves safe. They will usually approach a vehicle from behind to have a clear view. They will be closely watching you. Therefore, make sure you do not make any sudden or suspicious movements that will make them think you are dangerous. Keep your hands on the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions.

Always treat the officers with respect and follow their instructions without protest. If you are hostile and angry, the officers will likely put that in their report, and it will not look good for you. Plus, an impolite driver is more likely to be arrested. If a police officer asks you to step out of the car, you should comply with the request. If you avoid getting out of the car, you might be charged with resisting arrest.

Do not incriminate yourself. You do have to give your name, license, and registration to the police officer. However, you do not have to answer any potentially incriminating questions. You can tell the officer that you have been advised not to answer any questions without the presence of your attorney. Do not lie; honesty is always the best policy, especially in a situation like this.

In Massachusetts, the law requires you to take a breath or blood test when you are arrested for an OUI/DUI. The Commonwealth has an implied consent law, which means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test, you will receive an automatic license suspension.

When you are released, you should try to remember everything that happened, so you can tell your attorney, and he or she can help you with a defense strategy. You need to recall where you were and what you were doing prior to the arrest. You need to note how much you had to drink and how long it was been prior to your arrest. You should remember what the arresting officer said and how he or she treated you during the incident. Remembering this information can greatly impact your case in court.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving or caused an accident while driving under the influence, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney. The consequences can be devastating and costly. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

Understanding the Bail Process

When you are arrested for a crime, the police officer can give you a ticket with your signed pledge to appear in court on a certain day or the police officer can take you to jail. When you are put in jail, you will need to post bail to get out of jail. Bail is a temporary release of a person who is awaiting a court trial on the condition that he or she puts up money to ensure they will appear in court. If you have questions about bail, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney.

The court will set the amount of bail to be paid. Payments are usually made by cash, money order, or a cashier's check. A defendant can post his or her own bail or find another individual to post it on his or her behalf. Once bail has been posted, the court will issue a document or court order that allows the defendant to be released from jail.

Factors for setting a financial dollar amount for bail may vary depending on the nature of the charges or whether the crime involved brutality, revenge, or threats to public safety. A judge or magistrate will examine the defendant's past criminal background and all evidence against him or her. If a defendant is a major threat to society or has committed a serious crime, he or she may be held without bail. When a case ends with all obligations satisfied, the bond money is usually returned. However, in some cases, administrative costs may be deducted.

A well-versed criminal defense attorney  can help you understand the terms and penalties of the bail process. Furthermore, your attorney can plead your case in advance and help reduce bail. It is wise to connect with a criminal defense attorney at the start of your case so he or she can get your case ready for trial.

If the defendant does not have means to post his or her bail, he or she can seek the help of a bail bondsman or commercial bond agent, who acts as a surety for the bond. The agent posts bail after collecting a nonrefundable fee, usually 10 to 20%, from the defendant or from family or friends. When the defendant does not have money to give to the commercial bond agent as security, he or she can provide other types of collateral, such as jewelry, securities, or other items of value. Then, the bail bond agent agrees to pay the remaining amount to the court if the defendant does not appear in court.

Often a bail bond agent will require a defendant to stay in contact via phone or in person to ensure the defendant does not skip town to avoid appearing in court. In some cases, the defendant may be monitored or guarded to ensure an appearance in court. A bail bondsman is not required to post bail when he or she believes a defendant will not honor the obligations of the bond.

When an individual does not appear, a court can issue a bench warrant, which will forfeit any of the person's bail. A bench warrant will give law enforcement the authority to execute the warrant anytime. Also, the issuing of a bench warrant gives a bail agent the right to hire a bounty hunter to help find and capture a person in exchange for a portion of the bail forfeited to the court. The consequences of not appearing in court can be severe, including fines or imprisonment, or both.

If you want to learn more about setting bail and the bail process in your case, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the bail or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

Unlawful Possession of a Gun

Unless you fit certain exemptions outlined in MGL c. 269 s. 10, you can face a stiff penalty for knowingly possessing or knowingly having a firearm (loaded or unloaded) in your car. In the Commonwealth, you can face a mandatory minimum 18 months in jail or up to five years in state prison. If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately about your case.

Massachusetts has the most regulated and strict laws in the nation concerning guns and firearms.  In fact, Massachusetts does not recognize gun permits from other states. Licensed gun owners in the Commonwealth have to be responsible gun owners who take gun laws and safety seriously while they exercise their right to carry.

In order to be convicted for the unlawful possession of a firearm, the prosecution must prove four factors beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • The prosecution must prove that you possessed the firearm on your personage (body) or inside your car.

  • The prosecution must prove that the weapon you possess is a firearm. Under Massachusetts law, a firearm is defined as a pistol, revolver, or another weapon, whether loaded or unloaded. The firearm must be capable of discharging a shot or bullet with a barrel length less than 16 inches. The prosecution must prove that these elements are a part of the definition of a firearm.

  • The prosecution must prove that you knowingly possessed a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded. If someone else placed the firearm in your car without your knowledge, you cannot be convicted.

  • The prosecution must prove you did not have a valid license to carry or did not have the required registration card to carry that firearm in the state of Massachusetts.

If you have been charged with the unlawful possession of a gun, whether loaded or unloaded, you need to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can create a defense strategy that can help your case.

M.G.L. c. 269, § 10(h) decrees that any individual who carries on his person or has under his control in a vehicle a loaded firearm while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants, or stimulant substances will face stiff penalties if convicted. A conviction for this offense is punishable with a fine up to $5,000 and imprisonment in a house of correction for up to two and a half years. You may be required to serve time and pay a fine. Gun charges in the Commonwealth are serious and can affect your ability to find employment or housing. When you are facing gun charges of any kind in Massachusetts, you need to seek legal advice immediately.

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

 

Massachusetts Traffic Laws and Violations

In the Commonwealth, there are many different types of traffic violations. Motorists need to stay up to speed on the various traffic violations and the penalties in case they are charged with breaking one of the many traffic laws. Some of offenses carry severe punishments that may have a negative impact on a defnedant’s driving record and cause a suspension of his or her driver's license, as well as an increase in his or her insurance premiums. If you are charged with a traffic violation, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney.

Some of the more common driving offenses in Massachusetts include:

  • Careless or reckless driving

  • Speeding (traveling over the posted speed limit)

  • Driving without a license

  • Driving without car insurance

  • Driving with a suspended, revoked, or expired driver's license

  • Failure to respect and obey a law enforcement official

  • Driving while impaired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Young drivers under the age of 18 may face different punishments for their traffic violations. In the Commonwealth, younger drivers are not permitted to carry passengers or operate a vehicle after certain hours. Young drivers who have a permit cannot drive without the presence of a licensed driver. If a driver carries passengers before the legal age to do so, he or she will face a 60-day license suspension and have to pay a license reinstatement fee. If a driver under 18 years old is caught speeding, he or she will face a 90-day license suspension and must pass a driver retraining course in addition to paying a license reinstatement fee. Young drivers caught using a cell phone will face a 60-day license suspension and a fine.

As a motorist in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you should know the laws and penalties you might face when you break a traffic law. Below, are traffic laws that motorists should know before they drive on the highways of the Commonwealth.

 

If you have been charged with a road or traffic violation, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

Speeding in a Construction Zone

You may believe that speeding in a construction zone at 2 am is okay when there are no construction workers around. You may think it is even fun to be a daredevil on the road. But you should think twice before speeding through a construction zone, with or without a crew present. The consequences can be devastating in both cases. You should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to learn what you should do to reduce or eliminate the charges against you.

The penalties for speeding are significantly higher when they occur inside a construction or work zone. A moving violation fine for speeding in a construction zone is much greater than those for other moving violations. Construction zones may include:

  • Highway or roadway improvement projects

  • Public utility work or construction areas

  • City or state infrastructure enhancement projects

Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 17, a law enforcement official (local police officer or MA state trooper) can give a motorist a ticket for speeding in a construction zone or construction area. According to Chapter 90 Section 17, "Any person in violation of this section, while operating a motor vehicle through the parameters of a marked construction zone or construction area, at a speed which exceeds the posted limit, or at a speed that is greater than is reasonable and proper, shall be subject to a fine of 2 times the amount currently in effect for the violation issued." The officer may include additional surcharges to the amount you have to pay. Furthermore, if you are found guilty of speeding in a construction zone, your insurance will most likely increase.

The reason your insurance will go up is because speeding in a construction zone is considered a moving violation in the Commonwealth. Your citation will be viewed by the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles as a surchargeable occurrence resulting in additional points to your license. You will experience an increase in your insurance premiums for several years.

If you want to appeal your traffic ticket for speeding in a construction zone, you can appeal the traffic ticket in district court. Read the directions on the back of your ticket, and follow the directions carefully. When you request an appeal of your traffic ticket, you will receive a notice in the mail asking you to appear for a Civil Motor Vehicle Infractions (CMVI) Clerk Magistrate's Hearing. A criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the court system and appeal process. Your attorney can explain your legal rights, defenses, and legal options for your case.

If you have been charged with speeding in a construction zone, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

Plea Bargain Agreements

Law enforcement organizations make many arrests, ranging from violent crimes to traffic violations. Most jurisdictions have a backlog of cases to hear. You might think that all of these arrests result in criminal trials by which the prosecution (state or federal government) takes the individuals arrested or charged with a crime to court for a conviction and punishment.

In reality, this does not always happen. A majority of criminal cases are resolved through plea bargain agreements. In a plea bargain, the defendant agrees to admit to committing a crime and the prosecution agrees to be more lenient by dropping some of the charges and providing a lighter sentence. If the defendant had gone to trial and lost the case, the punishment would usually have been more severe.

In Massachusetts, plea bargaining is a significant part of the court and criminal justice system. A large percent of criminal cases in the Commonwealth result in some form of plea agreement instead of going to a trial by jury. However, individuals need to make sure that they fully understand plea bargain agreements, and the advantages or drawbacks they might have on their cases. There are many factors that can impact your plea bargain agreement, such as the specific facts involving your case, your criminal history, or your financial situation. In some cases, the decision to accept a plea bargain is not always easy. You should discuss plea bargain agreements with your criminal defense attorney and allow him or her to explain plea deals and their impacts on your case.

In a plea bargain agreement, the prosecution and defense will each give up something to get something in return. The prosecution gives up the right to take a case to trial and prosecute the case to the fullest extent of the law. However, the prosecution will still be able to make a conviction against a defendant. On the other hand, a defendant agrees to plead guilty of a crime and waives the right to a jury trial. In return, he or she experiences a more favorable treatment or punishment from the prosecution.

Usually, when your criminal defense attorney advises you to consider a plea agreement, he or she feels a jury or judge would find the defendant guilty of the crime. Plea agreements are created when there is overwhelming evidence against the defendant by the prosecution. Going to trial is not advisable, and the plea deal can become a benefit to the defendant who will not have to face a trial by jury.

Plea bargaining offers many practical benefits, such as that defendants do not have to spend time and money defending themselves in a court trial. The prosecution will save time and money by not having to go through a long trial. The prosecution and defense do not have to endure the uncertainty of a trial. Also, the court system does not have to spend time conducting a trial for every crime committed.

If you have been charged with a crime and want to know more about plea bargain agreements for your case, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

Sexting and Child Pornography Laws

Another Sandusky is back in the news for inappropriate behavior involving a minor. This time, it is Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Jeffrey, who was arrested and charged with allegedly sexting sexual comments and suggestive messages to two teenage girls. If this is true, he may be sitting in prison right next to his father, Jerry, the former Penn State University assistant football coach, who is serving at least 30 years in prison for child abuse.

Sexting is on the rise. Sexting is the transmittal of nude or suggestive material or language via text messaging from a cell phone, smartphone, computer, or other computer-based devices.  Sending such messages to unwilling individuals and minors can lead to serious criminal charges and consequences. If you are charged with this crime, you should contact a criminal justice attorney immediately.

Sexting is a relatively new crime. At present, there are no sexting laws that punish those found guilty of this act. However, if sexual images or materials are sent via a text message to a child under 18 years old, the perpetrator may be prosecuted under the Commonwealth's child pornography laws. The penalties are stiff and unforgiving if convicted. Below are some excerpts from Massachusetts General Law and the punishment, if convicted of child pornography and sex crimes involving minors.

MGLA 272 28 - Matter harmful to minors; dissemination; possession

Section 28. Whoever purposefully disseminates to a person he knows or believes to be a minor any matter harmful to minors, as defined in section 31, knowing it to be harmful to minors, or has in his possession any such matter with the intent to disseminate the same to a person he knows or believes to be a minor, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or in a jail or house of correction for not more than 21/2 years, or by a fine of not less than $1000 nor more than $10,000 for the first offense, not less than $5000 nor more than $20,000 for the second offense, or not less than $10,000 nor more than $30,000 for a third or subsequent offenses, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

MGLA 272 §29 Dissemination or possession of obscene matter; punishment, defense

Section 29. Whoever disseminates any matter which is obscene, knowing it to be obscene, or whoever has in his possession any matter which is obscene, knowing it to be obscene, with the intent to disseminate the same, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than ten thousand dollars for the first offense, not less than five thousand nor more than twenty thousand dollars for the second offense, or not less than ten thousand nor more than thirty thousand dollars for the third and subsequent offenses, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

MGLA 272 §29A - Posing or exhibiting a child in a state of nudity or sexual conduct; punishment

Section 29A. (a) Whoever, either with knowledge that a person is a child under eighteen years of age or while in possession of such facts that he should have reason to know that such person is a child under eighteen years of age, and with lascivious intent, hires, coerces, solicits or entices, employs, procures, uses, causes, encourages, or knowingly permits such child to pose or be exhibited in a state of nudity, for the purpose of representation or reproduction in any visual material, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of not less than ten nor more than twenty years, or by a fine of not less than ten thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

MGLA 272 §29B - Dissemination of visual material of child in state of nudity or sexual conduct; punishment

Section 29B. (a) Whoever, with lascivious intent, disseminates any visual material that contains a representation or reproduction of any posture or exhibition in a state of nudity involving the use of a child who is under eighteen years of age, knowing the contents of such visual material or having sufficient facts in his possession to have knowledge of the contents thereof, or has in his possession any such visual material knowing the contents or having sufficient facts in his possession to have knowledge of the contents thereof, with the intent to disseminate the same, shall be punished in the state prison for a term of not less than ten nor more than twenty years or by a fine of not less than ten thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars or three times the monetary value of any economic gain derived from said dissemination, whichever is greater, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

As you can see, the punishment for child pornography and sex crimes involving minors may have severe consequences and punishment. A conviction for these crimes is an automatic felony. Crimes involving children and pornography are never a misdemeanor in the Commonwealth. These crimes are considered to be sex crimes, and a convicted perpetrator will have to register as a sex offender for the next 20 years in Massachusetts. This will create personal hardship and public embarrassment to those found guilty of these crimes.

If you have been accused or charged with disseminating child pornography, sexting to a minor or other sex crime involving a child, you should immediately consult a criminal defense attorney. The consequences can be devastating and a conviction will most likely include jail or prison time. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

Massachusetts Breathalyzer Drama Comes to an End

The ongoing drama involving faulty breathalyzer tests in the Commonwealth may see an end with a victory for some and defeat for others. The journey to this point has been a statewide saga involving law enforcement, defendants, attorneys, prosecutors, and the court. Here is some background to bring you up to speed on this evolving issue that impacts so many people facing OUI/DUI charges in Massachusetts.

In 2011, Massachusetts introduced a new breath-test machine called the Alcotest 9510. The device was manufactured by Draeger Safety Diagnostics Inc. of Irving, Texas. However, some say the Alcotest 9510 was not tailored to the Commonwealth's regulations and was not operating correctly during some tests. In fact, the state's Executive Office of Public Safety and Security said that some breathalyzer machines were never programmed with the accurate calibration settings for the state. On the other side of the story, a small number of breath tests conducted by law enforcement on suspected drunk drivers were not accurate because of mistakes made by the arresting officer and not because the machines were not working properly. Does the truth lie somewhere in the middle? You need to ask a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

Meanwhile, over 500 defendants have joined a consolidated case that is being heard in Concord District Court that challenges the reliability of the breathalyzer test and seeks to exclude blood-alcohol readings from the drunk driving cases involed. Furthermore, hundreds of drunk driving cases in Massachusetts have been put on hold as a judge prepares to rule on whether the evidence produced by Alcotest 9510 is sound and admissible in court.

The verdict is now out in this ever-changing saga of the faulty breathalyzer tests. Recently, Judge Robert Brennan, Justice of the District Court, gave his ruling in this matter. "Accordingly, the Court DENIES the consolidated defendants’ Motion to Exclude Breath Alcohol Content Percentage Results Using the Alcotest 9510 and Any Opinion Testimony for any breathalyzer results from a machine calibrated and certified after September 14, 2014, but ALLOWS the motion as to any results produced by a device calibrated and certified between June of 2012 and September 14, 2014, subject to the possibility of a case-by-case demonstration of the reliability of OAT’s calibration of a particular device to a trial judge in the court in which the Commonwealth seeks to offer the result as evidence." (COMMONWEALTH v. EVANDO ANANIAS, CHRISTIAN FIGUEROA, AND OTHERS)

In his 33-page decision, Judge Brennan, ruled that the between June 2012 and September 14, 2014 the Alcotest 9510 did not produce scientifically reliable blood-alcohol readings in the Commonwealth. This is a victory for those whose drunk and driving arrests occurred prior to September 14, 2014 but a crushing defeat for those whose arrests took place after this date. The evidence revealed from Alcotest 9510 could be included in your court case.

If you want to know how this recent ruling will affect your pending OUI/DUI case in Massachusetts consult a criminal defense attorney. An OUI/DUI conviction can have devastating effects on your professional and personal life. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case.  Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

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What is an Expungement?

A criminal conviction can create havoc in your life. It may make it difficult to find a job, rent an apartment, go back to school, or adopt or foster a child. Your criminal history can lead people to shun you. However, there are ways to have an arrest or conviction erased from your history in some cases. Everyone deserves a second chance.

This is done by way of an expungement. Although law enforcement may have possession of your criminal record, an expungement will keep the information out of the public eye. Therefore, schools, employers, or landlords will not be privy to the information in your criminal background. After the expungement process is final, you do not have to disclose the conviction or arrest on a job or apartment application. The information is sealed from the public, and there is no reason for you to disclose it.

You need to speak with a criminal defense attorney who can determine if an expungement can apply to your particular case. Each jurisdiction has its own expungement restrictions. In the Commonwealth, there are many factors to determine if an individual is eligible for expungement. They may include:

  • The passage of time since the arrest or conviction of the crime or misdeed

  • The seriousness and nature of the crime committed

  • The perpetrator’s overall criminal record, background, or history

Many times, arrests or convictions made during the teen years can be expunged, but more serious crimes committed in adulthood may not be easy to erase. Your attorney can let you know if you qualify for an expungement. While the expungement process varies, it typically involves filing an application or petition for an expungement. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand the various forms necessary to start the process and explain their importance to your case. The forms needed for an expungement may include the following:

  • Certificate of eligibility

  • Petition to expunge your records

  • Acceptance of service

  • A Prosecutor and victim statement

  • A victim checklist

  • Consent and waiver of hearing

  • Petitioner's reply

  • Findings of fact and conclusions law

After the court grants a petition or application, it will award an order of expungement that will be served to other organizations to ensure that any records in their files about you are sealed or removed. These organizations may include:

  • The police department or sheriff's office of your city

  • The county jail in your area

  • The state's department of corrections (prisons)

In short, no record of an expunged arrest or conviction will appear should someone search your criminal record. An expungement is like giving yourself a second chance in life, clearing your criminal record, and starting over again.

A criminal record or background can have a negative impact on your life and future. If you are considering an expungement of your criminal record, you should speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to see if your situation qualifies for an expungement. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice about an expungement. He can help you navigate the process and file the proper paperwork and documents to get the process started. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.

 

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