Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

What Not to do if Arrested by Law Enforcement

A man in Cohasset found attacking his Tinder date was killed after the intervention of law enforcement. The man had met the woman on the popular Tinder dating app and managed to stab the woman before law enforcement intervened. Law enforcement tasered the man who was on top of the girl while stabbing her, and the man subsequently died after being placed in custody. A medical examiner intends to determine the exact cause of the man’s death.

A large number of individuals are arrested each day. Some of the people who are arrested make mistakes that cause them to be injured, killed, or face additional charges. While it can be frightening to be arrested by law enforcement, there are some steps that you can take to avoid facing even more serious consequences.

Avoid Talking

It is critical to exercise your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent if arrested by law enforcement. This means that you should refrain from efforts to convince law enforcement about your innocence. Often, people say something while attempting to defend themselves that actually make matters worse.

Do Not Run

Not only are individuals who try to run from law enforcement likely to face additional charges, there is also the possibility that law enforcement will become quickly suspicious and might even fire their weapons. It is usually a better idea to remain calm and stay in the same place.

Never Resist Arrest

To stay safe, it is critical that a person not resist arrest or attempt to touch the law enforcement officer in any way. Not only will attempting to brush off the law enforcement officer result in additional charges, there is also a good possibility that the officer might view you as dangerous and take additional precautions.

Do Not be Disrespectful of Law Enforcement

Under no circumstances should you speak to law enforcement in a rude tone. Police officers have a great deal of discretion regarding how a charge is initiated and how it proceeds through the legal system. By speaking to law enforcement in a courteous manner, you can greatly increase the chances that your case proceeds in the best possible manner.

Do Not Consent to a Search

It is not a good idea to let law enforcement search your person, car, or house. If law enforcement asks, a person should not grant them the right to perform a search. Instead, you should clearly state that law enforcement does not have your consent to perform a search. If law enforcement performs the search anyway, the evidence can be thrown out later.

Speak with a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with a criminal offense in Massachusetts can lead to serious consequences. People who find themselves facing criminal charges should not hesitate to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact attorney Edward R Molari to schedule an initial free case evaluation.

Responding to Massachusetts Arrest Warrants

A law enforcement officer in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts was recently injured during a traffic stop after a vehicle he pulled over was placed in reverse and backed up into him. The driver of the vehicle was ultimately arrested and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, malicious destruction of property, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

At the time of the stop, two other passengers were inside of the vehicle and one of these individuals was discovered to have multiple arrest warrants. Subsequently, this person was arrested, as well, and held on warrants for drug possession and larceny.

Navigating the criminal justice system in Massachusetts can be complicated. If there is a warrant out for your arrest, you might feel the temptation to ignore the warrant altogether in the hopes that if you forget about it long enough, law enforcement will, too. In reality, arrest warrants can lead to some particularly serious charges, which is why people who have warrants out for their arrest should understand the following important details:

How Massachusetts Arrest Warrants are Obtained

To obtain an arrest warrant, law enforcement will submit an affidavit to a judge or magistrate. This affidavit will list enough information to establish probable cause about a person’s involvement with the commission of a crime. An affidavit must contain enough specific information to link a specific person to the offense. This arrest warrant will allow a person to be arrested wherever law enforcement happens to find the individual.

Defenses to Arrest Warrants

There are a number of ways in which arrest warrants can be incorrectly written. In cases of identity theft, arrest warrants are sometimes issued for individuals even if the person did not commit a crime. In other situations, arrest warrants can contain incorrect information due to a mistake in the facts. While law enforcement is required to show an arrest warrant in most situations before a person’s arrest, in some cases, they do not, which means that a person might end up being falsely arrested.

What to do if an Arrest Warrant is in Your Name

If a warrant is is issued for your arrest, there are several important things that you should understand:

  • A warrant must be issued by a judge and law enforcement will be required to honor it if they find you

  • Performing an online search can help you determine if an active warrant exists in your name

  • Speaking to a skilled attorney as soon as you discover an arrest warrant exists in your name can help you create a strong legal defense in response

Speak with a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer

If an arrest warrant has been issued for you or a loved one, it is important to act as soon as possible and contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Edward R Molari has helped numerous people in Massachusetts respond to these warrants. Schedule an initial free consultation with attorney Molari today so he can begin fighting for the results you deserve.

What to do if You are Arrested

A routine Saturday night law enforcement patrol in Jamaica Plain recently led to three arrests following a chase and a struggle between law enforcement and a teenager with a loaded gun.

The incident occurred when law enforcement saw a group of teens with whom they had previous encounters. When law enforcement tried to speak with the group, one of the members ran off down the street. A chase ensued and a violent struggle occurred in the entryway of a building. A second teenager also tried to fight with law enforcement officers, but he was arrested.

While law enforcement officers were arresting the first teenager, an officer noticed that he was keeping a gun close to his chest. When law enforcement began to take this gun from him, they were attacked by the teenager’s mother. As a result, both the teenager and his mother were placed under arrest.

Being arrested can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. While many people are left uncertain about how to respond, though, most people know that it is a bad idea to attack a law enforcement officer while he or she is performing an arrest. This article reviews some of the important steps that you should follow if you are arrested.

Remain Silent

Under the Fifth Amendment, you have the right to remain silent and it is a wise idea to use it. You should politely inform law enforcement that you intend to remain silent. Even if you are innocent, there is rarely an advantage to talking to a law enforcement officer in the heat of the moment.

Remain Calm

If you are placed under arrest, law enforcement will carefully study your response. There is a significant risk that any display of nervousness will lead law enforcement to believe that you are hiding something and that can be used against you later on. Instead, remain as calm as possible during an arrest.

Treat Law Enforcement Respectfully

Even if you feel that you were unfairly arrested or that your rights are being violated, it is critical to treat law enforcement in a courteous manner. Any comments that you make to law enforcement are included in police reports.

Avoid Consenting to Any Searches

No matter where you arrested, law enforcement often asks for consent to search the area. Fortunately, you have the ability to refuse consent. In some situations, law enforcement will find another way to search your property, which might include obtaining a warrant or impounding your vehicle. In most situations, individuals are also searched before being placed in jail. Refusing consent, however, decreases the chance that something will be found on your person that can later be used as evidence against you.

Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested, it is important to quickly obtain the assistance of a skilled attorney who can help you create a strong legal defense. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule an initial free consultation.

What to do When Pulled Over for OUI

A man was recently charged with drunk driving following an accident. Law enforcement officers responded to the accident and discovered a vehicle stopped against a tree on the sidewalk. The driver was exiting the crashed vehicle as law enforcement approached. It was soon discovered that the driver smelled of alcohol and that his eyes were “bloodshot and glassy.”

The driver had a small cut on the bridge of his nose, but told law enforcement that he was not injured and declined a medical examination. He later claimed that he had been looking at the GPS on his phone and had missed a turn, which led to the crash.

When law enforcement asked the man if he had been drinking, he replied that he had only one or two beers. After a field sobriety test was conducted, the man was arrested at the scene of the accident and charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence, impeding operation of a motor vehicle, and a marked lane violation.

What to do if You are Stopped for OUI

While being pulled over for a OUI in Massachusetts can be a frightening experience, many people are aware that there are certain things that they should never do, like admit how many beers they drank or lie about how an accident occurred. Knowing exactly what to do if questioned by law enforcement during a OUI stop, however, can be much more complicated. Some of the important steps that you should remember to take include the following:

  • Be respectful to law enforcement. This does not mean, however, that you should provide incriminating information. Instead, remember your rights and stay silent.

  • You do not have to take a field sobriety test in Massachusetts. If you take the test and fail, it can give law enforcement probable cause to arrest you.

  • Do not admit you have had anything to drink. Law enforcement officers will not make things easier on you because you reveal this information. Instead, they will consider your statement about drinking as evidence that can be used against you.

  • If you contact your family or lawyer in front of the officers, be careful about what you say because they can overhear this information and use it as a sign of admission or as evidence against you.

  • Do not hesitate to obtain the assistance of an experienced OUI attorney who understands the obstacles that commonly arise and who can help you navigate the legal process to follow.

Speak with an Experienced OUI Attorney Today

In many cases, law enforcement does not expect people charged with a OUI to fight back. This is why you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of a skilled OUI attorney. Attorney Edward Molari has helped numerous people respond to OUI charges and knows what it takes to make sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Defenses to Charges of Larceny

A mailman in Taunton, Massachusetts was recently charged with larceny after he was discovered stealing money from a woman’s purse. The arrest occurred when officers responded to Cumberland Farms on Main Street. The victim of the offense told law enforcement that the offense occurred after she placed her purse on a counter and walked away from it briefly inside a store. When the woman returned to her purse, she discovered that more than $60 had been stolen from it. A review of security footage showed that a person in a U.S. Postal uniform had reached into the woman’s purse and taken the money.

Fortunately, law enforcement was able to recover the stolen money, and the man who committed the offense was later released on bail. He has been charged with larceny, and the exact outcome of the case remains uncertain.

If you are charged with larceny in Massachusetts, you might feel like there is little you can do to fight the charges. The penalties associated with these offenses can have a substantial impact on your future by creating obstacles that make it difficult to pursue career and educational goals even if after you have served your time. In reality, even in situations in which there might be a substantial amount of evidence against you, it is still possible to create a strong defense to respond to these charges. This article will review some of the most common and strongest legal strategies that can be raised. It is also important to remember that in these situations, it is frequently a wise idea to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Proving that You Owned the Property

In some cases, people are charged with larceny after attempting to retrieve property that they believe they rightfully own. If you are able to present strong evidence to support this belief, you might just be able to create a strong defense. In situations where a person lacks evidence, however, this is often unlikely to be a successful defense.

You Intended to Return the Property

Sometimes, people do not intend to take or steal the property that they are claimed to have taken unlawfully. In these situations, you must establish that you only intended to borrow the property that was taken. While intent to borrow is almost always not enough to dismiss larceny charges, it can result in the ultimate penalties that you end up facing being severely lessened.

Intoxication

If the taking of the property involved alcohol, you might be able to claim that you were too intoxicated to recognize that the item you were taking did not lawfully belong to you. In some cases, raising an intoxication defense can result in the claims pending against you being entirely dismissed.

Contact a Seasoned Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are convicted of larceny, it is frequently in your best interest to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact attorney Edward Molari today to make sure that you have strong legal representation to navigate this difficult time. Speak with our law office today to schedule an initial free consultation.

What You Should Know About the Arraignment Process

A man was recently arrested on multiple charges including attempted murder as well as human trafficking after a SWAT team responded to the man’s home. The man was charged with human trafficking, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. The man additionally faces assault and battery charges as as well as ammunition possession and firearm charges. Details about the investigation process have not yet been released. The man charged, however, is expected to be arraigned at Quincy District Court.

The arraignment process in Massachusetts is the first hearing that occurs after a person is arrested in a criminal case. The arraignment process is also the first hearing after a magistrate issues the charges after a show. Because the arraignment is a particularly important part of the criminal justice system, it is a wise idea to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer during this time. It also helps to understand some important details about how the arraignment process works.

The Purpose of the Arraignment Process

The arraignment process exists to charge a person with a crime. After charges are listed, a judge will ask if the individual wants to retain his or her own legal counsel or attempt to qualify for a court appointed lawyer. The Judge will also ask the District Attorney if the Commonwealth plans on seeking bail. During the arraignment process, the defendant is not required to speak at any time.

How Bail is Decided

Bails exists to make certain that the person being charged appears at the next court date. Bail was not created to punish a defendant and must not be so high as to be unfair. Judges in Massachusetts are able to consider two factors when deciding bail - risk of flight and the danger presented to the community. A person’s previous defaults as well as record of any previously missed court dates will also be taken into consideration when deciding bail. Judges are not required to set bail in every case. In some situations, judges might set other conditions of release. Bails are capable of being reviewed by higher judges in Massachusetts. As a result, if a judge sets bail that is high, a person has the ability to appeal to a Superior Court Judge who can decide whether to further increase, lower, or keep the bail the same.

After Arraignment

Many times, a case is schedule for a pre-trial conference or pre-trial hearing after an arraignment. During these informal sessions, attorneys will determine the possibility for a plea or the types of trial that might occur.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have questions about the arraignment process, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact attorney Edward Molari today to schedule an initial free consultation. Attorney Molari has significant experience helping individuals navigate the complicated issues involved with criminal law cases and knows what it takes to make certain that your case resolves in the best possible manner.

Understanding Massachusetts Bench Warrants

A man in Massachusetts who mailed envelopes containing a mysterious white power along with a threatening note to five powerful individuals including President Trump recently entered a guilty plea for 13 counts of a threat to injure an individual as well as six counts of false information. After being arrested and charged, the man now faces up to 10 years in prison.

There are two types of “body” warrants in Massachusetts that attached to a person including arrest warrants and bench warrants. Both of these warrants grant law enforcement with certain powers. It is important for people who are subject to bench warrants to understand how these warrants are made. It also helps to understand some important details about the nature of bench warrants in Massachusetts.

The Nature of Massachusetts Bench Warrants

Arising from some type of court-related defect by an individual, bench warrants in Massachusetts are executed by the judge presiding over the case. Once the warrant is executed, it might be entered into a database that notifies law enforcement if they come into any type of contact with you that they have the ability to arrest you for the violation. Because bench warrants are not connected to an active or serious crime, these warrants do not cause law enforcement to actively search for a person. Ignoring the warrant, however, is still risky and will likely result in you being arrested eventually.

Bench warrants can have numerous serious consequences, which is why it is often in your best interest to resolve the issue properly as soon as you can. Obtain the assistance of an experienced attorney who can make certain that your case resolves in the best possible manner. An experienced criminal defense attorney might even be able to remove your bench warrant by filing the appropriate motions with the court.

The Difference Between Bench and Arrest Warrants

Arrest warrants are often requested by law enforcement officers or the district attorney’s office when probable cause exists to believe that the offense in question was committed by the named person. A judge will review the complaint as well as the policet report when a request for the warrant is made. With an eye toward whether probable cause exists, the judge will determine whether a warrant should be granted. Arrest warrants are sometimes issued in addition to a criminal summons resulting from a Grand Jury indictment. Because arrest warrants are committed to an active offense, law enforcement officers almost always aggressively pursue individuals for whom arrest warrants are issued.

Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you have questions about the criminal defense process in Massachusetts, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney who can make certain that your case resolves in the best possible manner. Contact attorney Edward Molari today to schedule an initial free consultation.

Wareham Police and Prosecutors Lose All Sense of Proportion Serving Warrant

Over the Summer, apparently, some kid in Wareham apparently called in what police refer to as "terroistic threats" -- a legal term that doesn't even apply in Massachusetts -- to local businesses.  After some kind of investigation that apparently spanned several months, the police traced the calls. They got a warrant, and broke down the suspect's door:

Wareham Police Bravely Engage a Wooden Door

A "detective was injured by a piece of wood that became embedded in his arm."  Note, the injury had nothing to do with the threats the suspect allegedly made months earlier.  Rather, the door splintered when the police broke it down.  Since the kid was arrested at the scene, it appears he was inside at the time the police arrived with a battering ram, crowbar, and camera crew.

Counsel for the door declined to comment, except to say that the door claims it was only acting in self defense.

Meanwhile, the kid who allegedly made these threats -- and as yet is not alleged to have actually hurt anyone -- is being held without bail as a danger to the community.* The door remains a large.

*not a joke, he's really in jail without bail because a prosecutor claimed that no conditions of release could adequately ensure the safety of the community

What it Means to be an Accessory after a Crime

Recently, Massachusetts State Police reported the conclusion of a six-month investigation, “Operation Golden Ticket” which led to 171 counts being brought against five individuals including breaking and entering, conspiracy, larceny, and receiving stolen motor vehicles. The men being charged committed offenses in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Led by a man referred to by law enforcement as “Willy Wonka,” the offenses involved 17 burglaries and 12 car thefts with more than $300,000 of items being stolen. While three of the men have since been apprehended, two of the suspects still remain at large. If you have been involved in a criminal conspiracy like this and are now facing charges, it is crucial to understand that there are numerous offenses that you can end up facing including involvement as an accessory after the fact. Because the penalties that result from these charges are often severe, it is a wise idea to contact an experienced attorney in these situations.

What it Means to be an Accessory After the Fact

To be convicted as an accessory after the fact, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must establish that beyond a reasonable doubt the following:

  • The defendant aided a principal felon or accessory to an offense after the commission of the crime

  • The defendant was aware that the other person had committed or was an accessory in the commision of the offense

  • The defendant aided the offender with the intent to help him or her avoid or escape arrest, detention, punishment, or trial

What Penalties You can Expect to Face

The exact penalties that you can expect to face if you were an accessory after the fact depend on the offense involved as well as various other details. The more serious the offense with which you are charged, the more likely that you can expect to face substantial fines and even lengthy sentences of imprisonment. After the 1994 case of Commonwealth v. Talbot, Massachusetts courts have ruled that being an accessory after the fact is not a lesser element of other crimes, and you can end up being convicted of accessory after the fact as well as other offenses. Because the penalties are often severe, it is best to obtain the assistance of an experienced lawyer in these situations who can immediately begin to help you create a strong defense. One of the defenses that can be raised if you are charged as an accessory after the fact is that you are a protected family member through adoption or blood of the person who committed the offense.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you face charges as an accessory after a crime, it is critical that you quickly obtain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Edward Molari is committed to helping you create the strongest defense possible. In his years of helping others who have faced similar charges, attorney Molari has gained the experience to know what it takes to fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Contact his office today to schedule an initial free consultation.

Understanding the Levels of Sex Offense Crimes in Massachusetts

Recently, the Massachusetts State Police captured one of the state’s most wanted sex offenders in a New York City area motel room. The man is a classified as a Level 3 sex offender after being convicted of the 1991 rape of a child under the age of 16. While the man completed a prison sentence, he was wanted for four counts of failure to register as a sex offender. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security classifies sex offenders as individuals who live in, work at, or attend an educational facility in Massachusetts and who have been convicted of a sex offense. The state’s sex offender classification also includes youthful offender and juvenile delinquents who have been charged with sex offenses, individuals who have been released from incarceration or probation in Massachusetts, and people who have been classified as sexually dangerous individuals.

Since August 1, 1981, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has utilized a sex offender rating system. The more serious offense with which you are charged, the higher the sex offender classification you will receive. Because higher classifications can result in particularly severe penalties, to avoid one it is often in your best interest to obtain the assistance of a seasoned criminal defense who understands how to best create a strong defense.

No Duty to Register

Individuals in this category are not at risk of re-offense and are also not viewed as a danger to the public. As a result, all of the details about a person in this classification are removed from the Commonwealth’s Sex Offender Registry. Few sex offenders qualify for this category, and individuals who are convicted of certain types of offenses including sexually violent crimes are automatically excluded from this category.

Level 1 Offenders  

Individuals in this category are at a low risk of committing sexual offenses in the future. People who qualify under this category are required to annually submit sex offender registration to the Sex Offender Registry. A degree of privacy is offered to individuals in this category and information about these offenses are not immediately available to the public.

Level 2 Offenders

To qualify as a level 2 offender, a person must be viewed by the law as a moderate risk at repeating the offense. Level 2 offenders are required to re-register annually in person at their local law enforcement station. Details about level 2 offenders are less private than level 1 offenders. Details about the offense that resulted in the classification is kept at police departments and the Sexual Offender Registry Board, but to find out details about the offense, a person must request them in person or by mail.

Level 3 Offenders

Individuals who qualify as level 3 offenders are classified as a high risk for repeating the offense in the future. If you qualify as such an offender, you must re-register annually at your local police station. Details about level 3 offenders have the least degree privacy of all sex offenders. Information about level 3 offenders can be obtain from law enforcement station, the Sex Offender Registry Board, or the internet.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are charged with a criminal offense in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney who can help create a strong defense. Speak with attorney Edward Molari today to begin taking steps to make sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner.

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