Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

How to Make Drug Charges Worse in Massachusetts

There are many ways in which you can make your drug charges worse than they need to be. A few simple mistakes, and you could add many years onto your sentence. Unfortunately, many defendants end up making these mistakes – often by simply making the wrong statements in front of police officers or trying to cover up their crimes unnecessarily. You can avoid many of these common mistakes by getting in touch with a qualified defense attorney as soon as possible. But what are some examples of these common mistakes, and how can you approach this difficult situation in the best way possible? 

Bedford Man Tries to Get Family to Falsely Testify in Drug Case

On March 6, 2023, it was reported that a man from Bedford had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for drug charges, firearm charges, and witness tampering. He had been involved in a fentanyl trafficking operation across state lines, and he was also charged with five counts of firearm possession as a felon. That alone would have been bad enough. But this individual went one step too far in his attempts to escape criminal consequences. According to the authorities, he contacted friends and family and urged them to falsely testify on his behalf at his criminal trial.

Not only did this add years to his prison sentence, but it also destroyed his credibility in the eyes of the courts. If there is one surefire way to encourage a judge to proverbially "throw the book at you," it is by attempting to circumvent the justice system and cheat your way to victory. A much better solution is to simply work with a qualified defense attorney and employ an effective defense strategy. 

Destroying Evidence

Destroying evidence is another crime that can make drug charges much worse. You could be charged with spoliation, or destruction of evidence. You might also be charged with obstruction of justice. Both can result in additional penalties. This is especially true if the evidence is recovered anyway. For example, you might have flushed a bag of drugs down a toilet while your home was being searched. If the police find out you did this and recover the drugs anyway, you are only making your situation worse. There have been accounts of police officers literally smashing holes in toilet pipes and snatching flushed drugs before they can escape. The risk of destroying evidence is too great to consider a viable strategy. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney in Massachusetts?

If you have been searching the Boston area for a qualified criminal defense attorney, look no further than Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law. From your first consultation, we can guide you toward the best possible outcome. Thanks to years of criminal defense experience, we know how to avoid many of the most common mistakes. Book your consultation today to get started and fight for your rights effectively.  

Alternative DUI Sentencing Programs in Massachusetts

Most criminal courts agree that people should be given a second chance. While DUIs are generally frowned upon by society, it is certainly not the worst crime that you can commit. Because of this, it may be possible to pursue alternative sentencing programs for some DUI charges. These alternative programs can save you from time behind bars, fines, and other penalties. But is this really a viable option for you? Let's find out: 

Do These Programs Actually Achieve Anything?

Yes. If they did not help make our roads safer, courts would have abandoned these programs a long time ago. And interestingly enough, these programs are getting better and better with each passing year. On March 7, 2023, Medscape reported that a "novel sobriety program" tested in Massachusetts had the potential to reduce mortality rates associated with drunk driving by 55%. This study was conducted specifically with individuals who had been arrested for DUIs in the past. This "24/7 Sobriety Program" shows real promise, and this is why courts are so supportive of individuals who genuinely want to address their behavior. 

What are My Options?

One potential option for first offenders is the "24D Disposition." This is only available to DUI offenders whose actions are not associated with deaths or serious injuries. 

Under this program, you may get probation for as many as two years. You will also be required to go through a mandatory alcohol education program, and you must pay for this out of your own pocket. You will lose your license for 45 days and need to pay a range of fees. And that is it – no time behind bars and no fines. Obviously, this is an excellent option to pursue if it is your first time committing a DUI – and your lawyer can help you strive for this outcome.

In most cases, this alternative program only applies to first-time offenders. However, there is a chance you could still pursue a 24D Alternative Disposition if you have committed a second DUI offense within a lifetime. However, your first offense must have occurred about 10 years prior to your second offense for the judge to even consider this possibility. Still, it is worth mentioning. Even if you do not qualify for this option, you may pursue a range of alternatives to jail time, including community service or suspended sentences. Speak with your lawyer about your specific options based on your circumstances. 

Where Can I Find a Criminal Defense Attorney in Massachusetts? 

If you have been searching for a criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts, consider Edward R. Molary, Attorney at Law. We know how daunting it can be to face a DUI – especially if there is a possibility of incarceration. But with the right attorney at your side, you can approach this situation with confidence and efficiency. Book your consultation today to explore the potential for alternative sentencing programs. Reach out now and get started with an effective defense strategy.

Many States Now Charge Dealers with Murders if Their Customers Overdose – Massachusetts Could Be Next

Facing drug charges is one thing, but facing murder or manslaughter charges is another matter altogether. Drug dealers could one day face criminal consequences for the overdose deaths of their customers – although some lawmakers would say that the better word is “victims.” Are we close to creating these kinds of laws in Massachusetts? What might happen if you face these kinds of charges in the future? The most important thing to realize is that you need help from a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney if you face drug charges of any kind in Massachusetts.  

Senator Wants Drug Dealers to Face Murder Charges for Overdoses

On January 18th, it was reported that Senator Patrick O’Connor had proposed a bill that would make drug dealers criminally responsible for the overdose deaths of their customers. Speaking about the proposed bill, O’Connor said:

“I think every senator or representative has family or knows someone that has lost loved ones to this crisis. But at this time, with what we know is going on in our towns, we need to give our district attorneys some tools.”

Why You Cannot Be Charged with Murder or Manslaughter for Overdose Deaths

Fortunately, O’Connor’s bill had not been accepted – at least not yet. Will Massachusetts one day have similar laws to Florida or Illinois? Only time will tell. But for the time being, the matter has been settled in court. Back in 2019, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a graduate student who had supplied a fellow student with drugs could not be charged with involuntary manslaughter for the resulting overdose death. It was determined that the individual needed to have acted in a “wanton or reckless” manner in order to be held criminally liable for the death. 

However, the Supreme Court did leave the door open to potential guilty verdicts. They explained that if the drug dealer had a clear reason to believe that the customer was going to overdose, he could potentially face criminal consequences. For example, he might have known that the student had a specific medical condition that made him more likely to overdose. Whatever the case may be, it is important to fight these charges in the best way possible, as involuntary manslaughter can result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years – and that is on top of any drug offenses you might be facing. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Massachusetts?

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts, look no further than Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous defendants fight for their rights and avoid needlessly excessive penalties. Based on current and established Massachusetts law, there is no reason you should face murder or manslaughter charges for the overdose deaths of other people. However, you still need to defend yourself effectively and utilize a solid defense strategy. Book your consultation today, and we can help you do just that. 

What is the Worst Possible OUI You Can Commit in Massachusetts?

There are DUIs, and then there are serious, aggravated OUIs that can put you in prison for the rest of your life. But what are some of the worst possible OUIs you can commit in Massachusetts? The answer may surprise you. It is technically possible to be charged with multiple felonies with a single OUI, and this may lead to decades behind bars. While being charged with all of these offenses simultaneously is rare, it can happen. And if it does, you need help from a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney.  

Aggravated OUIs in Massachusetts

Suppose you commit a first-time OUI with no serious injuries or other aggravating factors. In that case, you will face a relatively light penalty, although it is still important to defend yourself in the best way possible.

But if there are certain aggravating circumstances present in your situation, you will face a much greater penalty. Here are some examples of aggravated OUIs in Massachusetts:

  • Having a BAC Level of Over 0.20%
  • Having a Child in the Car
  • Causing Property Damage
  • Causing Bodily Injury
  • Causing Death
  • Having Multiple Past OUIs

Of these offenses, the worst possible charge is an OUI resulting in death. For this offense, you may face up to 15 years in prison and a felony charge. 

Is it Possible to Face Multiple OUI Offenses at the Same Time?

Yes, it is possible to be charged with multiple OUIs simultaneously. However, you may only be convicted of one offense. Prosecutors may charge you with multiple offenses in order to give themselves the best possible chance of conviction. If you successfully fight one charge, they can move on to the next charge. In August of 2022, a mother in Massachusetts was charged with both OUI child endangerment and OUI resulting in injury. 

Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

You may also face an extended license suspension if you refuse a breathalyzer test. This means that existing OUI charges can become even worse if you refuse the test. However, some would argue that refusing the test makes sense in some circumstances. 

Examples of Additional, Non-OUI Charges

Additional charges may also be added to your OUI offenses, including things like manslaughter, child abuse, and much more. 

Examples of Long DUI Sentences

It is possible to be sentenced to decades behind bars for DUIs – or even life. One California woman was sentenced to 51 years to life for a DUI crash back in 2020 that killed three teens. In 2016, a man from Pennsylvania was sentenced to life in prison after his 9th DUI conviction. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Massachusetts?

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts, look no further than Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous defendants with a wide range of charges, including aggravated OUIs and OUIs. We understand that these offenses can become quite excessive, but there’s no need to accept decades in prison without fighting for your rights in court. Book your consultation today to strive for the best possible results. 

Boston’s Finance Director Charged with Money Laundering and Drug Smuggling

In the United States, those in positions of power are not above the law. Even the highest-ranking member of our society – the President – can be charged with crimes and convicted. Our legal system views everyone as equal, and this means that Boston’s highest-ranking government officials can also be held criminally liable for their actions. That being said, most people were shocked to learn that a top finance director in the Mayor’s administration was recently charged with money laundering and drug smuggling. How exactly did this happen, and what are her chances of escaping charges?

Finance Director Accused of Smuggling Drugs into MCI Shirley

The top Finance Director in Michelle Wu’s Mayoral team has been charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. She pleaded not guilty to both charges. The alleged scheme involves smuggling drugs into MCI Shirley, and it ranges back to January 2021. The drugs were synthetic cannabinoids known as K2 and Spice, and these drugs were smuggled to four inmates – including the Finance Director’s nephew. In total, there were nine co-defendants involved in the smuggling operation – including multiple inmates within the prison. 

Synthetic marijuana is illegal in Massachusetts due to new regulations put forth by the DEA. Some studies have determined that drugs like K2 and Spice can cause psychotic and violent behavior when smoked. These drugs were sprayed onto papers and smuggled into the prison, disguised as letters between family members and legal documents. A single, one-inch square of paper sprayed with K2 or Spice can be sold for as much as $400 inside. A co-defendant involved in this scheme admitted it was possible to earn $32,000 from a single piece of 8” by 11” paper. 

This suggests that the scheme wasn’t simply a way to provide her nephew with something to pass the time while behind bars. This was a sophisticated operation that raked in plenty of profit. Investigators tracked these profits to a mobile app used by the Finance Director. Apparently, she was moving money out of the account in increments of $999 in an attempt to avoid mandatory banking reporting limits and attention from the authorities. The Director is already earning more than $120,000 per year for her role in Michelle Wu’s administration. Pending the outcome of this criminal case, she has now been placed on unpaid administrative leave. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Massachusetts?

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts, look no further than Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law. Facing charges of money laundering and drug smuggling can be incredibly daunting – especially if your reputation and professional career are on the line. With help from a qualified attorney, you can fight for your rights and mitigate any legal consequences you might be facing. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective defense strategy. 

The Different Types of DUI Charges in Massachusetts

Even the most minor DUI charge is worth approaching in a careful manner. States like Massachusetts take driving under the influence very seriously, and even a first offense with no injuries could prove problematic. That said, there are many different types of DUI charges in Massachusetts, and it makes sense to carefully consider the potential consequences you might be facing. But what exactly are the different DUI charges in Massachusetts? 

First DUI Offense

A first-time DUI offender typically receives a lighter sentence. This is considered a misdemeanor, and it can result in a maximum jail sentence of 2.5 years. Your license will also be suspended for up to one year, and you will face up to $5,000 in fines. Of course, you stand a better chance of a lighter sentence if you plead guilty – although this may not be necessary if your criminal defense attorney believes there is a viable defense strategy to plead not guilty. For example, the police officer who made the arrest may have made an error that forces the court to dismiss the case. For example, the police officer may have acted unconstitutionally. 

Second DUI Offense

When you commit a second DUI offense, you can expect a much more serious penalty. While this is still considered a misdemeanor, you will face a minimum of 60 days in jail. You can also face a license suspension of up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000. In the court’s eyes, you have already been given a second chance with a light sentence for your first DUI. Repeat offenders have essentially proven that they have not learned their lesson. 

Third Offense DUI

A third offense DUI is a much more serious offense compared to a first or second offense. This is considered a felony, and you can expect to spend at least three months behind bars. Your license will also be suspended for up to eight years, and you face up to $15,000 in fines. 

Fourth and Fifth Offense DUI

If you commit a fourth DUI, you will spend at least one year in prison and a license suspension of up to 10 years. In addition, you may be fined up to $25,000. A fifth DUI can result in up to five years in prison, plus a lifetime license suspension. You may also be fined $50,000. 

DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury

Even if it was your first DUI, you may still face felony charges. This is because your first DUI may have resulted in a serious bodily injury, which automatically makes it a much more serious offense. You can spend up to 10 years in prison for this offense, and your license may be suspended for up to two years. 

DUI Causing Death

This is perhaps the most serious DUI offense on the books in Massachusetts. If you are convicted of this felony, you can expect to spend up to 15 years in prison. Your license may also be suspended for life. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney in Massachusetts?

If you need help with a DUI charge in Massachusetts, get in touch with Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law at your earliest convenience. The truth is that internet research can only get you so far. Each DUI situation is unique, and reading online articles can not provide you with the same level of targeted guidance as an experienced, qualified criminal defense attorney. Book your consultation at your earliest convenience to get started with a solid defense strategy. 

Massachusetts is Cracking Down on Fentanyl: What You Need to Know

The statistics surrounding fentanyl are staggering. This opioid is 50 times stronger than heroin and a whopping 100 times stronger than morphine. This means that even a tiny sprinkle of fentanyl is enough to kill a human being. FDA Administrator Anne Milgram calls this drug the “single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered,” and over 56,000 overdose deaths involving fentanyl were reported in 2020 alone. This problem is not restricted to Massachusetts, either, and the opioid epidemic has spread across all of North America. If you are engaged in the use or trade of this drug, you need to be aware that Massachusetts is seriously cracking down on anyone involved.  

Massachusetts Cracks Down on Nurses

A surprising number of nurses are reportedly using their positions to engage in illegal, fentanyl-related activity. On January 10th of 2023, the Justice Department released a press release detailing the sentencing of a Berkley nurse. This individual had tampered with fentanyl intended for hospital patients, removing vials and replacing them with saline. A total of 60 tampered vials were discovered, and these contained just a small amount of the original fentanyl. It was not revealed whether the nurse was using the fentanyl recreationally or selling it for a profit. Either way, he was sentenced to five years of probation and one year of home detention. In addition, he was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine. 

On January 13th, another nurse was sentenced for a very similar crime. This nurse had tampered with a bottle of morphine sulfate at a nursing home, removing the drug and replacing most of it with water. For whatever reason, this nurse faced a much more serious penalty – with 52 months in prison and three years of supervised release. It may have been due to the fact that elderly patients were harmed as a direct result of her actions – or perhaps she made the mistake of pleading not guilty. 

Fentanyl Dealers are Being Tracked Down and Caught

On January 14th, two criminals were sentenced after a drug trafficking ring was exposed by the authorities in Massachusetts. This trafficking ring involved the distribution of both heroin and fentanyl. One of these criminals was sentenced to 80 months inprison. Also on January 14th, a felon was charged for possessing a firearm, cocaine, fentanyl, meth, MDA, and suboxone with intent to distribute. He has committed similar offenses in the past, which means that he faces life in prison. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney in Massachusetts?

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts, look no further than Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law. We know how serious fentanyl charges can be, and we’re ready to defend your rights as an American to the greatest extent possible. Your right to an attorney is one of your most important constitutional rights. It is crucial that you make the most of it. Book your consultation today and get started with an effective defense strategy geared toward your unique situation. 

Can the Victim Drop Charges Against Me in an Assault and Battery Case?

If you have committed assault and battery against someone in Massachusetts, you might be wondering whether they can drop charges against you. This is an especially common question among family members who may be willing to “forgive and forget.” Sometimes, situations get out of control, and victims are willing to give the defendants a second chance. But is it really up to the victim to drop charges? Can the state continue to press charges even though the family prefers to handle this issue behind closed doors? Let’s find out. 

It is Not Up to the Victim

The first thing you need to know is that in Masssachusetts, it is not up to the victim whether or not charges are dropped. That authority rests entirely with prosecutors and judges, and the state will carry out the legal penalties regardless of what the victim says or wants. As soon as an alleged victim makes that 9-1-1 call to the police and reports violence in the household, there is no turning back. Police are obliged to take the alleged perpetrator into custody due to a mandatory arrest policy. Not only that, but there is a mandatory “cooling-off period” that alleged abusers must spend behind bars. In Massachusetts, this period is no less than six hours. From that point, bail can be posted and the alleged perpetrator can be released. 

Why is this the case? Ultimately, the government is trying to do the right thing. In their eyes, the victim may be attempting to drop charges due to a sense of intimidation. They may think that if the family member gets incarcerated, they will harbor a deep sense of contempt and take revenge upon release. In other words, the government is trying to protect potential victims from further violence – whether they actually want that protection or not. 

The Victim Can Still Play a Role in Your Defense

Regardless of this, the victim can still play a role in your defense by invoking the Fifth Amendment. Whether they’re a partner or a spouse, they can choose not to testify against you. If there is no other evidence and it’s simply a case of “he said, she said,” the court may be forced to drop the case due to insufficient evidence. If there is other evidence aside from the victim’s testimony, you need to explore other defense strategies with a qualified attorney. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney in Massachusetts?

If you have been searching the Massachusetts area for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, look no further than Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous defendants approach their charges confidently and efficiently – including those accused of assault and battery against family members. We know that this situation can be incredibly concerning – especially when even the victim wants to minimize potential penalties. While dropping charges may not always be an option, you can still defend yourself in an effective manner. Book your consultation today to get started. 

Possible Defenses to Charges of Resisting Arrest

The Police Chief of Tewksbury reports that a woman was arrested and charged with assaulting several officers who were trying to arrest her in accordance with a warrant. 

The incident started when Tewksbury law enforcement received a call from a woman who said she was lost. The woman hung up on emergency workers, who were able to trace the origins of her call.

Tewksbury law enforcement searched the location but did not locate the caller until she contacted law enforcement again. Law enforcement then determined that the woman was wanted on the basis of two arrest warrants involving assault and battery on ambulance workers.

Law enforcement tried to take the woman into custody, but she resisted this and kicked one officer and hit another. Law enforcement then restrained the woman, who kept kicking inside the law enforcement vehicle. During the booking, the woman hit another officer and tried to strike another. Neither the woman nor law enforcement is reported to be injured.

The woman was ultimately charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, assault and battery of a law enforcement officer, assault, and resisting arrest.

Massachusetts prohibits individuals from either resisting or delaying law enforcement from attempting to perform their official duties. Doing this is viewed as resisting arrest. Fortunately, based on the circumstances surrounding your situation, various strategies exist to defend against charges of resisting arrest.

The best strategy for defending against charges of resisting arrest is to remember that these charges are influenced by whether you resisted a law enforcement officer in lawfully executing the tasks of the position. Some of the strategies you can raise in response to these charges include the following.

Unlawful Arrest

If an arrest was against the law, a person will be viewed as not having done anything wrong, even if that individual resisted arrest. The officer was not performing the duties of their desk because no duty exists to perform an unlawful arrest. 

Self-Defense

A person has the option to defend against any misconduct by law enforcement. A law enforcement officer who utilizes excessive force against an individual makes an arrest unlawful. If law enforcement used force in response to forceful resistance, a person will lose any claims of self-defense.

False Allegations

Raising false allegations requires a person to establish that nothing they did fits the definition of resisting arrest. For example, a person might have been rude or sarcastic in tone or nature, and law enforcement might have chosen to respond by raising charges of resisting arrest.

Failure to Identify

A person cannot intentionally resist arrest if that individual was not aware they were being arrested by a law enforcement officer. This might occur if law enforcement officers fail to identify themselves.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged with assault, battery, or any other related crime, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari today for assistance.

Arrested for Attempting to Commit a Crime in Massachusetts?

The FBI arrested a man in Lexington after he responded to a fake ad and attempted to pay for sex with two minor girls. The man was previously convicted of indecent assault and battery of a child. 

FBI agents operating a sting outside of Boston caught the man by posting fake ads to an overseas website established for people seeking to have sex with minors.

The man was told to meet the girls at a hotel, where undercover FBI workers were waiting. After the money was exchanged between the man and the FBI agents, the man was arrested and placed in the custody of law enforcement. 

The man was later arraigned on a charge of attempted sex trafficking.

The Elements of Attempt

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 274 Section 6 acknowledges that attempting to commit a crime is a criminal offense. To convict someone of this offense, the prosecution must establish that several elements exist beyond a reasonable doubt, including:

  • Specific intent. The person charged with attempt must have taken a step toward committing the crime. To prove this element, the prosecution must establish that the person being charged committed an overt act that was part of the crime’s execution and that the person charged came reasonably close to the commission of the crime.
  • Overt act. An overt act represents a physical action. Plans or other remote actions do not represent overt acts. First steps where the person charged can change their mind also do not represent overt acts. An overt act involves a step toward the commission of the offense. An overt act must be the type of action that a reasonable individual expects will set off the events that would naturally lead to the crime’s commission.
  • Not completed. The act must have failed or been prevented. This means that the crime anticipated was not completed.

The Punishments for Attempting a Crime

The potential penalties for attempting to commit a criminal offense vary greatly based on what crime was involved. A person who is convicted of attempting to commit a crime that can be punished by death can result in a person facing many years in prison. A person can also end up facing other substantial penalties, including fines if that individual attempts to commit a crime that is punished that way.

The Defense of Legal Impossibility

A person who attempts to commit an act that, if completed, does not constitute a crime is not viewed as having committed a criminal offense. For example, if a person believes that committing or attempting an act was a crime but under Massachusetts law, it was not a crime, the individual can be convicted of criminal attempt.

Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer

Even a charge related to a sex offense in Massachusetts can result in severe penalties. If you or your loved one needs the assistance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer, do not hesitate to contact Attorney Edward R Molari today for assistance.

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