Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Responding to Massachusetts Drug Trafficking Charges

Five people were recently arrested following a drug raid that occurred in Somerset County. Somerset law enforcement reports that a search warrant was issued for an Anson apartment after law enforcement received details about firearm and drug offenses at the location.  

During a search of the residence, law enforcement discovered five pounds of fentanyl, more than two pounds of cocaine, methamphetamines, drug paraphernalia, and stolen goods.

The man who lived at the location was charged with aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and firearm possession.

Drug addiction is a problem throughout the world, and our government places harsh penalties on drug crimes in an attempt to discourage individuals from manufacturing and distributing controlled substances. If you are interested in fighting a charge of drug trafficking in Massachusetts, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you create a strong defense.

Strategies to Defend Against Drug Trafficking Charges 

Drug trafficking can be prosecuted at either the state or federal level. If you are convicted of drug trafficking in the state of Massachusetts, a conviction could lead to you facing years in prison and fines. Some of the strategies that might prove helpful in your case include:

  • Your rights were violated. Law enforcement must respect your constitutional rights when arresting you, searching any assets you have, and collecting evidence. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will review any error made by law enforcement to make sure that no evidence is to be submitted to court if your rights are violated. If you were a victim of entrapment, the arresting officer lacked probable cause on which to perform an arrest.
  • Insufficient evidence. The prosecution must establish adequate evidence to show that you manufactured, dispensed, transported, or distributed the drugs in question in a trafficking offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Motions to suppress evidence that was illegally obtained will weaken the prosecution’s case.
  • Lack of intent or knowledge. For a trafficking conviction, the prosecution must establish that a person was aware of the presence of the substances involved, had the opportunity to access them, and intended to distribute them for personal use. Some defendants have committed drug-related offenses, but trafficking does not represent the correct charge.

Sometimes You Cannot Avoid a Trafficking Conviction

In some situations, the best defense to a trafficking charge might involve mitigating the penalties and repercussions you end up facing. Even if you cannot avoid a conviction of trafficking, we can still help you in various ways, which include the following:

  • Advising you about any recent changes to the legal system that have an impact on your case.
  • Arguing that you should actually receive a lesser charge than what the prosecution is pursuing.
  • Preserving your right to receive parole after serving half of your sentence.

Do Not Hesitate to Contact an Experienced Defense Lawyer

Drug offenses in Massachusetts carry serious penalties. If you or your loved one is charged with a drug offense, you should not wait to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Ways to Defend Against Ketamine Charges

Massachusetts law enforcement arrested an individual following the seizure of 14 pounds of drugs. According to Massachusetts police, an officer patrolling eastbound on Route 84 spotted a Sienna minivan and found it was traveling almost 20 miles per hour above the speed limit. As a result of the vehicle’s speed, law enforcement stopped the vehicle. 

After law enforcement approached the minivan, the officer identified the driver. Through conversation, the man stated that his destination was JFK Airport in New York City. The man stated that he was going to the airport to pick up passengers.

The driver showed the law enforcement officer the GPS on his phone while driving to an address in Massachusetts that did not exist. When law enforcement questioned him about this detail, the man responded that he was headed to Arlington instead of the airport but did not have an additional explanation for his new destination. 

Law enforcement also questioned the man about his travel and what was inside the vehicle. The man granted the officer permission to search inside the vehicle, where law enforcement found several bags holding powder, crystals, and other white substances matching the description of Ketamine, a Class A controlled drug.

After locating the Ketamine, law enforcement arrested the man. Law enforcement then searched the vehicle. The search revealed 14.33 pounds of the drug, which has a value of over $200,000. 

The man was transported to the Sturbridge Barracks to be booked, fingerprinted, and photographed. The man was then held until his arraignment on charges of Class A narcotic trafficking and speeding.

Veterinarians primarily utilize Ketamine to relieve pain, but Ketamine is also commonly used as a street drug. Classification as a Schedule IIIN, non-narcotic under the federal controlled substances act makes it against the law to use, sell, possess, or transport ketamine. 

Parke-Davis developed Ketamine in 1962 as a pain killer during the performance of the medical procedure. The drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s and helped to treat soldiers in the Vietnam War.

Strategies for Defending Against Ketamine Possession

Some of the best strategies for defending against possession of Ketamine include the following:

  • You had a valid prescription for the medication at the time of the offense
  • You were not aware that Ketamine was in your possession
  • You were not aware that Ketamine was a controlled drug
  • Law enforcement rights your 4th Amendment, 5th Amendment, or other Constitutional rights while arresting you

Speak with a Drug Crime Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug crime in Massachusetts, you should not hesitate to obtain help from a skilled defense lawyer. Do not hesitate to contact Attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Interacting With Law Enforcement

A man from Brookline was recently arrested for firearm charges after law enforcement responded to a report of a vehicle being erratically operated on Interstate 95.

The Massachusetts State Police reports that around 10:30 pm on a Saturday, a law enforcement officer was told to go to a weigh station on Interstate 95 after witnesses claimed that a vehicle there was being operated erratically. The law enforcement officer spoke with the man who was driving the vehicle and saw a handgun equipped with a large drum magazine inside the vehicle as well as a handgun under the driver’s seat. 

Three men were subsequently indicted on charges while the officer investigated the vehicle and additional law enforcement arrived. A law enforcement officer found various things inside the vehicle, including a rifle, handguns, magazines, firearm components, and ammunition.

The man was found to not have a license to carry firearms and was later booked on firearm charges. As a result of his behavior, the man received various field sobriety tests, and law enforcement found that he was incorrectly operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs.

The driver was held on a $100,000 bail and is set to be arraigned in court. 

An encounter with law enforcement is stressful even if you are sure you have not done anything against the law. Interactions with law enforcement often occur in three situations -- in public, on private property, and at vehicle stops. Some of the most important pieces of advice to remember during vehicle stops include the following.

Be Calm at All Times

Make sure to maintain your composure and remain respectful of law enforcement. If they think that you are a threat or that you are not acting reasonably, they might respond with force.

Be Aware of How You are Acting

Law enforcement is trained to read people’s behaviors, which is why you should be aware of how you behave when around law enforcement. Even something that might seem like a small gesture can end up giving law enforcement probable cause upon which to perform an arrest. Keep your hands where law enforcement can see them and avoid aggressive stances. 

Ask if You are Free to Leave

If you do not have anything to say to law enforcement and find that their questions are not relevant, you should ask them politely if you can leave.

Remain Cautious of Your Surroundings

One of the best things that you can do is to remain alert to your surroundings. Take notes of what the law enforcement officer looks like as well as their badge number, license plate, and other details.

Do Not Hesitate to Contact a Firearm Defense Lawyer

A conviction for a firearm offense in Massachusetts carries serious penalties. One of the best ways to respond to such a situation is to obtain the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari today for assistance.

Advice on Raising Defenses to Sex Crimes

Four men in Massachusetts recently attempted to set up sexual encounters with girls below the age of 18 and were arrested by federal law enforcement. The men were later charged with trafficking a child. 

The four men were held pending detention hearings. One of the men agreed to voluntary detention during a hearing. One of the men was fired from his position as an anesthesiologist at Tufts Medical Center. The man denies the claims made against him and looks forward to disputing these claims in a court of law where he is confident that he will be exonerated.

The suspects responded to a website utilized to advertise commercial sex acts and then went to meet with an undercover law enforcement officer who claimed that they were offering 12 and 14-year-old girls in exchange for payments of cash.

These arrests reveal that the trafficking of children is occurring daily. The prosecuting attorney reports that a great demand exists for this criminal behavior.

If the men are convicted of these crimes, they face mandatory minimum sentences between 10 to 15 years in prison.

If you are charged with a sex crime, you should promptly hire a criminal defense lawyer. Because all sex crimes are different, it is critical for a lawyer to review the details of your case and discuss your unique options with you.

Sometimes People Bring False Charges

As difficult as it is to think that an individual would falsely accuse another of a sex crime, this is not uncommon. One of the best steps that you can take to build an effective defense is to consider the motivation of the person who brought the charges against you. Some reasons that people might have the motivation to bring false criminal sexual offense charges include:

  • Custody disputes involving children
  • Heated divorces 
  • Extortion
  • An attempt to cover up consensual sex about which a person wants to avoid having to ruin their reputation

Other Ways to Defend Against These Charges

A skilled criminal defense lawyer carefully collects evidence and creates a strong defense for the client. Some of the most common strategies for defending against sex crime charges include the following:

  • The person being charged is innocent, which might be shown through an alibi. An alibi is an excuse that a person was somewhere else or doing something else at the time that the crime occurred. 
  • A person may argue that the person bringing the charges misidentified them.
  • Sexual assault presumes that a sex act occurred without the victim’s consent. If consent to an act exists, then a sexual assault cannot be found to occur.

Speak With a Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime, you could be facing serious penalties. One of the best ways to respond to such a situation is to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari to schedule a free case evaluation.

Steps Can Be Taken to Mitigate Sex Charges

A Salem landlord was convicted of sexual assault in October. The incident occurred when a woman rented a room in Medford so her daughter would not have to change schools once they became homeless. The man has since been sentenced to at least a year and a half in prison.  

When sentencing the man, the judge took various details into consideration, including that the man did not have a criminal record and that the victim was particularly vulnerable.

The man must now serve one year and six months before seeking parole. Following release from prison, the man will spend several years on probation with various conditions, including registering as a sex offender.

Massachusetts has some particularly harsh sex offense penalties, which can make it challenging to fight the charges that you end up facing if you are convicted. If the state prosecution views your case as weak, they might negotiate a lesser offense or something non-sexual that does not require a person to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life. For example, a molestation charge might be reduced to one of sexual battery, which does not require a registry. 

Many sex offenses in Massachusetts carry a lifelong penalty. As a result, the legislature put in place regulations that let either the prosecution or judge go below the mandatory minimum if certain elements are proven, including lack of previous sexual convictions. 

The Difference Between State and Federal Registries

No real difference exists between the Massachusetts state and federal sex offender registry. Regardless of the register one must use, the individual must register as a sex offender for life. If an individual moves, they might be required to de-register with their old county and register with the new one.

How a Sex Crime Lawyer Can Help Your Case

If you are facing sex crimes charges, you should retain the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The penalties associated with sex crimes are substantial, which include registry as a sex offender. Additionally, the stigma of being a sex offender lasts for a person’s lifetime. If you work with children, even an allegation of a sex offense can create career trouble. Lastly, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can help parties charged with sex crimes prevail in their cases. 

Contact a Sex Crimes Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been charged or convicted of a sex offense, you should promptly obtain the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari today for assistance.

What is An Accessory After or Before the Fact?

Due to raids of a Norton apartment and a Quincy location, state law enforcement comments that they seized nearly $100,000, a firearm, and many drugs belonging to an individual who was recently in a fatal Taunton car crash. 

The raid happened at the apartment where the man resided with his girlfriend and suspected drug trafficking accomplice who kept many drugs, including fentanyl. The girlfriend, who does not have a criminal record, has since been arraigned on charges.

The man was held without bail and faces various charges, including manslaughter due to the car crash. 

Our criminal defense lawyers appreciate the challenges faced by people who are charged with accessories in connection to a crime. During the entire criminal law process, our attorneys will explain your rights and the various legal options.

Any individual who facilitates a crime can be classified as an accessory in Massachusetts. A person is viewed as an accessory before the fact if that individual in any way helps the principal actor who committed the felony offense. As the names suggest, one refers to helping before a criminal offense, and the other is for helping a principal after the crime has already been committed. When defending people who are charged as accessories to a crime, various elements must be considered, including where the offense occurred and the severity of the offense.

What it Means to Be an Accessory to a Crime

The law states that an accessory cannot be charged without the principal actor also being charged. This approach, however, has evolved over time. Lawmakers in Massachusetts rejected this approach and wrote into law that even if the principal is not facing charges, an accessory can still receive a conviction. People who are charged as accessories should receive charges in the county where the crime was committed rather than where they provided help.

The Elements of Being Convicted as an Accessory

During a trial, it is a good idea to establish various elements to prove that a person is an accessory. These elements include the following:

  • A felony must be shown to have been committed. The crime must be based on the notion that a felony was committed, which must be shown during the trial.
  • The prosecution must establish that the defendant intended to help in the crime’s concealment or commission. The law recognizes that it is possible for an innocent party to inadvertently assist a guilty party in the commission of a crime without appreciating the consequences of his actions.
  • The act committed by the accessory must have either helped with the crime’s commission or concealment. An exception exists for people who are an accessory after the fact.

Speak With a Drug Crime Defense Lawyer Today

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

Should You Talk to the Police?

A man in Melrose was recently arrested after a shooting that injured two individuals. The man now faces various charges, including armed assault, assault and battery, and possessing a firearm without a license.  

The man’s arrest occurred following a several-agency investigation. Law enforcement on the scene soon located two individuals who had incurred gunshot wounds to the legs.

Following the shooting, the investigation quickly revealed the man as allegedly committing the crimes. The man’s arrest occurred without incident.

Remember Your Fifth Amendment Rights

Under the Fifth Amendment, no individual can be compelled in a criminal case to be a witness against themselves. Consequently, you should never speak to law enforcement without first speaking with your lawyer. Law enforcement is skilled at obtaining admissions from parties who have been arrested. If you are an innocent party, law enforcement will utilize various inconsistencies in your statements to show your guilt.

For example, the police might take statements out of context or misinterpret what you said. Anything you say can be used against you later on in a court of law to prove your guilt. 

Many times, the police will spend hours interrogating you and examining the details of your case before writing down a few critical sentences they remember you saying. Law enforcement has been known to paraphrase comments. The best course of action is to say nothing and ask for a lawyer. 

Why You Should Not Speak to Police Without a Lawyer

When you speak to the police without an attorney present, you likely do not know every criminal law and statute, criminal procedure, evidence law, and case interpretation. While you might think that you are escaping an arrest by talking to law enforcement, you might be inadvertently admitting to a criminal offense you did not know you committed.

Not speaking to law enforcement does not make you look guilty. Instead, not speaking to the police will make you look smart. You have a constitutional right to an attorney, and you should assert this right. After you retain a lawyer, the attorney will act as a buffer between you and law enforcement. Your attorney's job is to ensure you do not say or do anything to hurt your case. 

If a law enforcement officer asks you about a crime, you should tell the officer politely that you would like to assert your right to remain silent and that you would like an attorney. If you state these two things, the pressure that law enforcement puts on you to speak goes away, and they cannot ask you additional questions. 

After you retain a criminal defense lawyer, they will likely promptly contact the police and tell them that the lawyer now represents you. The attorney will then discuss the investigation and receive all of the crucial details about what is going on. While each case is unique, a skilled defense lawyer can help you navigate the various issues that arise during the introduction of criminal charges and the pursuit of a conviction.

Speak With a Compassionate Firearm Defense Lawyer

Following a criminal charge, no matter the offense, one of the best things you can do is obtain the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact Attorney Edward R. Molari today.

Helpful Advice on Responding to Drug Charges

A believed fentanyl and crack cocaine trafficker is being held without bail after law enforcement stated that they discovered over 50 bags containing drugs in the man’s backpack. The man was arrested and charged in municipal court with carrying a firearm without a license, trafficking the involved drugs, illegal possession of ammunition, and other charges connected to drugs and firearms. 

The trafficker was arrested after he engaged in a drug sale with an undercover law enforcement officer. A search of the man’s backpack revealed a .22 Taurus pistol that held nine rounds in addition to fentanyl, crack cocaine, Gabapentin, cannabis, and $8,994. While crack cocaine and fentanyl are commonly abused drugs, Gabapentin is less commonly abused. Gabapentin is not a federally controlled medication. Instead, Gabapentin is a non-opioid medication used to treat people who have epilepsy as well as other nerve disorders or pain.

The county’s district attorney stated that the man must be prosecuted because he is a risk to public safety. The trafficker was just one of 31 individuals who was arrested on charges of drug trafficking in the drug market that surrounds the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard since the start of June 2022. Almost 50 summonses for drug charges in the same area have also been made.  

The case’s judge found the trafficker dangerous, which means that the man can be held for a maximum of 120 days. After this period, bail is fixed at $25,000, and the man would be required to wear a GPS tracker and stay away from the intersection where the arrest occurred. 

The Prevalence of Drug Charges in Massachusetts

The country is currently facing a crackdown on the over-prescription of opioids. The medication has been classified as an “opportunistic” drug of abuse. The pills are referred to as either “gabbies” or “johnnies” and are utilized to enhance the impact of opioid drugs. The impact of these drugs, however, can make it difficult to breathe and lower opioid tolerance levels. The use of these drugs has resulted in several states listing the medication as a controlled substance, while another 12 states, including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, have listed the drug in programs involving prescription drug monitoring. 

What to Do if Stopped by Law Enforcement With Drugs on You

If you are stopped by law enforcement with drugs on you, there are several important pieces of advice that you must remember to follow. This advice includes:

  • Avoid running or attempting to escape law enforcement. This often only leads to additional charges.
  • Make sure your hands stay out of your pockets. Putting your hands in your pockets is likely viewed by law enforcement as suspicious behavior, which will likely elevate the chances that law enforcement searches your pockets. 
  • Be as polite as possible to the law enforcement officer. Also, do your best to follow the orders given by law enforcement. 
  • Never give law enforcement permission to search your vehicle or your house.
  • Never admit to anything. Instead, exercise your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent when questioned by law enforcement.

Speak With an Experienced Drug Crime Defense Lawyer

Drug charges in Massachusetts can be brought in various ways. If you or a loved one is charged with a drug offense in Massachusetts, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will fight to make sure your rights are protected. Contact Attorney Edward R. Molari today for assistance.  

Avoiding False Statements When Questioned by Law Enforcement

A man in the Holyoke area was arrested recently for illegally possessing machine guns as well as owning unregistered firearms and providing false statements to law enforcement.  

Several ATF and FBI were investigating a home in Holyoke when the house’s owner was taken into questioning. The man was later arrested for illegal possession of several unregistered silencers, firearms, and magazines, as well as over 40 conversion devices and forced reset triggers that are listed as machine guns under existing federal law.

Some of the forced reset triggers and conversion devices located at the man’s home include a PTR Industries firearm, an Imperial Arms Company firearm, a Sig Sauer firearm, an Intratec firearm, a Glock machine gun, and forced reset triggers manufactured by Rare Breed, Tommy Triggers.

The indictment states the man provided false statements to federal law enforcement, including that all of the firearms at the man’s residence belonged to his son and girlfriend. The man also commented that he never requested his girlfriend or son purchase firearms.

Response by the Prosecution

A U.S. attorney involved in the case stated that firearms are deadly weapons and that strict requirements exist involving the licensure and registration of firearms. In addition to unlawfully possessing unregistered firearms, the lawyer also stated that the man is believed to have had a stockpile of both conversion devices and machine guns. Weapons of this kind, the lawyer commented, threaten the safety of the community.

Advice on Avoiding False Statement Charges

Many people end up giving false information to law enforcement because they are not certain about what they can and cannot say when questioned by law enforcement. If law enforcement shows up at your house, you should remember to follow some critical advice:

  • You are not obligated to answer any question that a law enforcement officer asks, even if they have a warrant to arrest you.
  • You are not required to let law enforcement into your home unless they can show you a valid search warrant. If law enforcement states they have a search warrant, you have the constitutional right to see the warrant before letting law enforcement into your residence. Although you should cooperate if you are shown a warrant, you are still not legally obligated to give law enforcement your name. 
  • Guests in your home are also not obligated to tell law enforcement who they are. If law enforcement tries arresting this individual, however, the person might have an interest in giving law enforcement their identity to prevent wrongful arrest.
  • If you do not want to identify yourself to law enforcement, say something like “I want to remain silent” or “I’d like to remain silent until I speak to my lawyer.” After asserting this Fifth Amendment right, you are not obligated to answer anything that law enforcement asks you. 
  • If you are placed under arrest, law enforcement can bring additional charges against you if you give them a false name or other false identifiers like your date of birth, social security number, or home address. 

Obtain the Assistance of a Firearm Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one is charged with a sex crime offense in Massachusetts, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact attorney Edward R Molrai today to schedule a free case evaluation. 

IP Addresses and Criminal Cases in Massachusetts

A man in Royalston was recently arrested after imagery involving child sex abuse was traced over the wifi of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The man was arrested after investigators claimed that he distributed the images over the medical center’s wifi, which can be used by the public.  

The man was charged with one count of possessing child pornography. Following arraignment, the man was held pending a detention hearing. The charging documents for the case identified the IP address of a device distributing child sex abuse content through peer-to-peer communications and decided that the device was utilizing the public wifi available at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which is located on Main Street in Leeds. Additional surveillance determined that the man was both the owner and user of the device in question. 

A search of the suspect’s residence was later performed. A laptop, a cell phone, and an external hard drive at the residence were all determined to contain child sex abuse imagery. 

The Function of IP Addresses

Any technological equipment that accesses the internet has an Internet Protocol (IP) address. Some IP providers rely on static IP addresses that remain the same every time you connect to the internet on the device, while devices utilize dynamic IP addresses that change each time you access the internet on the device. Websites that a person visits record that individual’s IP address as well as the time of the visit. Similarly, internet service providers (ISPs) retain a log of internet activity. Even if your equipment has a dynamic IP address, the ISP holds onto a record of IP addresses assigned to you.

IP Addresses are Not Identifiable Features

Judges have routinely stated that IP addresses cannot be utilized to identify a person who has committed a criminal offense. IP addresses are not considered the same as social security numbers or physical things like fingerprints. Instead, IP addresses are better thought of like zip codes. IP addresses connect equipment to a group of people. Furthermore, people who share a hotspot often share IP addresses.

Tracking IP addresses connected with an individual over time can provide law enforcement with a detailed description of a person’s whereabouts, however. In various situations, IP addresses do not personally identify anything. For example, this is often the case when an IP address connects to dozens of computers at public locations like universities or coffee shops. In these situations, IP addresses are often best thought of as clues. 

As a result, IP addresses do not equate to probable cause that a person has committed a criminal offense. Instead, search warrants executed solely based on an IP address have a substantial likelihood of wasting a law enforcement officer’s time as well as the resources of that agency. 

Contact a Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime in Massachusetts, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of a skilled defense lawyer. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.