201805.20
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THE POLICE DIDN’T READ ME MY RIGHTS!

As a criminal defense practitioner for over a decade, I have frequently sat down to my first meeting with a client and been told that the police did not advise them of their Miranda right to remain silent. More often than not, my response is that it doesn’t matter. After disappointing my client with the…

201803.04
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CAN THE POLICE SEARCH UNDER THE HOOD OF MY CAR?

Generally, the police need probable cause to search the interior of a vehicle. Because of the inherent mobility of motor vehicles, and because of the lowered expectation of privacy that drivers have relative to their homes, a search warrant is usually not necessary. One way the police can get around the requirement of probable cause…

201801.16
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HARASSMENT PREVENTION ORDERS IN MASSACHUSETTS

Pursuant to General Laws Chapter 258E, a court in Massachusetts can issue a “Harassment Prevention Order,” which is a type of restraining order that, unlike a General Laws Chapter 209A Abuse Protection Order, does not require that the applicant have any specific type of personal relationship with the person against whom they are seeking the…

201801.07
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THREATENING TO COMMIT A CRIME

In Commonwealth v. Goodness, decided in December of 2017, the Massachusetts Appeals Court provided guidance about the common law crime of threatening. Pursuant to the Criminal Model Jury Instructions, the Commonwealth must prove four things in prosecuting a charge of threatening to commit a crime. Those four things are as follows, namely: First: That the…

201712.27
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THE USE OF PROFILING TESTIMONY IN DRUG DISTRIBUTION CASES

In October of 2017, in Com. v. Smith, the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the conviction of a defendant for possession of a Class B substance (crack cocaine) with intent to distribute, rejecting the defendant’s argument that a police officer was improperly allowed at trial to offer “profiling” testimony on the characteristics of a drug dealer…