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  • Crying CW

    I just finished a sex crimes trial. The courtroom was small and intimate. The complaining witness was seated two rows behind me, when I gave my Closing Argument. Her row was no further than six to seven feet away from the edge of the jury box. Each time I pointed out inconsistencies between her testimony and prior statements, she began to sob loudly. Her crying became even louder whenever I ...
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  • What Is the Presumption of Innocence?

    A bedrock principle of the American criminal justice system is that a defendant accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This protection comes from the due process guarantees in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. It exists to guard against convictions based on factual error. You may wonder, especially if you are involved in a ...
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  • Order of Closing Argument

    As a trial lawyer who has been conducting jury trials for 35 years, the last 20 years strictly as a defense attorney, I have a hard time accepting long-standing procedural protocols in certain state courts, including Massachusetts, whereby the defendant is the first to give Closing Argument. Yes, I understand the order that arguments are given is premised on the prosecution having the burden of ...
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  • Can You Be Arrested for Self-Defense?

    Our country’s laws allow us to protect ourselves. As part of your Constitutional right, you have the right to “security of person,” which means you have the right to protect yourself from harm, such as in instances of assault and battery, domestic violence or even destruction or theft of property. Unfortunately, a police officer may arrest you even if you did nothing wrong. Is self-defense really ...
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  • Excessive Bail: What Are Your Rights?

    A person who is arrested and charged with a criminal offense is typically taken into custody to a local law enforcement station, where they are booked. After the fingerprints and mugshots, they can either be held in a facility within the station or taken to county jail. Depending on the severity of the crime, prior convictions and other factors, the individual may be released pending their first ...
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  • Can I Terminate My Obligation To Register as a Sex Offender in Massachusetts?

    All convicted sex offenders who live, work, or go to school Massachusetts must enter into the sex offender registry. Under state and federal law, these registries contain public information that identifies those who have been convicted of a sexual offense, such as rape, sexual assault, sex with a minor, and molestation. If you’re forced to register as a sex offender, your mug shots, current ...
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  • What You Need to Know About Indecent Exposure

    Laws surrounding indecent exposure make it a crime for any person to knowingly and purposefully display their genitals in public, especially when it offends or alarms other people. While indecent exposure is usually committed for sexual gratification or in an attempt to entice a sexual response, embarrassing acts such as public urination, inadvertent public sex acts or other displays of nudity in ...
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  • Building a Defense for Money Laundering Charges

    Money laundering is a complex federal offense which involves making illegally-gained proceeds (“dirty money”) appear legitimate or “clean” through a series of complex financial transfers and transactions. In order to prove money laundering, the federal government must show that the accused person expected to receive the money back, since simply receiving the proceeds of illegal activity may not ...
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  • Long-Term Costs of a Juvenile Criminal Conviction

    Roughly 1.3 million children under the age of 18 are arrested each year in the U.S. As a parent, you never expect your own kids to be part of that statistic, but unfortunately it happens. While it’s easy to dwell on their arrest, it’s extremely important that you act quickly and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney for them. You should never take a juvenile crime lightly, because the ...
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  • Can a Sex Offender Work at or Attend School?

    If you are convicted of a sex offense in Massachusetts, you will likely face some serious consequences and harsh restrictions that will affect you for your entire life; one of those being registering as a sex offender. While being a sex offender will definitely restrict your ability to get a job or be on school and university campuses, what happens if you are a student or work on campus? Attending ...
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  • Is Drug Trafficking a Felony or Misdemeanor?

    Depending on the amount of drugs, the type of drugs, where they were found, intent, and whether or not they were being shared, possession of a controlled substance can be a misdemeanor. Drug trafficking/distribution, on the other hand, is a felony and is considered a much more serious crime than simple possession. If you are found in possession of a controlled substance, you could be charged with ...
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  • 6 Three Strikes Law Pros and Cons

    In 2012, Massachusetts became the 27 th state to implement a “three strikes” law, making criminals who have been convicted three times of specific crimes ineligible for parole, forcing them to serve their full sentence. While the bill was touted as only affecting “habitual offenders,” it has been criticized for its lack of judicial discretion and dramatic increase in the types of crimes (1 to 19) ...
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  • Consequences for Money Laundering in Massachusetts

    Money laundering is the process of concealing the origins of illegally obtained money and making it appear legal, or “clean.” Typically, this process involves three steps: placement, layering and integration. First, the illegal funds are introduced into a legitimate financial system. Next, the money is moved around, whether it’s by transfer or wire, through several accounts. Finally, it is ...
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  • What to Do If You've Been Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault

    In today’s climate, more and more men in positions of power are being accused of sexual assault. While this is unacceptable in any industry or arena, many of these allegations are being thrown out without any definitive proof. In fact, many of the accused are losing jobs, losing their loved ones, and facing a public outcry before they even have a chance to deny or accept these claims. First things ...
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  • Are Criminal Convictions Public Record?

    If you have been convicted of a crime in the United States, this fact is public record. This means the record of your conviction, including the details of the case, are available for anyone who goes to a court clerk’s office and searches for your specific files. The only exception to this general rule is when the judge rules to seal a conviction. This is also known as expungement, which occurs if ...
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