Blog Posts in 2019

  • Massachusetts Recreational Cannabis Laws

    After Massachusetts voters approved the legalization of recreational cannabis, the law went into full effect in December 2016. Adults who are at least 21 years of age can use, purchase, and possess up to one ounce of marijuana on their person and up to five grams of cannabis concentrate outside the home and keep up to 10 ounces at home. Additionally, consumers can grow up to six plants at home and ...
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  • Big Pharma & RICO

    In the past two decades, over 200,000 people have overdosed during the opioid crisis. Now, the criminal justice system has begun holding pharmaceutical and drug distribution companies, as well as their owners and executives, criminally responsible for the national epidemic. Insys Therapeutics Case On May 2, 2019, a federal jury found the founder and top executives of Insys Therapeutics, a seller ...
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  • Spoke and Hub Conspiracy & "Operation Varsity Blues"

    I anticipate some of the attorneys in the so-called Operation Varsity Blues case, which is being prosecuted in federal court in Boston and involves multiple allegations of bribery and fraud to help certain applicants gain admission to a number of prominent US Colleges, will challenge the government’s reliance on a “Hub and Spoke” theory of conspiratorial liability. As described by the 1 st Circuit ...
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  • Do the Police Have to Identify Themselves When You Ask?

    At one point or another, most of us have heard someone say, “If you ask a cop if they’re a cop, they have to tell you.” Usually, this “life hack” gets passed around at a party, or discussed after a friend has a run-in with the law. But is there any truth to it? Are police officers really like vampires — in some folklore — that can’t lie about their identities? No, unfortunately not. In many ...
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  • Criminal Defense for Spring Breakers in Massachusetts

    It is no secret that college students across the United States are some of the most stressed people out there. With all of their day-to-day responsibilities between schoolwork and actual work, it is no wonder so many use Spring Break as a time to unwind, let their worries go, and really go wild with parties. However, as a party gets more and more exciting, the odds of someone getting accused of a ...
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  • FEDERAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING, STATE HUMAN TRAFFICKING, AND PROSTITUTION: HIRING A LAWYER WHO KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE MAKES A DIFFERENCE

    Soliciting/engaging-in prostitution and human trafficking are separate crimes. The former involves seeking/paying or giving/providing sex for a fee. Under federal criminal statutes, the latter involves slavery, indenture/servitude, peonage (slave wages), coercion, intimidation, and other elements of forced labor. Under state law in Massachusetts, human trafficking requires proof of “subjecting”, ...
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  • FBI Cracks Down on College Bribery Scheme

    On March 12, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that 50 individuals have been charged with various crimes related to an alleged fraud scheme—known as “Operation Varsity Blues”—to cheat on entrance exams and bribe college officials to admit students whose parents are wealthy actresses, CEOs, and business executives. In all, 33 parents collectively paid $25 million to William Singer, who ...
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  • Defending Against Mail and Wire Fraud

    The penalties for federal mail and wire fraud are strict. If convicted, you face up to a maximum of 20 years in a federal correctional facility (up to 30 yrs., if you are convicted of bank fraud); your specific sentence will largely depend on the proven dollar or value amount(s) of actual, or intended, fraud losses. Full victim restitution is mandatory, and fraud penalties also include forfeiture ...
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  • Marital Rape Accusations Explained & Defenses

    The very nature of a sexual assault or rape accusation implies there was no consent between the accused and the accuser. With this in mind, a marital rape accusation creates a cloudy, gray area where it can be difficult to find the truth. Allowing someone to be convicted of a serious sex crime in a situation with inherent uncertainties is unthinkable and an affront to the criminal justice system. ...
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  • Is the Girl Scout Cookie Hero is a Drug Smuggler?

    On February 27 th , 2019, you might have seen a heartwarming news story about a Good Samaritan who bought a bunch of Girl Scout cookies so the Scouts could get out of the cold weather. The story came from Greenville, South Carolina, where the temperature was near freezing when the man cleared out the stock of a Girl Scout troop posted outside a store. Now, in a strange turn of news events, the ...
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  • What is an Affirmative Defense to a Criminal Charge?

    You might be accustomed to thinking that any criminal defense strategy will rely on defeating the supposed facts brought forth by the prosecution and the state. While this is certainly a good way to shut down the opposition, it is certainly not the only way to do it. With an affirmative defense, you and your criminal defense attorney can take a different approach to your defense by not necessarily ...
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  • Potential Criminal Penalties for Drugging a Person for Sexual Intercourse

    Sex crimes have been prosecuted and penalized with more tenacity than ever before in recent years. This is perhaps no more apparent than in cases involving the alleged drugging of a person for sexual intercourse . In Massachusetts, you can be charged with a federal crime and a form of rape if you have sexual intercourse with someone who is under the influence of a drug or alcohol. By the legal ...
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  • Understanding Massachusetts Arson Laws

    Because arson is an expensive and high-profile crime, prosecutors are relentless about pursuing these cases. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that an average of 200,000 intentional fires are started each year, and that they may cause up to $1 billion worth in property damage , for both the government and private property owners. Naturally, the government has paid attention to ...
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  • Rapid DNA Machines Spell Trouble for Constitutional Rights

    As the use of Rapid DNA machines continues to spread, some police officers can now get nearly automatic DNA test results , right from the comfort of their own precincts. However, forensic experts are already raising red flags about these “magic” DNA devices – and how they could impact our Constitutional rights to privacy and due process under the law. As a Boston criminal defense lawyer, our ...
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  • How to Deal with False Child Sexual Abuse Accusations

    Very few crimes inspire emotional responses to the same degree as child sexual abuse, due to the horrific nature of this crime. Many instinctively want to believe children who share stories of abuse, partly because it’s human nature to take them at face value. However, this is not how our justice system was designed to work – and when you stand falsely accused of a child sex crime, it’s imperative ...
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