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Boston Criminal Defense Blog

Can you get out of jail on bail after a domestic violence arrest?

Like all other states, Massachusetts takes a serious approach to violent crimes, including domestic assault, abuse and violence in general. In the interest of protecting other residents and the community at large, courts and judges work to keep some violent offenders away from the public. However, getting out on bail is possible in some domestic violence cases.

According to Mass.gov, a bail magistrate is responsible for making decisions about bail. The magistrate will look at several factors before deciding whether to release a violent crime defendant on bail. These factors include the following.

  • The possibility that you may try to flee from prosecution
  • If you are already on parole or probation
  • Whether or not you have a job
  • If you live in the area or have family in the area
  • Your previous arrests and criminal history
  • If you have an established history of not showing up for court dates
  • In cases of domestic violence, the magistrate must determine if your release will endanger alleged victims or other members of the community

Ways you could unknowingly be breaking Massachusetts alcohol laws

Massachusetts remains one of the puritanical states in the nation, even in these modern times. While many cities in the state have specific ordinances that govern what is and is not allowed in terms of alcohol, there exist many state laws that residents or visitors may unknowingly break. Violating any one of these laws may lead to unexpected criminal charges.

This blog post will explore some of these laws in the hopes of helping you avoid alcohol violations. If you ever do face an arrest for violating alcohol laws about which you knew nothing, please consider consulting with a criminal defense lawyer. Doing so could protect your reputation as well as your freedom.

  • A single customer may not order more than two drinks at a time in a bar. Even though it will be the establishment that ends up in the hot seat over this violation, it is still good to understand this law.
  • At this time, eight towns in the state entirely prohibit the sale of alcohol. As you might imagine, there is an excellent chance that if the police arrest you on alcohol charges in one of these towns, you could face severe consequences.
  • Only residents of the state can purchase alcohol in most cases. If the authorities catch you buying alcohol for someone without an acceptable form of identification, you may suddenly need to speak with a criminal defense attorney.
  • If you host a gathering and serve alcoholic beverages, you might face charges if a person drives away while intoxicated. The state's "social host law" will hold you legally accountable for the behavior of intoxicated guests, and that includes driving under the influence.

Does the state have diversion programs for juvenile offenders?

When teens face allegations involving juvenile crimes, most parents immediately become anxious about the outcome of the case. Depending upon the nature of the alleged crime, jail time may be one of many consequences if a conviction occurs.

For worried parents, time behind bars is the worst possible outcome for their kids. Jails house many different types of alleged criminals, most of whom are adults. As you might expect, no parent wants their teens mixing with older individuals accused of serious crimes. In some Massachusetts counties, a diversion program may be the answer parents and juveniles need.

Mental illness may have played a role in Boston jogging attack

Just a few days ago, a young Massachusetts woman was attacked while jogging on Boston's Esplanade. A short while later, a state police officer apprehended a 37-year-old man and took him into custody. There is little doubt in the minds of law enforcement that the defendant committed the attack. However, mental illness may be a factor in the violent crime.

The woman was jogging on the afternoon of June 28. The defendant allegedly approached her with a pair of scissors and used the item to stab her in the head. The defendant also allegedly tackled the jogger and struck her several times. He is facing a list of charges including:

  • Armed assault with intent to kill
  • Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Resisting arrest

Did a valid prescription lead to a drug addiction?

People commonly receive prescription medications from their doctors for various reasons. Though the majority of people can take these prescriptions without any serious adverse effects, other parties may find themselves addicted to certain substances, especially those that are commonly misused.

You may have obtained a prescription medication and looked forward to using it because it would help address the condition with which you may have been struggling without medication. You may not have expected that the substance would later take control of your life.

Criminal defense: What are the advantages of taking a plea deal?

In some criminal cases, the prosecution offers defendants a way to reduce the charges they face. This is called plea bargaining, and many defendants choose this as a way to minimize their sentences. Criminal defense attorneys may or may not encourage their clients to accept a plea bargain, but ultimately, it is up to the defendant.

One of the top reasons defendants may accept a deal is because it takes away the uncertainty that comes with a trial. For example, say you are facing serious charges involving a violent crime. The prosecution may offer to reduce your charges if you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge. This means you will not go to trial, and you will know in advance what penalties you will face.

Juvenile crimes: Fighting minor in possession charges

One of the most common juvenile crimes youths in America face involves the use and/or possession of alcohol. All states have created laws defining the age at which it is legal to consume and possess alcoholic beverages. Here in Massachusetts, the following laws apply to all juveniles.

  • A person must be no less than 21 years old to purchase alcohol
  • A person less than 21 years old may consume alcohol but only when a parent, guardian or legal-age spouse provides the beverage
  • The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for those under 21 is .02%

Youths often want to participate in grown-up activities, especially when they have reached the legal age of adulthood, which is 18 years. Allegations of juvenile crimes involving alcohol can arise because of the discrepancy between the age of adulthood and the legal drinking age.

Massachusetts violent crimes: First degree murder charges

Murder, or homicide, is one of the oldest violent crimes in recorded history. Violent deaths continue to occur even in this more enlightened era of mankind. In fact, lawmakers have tried to deal with violent deaths by breaking them down into several categories.

What do these categories mean and what consequences will defendants face upon conviction? In this blog post, we will explore murder in the first degree in the hope that defendants facing this charge will have a clearer idea of what to expect. In Massachusetts, first-degree murder occurs when one person intentionally and deliberately kills someone else with premeditation.

It is critical to act fast following a juvenile arrest

Youths under the age of 18 have not yet developed the skills necessary to navigate adult life. Unfortunately, this often means that juveniles run the risk of making poor decisions that could land them in legal trouble. In some cases, kids can get out of this trouble with nothing more than a firm (yet frightening) slap on the wrist. Other times, however, an arrest on juvenile crimes could lead to incarceration without a proper defense.

We have heard many people insist that juveniles require punishment for their criminal actions. As defense attorneys, we do not necessarily disagree with this statement. After all, holding offenders responsible for their actions can teach them that there are always consequences for unwanted behaviors. However, we also believe that most juvenile crimes require an approach other than incarceration.

Do you have to take a walk-and-turn test in Massachusetts?

Nothing can put a damper on a nice evening out with friends quite like having to pull over for a traffic stop when you see red and blue flashing lights in your rear-view mirror. The Massachusetts police officer who approaches your driver's side window may already suspect you of a crime by the time he or she speaks to you.

If one of the first questions is a request for you to step out of your vehicle, you can bet your bottom dollar that the officer thinks you are on drugs or alcohol. While it's always best to be polite and to cooperate as much as possible, you have rights in such situations, and the more you know about those rights ahead of time, the likelier you'll be able to mitigate your circumstances. 

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