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Boston Criminal Defense Blog

What's the deal with field sobriety tests? Should you take them?

In order to arrest someone on suspicion of drunk driving, police must have probable cause. This means that they can't just have a hunch that you are intoxicated. They must gather sufficient evidence to arrest you.

Since roadside breath tests are highly unreliable, authorities needed to create some other method to determine impairment. This is when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted some research and came up with a three-part test back in the 1980s. Police officers still use those tests today.

Doing time does not mean a conviction stops impacting your life

When facing criminal accusations, you may find yourself focusing only on the legal consequences of a conviction. These could include fines and jail time. This naturally leads you to assume that, when you have done your time, the conviction will cease to be a part of your life.

That's not always true. It can actually follow you around in numerous ways for years on end. It is important to really think about all of the ramifications when considering your defense options.

3 telling facts about underage drinking

As a parent, you know that underage drinking happens. Movies about high school and college tend to glamorize it. However, does it happen as much as these fictionalized accounts imply? To understand it, here are three facts you need to know:

  • In every state in the country, the legal drinking age is 21 years old. No one can legally buy or consume alcohol under that age.
  • Even so, 11 percent of the alcohol that people drink in the United States gets consumed by people who are from 12 to 20 years old. That figure shows that simply making something illegal does not put an end to it.
  • About 90 percent of the drinks consumed by people in that 12-to-20 age bracket are consumed as part of America's binge drinking culture. This is when people drink excessively and with the goal of getting intoxicated. In short, most teens are drinking heavily when they drink illegally, rather than sticking to the recommended one or two drinks a day.

Underage drinking is definitely a problem in the United States, and many parents are unaware that their children are involved in it. Teens work very hard to hide this from their parents. While the movies may exaggerate the drinking culture and turn it into something it is not, the reality is not always as drastically different as you may hope. If your teen is drinking at all, odds are that he or she is binge drinking.

Why is peer pressure such a big problem for children?

Let's be honest: Peer pressure probably still impacts your life as an adult. However, it is nothing like the pressure you faced when you were a teen.

At times, that type of pressure can be so intense that teens do things they don't want to do, that they have been taught not to do their whole lives and that they know they shouldn't do. This can include criminal activity, such as shoplifting, drinking, using drugs or even physically assaulting other children.

The consequences of the opioid epidemic

Pain may let you know that you are alive, but in many cases, it also keeps you from being able to function. Broken bones, surgical procedures and other injuries that you and other Massachusetts residents suffer cause a great deal of pain that you may be able to control with medications. Opioids provide the pain relief that many people need, but it comes with an often-terrible price.

The medical community considered opioids miracle drugs, and in the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies built up that reputation as much as possible. In fact, they assured the public and the medical community that they did not pose any danger of addiction. Now, most people know that that assurance was unfounded. The addictive level of opioids surprised many people, and the data backs up the fact that the pharmaceutical companies lied.

Explaining the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission

Living in Massachusetts can be one of the most enjoyable states in which to reside. It doesn't come without responsibilities, though, and penalties when the law is broken. Like all other states, Massachusetts has violent crime laws in place to not only prevent them from happening but also to penalize those who commit such offenses. Today, we will take a look at the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission.

The Massachusetts Sentencing Commission was created in April 1994 with the passage of the truth in sentencing law, which is known as Chapter 432 from the Acts of 1993. There are 15 members that make up the commission. Of the 15 members, three of them are judges, three are defense counsel, three are prosecutors and the remaining members are representatives from the following entities:

  • Massachusetts Sheriff's Association
  • Executive Office of Public Safety
  • Parole Board
  • Department of Corrections
  • Victim Witness Assistance Board
  • Office of the Commissioner of Probation

How do I defend against charges of driving drunk?

Drunk driving is a problem all across the country. Law enforcement personnel do all they can to curb this problem but as long as people make mistakes, the longer this problem will affect millions of people. Should you ever find yourself in a drunk driving checkpoint or arrested due to impairment, you will want to do everything possible to fight the charges. So, how do you defend charges of drunk driving?

One of the most common ways people defend charges of drunk driving is using the method of an improper administration of a field sobriety test. There are a variety of tests that officers administer on the side of the road during a traffic stop. It's possible the officer wasn't properly trained to administer such a test or that the officer incorrectly administered it.

Questions to ask when choosing a juvenile defense attorney

If your juvenile child has been charged with a crime in Massachusetts, you need to act quickly to find an attorney. The longer you wait to find an attorney, the more likely it is that your child could face the penalties associated with the crime they were accused of committing. Today, we will look at the questions you should ask when choosing a juvenile defense attorney for your child.

What is your experience in handling juvenile cases?

Ask these questions when choosing a criminal defense attorney

Having to pick a criminal defense attorney can be very difficult. You likely haven't needed to do this in the past and might be worried that who you pick will not work their hardest for you. This is not uncommon, and you probably have a lot of other worries too. You've been charged with a violent crime and want someone who has the experience handling such cases. You should ask the following questions of the attorney before making a decision who will represent you.

What is your experience handling cases with similar charges to mine?

Can my criminal charges be dropped with a diversion program?

Have you been charged with a crime in Franklin, Massachusetts? This is a stressful, overwhelming situation. If this is your first criminal charge, you likely have no idea what to expect. One option that might be helpful is entering into a diversion program. There are programs for drug charges, driving under the influence and various other criminal charges.

If you are eligible to enter into a diversion program to fight the criminal charge levied against you, make sure you complete it successfully. If you fail to complete the program, you will still face the charge in court. Successful completion of such a program could lead to any of the following outcomes:

  • Charges reduced or dropped
  • No jail time
  • Fewer fees
  • No conviction on your record
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