Category Archives: Criminal Defense

What is an Assault?

What does it mean if you are charged with assault (M.G.L. chapter 265, section 13A) in Massachusetts? It means that the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged placed another individual in fear of bodily harm.   You do not have to actually have physical contact with the alleged victim to be…

Should you Hire a Lawyer if you get Charged with a Crime in Massachusetts?

A question I get a lot, is “Do I really need a lawyer?  Can’t I just handle this myself?” Well, what if you broke your wrist?  Would you set it yourself? Having a broken wrist that doesn’t heal properly, probably won’t kill you (disclaimer: I am in no way a doctor and am not saying…

Stalking – The Legal Definition

Stalking.  What is it really? To be convicted of the crime of stalking, there is actually a lot that the Commonwealth has to prove.  Stalking is defined as: a person willfully (on purpose) and maliciously (meanly or spitefully or with a desire to cause injury or fear) engages in a pattern of conduct or series…

Criminal Harassment

What is criminal harassment? It isn’t just when someone annoys you once, and goes on their way.  It is actually the following: someone engages (either willfully or maliciously) in a knowing pattern of conduct, or series of acts of a period of time directed at a specific person. the person who has the acts directed…

Mayhem, What is it?

What is Mayhem? This word often conjures up visions of a crowd gone wild, perhaps visions of police in riot gear pushing back a crowd. That is not the legal definition of mayhem. Mayhem is actually when someone hurts someone so badly that they are maimed or disfigured. Mayhem is a crime of intent, meaning…

What is the Sex Offender Registry Board?

The Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB), is the board that classifies sex offenders in Massachusetts.  Anyone charged and convicted of an enumerated sex offense in Massachusetts can potentially be classified by the board. Individuals are not notified by the board of their potential classification until after they have been convicted.  In the case of people…

Arraignment

Arraignment is when you are officially charged with a crime in front of judge. You get to arraignment one of four ways.  The first way is a little less pleasant. 1. Worse case scenario – You are arrested and brought to court either the same day or the next day.  Here are a few scenarios where this…

Overview of the MA No-Texting Law (effective 9/30)

So, finally, the Massachusetts Legislature has gotten it together and actually finalized the no texting law.  It is now set to go into effect on September 30, 2010. Here’s what it means: There is to be no texting while driving. Texting includes:  sending of emails, instant messages or reading of emails, instant messages or texts…

What do the Sex Offender Classifications mean?

What does it mean to be classified as a Sex Offender?  Basically there are three levels of Sex Offenders in Massachusetts.   The Board gives you a preliminary classification, and you have the right to fight that classification.  The possibilities of classification are as follows: LEVEL 1 If the SORB determines that the risk of re-offense…

What Happens at Arraignment?

Arraignment is when you are officially charged with a crime in front of judge. You get to arraignment one of four ways.  The first way is a little less pleasant. 1. Worse case scenario – You are arrested and brought to court either the same day or the next day.  Here are a few scenarios where…

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