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Questions Answered by Lissa McKinney
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it illegal for someone to do something if you said that you would commit suicide if they did it?

Someone threatened to send private 18+ photos to my parents and my university. I publicly tweeted that I would commit suicide if they did that. They saw my tweets and apologized and said they will not be sending anything. Then they did send private 18+ copyrighted photos to my university two weeks... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 24, 2020

It is unclear their legal liability unless you actually did do as you promised- which you did not. Still their was a risk to lief, and many questions were left open by the Michelle Carter case a few years ago, re: encouraging suicide. the larger issue might depend on the content of the pictures,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: I’m waiting on a court hearing for a speeding ticket. Will I be able to renew my car registration before the hearing?

I got pulled over about 5 months ago for speeding and I still havnt received a date for a court hearing. My car registration just expired and I need to renew it. Will I be able to renew it while waiting for the court hearing or will the ticket prevent me from renewing the registration?

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 24, 2020

You can absolutely register the car!! The pending speeding ticket will not prevent this. Many ticket hearings are backed up due to Covid. Be sure you sent it in on time, kept a copy of the ticket, and know what court to call if you dont hear from anyone within the month. You should have heard from... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Someone in my town is stealing or damaging trump signs. Is that a criminal offense? If so what level severity is it?
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 9, 2020

That is absolutely a criminal offense.

Some of the charges could range from larceny ( misdemeanor if $1200 or less), trespass, malicious damage to property, receiving stolen goods. Since this is also protected 1st Amendment and political speech it could implicate civil rights issues as...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: Can you get jail time for driving and unregistered ATV on the street?

The person has previous felony convictions

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 7, 2020

WHether you can is very different from whether you will. That is, the maximum pubishment for many motor vehicle violations or district court cases might be 2 1/2 years. However, that is not at all what a person might be likely to get. It might depend on the record, whether the person is on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Civil Litigation and Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: I got my very first ticket and the officer told me to appeal it. Should I bother doing it or just pay it?

I wanted dismissed if possible, but i'm not sure if it's worth it. I was at fault so what would i say in court? I was driving and passed a red light that changed just before i past it. is the officer telling me that he's not going to appear in court? i've had my license only for... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Aug 25, 2020

APPEAL THE TICKET!! There are a number of very important reassons to take the appeal. First, you are under the age of 25 and in the age bracket where there can be larger SDIP points assessed or possible surcharges on a policy. Second, if you have 3 speeding tickets or 5 overall moving violations... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law and Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can the police obtain a search warrant to conduct a drug raid of a persons home without having any controlled buys?

For example, All they have is hearsay that a certain individual is selling drugs and they (the police) have noticed a moderate amount of traffic to the individuals home. But they haven't had any arrests of anyone in possession of drugs leaving that persons home

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Aug 19, 2020

That absolutely doesnt sound like it meets the probable cause standard to get a search warrant. The search warrant gets 'returned' within 7 days after it is issued, which isnt always 7 days after the search. You would need to get a copy of the Affidavit from the Court, and that document... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: I have to appear for a pretrial for domestic violence and I'm not sure what to say or do.

My wife and I were under a lot of stress and ended up in an argument. While I was sitting on the couch she hit me in the head and so I pushed her. She ended up tripping on a dog bowl and falling down. She was so angry she called 911, told them I pushed her, then hung up refusing to answer when they... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Aug 12, 2020

YOU should not handle the pretrial hearing alone. You really need to have a lawyer and gget one if the COurt willnot give you one. Your arraignment signifies to you that the beginning of a CRIMINAL PROCESS. Neither you nor your wife control the criminal process or the result. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My 16 year old son recently received a criminal citation in the mail, we want to fight it. Who signs the back me or him?

WPD came to my house after talking previously with my sons friends. So I went on the porch to talk when my son made a bad choice & rode down the street away from all of us. The cop began talking bad about my son to his friends & realized I was there.He then assumed that I was ok with what... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Jul 20, 2020

Your son signs the citationon that back. Be sure you read the instructions very carefully too as it involves payment of a processing fee and you will not get the hearing if it isnt paid. Then you will be notified f a clerks hearing where you can oppose the issuance of the criminal complaint. Your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is two letters in a row considered harrassment?

Someone sent me an apology letter and ended it by saying that they wouldn't contact me again. However a few weeks letter they sent another letter, adding some information to the apology, apologizing for sending a second letter, and reiterating that they wouldn't contact me again. The... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Jun 8, 2020

No- Under MA law, that would not be harassment at all. That law requires 3 or more acts that are harassing , defined as: willful and malicious/ done on purpose and was done for cruelty, hostility or revenge

Were aimed at you.Were intended to cause you fear, intimidation, abuse, or damage to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: As tenants do we have a legal claim to use of common space? How do we address harassment by neighbors who won't share?

My husband and I moved into an apartment in an upstairs/downstairs duplex last year. The upstairs tenants had been living there for several years before we moved in. In our leases each apartment has rights to two parking spots in the shared driveway, but the neighbors have taken three, making our... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on May 23, 2020

You should send a polite email to the landlord asserting that your lease provides you 2 parking spots and they have taken one of yours. He needs to tell them they have only 2 and to move the 3rd car someplace else. He should also tell them in writing that you are entitled to half the garden and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: I have a restraining order against my husband in Massachusetts. Can I relocate to New Hampshire with our son?
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Apr 15, 2020

Maybe. If you have been to any Probate & Family Court with your child then MA has jurisdiction ( Paternity action, child support action, divorce) you can't leave the state without permission from the Probate COurt. If you do it anyway, you may be ordered to do all the riving so the other... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: I hit a pole while driving during a rainy night, the officers came unexpectedly and I told them my mom texted me.
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Mar 18, 2020

There isnt really a question here. However if you appeal the ticket and go to the clerk's hearing there is a decent chance they will give you a break if you havent had any driving infractions before, on the distracted driving aspect. However, there can be some complications with insurance... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Will my sons father do jail time for a second time for a second offense against me in Massachusetts?
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Feb 15, 2020

Your question just cannot be answered as it has too little factual information. Was he on probation for the 1st when the 2d happened? are you on board with the prosecution or not planning to testify? Are there photos/medical/hospital reports? Generally the more serious any injury impacts the case... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I am a college student and was caught using a fake ID this past weekend to go to the bar.

I was told I would be summoned to court. I am also in the process of trying to get a job and was wondering if this would be shown on a background check before I actually get summoned, after I get a letter to be summoned, or until I actually attend my court date. I was also wondering what the... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Feb 13, 2020

This will not show up on a backround check until you are arraigned and the formal criminal process started. However, this can be a serious crime that many students don't realize until something like this happens. Under Mass. General Laws c.90 § 24B It is a '5 year felony' which... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Owe a Limo Bill owner says if not paid today he will go to the police? Isnt this a civil matter?
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Jan 21, 2020

It is both technically speaking. The larceny statute covers many kinds of thefy, including larceny by fraud, trick, deceit etc. If this is a straightforward failure to pay the police might treat it as civil and defer it. The limo owner can still try to obtain a criminal compliant, but you would... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I suspect that my sister is being molested by her stepfather, she has told me that he tries to touch her private areas

How can I report the guy cause I fear for my sister's safety and my mom won't believe my sister

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Jan 12, 2020

You can alert any mandatory reporter, who is obliged to notify DCF and/or the police. That includes doctors, nurses, teachers, daycare workers, therapists of any kind, social workers, and many more. However, if this happens they may ask your sister and depending on her age the directness may make... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If I file a motion to vacate default and get a new arrangement date can I still be arrested for “Bail Jumping”?

If I missed my arraignment date but went to the courthouse and filed a motion to vacate default, paid bail/bond and got a new arrangement date. And the clerk tells me that I no longer have a warrant. And I have complied with the terms of BailBond conditions,

Can the prosecutor bring Bail... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Nov 25, 2019

No- I have never heard of such an event in 35 years of practice. I am not even sure MA law has a 'bail jumping' law as you say. The penalty for bail jumping is your bail is forfeited to the state if one was posted, and they set a new bail usuallyhigher or double the old one to ensure you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I'm on pretrial probation I missed a drug test my tril is set for October 9th to be dismissed. Can I turn my self in on

Will they move my trial up and put me in jail for pretrial probation violation

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 28, 2019

They will not usually move up a trial dates as they are booked so tight. It sound like maybe you were on a pre trial diversion or given opportunity to not have case on record but the failure of doing thre drug test could be huge impact. You best have a very good explanation for missing it. IF you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can someone transfer probation to another state the day They get released from jail

My husband had court Monday and took probation he lied and Sid he had no one to pick him up so the jail is bringing him to court Friday to b released to probation. He is saying he is moving to Florida that day. Could a judge have already agreed to his move even tho he hasn’t been released and... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 19, 2019

No, that is not a likely scenario at all. Transferring probation out of state requires a lot of forms to be filled out and the other state accepting the probationer. In addition, you have to provide an address where you will be living and that address has to be verified as well. It is doubtful the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it legal to get around a parked police cruiser by using the opposite driving lane?

It was on a two way back street. A police cruiser blocked one lane with a sign saying no through traffic. I used the opposite driving lane to safely get around the cruiser and enter the restricted street, but got a citation for marked lane violation. Do I have a case to contest?

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 11, 2019

You should take a picture right away if you can, and file the appeal. I would say that is a good case, since you lived or were going to one of the restricted addresses you should have been permitted to travel. usually they stop traffic on one end and rotate the travel each way. So long as you did... Read more »

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