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Massachusetts Criminal Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for Massachusetts on
Q: At a private business can photos be taken without the consent of the employee's

At a private business in MA, a neighbor who has been harassing the employees continues to come down every weekend to take pictures of minors while they work. She says it is for going after the owner for tax reasons however, the minors have stated to her that they do not consent to being filmed. Is... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Oct 2, 2020

There are a few issues here, so the answer rather depends. IF a neighbor can see from her property or a public street and take pictures it is probably legal. If she must trespass to take pictures then it may be a criminal trespass. It also sounds like harassment that may or may not fit the law on... Read more »

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 »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If a family member was murdered, how can a relative find out information about the case or about the progress of a case?
Joseph B. Simons
Joseph B. Simons answered on Sep 18, 2020

The relative should be able to get an update on the case by going to the clerk's office at the courthouse where the case is pending and asking to look at the file.

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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...
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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 Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: What can i do to help my boyfriend after my daughter made false assault and battery charges on her stepfather?

She said that he punched and kneed her in the face for not cleaning the room i was there the whole time but i was never really question on by dcf not the police she had no injuries consistent with that hes been in her life for a long time we all live together.

Joseph B. Simons
Joseph B. Simons answered on Aug 23, 2020

The best thing you can do for your boyfriend is to make sure he has an excellent criminal defense attorney. Domestic violence charges - probably "assault and battery on a family or household member" - are prosecuted quite harshly in Massachusetts. It sounds like you will make a good... 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 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...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I have received a notice to appear for a order of harassment. I need help in knowing what to do. I need a lawyer to help

The person who filed this against me lives above me in the apartment building we live in. I want to know if I have the rite to see her complaint forms. I have been told that in order for her to file this against me she had to list 3 times I harassed her. I have never been to court except one time... Read more »

Dakota Martin
Dakota Martin answered on Jun 8, 2020

Because restraining and harassment prevention orders are civil as opposed to criminal, you are not afforded a public defender, regardless of your financial means. You can view the affidavit your neighbor made at the courthouse (if it is even open). Perhaps the clerk can email or fax you a copy.... 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 Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets and Car Accidents for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it illegal to keep a license plate that isn't yours? My friend found one. (They aren't going to use it to drive.)

They found a license plate on the side of the road and they want to display it in their room. Again, my friend isn't going to drive with it, they just want to use it as a decoration. I'm in Massachusetts if that's any help. (02191 is my zip)

Dakota Martin
Dakota Martin answered on May 15, 2020

Finder's keepers, loser's weepers. The law is clear from Missouri to Massachusetts, Texas to Tennessee,

No, your "friend" has no duty to turn it in.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I have 2 open cases at court in Somerville , receiving a stolen motor vehicle and 2 counts of larceny over $1200.

I recently picked up a receiving stolen motor vehicle in another city. What might be the result?

William Barabino
William Barabino answered on May 2, 2020

Hello,

You could have your bail revoked by court who arraigns you on the new charge. When bail is revoked it requires a 90-day incarceration or until the underlying case is disposed. You could also have bail attached on the new case and no bail revoked. Or simply given personal recognizance...
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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Criminal Law, Federal Crimes and Social Security for Massachusetts on
Q: I need to hire a qualified attorned to represent me asescribed below.

currently I owe more than $3000 in cash and check, and I need to hire a qualified attorned to represent me.

David Luther Woodward
David Luther Woodward answered on Apr 27, 2020

Check with the Bar Association in Boston for lawyer's referral for someone near you who can assist.

This place is not used to engage or instruct lawyers.

Good Luck

d

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I get a medical marijuana card on probation in barnstable Massachusetts? I'm on drug and alcohol testing also.
William Barabino
William Barabino answered on Apr 26, 2020

Hello,

I would suggest reaching out to your probation officer

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I need a criminal attorney in western MA. I live near Northampton.. Can you recommend anyone?
Stephen Neyman Esq.
Stephen Neyman Esq. answered on Apr 10, 2020

Please contact my office at 617-263-6800 to discuss. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello my name is Lori my boyfriend is being held dangerous for a hunt 120 days. The police never read him his rights
William Barabino
William Barabino answered on Apr 6, 2020

Hello Lori,

Thank you for your question.

Without knowing more, it appears that your boyfriend is being held after a 58A Dangerousness Hearing. A Dangerousness Hearing occurs in Massachusetts when a court allows police to hold a person in custody who is determined to be too...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I have a theoretical question for my graduate class about autism spectrum disorder and the CJS that I was hoping to ask.

I have to come up with a theoretical scenario about a suspect and discuss competency, capacity, and mitigating factors. If someone went into someone's home without permission and stole a bike, would this be a crime that could be brought to court in front of a jury? I know you don't have... Read more »

William Barabino
William Barabino answered on Apr 6, 2020

Dear Questioner,

Thank you for your question.

The answer is yes. A jury trial could eventually occur if the person is found competent to stand trial. However, there are a number of situations that could occur before a jury trial takes place.

First, an attorney would have...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: A person maxes their credit cards, defaults, then moves overseas. Is that a crime?

Will there be criminal charges waiting for them if they ever return to the United States?

Dakota Martin
Dakota Martin answered on Mar 3, 2020

Unlikely. Intent might be hard to prove. I've not seen a criminal case based on the facts you provided. They use civil not criminal courts. The reality is that they will attempt to locate you, contacting friends and family anyone they think might assist their search. It may get so bothersome... 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 »

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