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December 2017 Archives

What is probable cause?

One of the most frequently used phrases in criminal law is "probable cause." In Massachusetts, probable cause is necessary to arrest someone, conduct a search without a warrant, detain a person arrested on suspicion of having committed a crime or to obtain a search warrant. The rule applies to both felonies and misdemeanors.

Giving in to peer pressure can lead to criminal charges

If you have a teenager living with you in Boston, it may remind you of the challenges you faced as an adolescent. Teens deal with peer pressure and external influences that can make it hard to avoid making bad decisions. They are young and impressionable, and still have a lot to learn about the world. It is not uncommon for what appear to be innocent jokes and pranks to become incidents that result in juvenile criminal charges

Understanding sex offender registration laws

Many people in Massachusetts realize that the state has a sex offender registration act, but few understand its mechanics. The United States Department of Justice also maintains a sex offender registration list, but the existence of this list and how it may be accessed are very poorly understood.

Can a defendant's past crime be introduced into evidence?

A common question asked by criminal defendants with histories of prior criminal activity is whether evidence of a prior crime can be used to prove guilt. For example, a person who is accused of felony drug charges may have been convicted of a similar crime on a prior occasion. Can that earlier conviction be used to prove that the defendant committed the crime for which he or she is being tried?

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