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May 2018 Archives

How to prepare for a college disciplinary hearing

Massachusetts is known for its numerous quality establishments of higher education. College is supposed to be a time of learning and making lifelong decisions for the future. Such growth into adulthood often involves making mistakes. Unfortunately, sometimes these errors in judgment can cross the line into criminal activity.

What is 'hearsay' and why is it inadmissible in a felony trial?

Criminal trials are conducted according to strict procedural rules. One of the most important set of rules governs the admissibility in a trial of various types of evidence. These rules go by various names -- in Massachusetts, they are called the Guide to Evidence -- but they control the kinds of statements, exhibits and objects that can be presented to the jury in every type of trial, from felonies to minor traffic violations. One of the most complex rules is the so-called "hearsay rule."

Felonies: what is the Miranda warning and when is it used?

The phrase "Miranda warning" is known to most residents of Massachusetts, but the exact meaning of the phrase is often unclear. The phrase refers to the title of a famous United States Supreme Court ruling in Miranda v. Arizona, decided in 1966. The case turned on whether local police properly and clearly informed Mr. Miranda of his right to remain silent during a police interrogation for allegedly committing a felony.

What is the entrapment defense for those accused of felonies?

Police in Massachusetts use many different techniques to gather evidence in a criminal investigation. One of the most frequently used techniques is the pre-arranged transaction, such as the sale and purchase of illegal drugs. To execute the scheme, a police officer will offer to sell (or purchase) illegal drugs from the suspect, and the suspect will be arrested as soon as the transaction is complete. Many people wonder how a person can be convicted of a felony when the police played an active role in commission of the crime itself. The ability of the police to use such a technique to gather evidence is sharply limited by the "entrapment defense."

Must you submit to a breath test in Massachusetts?

Operating while under the influence is a serious offense in Massachusetts. A first offense for an OUI, even one that does not result in any injuries or property damage, can still result in a suspension of your driver's license and jail time up to two-and-a-half years.

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