In August 2014 Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill that created new criminal offenses related to domestic violence. The law amended chapter 265 creating two new crimes: assault and battery on household members, as well as suffocation and strangulation.
The charge of resisting arrest is usually added to other charges that stem from an arrest. Often times police tack this charge onto the other crimes the defendant is charged with. In Massachusetts the crime of resisting arrest occurs when the defendant either uses or threatens to use physical force or violence against the police officer or other law enforcement in an attempt to prevent law enforcement from making an arrest. The Commonwealth doesn’t have to show that the conduct on the part of the defendant created a substantial risk of causing bodily injury to the police officer. A defendant that stiffens his arms while an officer attempts to put on handcuffs may be convicted of resisting arrest.
Armed robbery while masked is an extremely serious crime, a conviction for which carries a mandatory minimum sentence in state prison for 15 years. Broadly speaking, in the state of Massachusetts, a person can be charged with armed robbery if he was armed with a dangerous weapon while assaulting another person and robbing another person (on the street, in a store, at home, etc.) It is not necessary to have used, or even displayed, the weapon in question, but there does have to be an implicit threat of force.
A defendant convicted of stalking faces a sentence of up to five years in state prison, or a fine up to $1,000 or imprisonment in the house of corrections for up to 2 ½ years or both. A Defendant convicted of a second offense of stalking faces a mandatory minimum sentence in a state prison of at least 2 years and maximum of up to 10 years.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter Section 53 makes it a crime to accost or annoy a person of the opposite sex by way of offensive language or disorderly conduct. In order for a defendant to be convicted of accosting and or annoying a person of the opposite sex the prosecutor must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt …
Threatening to commit a crime is a criminal offense in Massachusetts. It’s a very common charge. The majority of the time these charges can be addressed at a clerk magistrates hearing. That’s because these crimes aren’t often committed in the presence of many witnesses and the only evidence that supports the charge comes in the form of the alleged victim’s testimony. Hiring a lawyer early in the case at the clerk’s hearing stage will give you the best chance of getting the case dismissed before formal criminal charges can be brought against you. Often times a bitter ex-girlfriend, boyfriend, ex-wife or husband will try and use the criminal court system to exact some form of revenge. In an attempt to use the court system for illegitimate purposes they file a bogus criminal complaint. It’s unfortunate when this happens because the accused party is forced to face these charges.
Kidnapping is often committed in tandem with other crimes like rape, murder, robbery or in domestic child custody situations. The majority of kidnapping cases in MA center around divorced couples with children. Often time’s one parent is granted full custody of the children while the other gets partial custody or supervised visitations. In these cases a non-custody parent might keep the child past the scheduled visitation or may take the child for a non-scheduled visit. It may be hard to believe but the majority of kidnappings involve family members and not strangers.
Broadly speaking, in the state of Massachusetts, a person can be charged with armed robbery if he was armed with a dangerous weapon while assaulting and robbing another person (on the street, in a store, at home, etc.) It’s not necessary to have used, or even displayed, the weapon in question, but there does have to be an implicit threat of force. Note, too, that the definition of “dangerous weapon” can be very liberal: this doesn’t necessarily apply only to knives and guns, but also to a baseball bat or brass knuckles.
Section 3. An inhabitant or resident of this commonwealth who, by previous appointment or engagement made within the same, fights a duel outside its jurisdiction, and in so doing inflicts a mortal wound upon a person whereof he dies within the commonwealth shall be guilty of murder within this commonwealth, and may be indicted, tried and convicted in the county where the death occurs.
Section 1. Murder committed with deliberately premeditated malice aforethought, or with extreme atrocity or cruelty, or in the commission or attempted commission of a crime punishable with death or imprisonment for life, is murder in the first degree. Murder which does not appear to be in the first degree is murder in the second degree. Petit treason shall be prosecuted and punished as murder. The degree of murder shall be found by the jury.
In order to be charged with any crime of burglary, you do not have to physically break into a building or home; even entering through an unlocked door is enough to subject yourself to prosecution. It’s also not necessary to actually succeed in stealing anything; once again, your mere unauthorized presence (especially at night) is all the district attorney needs to press charges.
If you have been charged with attempted murder, you need to have a lawyer at your side who’s conversant with the ins and outs of criminal law, and who can help to prove to a judge, jury or district attorney that you did not attempt to commit a homicide. If we cannot have the charges dismissed entirely or rejected by a jury, the attorneys at The Noonan Defense Firm may be able to plead you down to a lesser charge, which carries less severe penalties than the 10-year maximum prison term the state of Massachusetts imposes for attempted murder convictions.
Although it’s often associated with charges of burglary or armed robbery, home invasion is a specific crime under Massachusetts law. The charge of home invasion is more severe than breaking and entering and burglary charges because the accused knowingly invades a home that is occupied and either uses or threatens to use of force with a dangerous weapon against the occupants.
Section 18C of Massachusetts General law defines the criminal penalties for being convicted of the crime of home invasion as follows:
In order to prove charges of arson, trained investigators inspect buildings that have burned as soon after the fire as possible. Our attorneys will work to hold arson investigators accountable and refute their findings if they lack of experience or diligence. We will attempt to clear you of all charges if it can be shown that the fire was accidental or coincidental…
In the state of Massachusetts, carjacking is defined as the use of force, confinement or intimidation to steal an occupied motor vehicle. If you used a dangerous weapon while carjacking or attempting a carjacking the charge can be escalated to aggravated carjacking, which carries a much stiffer penalty. Using a a dangerous is not limited to a using gun or a knife; even threatening someone with a baseball bat or any type of blunt instrument also counts as a dangerous weapon.
If you have been charged with mayhem, our violent crimes defense attorneys may be able to plead you down to a lesser charge, or they may be able to prove that the injuries inflicted were incidental to a less serious instance of assault and battery. Because Mayhem in the state of Massachusetts is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, it is important to have someone at your side who has experience in dealing with serious crimes.
What makes vehicular homicide so controversial is the publicity and public outcry that often surround deadly vehicular accidents when the driver, passenger or pedestrian who died was entirely not at fault. In the past, many such events would have been classified as unavoidable accidents, and the offending driver given a relative slap on the wrist (a suspended license, say, or forced enrollment in an AA program). Today, if you’re the driver at fault for a deadly vehicular accident, you’re more likely to find yourself charged with vehicular homicide, even if there are extenuating circumstances or you were not drunk or under the influence of drugs.
Many suspects accused of murder invoke pleas of self-defense, which can be very difficult to prove to a judge or jury. A person who claims to have committed homicide in self-defense must demonstrate a reasonable belief that his life was in immediate danger, and that the use of deadly force was therefore justified. The key word here is “immediate” — a self-defense claim won’t work if you merely “sensed” that you were in danger, or if the person you are accused of murdering was not carrying any kind of lethal (or even potentially lethal) weapon.
Under Massachusetts law “involuntary manslaughter” is essentially a murder that the suspect did not intend to commit (by contrast, even the slightest degree of premeditation, or “malice aforethought,” can result in a charge of first- or second-degree murder).
One of the less common murder charges (or pleas), voluntary manslaughter is a murder committed in retaliation for what Massachusetts law calls a “reasonable provocation”–the issue at stake being just what constitutes “reasonable” in a particular situation.
Massachusetts law defines second-degree murder as “any murder that is not first-degree murder.” Another clause of this statute is even more ambiguous, describing second-degree murder as “an unlawful killing with malice aforethought but without deliberate premeditation.”
What, exactly, constitutes the difference between “malice aforethought” and “deliberate premeditation” can mean the difference between life in prison without the possibility of parole (the mandatory sentence for first-degree murder) and a less severe term with the possibility of early release…
Massachusetts state law defines first-degree murder as a homicide committed with:
- Deliberately premeditated malice;
- With “extreme atrocity or cruelty;” or
- In the commission of any crime punishable with life imprisonment (such as rape or armed robbery.)
Deliberately Premeditated Malice
In practice, these clauses can be interpreted in a wide variety of ways. It’s possible to incur a charge of “deliberately premeditated malice” if you reflected on the murder for only a split-second beforehand; it’s not necessary (as you often see depicted on TV shows) to have engaged in weeks of detailed planning…
The statutes that defines crimes of arson, fire damage by negligence, damages, and penalties for arson.