Worcester Criminal Defense Law Blog

Man charged wtih drunk driving for 5th time

A Massachusetts man from Attleboro was recently arrested on drunk driving charges. Police said he is a repeat drunk driving offender. The drunk driving arrest took place following a vehicle crash in the area of an apartment complex.

According to police, the 59-year-old man crashed into another vehicle while attempting to drive into his apartment building area. The accident happened at around 3:45 p.m. Police said the man completed a breath test, which showed that his blood alcohol level was quadruple the legal limit.

Driver’s license suspension following drug conviction can have significant repercussions

Individuals who are facing drug charges in Massachusetts often have many questions and concerns about their options and the penalties involved with a drug conviction. For many, a chief concern is not only the possibility of spending time behind bars, but also losing the ability to legally drive.

In 1989, at the height of the Reagan Administration's War on Drugs, Massachusetts passed a law which called for the suspension of an individual's driver's license if he or she was convicted of a drug-related crime. The law included, and still does, all drug convictions; regardless of whether or not the alleged criminal act involved a motor vehicle.

Want to drive after an OUI arrest? Proposed law would require an IID.

Massachusetts lawmakers recently held a hearing is which they discussed a proposed bill that will, if passed, drastically change the license penalties associated with OUI/DUI offenses.

Specifically, the legislation - otherwise known as Senate Bill 1895 - would allow those accused of drunk driving to avoid a license suspension/revocation, but only if they install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their cars. In the most basic terms, an IID is a device that prevents individuals from starting a vehicle unless they can provide a breath sample showing they are not intoxicated.

If passed, this legislation would mark a significant shift in Massachusetts OUI/DUI penalties, especially since current law typically only requires IIDs after multiple drunk driving offenses.

Will theft charges in Massachusetts

Not all theft allegations lead to the same potential punishments. One thing that can play a role in what specific punishments a person accused of theft could face is what type of object they were accused of stealing. This is because there are certain types of objects that Massachusetts law has special theft laws for.

One such type of object is a will. Massachusetts law sets aside stealing a will as its own offense, separate from the general theft offense. 

Restraining orders and how a criminal defense attorney can help

The relationships between family members, spouses, roommates and romantic partners can be complicated and, at times, become strained. In cases where disputes arise, there are times when things may get out of hand and become physical. Additionally, even in cases where there was no physical contact, one party may claim to feel threatened or intimidated by the other.

In some cases, a party involved in a dispute or relationship may choose to file a restraining order. When this occurs, the individual who is the subject of the restraining order must abide by the order's terms or face penalties including arrest and possible criminal charges.

Signs that major drug sentencing reform is coming to Massachusetts

In recent years, there has been much national discussion about and debate over federal and state sentencing laws for non-violent offenders. The adoption of widespread mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related convictions is among the most controversial and problematic with regard to draining resources and contributing to overcrowding in prisons.

According to the website, as of Sept. 30, 2014, "fifty percent of sentenced inmates in federal prison were serving time for drug offenses." The majority of these individuals are considered nonviolent offenders who, when shipped off to prison, aren’t able to obtain the help and assistance needed to better and turn their lives around.

Operating Under Influence of Marijuana

The key to enforcement of the Operating Under The Influence Of Drugs (Marijuana) law is establishing the limits the amount of active THC - the element of pot that makes you high - in a driver's blood. Most states have set a maximum of five nanograms per millilitre of blood, which state officials believe is the equivalent of a blood alcohol level of .08. To enforce it officers need to order a blood test, which can be very controversial.The states have trained officers to look for signs of marijuana use on the road; distracted driving, light body tremors, different sized pupils, impaired motor skills and the smell of marijuana in the vehicle.

Should I refuse field sobriety tests?

If police stop you for suspected OUI/DUI, one question you may have is whether you should participate in field sobriety tests, including the one-leg-stand test, the walk-and-turn test as well as the test in which police instruct you to look straight ahead and follow a pen or finger with your eyes.

The first thing you need to remember is that all field sobriety tests are completely voluntary in Massachusetts - meaning you have a right to refuse them if you like. In fact, there are several reasons why it is a good idea to refuse field sobriety tests, including:

Police ask OUI suspect to exit car; he checks Facebook instead

Was there any reaction to your new profile pic? What time will Aunt Milly be dropping off the cookies? Are there new videos of cute kittens to watch? When is the meet-up at that new restaurant on Worcester's Shrewsbury Street? The questions people want answered by their Facebook feeds are endless. The social media website is an integral part of the lives of millions.

For one Massachusetts man, his immersion in Facebook might be too complete. The 38-year-old Orange man was recently asked to step out of his vehicle by a police officer who suspected him of driving drunk. Rather than complying, the man took time to scroll through his Facebook feed instead.

The harsh realities Massachusetts teens arrested for OUI face

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, when polled, 40 percent of Massachusetts high school students admitted to consuming at least one alcoholic drink within the last 30 days. While this number may seem high to unsuspecting parents, the fact is that many Massachusetts teens drink alcohol. In cases where a teen gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after consuming one or more alcoholic beverages and is subsequently stopped by a police officer, the laws and related penalties for underage drunk driving are unforgiving and harsh.

While the blood alcohol content limit for drivers age 21 and older in Massachusetts is 0.08, the per se BAC for drivers under age 21 is only 0.02. This means that if a teen driver has consumed any amount of alcohol within the last several hours of being pulled over, it's highly likely that he or she will be arrested and face criminal Operating Under the Influence charges.

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