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Worcester Criminal Defense Law Blog

If you get a DUI, how much will it cost you?

It goes without saying that when someone is charged with a drunk driving offense, their life changes. The serious legal punishment that comes with a DUI charge dramatically affects how that person lives and how they can function in society. But the personal and legal consequences of a DUI aren't the only punishing elements associated with the charge. The financial penalties are often just as punitive.

Consider this: when you are charged with a DUI, there are a bevy of costs inherent to the charge. 

Are you the subject of a restraining order?

From time to time, all couples and family members argue. In most cases, such arguments take place behind closed doors and out of the sight of any witnesses. Consequently, specific details related to domestic disputes are often difficult to verify or prove. In cases where a spouse or family members accuses a husband, wife or co-habitating relative of committing acts that can be classified as domestic violence, domestic abuse, harassment or stalking; he or she can take steps to obtain a restraining order.

The process of obtaining a restraining order is fairly simple and requires that an individual fill out a complaint and affidavit and explains why he or she wants the restraining order. The individual against whom the restraining order is pending is then served the complaint along with a notice to appear at what's called a 10-day hearing to defend against the claims outlined in the complaint.

When will criminal justice reform happen?

Throughout the world, the United States is widely regarded as being a free society in which democracy and freedom of speech reign. Yet, despite the many freedoms we as Americans enjoy, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. In fact, according to the sentencing project, as of 2014, there were more than 1.5 million people being held in U.S. prisons.

A historical look at the U.S. prison population from 1925 to 2014 shows a significant spike occurring during the 1980s when then President Ronald Reagan's infamous war on drugs resulted in increased criminal penalties for all drug-related charges. In the years that followed, the U.S. criminal justice and prison system have been bogged down and overwhelmed by the sheer number of low-level and nonviolent drug offenders who have been sentenced to serve time behind bars.

Will I lose my license if I refuse a breath test?

When it comes to breathalyzer tests, many drivers in Massachusetts are surprised to learn that they will lose their licenses simply by refusing to submit to testing - even though they haven't actually been convicted of a crime. Massachusetts drivers can thank the state's implied consent law for this particularly harsh penalty.

This law essentially says that you have already given consent to breath testing by merely driving on a public roadway - meaning you can face a license suspension if you are arrested for drunk driving and then refuse testing. The length of your license suspension depends on whether you have any previous OUI/DUI related offenses, and can be broken down as follows:

Massachusetts one step closer to eliminating automatic driver's license suspension for drug convicti

In November, we wrote a blog post discussing the many controversial issues surrounding a current Massachusetts law which signals the automatic driver's license suspension of anyone who is convicted of a drug-related crime within the state. The law was enacted during the 1980s and has been the subject of much criticism from those who argue it serves to further punish individuals who are convicted of drug crimes and interfere with their ability to find and keep a job.

Earlier this week, members of the Massachusetts House voted to pass bill S.2021 which effectively eliminates the "automatic license suspension given to anyone convicted of a drug crime." The bill passed unanimously with the support of all 150 House members.

A unique defense results in DWI charges being dismissed

In previous blogs, we've discussed some of the possible ways that a defense attorney may fight drunk driving charges. For example, an attorney may question whether or not a police officer had probable cause to pull a defendant over in the first place. A criminal defense attorney may also raise doubts about the way in which field sobriety tests were conducted including the accuracy of the calibration of a Breathalyzer test.  

A recent drunk driving case out of New York is making national headlines as the defense attorney in the case used a very unique defense to win a dismissal of all charges against his client. 

When can assault or assault and battery charges be filed?

Massachusetts residents who face assault or assault and battery charges often have many questions and concerns about what these charges actually mean as well as how to defend against them. For anyone who is facing these types of serious criminal charges, it's wise to consult with a defense attorney who can answer questions, provide advice and advocate on one's behalf.

Assault charges may stem from an incident where an individual attempts to punch or hit another person, but fails to actually make contact. Additionally, assault charges may follow when an individual threatens a noisy neighbor while holding a baseball bat or some other potentially dangerous object. When it comes to assault charges, intent is important. This means that a prosecutor must "show that an offender intended the actions which make up an assault."

Frequently asked questions about obtaining a hardship license

If your license has been suspended following an OUI/DUI arrest or legal proceeding related to an OUI charge, one of your first questions may be "how will I get to work?" Life doesn't stop when your license is suspended; you still have obligations like work, school or medical treatment that require you to be able to drive.

In Massachusetts, you may be able to obtain a hardship license (a.k.a. Cinderella license, work license, restricted license or limited license). This type of license makes it possible to drive for a specific reason and under strict time limitations. It is important to know that a hardship license is not available to everyone; there are certain eligibility requirements that must be met. This piece discusses some frequently asked questions associated with getting a hardship license.

Help and options for drug-dependent defendants

In recent years, Massachusetts has been dealing with a heroin problem that many consider to be epidemic in proportion. The state has become a destination for drug traffickers from Mexico and South America and every year thousands of Massachusetts residents are arrested on drug charges and hundreds die from drug overdoses.

For those who are in the grips of the highly-addictive and dangerous drug which, according to Narconon is commonly referred to by users as black tar, dragon, H, Brown Crystal and smack; prison or death are the two most-likely outcomes of heroin addiction. For an individual who is facing criminal drug charges related to possessing or selling heroin, there may be another alternative that affords one with the opportunity to get clean and live a happier and drug-free life.

The many repercussions associated with sex crimes convictions

If convicted, individuals facing charges related to sex crimes are subject to some of the harshest of all penalties. In addition to serving time behind bars, upon being released from prison, individuals who are convicted of a crime that was sexual in nature are often forced to register with the state's sex offender registry and comply with related laws.

Depending on the criminal charges of which an individual is convicted, he or she may be deemed either a level one, two or three sex offender. Those individuals who are required to register as level three sex offenders are believed to be the most dangerous and also the most likely to reoffend.

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