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Criminal Defense Archives

Appeals court strikes down lifetime supervised release as punitive

A federal appellate court has struck down a lower court's order for lifetime supervised release in a case where the defendants' sentences were shortened by an earlier appeal. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal supervised release program is not to be used punitively against defendants.

A defendant's rights after being charged with a crime

The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution gives everyone the right to a speedy trial. If a Massachusetts judge deems that a trial took too long to commence, the case may be dismissed. Typically, the word speedy is defined as a reasonable amount of time depending on the circumstances of a given case. In addition to having a case heard in a reasonable amount of time, a defendant's fate must be determined by an impartial jury.

3 elements of a traffic stop that could violate your rights

Serious criminal charges often stem from a simple traffic stop. Because of this, it is understandable that people get scared or nervous when they are pulled over by police. However, you must remember that you have rights during a traffic stop.

OUI arrests high during the holidays

It's the time of year you've been eagerly awaiting. You're just about done with your first semester of college in Massachusetts, winter break is almost here and you're ready to return home to celebrate the holidays with your family and friends.

Failing field sobriety tests when sober

Is it possible to fail a field sobriety test if you are sober? Unfortunately, these tests are unreliable and it is indeed possible to fail them when you're sober. If you are pulled over for suspected drunk driving, you may be asked by a police officer to complete one or more of these tests. By law, you can refuse to take any sobriety test except a breathalyzer -- and you should.

A prosecutor's obligation to reveal evidence

People in Massachusetts may not be aware of a law regarding criminal cases that is sometimes known as the Brady rule. According to this rule, a prosecutor must inform the defense if evidence is discovered that is favorable and material to the defense's case. However, many prosecutors fail to do this. They often claim that they were unaware or they did not think the evidence was important.

Keep your mouth shut: why it's so important to exercise your right to remain silent

If you get pulled over or arrested, you will have to interact with the police. Many people think that cooperating with the police means telling them everything, but this can backfire. Information you provide when pulled over or arrested could be used against you. Learn what it really means to have the right to remain silent and why you should always retain an attorney.

Popularity of Internet makes life harder following arrest

No one wants to be arrested, charged with a crime, and certainly not convicted of a crime. At first thought, one might worry that getting involved in the criminal justice system looks like them sitting in a small and dirty jail cell. They might think of the freedom they would miss, the orders they'd have to follow, and maybe what their family and friends would think. 

Violate probation (unknowingly), go to jail?

The complications in life can result in a person's legal trouble. And then, the law is complicated in itself. When someone is charged with a criminal offense in Massachusetts, it is a common goal for them to try to avoid serving any jail time. In many cases, that goal is achieved. 

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