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Worcester Criminal Defense Law Blog

Man arrested for drug trafficking

A man from out of state was recently accused of committing a drug-related crime in Massachusetts. Specifically, he is accused of engaging in drug trafficking. His arrest for trafficking cocaine and heroin occurred on a Wednesday following a traffic stop.

According to authorities, a 29-year-old man was driving his car and suddenly blew through a stop sign. Police who were assigned to a gang unit reportedly witnessed the event and thus stopped the man. When police confronted him, they allegedly found more than 20 grams of cocaine as well as 80-plus grams of heroin.

What can speeding accusations lead to in Massachusetts?

Motorists can be exposed to a range of consequences when they are accused of speeding here in Massachusetts.

For one, speeding tickets trigger various financial ramifications. First off, there are the monetary penalties. The standard penalty for a speeding ticket in the state is $105 in fines and surcharges. However, certain things can lead to a person facing a larger penalty.

Police change lineup protocols to reduce false IDs

There have been huge advances in DNA testing in clearing hundreds of individuals who were falsely charged with crimes. Sometimes these unfortunate people spent decades behind bars despite their innocence, including the White Sox groundskeeper who was released in 2017. Law enforcement officials in a growing list of states and organizations are now taking steps to reduce the number of false IDs from line-up, including Massachusetts.

Eyewitnesses no longer considered completely reliable

What evidence may an officer gather against you for DUI?

Drunk driving is a common offense. However, despite the fact that many people face this type of allegation, you still need to understand that you could face serious consequences in the event that police charge you with DUI and a court convicts you. Of course, you may have the ability to help yourself by understanding what officers look for during a DUI traffic stop.

Various elements may go into whether an officer suspects you of driving under the influence, and whether he or she believes charges should apply. The three main types of evidence officers may consider include driver evidence, field evidence and blood-alcohol evidence.

Bail judges found to show bias

A study of bail judges in the Miami and Philadelphia metro areas reveals that both black and white judges show prejudice against black defendants. The study found that judges were 2.4 percent more likely to rule that a black defendant would be detained rather than be allowed to post bail. If they do get bail, black defendants paid an average of nearly $7,300 higher than white defendants.

Other findings from the study found that judges in Miami were more biased than their counterparts to the north. Additionally, newer judges were more like to use stereotyping than older colleagues. This is not the first study to come to these conclusions.

Massachusetts courts still not using breathalyzer results

District attorneys across Massachusetts suspended the use of the Draeger 9510 Alcotest in August of last year. The reason for this is that the device could provide false readings because it failed to properly calibrate. The issue is being investigated by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. This means that law enforcement does not currently offer any evidence gathered by the 9510 Alcotest in trials or plea negotiations. This is despite the fact that law enforcement is still using the device. The commonwealth is also dismissing evidence provided by the similar but older Draeger Alcotest 7110.

Alcotest 9510 not admissible

Innocent groundskeeper returns to work after 23 years

White Sox groundskeeper Nevest Coleman has recently been the topic of many national news stories. His is an all-too-common story with the twist of a happy ending that includes exoneration. Coleman was working for the White Sox in 1994 as a respected member of the grounds crew.

Coleman was one of three men charged in the death of a woman he found in the basement of the building he lived at in Chicago's South Side. Coleman, who had no criminal record, was interrogated for 12 hours by police and repeatedly claimed his innocence. Coleman initially went to the police to report the death; nevertheless, he was charged and sentenced for 30 years.

People with criminal records are an untapped employment resource

America's unemployment rate has dropped below 4 percent. This has left many employers in a bind as they try to fill positions. According to a recent poll by the Charles Koch Institute and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the solution many employers, HR staff and managers would likely embrace is hiring people with criminal records, with 80 percent saying they would at least consider the applicants.

Criminal records have long sent up red flags on job applications, but many companies have no official policy about not hiring felons or those who have been incarcerated. To change this thinking, the study suggests that executives and HR staff will need to be proactive in announcing that they are willing to hire employees who have spent time in prison.

Protecting your rights at a sobriety checkpoint

Although numerous states across the country prohibit the use of sobriety checkpoints as a deterrent to drunk driving, Massachusetts is not one of them. In fact, as the weather warms up, you are likely to see OUI roadblocks more frequently, at least weekly at some locations in the state.

Many civil rights advocates protest that OUI checkpoints are unconstitutional because they violate a driver's protections against unlawful search and seizure. After all, police stop you without reasonable suspicion and question you without probable cause. However, courts all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court have upheld the legality of these roadblocks. It is important to be informed or your rights when approaching a checkpoint so you will be aware if officers step over their boundaries.

Recent jump in July 4th drunk driving fatalities

The July Fourth holiday is just around the corner. So it should be no surprise that the driver safety programs are ramping up their awareness campaigns to remind drivers that it is dangerous to drink and drive. While law enforcement is always busy around the holidays, they know that this holiday is the most dangerous of the year for drinking and driving fatalities.

Fatalities up 28 percent in one year

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