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What is in the Massachusetts criminal justice reform bills?

Late last month, the Massachusetts senate passed a sweeping criminal justice reform bill. The House has now followed with its version. In order for criminal justice reform to become law, the two halves of the legislature will have to agree on a final version, pass it, and send it to Governor Baker for his signature.

The factors that can affect your OUI-related license suspension

Drunk driving charges of any kind are serious, and Massachusetts drivers accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol could face serious penalties if convicted. However, there are certain factors that could make the stakes even higher, increasing the penalties associated with your OUI, specifically the length of the license suspension.

Spanish-speaking OUI arrestee fights inaccurate rights translation

Even after the City of Methuen's Spanish translation of a rights notice was thrown out by a judge, a Spanish-speaking woman claims it is still being used to coerce arrestees. She has filed a federal class action to compel Methuen to correct its form, as it has promised to do in the past.

ACLU calls for thousands more tainted drug cases to be dismissed

"The Amherst drug lab crisis represents a complete collapse of the criminal justice system," reads a petition submitted to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Committee for Public Counsel Services' Public Defender Division, Hampden County Lawyers for Justice, and the law firm of Fick & Marx, LLP.

Mass. high court rules field sobriety tests inadmissible for pot

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has just ruled that some police testimony about field sobriety tests is inadmissible in cases involving suspected marijuana impairment. This is because there is no scientific certainty that the field sobriety tests used on drunk drivers yield useful information when used on drivers suspected of marijuana impairment.

Police commandeer kayaks for aquatic pursuit of alleged boat thief

Leicester police were ready when a concerned citizen called about a man apparently breaking into a Green Street home. They had checked on the house earlier that day after a Worcester police request, so they sent multiple units around.

'Fare is Fair': MBTA begins random commuter rail ticket checks

Riders on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter rail lines may be in for some hassles in the days ahead as random daily ticket checks continue. The random checks, which began yesterday, are meant to cut back on the millions of dollars the MBTA loses each year due to evasion of fares. They're calling the initiative "Fare is Fair."

Gov. Baker wants higher penalties for drug deals ending in death

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has proposed a new penalty for drug dealers when the substances they sell end in the user's death. Currently, there is no state statute specifically touching on the issue. The proposed new law would require a mandatory-minimum sentence of five years and a possible penalty of life imprisonment for drug distribution causing death.

State police plan major crackdown on marijuana-impaired driving

The Massachusetts State Police have announced plans for a crackdown on marijuana-impaired driving, even as the state continues to work on implementing legalization. Since there is no reliable test for measuring marijuana intoxication, however, the agency will be relying on officers who have received special training in how to recognize stoned drivers.

Does OUI mean an end to your college career?

Have you ever heard people answer, "partying" when asked what their major is in college? While you likely didn't come all the way to Massachusetts to hit the night clubs for four years, there might be a little truth to the statement in that many college students like yourself enjoy kicking back and relaxing with their schoolmates. Unfortunately, sometimes this leads to a little too much kicking back or, more specifically, tossing back alcohol, which can open up several different cans of trouble.

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