On May 23, 2016, Roslindale residents were shocked to awaken in the middle of the night to a fire at the nearby elementary school, according to the Boston Globe. The playground at the Charles Sumner Elementary School was intentionally set on fire. The fire spread from the playground to nearby trees and powerlines, but local firefighters were able to stop the blaze before it got out of control. Arson is suspected.

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Arson

A smaller fire had been set at the same playground a few weeks earlier, but that first fire had not been linked to any particular perpetrator. However, three suspects were apprehended for the fire that occurred on May, 23 – two teenagers and an adult. The fire caused more than ten thousand dollars worth of damage to the playground. The suspects have been charged with intentionally setting a fire, arson. Continue reading

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Conspiracy Charges

When defendants are faced with drug charges, these charges are often coupled with conspiracy charges. The two charges are separate, but are often brought together at the same time against a criminal defendant who stands accused of committing both crimes. Conspiracy charges are often tacked on to an underlying drug law violation, such as possession, intent to distribute or manufacturing illegal drugs or controlled substances. When conspiracy charges are tacked on to drug charges, the result can be increased penalties if the criminal defendant is convicted. Continue reading

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Drunk Drivers

When many people think about drunk driving accidents, they first think of a drunk drivers crashing into someone else on the road. When people think about vehicular manslaughter, they usually think about pedestrians or bicyclists that have been hit by a car, or a drunk driver hitting victims in another vehicle. But there are often victims in the vehicle along with the drunk driver who suffer injuries and are sometimes even killed as a result of an accident. This means that a drunk driver could be charged with vehicular manslaughter in addition to drunk driving charges if they accidentally kill a passenger in their own vehicle in an accident. Continue reading

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Kidnapping Charges

Kidnapping is a serious crime in Massachusetts. It is considered a violent crime and is thus a felony charge. Criminal defendants who are facing kidnapping charges are at risk of jail time, loss of their freedom, and long-term impacts on their life if they are convicted. That is why it is so important to work closely with a skilled kidnapping criminal defense lawyer to develop your strongest possible defense strategy, and to try and reduce the charges as best as possible in light of your specific circumstances. It is important that you receive fair treatment under the law, and Attorney Kathleen McCarthy can help you.  Continue reading

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Breathalyzer Test

When a driver is pulled over or stopped by law enforcement and asked to submit to a breathalyzer test, the driver has a right to refuse a breathalyzer test. Many drivers do not refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test either because they do not know that they can refuse, they are scared of the consequences, or they are too intoxicated at the time to exercise good judgement. The problem with submitting to the test is that under Massachusetts law, if a driver suspected of driving under the influence blows a blood alcohol content higher than 0.08, the driver is considered per se intoxicated and can be convicted of DUI on the breathalyzer results alone. Law enforcement do not advise suspected drunk drivers of the consequences of failing a breathalyzer test. Continue reading

Drug Chemist's Misconduct

Drug Chemist’s Misconduct

Within the past few months, Massachusetts drug testing labs have been under fire for two separate instances in which chemists working for the state engaged in misconduct that potentially could have an impact on thousands of drug convictions. Both Annie Dookhan and Sonja Farak were chemists at state run drug sample testing labs who engaged in behavior that produced inaccurate test results. The drug chemist’s misconduct has been greatly scrutinized for months now.  Continue reading

Those individuals who are worried about their criminal record costing them a job opportunity can breathe a sigh of relief after the Massachusetts Probation Service revamped its criminal record sealing procedures. The process of sealing a criminal record in Massachusetts used to take months, but now can be resolved in a matter of days, according to a recent article in the Boston Globe. Workers at the Massachusetts Probation Service have reduced the backlog of cases seeking sealing and now can process an application within a few days turnaround time.

Record Sealing

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Disorderly Conduct

In Massachusetts, disorderly conduct charges are a serious criminal law matter that should never be taken lightly. Many people find themselves facing charges like these when they act out in public, engage in a fight, or annoy or taunt the police. Being convicted of a disorderly conduct charge can result in a criminal record, which can cause you difficulties when you try to apply for certain jobs, apply for green cards and other immigration documentation, or when you apply to schools and other educational programs. If you are facing these charges in Massachusetts, you should have an experienced criminal defense lawyer aggressively fight the charges against you. Continue reading

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Automatic License Suspension for Drug Convictions

One of the unintended consequences of being convicted on criminal drug charges in Massachusetts was that your driver’s license would automatically be suspended. However, thanks to a new law that unanimously passed in both chambers of the Legislature and was signed by Governor Charlie Baker, this automatic driver’s license suspension for drug crimes has been repealed and the five hundred dollar reinstatement fine associated with the suspension has been lifted, too. Luckily, the repeal is effective immediately. Anyone whose license was suspended under the old law will have it reinstated within thirty days of the new bill’s passage, and any records related to the driver’s license suspension will be protected from public access. Continue reading

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Victims of Annie Dookhan

Countless criminal defendants who received drug convictions based on evidence handled by the state drug labs have been closely watching the developments in the Annie Dookhan case. Annie Dookhan was a former crime lab analyst who in 2012 admitted to mishandling hundreds of evidence samples and labeling samples as drugs, even when the samples were not drugs or were not properly tested. Once Dookhan’s misconduct was discovered by state police during a lab audit, it came to light that there were potentially hundreds of wrongful convictions made on Dookhan’s test results. Criminal cases that involved Dookhan’s handling of drug samples began to be reviewed and hundreds of convictions have already been overturned. Conventional thought was that victims of Annie Dookhan would sue for being wronfully convicted.  Continue reading

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