During the summer time, when the kids are finally out of school, many families take the opportunity to spend time together at amusement parks together. One very popular local family fun destination is Canobie Lake Park, located in Salem, New Hampshire. Canobie has a reputation as a safe place where families can indulge in the thrills of roller coasters, enjoy some live entertainment and play carnival-style games. Continue reading
The Lawrence Eagle Tribune reports that a Lawrence Massachusetts man faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in state prison if convicted of charges stemming from a drug bust. Marcelo Perez, 48, of 210 Lawrence St., was charged with drug crimes including two counts of trafficking cocaine, two counts of unlawful possession of a handgun, two counts of unlawful possession of ammunition and possession of a dangerous weapon.
Three local authorities worked together focusing on suspected drug activity in the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot on Main Street in Haverhill Massachusetts. Reports indicate that when he was arrested Perez had loaded .38 caliber pistol and 305 grams of cocaine in his jacket. With the assistance of the Tewksbury K9 unit, police discovered a hidden compartment in the back floor of Perez’s jeep. It has been reported that the authorties seized an additional 30.7 grams of cocaine another loaded handgun, a box of ammunition and a digital scale. Police estimated the street value of the cocaine at $6,500.
If you have been charged with any drug crime in Massachusetts, it is imperative that you have an experienced defense attorney on your side. Most drug arrests stem from a search that has been conducted by the police. Attacking the legality of the search is often times the first step to a successful litigation of a drug offense. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this is done by filing a motion to suppress evidence seized from a defendant, his or her car and/or his or her home or apartment. Our Attorney has successfully litigated these types of motions. If the evidence is suppressed the government is left without a case.
Based on the recent Supreme Court decision of Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, it is imperative that a qualified defense lawyer attack any drug certificate that the District Attorney attempts to introduce in order to establish that the seized substance is in fact an illegal drug. The Supreme Court has indicated that the Commonwealth cannot merely introduce a drug certificate to prove that a retrieved product is contraband. Based on this new case law, in most cases, the Commonwealth is required to produe a chemist that examined the item and determined that is was an illegal drug. The Courts and the District Attorneys’ offices are scrambling to try to get around this requirement. If you find yourself facing drug charges you must have an experienced Massachusetts criminal lawyer on your side to fight for all of your rights.
A routine trip the doctor’s office turned fatal when a disgruntled patient stabbed his psychiatrist during a treatment session and then was shot and killed by an off duty security guard, Paul Langone. According to The Boston Globe, Dr. Astrid Desrosiers, a well respected and well known instructor of psychiatiry at Harvard Medical school, experienced what has been called a “psychiatrists worst nightmare” when patient, Jay Carciero of Reading Massachusetts, stabbed her during an office visit. It is believed that Carciero was being treated by Desrosiers on Staniford Street, where Massachusetts General Hospital leases space for its Bipolar Clinic and Research Program.
According to reports, Langone entered the area an ordered Carciero to drop his weapon. When Carciero refused, the guard shot him in the head. Carciero was pronounced dead at the Massachusetts General Hospital. At this time, it is believed that Langone was properly licensed to carry a gun in Massachusetts.
As the authorities continue to investigate the matter, Langone has been lauded as a hero. In Massachusetts, an individual is allowed to act in self defense or in defense of another. If evidence of self-defense or defense of another is presented, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense or in defense of another. For the jury to acquit a defendant when these types of defenses area raised the jury must have a reasonable doubt whether or not the defendant acted in self-defense or in defense of another. Although it does not appear that the security guard will be charged with a criminal offense in this case, defense of another would clearly be a viable defense under these circumstances.
Additionally, it is good that the security guard had a license to carry a firearm. The Massachusetts firearms laws are very strict and a conviction for illegal possession of a firearm carries a minimum mandatory sentence of eighteen months in prison. In the event that an individual is charged with possession of a loaded firearm, the potential penalties are even more severe and are imposed on and after the sentence for the underlying charge.
If you have been charged with a violent crime in Massachusetts or charged with illegal possession of a firearm you must have an experienced lawyer on your side. Depending on the circumstance, a motion to suppress evidence and or statements should be filed that may dispose of the case.
The Lowell Sun reports that police have charged 21 year old John William Lomax III for the murder of University of Connecticut football player Jasper Howard of Miami. According to reports, Howard was fatally stabbed while on campus at a school sponsored event. He currently faces charges of murder and conspiracy to commit assault. Two other men have also been charged in connection with Howard’s death. Hakim Muhammad of Bloomfield has been charged with conspiracy to commit assault and Jamal Tood has been charged with pulling a fire alarm that emptied the dance which is what authorities believe led to the fatal stabbing. Lomaz’s attorney maintains that his client is innocent and he was just trying to break up the fight.
In Massachusetts, if convicted for first degree murder a defendant is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. If you have been charged with any crime in Massachusetts it is important that you have an experienced defense attorney on your side. Pre-trial investigation is crucial to determining the best line of defense early on in the proceedings. For example, in this case interviewing witnesses as close to the event when memories are fresh is imperative to effectively representing the defendant. Although all of the facts are not known at this time, it appears that a defense of misidentification, self defense or defense of another would be viable areas to peruse to appropriately represent this defendant.
According to The Lawrence Eagle Tribune, a Lawrence Massachusetts man was arrested and charged with carrying a firearm without a license, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, and possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card. The Tribune reports that police were called to the Fern Street neighborhood due to reports of a man firing up to six gunshots “over his head.” During the early morning hours, a neighbor heard commotion and went to his window where he saw a pair of men. One of the individuals was “holding a gun over [the other person’s] head.” After repeatedly firing the gun, witnesses stated that the man walked into an apartment on Fern Street in Lawrence.
The police arrested this defendant and three of his roommates. The paper reports that one of the roommates was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest while the other two were charged as keepers of a disorderly home. Police recovered a .32-caliber semiautomatic handgun behind the home. Shell casings were also recovered from the street.
If you have been charged with any crime, you must contact a Massachusetts defense attorney to ensure that all of your rights are protected. In any case where “possession” of the alleged item is an element of the crime and experienced trial attorney can evaluate whether filing a pre-trial motion to suppress the evidence is a viable option. A successful litigation of a motion to suppress evidence means the suppression of the physical evidence and often times dismissal of the case against a defendant.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it important that you contact a criminal attorney familiar with the elements that the government must prove to secure a conviction. For example, to prove the crime of discharging of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling or other building in use you can face a penalty ranging from by a fine of not less than fifty nor more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than three months, or both. However, there are exceptions to the enforcement of this law that include the lawful defense of life and property; any law enforcement officer acting in the discharge of his duties; (c) persons using underground or indoor target or test ranges with the consent of the owner or legal occupant thereof; (d) persons using outdoor skeet, trap, target or test ranges with the consent of the owner or legal occupant of the land on which the range is established; (e) persons using shooting galleries, licensed and defined pursuant to statute; and (f) the discharge of blank cartridges for theatrical, athletic, ceremonial, firing squad, or other purposes in accordance with the statute.
According to The Lowell Sun, 28 year old Michael Harmon from Framingham has been charged with a number of offenses stemming from a dispute in front of Charlie’s Bar in Lowell. The paper reports that Harmon has previously been convicted as an accessory in a 2001 murder
In Lowell Superior Court earlier in the week Michael Harmon pleaded not guilty to charges of armed assault to murder, assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, carrying a firearm without a license, possession of a firearm without a firearms-identification card and illegally possession of ammunition. He has been held without bail since his arrest in March after a judge sitting in an Essex County District Court held that he was a “danger to society.”
The Sun also reported that the police claimed that they were called to an area outside of the bar in the early morning hours for a “fight and possible shooting.” Upon responding the police found Michael Nickerson, 30, of 53 James Ave., Tewksbury, on the ground and bleeding from an apparent gunshot wound. It is reported that Nickerson survived and he and a witness identified Harmon as the shooter. It is also alleged that Harmon admitted being in a fight but denied involvement in the shooting.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in a 4 to 1 decision, ruled that the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office misinterpreted the “dangerousness statute” when proseuctor’s moved for detention against defendants charged with illegal possession of a firearm. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled against Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter’s interpretation of Massachusetts General Laws § 58A (1), which permits the Commonwealth to move for pretrial detention if a defendant has been charged with “any other felony that by its nature involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person of another may result.”
In Commonwealth v. Young, following a § 58A hearing on October 26, 2007, a judge in the District Court, citing “firearm w/o license, FID” as predicate offenses, ordered that the defendant be detained pending trial. Young filed a petition for review of the pretrial detention order in the Superior Court. See § 58A (7). The petition was allowed and bail was set at $7,000 cash.
The Commonwealth subsequently sought relief from a single justice pursuant to G.L. c. 211, § 3, contending that possessory firearm offenses come within § 58A (1), which permits the Commonwealth to move for pretrial detention if a defendant has been charged with “any other felony that by its nature involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person of another may result.” § 58A (1) (residual clause). The single justice reserved and reported the cases to the full court. The Court agreed with the defendant and held that unlicensed possession of a firearm does not manifest a disregard for the safety and well-being of others, and therefore lacks the “menace of dangerousness” inherent in the crimes specifically included in § 58A (1). Justice Spina, writing for the majority, explained that, “[U]nlicensed possession of a firearm does not, by its nature, involve a substantial risk that physical force against another may result.”
If you have been charged with a violent crime or with illegal possession of a firearm in Massachusetts it is crucial that you have an experienced defense trial attorney from the beginning of your case. In order to prove illegal possession of a firearm the government must prove that an individual was in illegal possession of a working firearm. To prove possession the prosecutor must convince the jury that the defendant had actual physical or constructive possession of the alleged firearm. In order to prove constructive possession the government must prove that the defendant had the intent and ability to control the alleged firearm. They must also prove that the alleged weapon was capable of firing. If the firearm was not successfully fired on the first attempt, that is a fertile grounds to develop a successful defense.
Successful litigation of a weapons offense usually includes filing and litigation many non evidentiary and evidentiary pretrial motions. Non evidentiary motions often include a motion to inspect the firearm and for the defendant’s expert to present during any testing [DNA, fingerprinting and test firing]. In this type of offense, as with most offenses when an individual is charged with illegal contraband, an evidentiary motion to suppress physical evidence should be filed.
The Salem News reports that James Chouinard of Peabody Massachusetts was arrested and charged with three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. According to reports, the police responded to an apartment located in Peabody Massachusetts after Chouinard’s sister requested that he be “checked on.” Apparently, he called his sister and informed her that he “took” a lot of pills. When the police arrived, the authorities claim that Chouinard would not let them in and waved a sword at them. He was charged with three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. The Salem News reported that he was transported to the Salem Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
In Massachusetts, assault by means of a dangerous weapon is a felony. See, M.G.L. Chapter 265 section 13A. If a defendant is convicted for assault by means of a dangerous weapon in the Superior Court, he or she can receive a sentence of up to five years in state prison. If he is convicted in a district court he or she faces up to two and one half years in jail.
To prove this offense, the government must prove an assault and that it was committed with the use of a dangerous weapon. The prosecution can prove that the defendant’s actions was an attempted battery or was an immediately threatened battery. Under the first theory, the Commonwealth must prove that the defendant intended to commit a battery and came reasonably close to doing it. Under this theory of assault, it is not necessary for the Assistant District Attorney to prove tht the victim was put in fear or was even aware of the attempted battery. The second form of assault is commonly referred to as a “threatened battery.” Here, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant intended to put the victim in fear of an imminent battery and committed an act which the victim reasonably perceived as an imminently threatening battery.
The aggravating element in this crime is that the assault was committed with a dangerous weapon. The dangerous weapon does not have to be a gun, knife or other item that is commonly believed to be a weapon. Any object can be a weapon if it has the apparent ability to inflict harm. Cigarette lighters, shoes, and even a pencil may be considered a dangerous weapon in the appropriate circumstances.
If you are charged with simple assault, assault by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon or any violent offense it is imperative that you contact an experienced defense attorney as early as possible. In order to successfully defend against these types of crimes. It is important to have a trial attorney on your side early in the case.
According to The Lowell Sun, the police are searching for Dennis King, 25 years old, from South Lowell Massachusetts for shooting a pregnant woman who was inside of her Lowell apartment. Although the police have not released the victim’s name, the paper reports that the police responded to reports of gunfire and found the woman inside of her apartment. The pregnant woman was shot in the chest and the right shoulder. According to reports, there is an arrest warrant for King who faces three counts of armed assault with intent to murder and aggravated assault. It is believed that the gun has not been recovered by the police. The woman and the unborn child are currently listed as in stable condition in a Boston Massachusetts hospital.
The Sun also reports that King was arrested in January and charged with driving with a suspended license and giving a false name and Social Security number to police. According to reports, King has also previously been arrested for domestic assault and battery.
If you have been charged with a violent crime including assault and battery, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm or any crime related to domestic violence, including violating a restraining order, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Massachusetts defense attorney as soon as possible. Convictions for violent crimes can result in incarceration for up to life or twenty years in prison. Convcitions for certain possession of firearm offenses may result in a minimum mandatory sentence of eighteen months. Depending on the circumstances, such as if the gun is loaded, a defendant may face two consecutive eighteen month mandatory minimum sentences. Developing a defense of mistaken identify or filing appropriate pretrial motions to suppress or dismiss are steps that must be taken early on in a case.
According to The Lowell Sun, nineteen year old Brianna Cameron from Lowell Massachusetts was arrested after her boyfriend, twenty-one year old Zachary Ramsdell, told police that she stabbed him. The Police indicated that Cameron allegedly stabbed Ramsdell with a kitchen knife during an argument. Ramsdell was transported to Saints Medical Center in Lowell Massachusetts. Apparently, he suffered a cut to the left side of his torso and scratches on his neck and back. It is not believed that the injuries were life threatening.
Cameron was arraigned in the Lowell District Court and charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. If the case remains in the Lowell District Court the potential penalty that Cameron will face is up to two and one half years in jail.
Based on the facts of this case, one possible defense that Camerson may assert is that she acted in self-defense. Although Cameron apparently did not have any visible signs of physical injury, that is not the only factor to be examined when this type of defense is asserted. In order to establish that an individual appropriately acted in self defense, the defendant must have reasonably believed that he or she was being attacked or was immediately about to be attacked, and that his or her personal safety was in immediate danger. He or she must also have done everything that was reasonable in the circumstances to avoid physical combat before resorting to force. Finally, for the defendant to have acted in self-defense, he must have used no more force than was reasonably necessary in the circumstances to defend himself or herself. Furthermore, in addition to the fact that the government must prove the elements of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon beyond a reasonable doubt, it must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self defense. The fact that the defendant did not have any physical injuries is not dispositive of whether he or she acted in self defense.