January 17, 2020

What Does it Mean to Be Accused of a Title IX Violation?

Frequently, college students are informed that they have been accused of a Title IX violation and they have no idea what this means. A Title IX infraction is typically sexual harassment, assault, dating violence or stalking. Often the school administration makes the notification by email or by letter, but the accused is given little information about what exactly it is they have been accused of doing. The typical college student is also reluctant to tell their parents; and once the student is over 18, parents are not notified.

If you (or your child) is accused of a Title IX violation, it is critical to get advice immediately. Reach out to your parents, seek legal advice and get as much information as possible from the college about the exact nature of the complaint against you. You also need to learn what your rights are.

The Title IX process varies from school to school, based on that school’s written policies and procedures but you can read an overview of the general process here. It is key to have an experienced defense attorney working with you as an advisor to help you navigate this complex process. If the college finds you guilty of a Title IX violation, the consequences can follow you for the rest of your life, affecting your opportunities to finish college, prevent you from going to graduate school and it can even affect your job opportunities in the future.

If you are accused of a Title IX violation, don’t try to defend yourself alone. In order to help ensure that your life is not changed forever, you need to secure a proven criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. If you have been accused of a Title IX violation or need legal help of any kind, call or text us. Contant Law 617-227-8383.

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January 3, 2020

Juvenile Criminal Law: Helping Kids Navigate the Legal System

Children need to be protected, and if they get into trouble with the law, they need help, guidance and support. In our practice one of the areas where we specialize is juvenile criminal law. We view this as a very critical area of our practice. By helping the youngest and most vulnerable when they find themselves in trouble with the law, we can spare them from a record that follows them for their entire life. In addition, our youngest clients often learn an important lesson from the experience and make better choices going forward; which of course helps them become responsible, law-abiding members of society. Listen to our podcast on defending juveniles to learn more about how the process works.

Impulsive Decisions

Many cases involving juveniles start with a bad choice or impulsive decision, very natural behaviors for adolescents. We recently had a case where a young man and two friends decided to trespass on school property and break into a locker. It was nothing more than a prank to the boys. But when the school pressed charges our client came to us for help. Read more about the case here.

Family Obstacles

Occasionally, we have clients whose parents do not put their child’s best interest first. When we are faced with such situations, we work very hard to be sure the parents understand what their child needs from them. If they do not follow our advice, we devote our energy to seeking the best resolution we can get for the child. A recent case involved a ten-year-old girl accused of injuring her cousin. We were able to help her despite obstacles her family put in the way. Read more about the case here.

If your child or another juvenile family member finds themselves in trouble with the law, get them legal help right away. Having an advocate in your court can make a huge difference to the outcome of the case. A successful outcome can save a child from a record that follows them throughout their entire life. If you or someone you know finds themselves in legal trouble, contact us. Call or text us at Contant Law 617-227-8383.

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December 17, 2019

If Holiday Joy Slips Away

We all hope for, plan for, and anticipate the fun of the holiday season spent with family and friends; but we also know that sometimes our holidays don’t go the way we want them to. If you run into a legal problem, it can take the joy out of your holiday.

Many things can put you in a legal jam during the holidays. OUI, of course, is a very common problem during the holidays, but there are other issues that can come up, as well. An impulsive kid who gets accused of shoplifting, a disagreement that goes too far and when punches are thrown the cops are called and even weather-related car accidents all can leave you wondering where the joy went.

If you find yourself struggling during the holidays because of an unexpected legal matter contact us. Contant Law is available to guide you through the legal process and ease your mind, so you can still find the joy in the holiday season.

We wish you the Happiest of Holidays, but just in case –

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December 3, 2019

Keeping Your Holiday Season Jolly

‘Tis the season to be jolly… or so the song goes, but often jolly includes drinking. The holiday parties and potlucks, the impromptu holiday drinks, the family gatherings these all usually include drinking. And the police know it. This is their busiest time of year. We’ve all heard about tragic, avoidable accidents during past holiday seasons. Perhaps you’ve wondered aloud why no one took the keys away from the person or how they could drink and drive. The reality is that any of us can make a poor choice.

Your kids are watching. Whether your kids are 7, 21 or 35, they are watching your example. You’ve taught them about making good choices. You’ve taught the older ones to have a designated driver, use an uber, call a friend or even to call you. So, set a good example by modeling the behavior you’ve been teaching.

If you don’t choose a designated driver ahead of time, ride sharing apps make it easier than ever to get a sober driver to take you home. There’s no shame in being safe and asking for help. Sleeping on a friend’s couch for a night is a far better option than sleeping in a jail cell because you got stopped for an OUI.

Have a plan before you go out if you know you will be drinking. Have an emergency plan if you find yourself at an impromptu celebration. Read more here about what to do if you get stopped by the police. And, if you decide to drive and get stopped, have our number in your contacts. We want your holidays to be happy and uneventful but if you need help contact us.

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November 20, 2019

The Holidays are Here: Keep Your Kids Safe and Smart on the Roads

Thanksgiving is almost here and with it come celebrations and gatherings as we kick off the holiday season. For adult children coming home for the holiday it can be a hectic time trying to fit in time all the friends they want to see, catch the Thanksgiving alma mater football game, and still make time for family events. If your young adults are away at college and don’t have a car, they may not have driven in a while and if they are out celebrating with friends, they may have a couple of beers while they are out. All this sounds like the making of a holiday nightmare; but you can prevent it.

The first step, of course, is to remind your young adults about the important need for a designated driver. These 21st century kids know that drinking and driving is wrong and typically behave responsibly. but a strong reminder is never a bad idea. The second step is to teach them what to do and what not to do if they are stopped and have been drinking. Read about the Top Three Common Mistakes People Make in OUI Cases and share it with your young adults. You love your kids and keeping them safe is still in your job description. Make sure they know what to do before they find themselves in trouble.

If you or a family member or friend do get stopped for an OUI over the holidays – or anytime – call or text us. Contant Law – (617) 227-8383.

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November 13, 2019

Protection Orders Can Ease Your Mind

Protection Orders can offer peace of mind when you are struggling with a harassing or abusive situation. In Massachusetts, there are two different types of Protection Orders depending on the situation. Listen to our recent podcast on the topic to learn more.

In a situation involving harassment and domestic violence Domestic Restraining Orders are the most common type of protection order. There are restrictions on these orders. They are limited to people who are:

  • who are or were married to each other,
  • who are or were living together,
  • who are or were related by blood or marriage,
  • who have a child together, or
  • who are in a “substantive dating relationship.”

If the situation does not involve any of these relationships, then a Harassment Prevention Order is the other type of protection order. This type of order is typical in situations involving neighbor disputes. It can also be used in some domestic situations as an alternative to a Domestic Restraining Order. In one of our recent cases we did just this. Read about that case here.

Many people have questioned the usefulness of protection orders, but various studies of outcomes following a protection order being issued indicate that in 50-85% of cases the protection order is effective in keeping the harasser or abuser away from the victim. A protection order can give peace of mind to a victim; in addition, in some cases the order creates a cooling down period and diffuses the difficult situation.

If you are in a situation that requires a Domestic Restraining Order or a Harassment Prevention Order help is available. Call or text us for advice or to help you obtain an order from a judge. Contant Law 617-227-8383.

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October 8, 2019

This Month Serves as a Reminder to Take Action in Court to Protect Yourself

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an opportunity to learn about the legal steps available in Massachusetts to protect victims from their abuser. There are two different type of protective orders. They are designed for different situations.

  • A Domestic Restraining Order is designed for people are or have been married, in a close relationship, are related to one another or live together.
  • Harassment Prevention Orders protect people who are not eligible to seek a Domestic Restraining Order such as neighbors or an ex-wife and a new wife.

These orders are issued by a judge in court but, in emergency circumstances, a temporary order can be issued outside of court hours.

Domestic violence is a topic people don’t like to talk about. Victims of domestic violence feel shame at what they have experienced as well as fear of reprisal from their abuser if they talk about it. Harassment and threatening behavior by a neighbor, coworker or acquaintance can be unnerving and stressful. It can begin suddenly and should be taken seriously

The latest episode of our podcast, In Your Court, discusses more about the protections the law provides. Listen here.

No one should live in fear or feel unsafe going about their daily life. If you, or someone you care about, is being harassed or in an abusive situation, we can help you. Contact Conant Law, if you need legal help to guide you through the process of obtaining a Domestic Restraining Order or Harassment Prevention Order. Call or text us. Contant Law 617-227-8383.

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October 1, 2019

Title IX Accusations: Don’t Go it Alone

Being accused of a Title IX violation is serious. If you are accused you need to learn your rights but unfortunately, the process can be confusing. We often find that clients who come to us for help with Title IX violation accusations have not been properly informed of the charges by their college and do not know what rights they have in the process. Trying to defend yourself on your own is a terrible idea. Going it alone and not knowing your rights can lead to some terrible and life altering outcomes for you. Read more about the consequences of going it alone here.

If you are accused of a Title IX violation, there are a few simple steps to take immediately to protect yourself.

  • Call Your Parents
    If you are over 18, your parents – even if they are paying your tuition – will not be informed of the accusation. Call your parents and tell them what is going on; ask for their help. If, for some reason, your parents are not available to you, call a trusted friend.
  • Call a Lawyer
    Then find yourself legal help. Your college Title IX administrator is supposed to explain your rights to you; but you are better off talking to a lawyer and making sure you completely understand the accusations against you, your rights in the situation and the best course of action to take to defend yourself.
  • Learn Your Rights
    You have legal rights if you are accused of a Title IX violation. Sit down with your lawyer and be absolutely sure that you understand your rights. In addition, have your lawyer go over the restrictions that may be placed on you as you wait for your case to be decided.

Don’t try to defend yourself against Title IX violation charges alone. You need help to ensure that your life is not changed forever. Contant Law specializes in defending the rights of the accused in Massachusetts. We are leaders in the defense of Title IX accusations. If you have been accused of a Title IX violation or need legal help of any kind, don’t go it alone, call or text us. Contant Law 617-227-8383.

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September 10, 2019

Have the Title IX Talk with Your College Student: Learn What You Need to Know in Our Latest Podcast

The latest episode of our podcast, In Your Court, is for parents of young adults, particularly those in college or college bound young women and men. In this episode, we encourage parents to have the Title IX talk with their kids.

Before parents send their children out into the world, there is a list of topics they all want to make sure they include in a heart-to-heart talk with them. Drinking, drugs and sex have been on the list for years. More recently inappropriate texting has been added. Now Title IX violations must be a part of the conversation, too. It is imperative that parents and students understand what their rights are and what the consequences are.

Title IX accusations can put a college education at risk and have the potential to damage a career and future plans. Because most college students are over 18, parents are NOT notified of a Title IX violation accusation against their son or daughter. They must rely on the student to notify them. Students need to understand that getting help immediately – not trying to go it alone – is their best path.

We urge you to take a few minutes to listen to this very important episode of In Your Court before your child heads back to college this fall. Most students have no idea what Title IX is about or how serious an accusation a Title IX violation can be. Listen, learn and send them back to campus better informed; just in case.

Mike Contant of Contant Law is in your court to help you, inform you and protect your rights via straight talk and real situations. Listen to the second episode of In Your Court; better still, share the link with the college student in your life so they can learn their rights.

If you’ve been accused of a Title IX violation or need legal help of any kind, don’t try to go it alone, call or text us. Contant Law 617-227-8383.

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August 26, 2019

Labor Day: Enjoy Summer’s Last Blast Without an OUI

The summer is winding to a close. The kids are heading back to college and soon the neighborhood school bells will be ringing. In these waning days of summer many of us are looking forward to a last big outdoor gathering to enjoy Labor Day celebrations. Food, friends and family are at the heart of these wonderful events, but as you toast to another great summer, remember that those drinks should be consumed in moderation. There’s no reason to spoil your summer swansong with an OUI. If you choose to indulge, plan ahead: make sure to have a designated driver, plans to stay the night or a taxi or ride share to bring you home. An OUI will ruin more than your weekend.

If you do drink and choose to drive, you risk being stopped. In addition to being stopped because the police think you are impaired, holiday weekends also often include random checkpoints where everyone is asked to stop. If you find yourself being stopped for an OUI, be smart. When you are stopped, the police officer has a mental checklist to evaluate you even before he or she gets to your car window:

  • how you pull your car over
  • what you do after you are pulled over
  • how easily you find your registration and retrieve your license
  • how coherent you seem once you begin to interact with the officer

If you are stopped, we strongly advise our clients to refuse to take any sobriety tests. The breathalyzer – which for a time recently was not admissible in Massachusetts courts – is again admissible. If you refuse to take the breathalyzer you will immediately forfeit your license for a time, but if your case needs to go to court, the jury will not know that you refused the breathalyzer and there will be no evidence against you.

If you or a family member or friend needs legal advice or help with an OUI charge call or text us. Contant Law – (617) 227-8383.

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