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.

Put Contant in your contacts.

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.

Put Contant in your contacts.

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.

Put Contant in your contacts.

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.

Put Contant in your contacts.

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.

Put Contant in your contacts.

August 7, 2019

Introducing Our New Podcast: In Your Court, Episode 1: A Crash Course in Title IX

Contant Law is proud to announce our new podcast, In Your Court. In Your Court focuses on protecting the legal rights of kids including juveniles, young adults, college bound students or those already on a college campus. We’ve created In Your Court to help parents, guardians and kids understand laws the that are most relevant to those growing up and gaining freedoms.

The first episode of In Your Court is a crash course in Title IX. It is vitally important that college students – both young men and young women – know the law and know their rights when it comes to Title IX. There are potential serious consequences of being accused of a Title IX violation. We urge you to take a few minutes out of your summer to listen to this very important episode of In Your Court before you – or 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 head 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. Have a listen to the first episode of In Your Court; better still, share the link with a 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.

Put Contant in your contacts.

July 28, 2019

If the Party Gets Out of Hand

It’s a season for neighborhood get-togethers, family gatherings and evenings out with friends. These are usually highly anticipated and enjoyable events. Occasionally, though, things go poorly. Someone says the wrong thing, or a long-standing disagreement is brought up or someone has a bit too much to drink and turns belligerent. In a situation like this there will naturally be efforts to diffuse the situation; but sometimes those efforts fail, and things escalate.

We’ve all been there; words are exchanged, voices get raised, everyone else gets quiet as the angry voices get louder and things move quickly. Suddenly a battle of words devolves into flying fists and perhaps a visit from the police. Not the family barbecue anyone had planned. If punches are thrown, charges of assault and battery can be made against those involved in the fight.

If you were in this situation, facing legal charges for assault, would you know what to do or what happens next? You can learn more about assault and battery here. Finding yourself charged with any crime is upsetting and even frightening. If you or someone you care about is charged with a crime, you need to seek legal advice immediately. Having the name of an attorney available as soon as you need one takes one step out of a stressful process. If you or someone you know finds themselves in legal trouble, call or text us. Contant Law 617-227-8383.

Put Contant in your contacts.

July 12, 2019

Underage Marijuana Use: What Are the Consequences?

In Massachusetts, possession of a small amount of marijuana is now legal; but there are still limits and restrictions on who can legally purchase and possess the drug. Currently, like alcohol, marijuana purchase, possession and use are restricted to those adults aged 21 and older. It is legal for any person over 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use anywhere in the Commonwealth. The person may also lawfully possess up to ten ounces of marijuana in their primary residence.  It is important to note that while possession of small amounts of marijuana in public has been legalized, it is still illegal to use it (i.e. smoke, vape, etc.) in public.

So, what happens when someone under 21 is found in possession of marijuana? There are two levels of penalty:

  • If the person is over 18 and in possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana, they will receive a non-criminal – or civil – citation with a fine of $100.
  • If the person is under 18 years of age and in possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana, they will receive the same type of citation with a fine of $100 plus they will be required to participate in an approved drug awareness program.

Read more about the recent changes in Massachusetts drug laws here.

Drug laws and penalties are continually changing and evolving. It is always best to seek legal advice about the law. If you or a family member are unsure of the legal consequence of a drug offense and need legal advice, call or text us. Contant Law 617-227-8383.

Put Contant in your contacts.

June 24, 2019

Auto Accidents: A Summer Holiday Hazard

Independence Day is right around the corner, and with it will come the barbecues, fireworks and family get togethers. Spending time outdoors at the beach or in the backyard enjoying the company of family and friends is a highlight of the summer. But did you know that the Fourth of July is one of the most dangerous holidays for auto accidents in the US?

There are several reasons for this including:  increased alcohol use at social gatherings, many people taking time off work, which results in a higher number of cars on the road, and travelers driving on unfamiliar roads to get to their holiday destination. Whatever the reasons, extra care and caution need to be taken by everyone to stay safe over the Fourth of July weekend.

Sometimes accidents do happen, but we all know there are things we can do to avoid accidents or mitigate their severity. If you are hosting family and friends, make sure they know where they are going and make sure they are driving sober. If you are hosting family and friends, be mindful as the party winds down; make sure that drivers are leaving sober and that drinkers have designated drivers. Make sure out of town guests know where they are going and how to get there. GPS makes this easier than in years past, but unfamiliar roads are still a hazard.

If you do have an accident you can get answers here to many common questions about motor vehicle accidents.  If you or someone you know finds themselves in an accident over the holiday and you need legal help, call or text us. Contant Law 617-227-8383.

Put Contant in your contacts.

June 11, 2019

What You Need to Know When Deciding Whether to Appeal a Traffic Offense

You’re driving along minding your business when the flashing blue lights appear in your rear-view mirror. You pull over to let the police car go by and your heart sinks when he pulls up behind you. You go through the customary steps, finding out why you’ve been pulled over, offering license and registration, and receiving the citation and a caution not to do it again. Back on the road you’re annoyed at the inconvenience and financial hit but resign yourself to paying the fine and moving on. But should you just pay it and move on? Is appealing that traffic ticket worth the headache? Your answer depends on a couple of things.

When deciding whether to appeal the traffic citation you need to determine whether it is a civil or criminal infraction. If it is a civil infraction, you need to determine if the fine is the only punishment – there are times when a civil infraction can have consequences beyond the fine, sometimes lasting consequences. Be sure you know the full extent of the punishment if your citation is civil. If there are consequences greater than a fine, we often counsel our clients to appeal the citation. If you receive a criminal citation and are NOT arrested, we recommend that you should always appeal. Read more here about the factors you need to consider to decide whether to appeal.

If you are in doubt about whether to appeal a traffic infraction, you should contact us. We can help you determine any long term-consequences that might exist and help you make an informed decision about whether to pay the fine or appeal.  If you need legal help, call or text us. Contant Law 617-227-8383.

Put Contant in your contacts.