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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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May 21, 2019

Don’t Let an OUI Ruin Your Summer Fun

Memorial Day is almost here. It is the unofficial start of summer and outdoor living in New England. To celebrate perhaps you are attending or hosting the first cookout of the summer. You’re looking forward to steaks, burgers & dogs, and kebabs on the grill, good friends to share them with and cold beers and frosty margaritas to toast the summer season.

Don’t let yourself or your friends get carried away with the fun. Drinking and driving has serious consequences. Holiday weekends are notorious for police roadblocks that check for drivers who are over the legal limit. Read some common questions about OUI/DUI here.

Make sure you have a designated driver or offer to be one. If you are hosting, make sure your friends head home safely. Find them a sober driver or call a cab or ride sharing service. Don’t let an OUI ruin your summer fun before it begins. Make sure everyone makes safe choices.

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

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May 13, 2019

Graduation Parties: Celebrate in Moderation

You are celebrating a Graduation. It’s a big deal; it’s taken years to get here. All that hard work deserves a celebration. When it comes to graduation parties though, you need to remember the old adage, “All things in moderation.” Those big backyard parties that last all day and into the night are loads of fun. Friends from a lifetime come to share in the joy, there’s lots of wonderful food, and the booze flows freely. That is where the moderation comes in! No one wants the celebration of years of hard work to end in a OUI or worse. (Read about the driver’s license consequences of an OUI.)

Know your limits. Don’t be afraid to tell friends – particularly the younger ones – that they are reaching their limits. Don’t be shy about ensuring friends have sober designated drivers to take the keys. An intoxicated friend may grumble in the moment, but they will thank you when they are sober. Making sure that everyone gets home from the party safely, ensures that all the memories of the day will be joyful ones.

If you need legal help, call or text us. Contant Law – (617) 227-8383.

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April 29, 2019

A Job Triggers Title IX

A young man graduates from college. He is eager to pursue a career in criminal justice. He is elated to get his first job as a Public Safety Officer at a Boston-area college. After six months on the job he bumps into a woman he had met on Tinder two years earlier while he was still an undergraduate at another area college.

The next day, he was called to his supervisor’s office and informed that he had been accused of a Title IX violation by the young woman. Blindsided by this accusation he realized his job and his future were on the line. Read more about how we were able to help this young man.