What Are the Common Criminal Cases in Massachusetts?
We handle some of the most common types of criminal cases in Massachusetts such as drunk driving cases, drug possession and drug sale offenses, and assault and battery. Usually, assault and battery involves a domestic situation between husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend.
What are the Top Misconceptions People Have About Being Arrested for a Crime?
Most people who are arrested think the arrest means it is over and they have no way out. They assume they need to plead guilty and throw themselves on the mercy of the court. However, fortunately for most people, police do make many mistakes and/or jump to many conclusions when they see something on the streets. At Contant Law our job is to analyze these situations and find defenses to these cases. More often than not, we can find a way to win the case or at least have the charges reduced. We are able to help our clients find a way out of the situation.
What are Some Common Ways in Which People May Unintentionally Incriminate Themselves?
Offering too much information is the number one way someone can incriminate themselves. Many people believe that just because they are encountering the police or have been arrested, they must speak with the police when questioned. Sometimes they try to talk their way out of the situation thinking that if they tell the police a particular story, they will be able to walk. However, the reality is that nothing they say is going to help them; and if they say nothing it can never be used against them. If you find yourself in an encounter with the police, the best advice is to refuse to answer any questions and request a lawyer. That way the you will not say anything to harm your case.
When Do Miranda Rights Come Into Play in a Criminal Case?
Miranda rights only apply when the person has been taken into custody and is subjected to some form of interrogation. However, custody does not only mean being arrested. In Massachusetts a person is in custody when a reasonable person would not feel free to leave without answering the officer’s questions. To determine whether the person is in “custody” requires examination of all the facts. We look at how the police interact with the person. Were they very aggressive or informal? Where did the interrogation take place? How long was the interaction? Did the police indicate that they suspected the person of committing a crime? Was the person arrested at the end of the encounter? It is a much different situation being in a locked interview room at a police station than having a casual encounter on the street. So, we must look at all the circumstances.
The other consideration is whether there has been interrogation. Are they asking you questions? If the police are questioning you about a case, this constitutes interrogation. If the police are saying things out loud that are meant and designed to get you to say something, this can also be considered a form of interrogation.
People often come to us and say, “The police didn’t give me my Miranda Rights,” thinking this gives them a defense to the charges. However, unless they were subjected to questioning, police are not required to notify them of their Miranda Rights.
How Does Having a Clean Prior Record and Good Character Impact a Criminal Case?
Having a clean prior record and good character come into play in two ways. First, they offer a better chance to be released from custody with either no bail or a very small amount of bail while the case is pending prior to trial. They can also go a long way when it comes to negotiating a plea deal if there is not another good defense to the charges. The better a person’s character before the case the more it allows us to argue that this may have been just a one-time mistake that is unlikely to be repeated. This gives us greater negotiating power, both with the district attorney and the judge.