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Have you recently been arrested? If so, you need to set aside time to talk with a lawyer you can trust.

If you have already been arrested for a crime, it is natural to have questions about how to protect your rights and what the law truly affords you. Even people who are accused of committing a misdemeanor or a felony, will maintain constitutional rights. The presumption of innocence is one of the most common questions raised by people who are facing charges.

 

Identifying an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you to articulate a long-range plan to protect your best interests is extremely valuable as you move forward. Anyone who is accused of a crime is legally presumed to be innocent until they are convicted.

A conviction may come as a result of pleading guilty or in the trial. The presumption of innocence means that the prosecutor has to convince the jury of the defendant’s guilt, but this also means that the defendant does not have to do or say anything in his or her own defense to benefit from the presumption of innocence.

If the prosecutor is unable to convince the jury that the defendant is indeed guilty by the presentation of facts and evidence in the case, the defendant could be acquitted. The fact that the prosecutor has to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and the very presumption of innocence itself can present significant challenges to the prosecution when pursuing criminal charges against an accused individual.

The best way to protect yourself is to articulate a long-term criminal defense strategy as soon as possible by hiring a criminal defense attorney who is thoroughly experienced in this field. The presumption of innocence in and of itself will only protect you to a certain point. If the prosecution has a very strong case against you, you will need to have an attorney at your side who can help you to put together a strong criminal defense strategy to protect you now and well into the future.

Have you or someone you know been accused of a juvenile crime? Even someone under the age of 18 should hire an experienced criminal defender after facing any type of charge because of the potentially serious consequences.

Reform in recent years has brought awareness to how juveniles are treated in the justice system. Some advocates have called for avoiding the classification as an adult. When a teenager is accused of a crime and treated as an adult, the consequences of a conviction may be more severe. For that reason, criminal justice reform has targeted how to define adult.

The recent Bay State reforms in terms of criminal justice are looking at proposals to increase the juvenile age to 18 and enhancing the terminology for adult to 19. Some supporters say that the delay of adult milestones such as getting married or full-time employment indicate that youth are slower to mature and that children should not be punished as a result.

The sweeping criminal justice reform package could mean that 18-year olds would be treated as juveniles for the vast majority of crimes. In a recent House version of the bill, the criminal majority remained at age 18, indicating that not everyone inside the state legislatures is in support of raising the age. This would be the highest age of juvenile jurisdiction in the United States if the criminal majority at 19 was signed into law. Widespread reform across the country has already been completed in other states to raise the age to 18.

Massachusetts as recently as 10 years ago did not consider 17-year olds to be juveniles to be arrested. There is a growing body of research supporting that adolescent mental development indicates that teens should not be included in the adult system and rather the juvenile system. According to research, this classifying these older teens in the juvenile system lower recidivism rates. If you or someone you know has already been arrested for a crime in Massachusetts, you need to consult with an experienced attorney immediately to discuss your rights.

 

 

Far too many people are hurt or killed in accidents that happen on the side of the road. Sometimes a driver needs to stop because of a mechanical issue, to use the phone, to attend to a crying child or because of an ongoing medical emergency.

Many people view the side of the road as the only place they’re able to get their car to in the event of mechanical trouble, but just because you’re out of the general flow of traffic doesn’t mean you’re completely safe. You could still be hit and hurt, leading to questions about who is responsible for your injuries.

You might be under the impression that it is safer to get out of the flow of the traffic, but it is a mistake to believe that you are very safe on the side of the roads. There are many different obstacles that can put you in harm’s way if you get off the road. Especially in cases when the victim is struck outside of a vehicle, they can suffer life threatening and severe injuries. A pedestrian who is hit by a speeding car with a driver at the helm who is not paying attention, for example, can leave that pedestrian suffering lifelong consequences of such an accident.

Determining liability in an incident in which one car is stopped on the side of the road, needs to be conducted as soon as possible for the best interests of everyone. If you or someone you know has already been hurt in a crash like this, you need to get help from an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about handling these kinds of cases and who will begin preparing a compelling claim for maximum compensation as soon as possible.

If someone was negligently on the side of the road and did not use tools such as flares, or flashing lights to make other drivers aware of the problem, they could have held partially responsible in an accident. Prompt investigation is necessary to figure out what you need to do. These cases can also be complicated if you suspect another driver was committing an OUI at the time- in this case, you need help from a lawyer right away.

Being accused of any crime is an unnerving experience and one that will likely lead you to retain a Maryland criminal defense attorney immediately. However, the stakes may be higher when you are accused of assault and you believe that you are not guilty of perpetrating an assault at all. The right attorney can help you with this difficult situation and give you a better sense of what is involved in protecting yourself.

When another person accuses you of assault, you might assume that justice will prevail because you are not guilty, however, without presenting a compelling defense immediately, you may be at risk of these serious consequences. Massachusetts has potential penalties for the charge of assault or assault and battery with up to two years in jail and a $1000 fine.

Assault does not require evidence that you physically made contact with the alleged victim although assault and battery allegations in Massachusetts does require this. An attempted battery could also be classified as an assault.

If you throw something at another person but you miss hitting them, this could be considered an assault. If the item that you threw ultimately strikes the person, this is classified as assault and battery. Unless the alleged assault and battery took place in front of a police officer, you cannot be arrested for this offense and you are entitled to a clerk’s hearing before any official charges can be lodged against you. This is a great opportunity to get statements from the alleged victim what he or she believes things happened. This could prove pertinent to your criminal defense.

Many people don’t realize that threatening someone or appearing to put them in imminent danger even without physical contact could qualify as a crime. If you’re in a situation that is getting more heated, the other party may try to provoke you into saying or doing something that could impact your future. How you respond could make a major difference in your ability to protect your freedom. If you’ve already been accused of assault, you need a lawyer who can help you as soon as possible.

Even if the police think you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they cannot violate your rights or else that information can be used in your own criminal defense. You need to be prepared to protect these rights.
Anyone who has been arrested for OUI in Massachusetts faces the potential for making mistakes that could compromise their case. If you or someone you know was recently arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol in Massachusetts, you need to be prepared to hire a knowledgeable OUI attorney immediately to protect your best interests. Some of the most common mistakes that people make can be easily avoided when you are knowledgeable about your rights.

First of all, never ignore the charges. Far too many people are under the impression that drunk driving charges are not a big deal, but this can have a significant impact on your driving record and your criminal record. Make sure you take the case seriously by hiring a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney. Never post about your case on social media or talk about it with others. Refrain from discussing the arrest with anyone other than your defense lawyer. Speaking of defense attorneys, you should never try to represent yourself. Because many people fall for the myth that an OUI is not a serious charge, they may try to manage the allegations on their own.

These cases are complex and the stakes are high because your future is on the line. Make sure that you work with a dedicated and experienced OUI attorney when handling such a delicate issue. Furthermore, don’t drive with a suspended driver’s license. This could make your situation much worse and could even land you in jail.

Avoiding these mistakes and staying calm at the scene of the arrest is important for the integrity of your case. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately after being accused of such a crime is imperative for protecting your best interests. Do not hesitate to consult with a dedicated and caring lawyer who has a track record of success with OUI cases in Massachusetts.

The legal concept known as reasonable suspicion plays a key role in nearly all DUI arrests. Below, we take a closer look at why reasonable suspicion is so important in these DUI cases, how it be substantiated by law enforcement, and what it means for a defendant when proper reasonable suspicion isn’t cited.

Are you facing charges? Call our Northampton DUI attorney today to learn how we can help.

Defining Reasonable Suspicion

In many ways, reasonable suspicion is much like probable cause in that it must exist before the police can legally take action against a citizen. Reasonable suspicion is defined as “specific and articulable facts and the specific reasonable inferences which follow from such facts in light of the officer’s experience.” In other words, reasonable suspicion occurs when an officer’s training and experience indicate to him or her that criminal activity could be taking place.

In terms of drunk driving arrests, reasonable suspicion can manifest a number of different ways. In some cases, law enforcement determine reasonable suspicion while witnessing a suspect operate their motor vehicle and other times it is established when officers have already pulled a driver over.

For example, reasonable suspicion to stop you or ask you out of your vehicle can include:

  • Erratic driving
  • Speeding
  • Lane drift
  • Traffic violations
  • Slurred speech
  • The scent of alcohol
  • Red eyes
  • An automobile crash
  • Visible open containers
  • Roadside sobriety tests

The Lack of Reasonable Cause

Like probable cause, reasonable suspicion was established to help protect each citizen’s Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Essentially, it prevents law enforcement from stopping and detaining drivers without a reasonable excuse for doing so. Probable cause, which is an essential standard to many criminal arrests, must often first be supported by reasonable suspicion.

However, this doesn’t always happen and, every year, countless criminal cases from all over the country are voided because law enforcement failed to follow proper protocol. If you have been charged with drunk driving, it’s critical that you first have your case assessed by a proven legal professional ready to expose any probable cause or reasonable suspicion issues and ensure that your rights are protected.

At The Law Offices of Jesse Adams, Attorney Adams is ready to help you or a loved one navigate their DUI/OVI charge and ensure that the best possible outcome is diligently pursued on your behalf. Call today to get a proven Northampton DUI attorney on your side.

The firm is ready to offer you a free consultation. Use the firm’s online form to request one now.

With the passage of Massachusetts 2016 Ballot Question 4 it’s expected that police will make more arrests for operating under the influence of marijuana because more arrests for this charge have occurred in other states after passing their own marijuana legalization laws.

It is important to know when you can be lawfully stopped. Police can stop your vehicle if they have a reasonable suspicion that you have committed a driving infraction. A reasonable suspicion is a small amount of evidence. It requires more than a hunch, but less than probable cause. It’s also important to know that police can run your plates for no reason whatsoever, and when doing so can access any past criminal record that you may have and take that into unmentioned consideration as a basis to stop you.

After a stop, police can order you out of your vehicle if they have a reasonable suspicion that you may be under the influence of a drug (or alcohol). Odor of drugs or alcohol, bloodshot/glassy eyes, slurred or delayed speech, and delayed reactions are common components of the reasonable suspicion calculus.

If a police officer believes that there is a reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence he or she can order you out of your vehicle to perform field sobriety tests. There is no penalty for refusing these tests (the same is not true with a breath test taken at the police station after an arrest for operating under the influence of alcohol). You have a right to refuse to do them. You do not need to provide an explanation as to why. You can still be arrested if you refuse, but a refusal to do the field tests will leave the Commonwealth with less evidence if you are ultimately arrested and charged. Police will make you think you have to do field tests. You do not. They will tell you that you have to do them. You do not. They will not tell you (and are not legally required to tell you) that you have a right to refuse to do them, that they will be the sole judge of whether you pass or fail, and that you may be arrested after doing them. My advice is to always refuse to do the field sobriety tests.

There is no breath test for operating under the influence of marijuana, but as legalization laws pass there is a race to create such a test. The current absence of a breath test for marijuana does not mean that you do not have to worry about losing your license if charged with operating under the influence of marijuana (or any other drug). Police can and frequently do petition the RMV to suspend the licenses of people who have been charged with operating under the influence of marijuana (as well as other drugs and liquor) under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 22(a) for “immediate threat”. The RMV has a very low standard of proof to find that a person constitutes an immediate threat and are not bound to what happens in the criminal case. The immediate threat suspension is indefinite and is independent of the court suspension. The driver loses license until RMV or the Board of Appeals or a Superior Court judge says driver is no longer a threat. It’s possible, depending on the circumstances, to get the license reinstated once the case is disposed. Sometimes hearings officers will deny the return of the license and make the driver do a safe driver’s course, a substance abuse evaluation or provide proof of clean drug/alcohol tests before reconsideration. It is important to have legal counsel at these hearings.

It’s important to know your rights. Keep in mind an arrest is not a conviction. If you are arrested you need an experienced Northampton criminal defense attorney who stays on top of the changes in the law, who will fight and help you figure out what’s best for you. Immediately contact the Law Offices of Jesse Adams.

Anyone accused of committing a criminal violation is going to need to deal with the criminal justice system. But immigrants in America will encounter unique and additional troubles after being connected to or implicated in a crime. Beyond other sentencing methods, like jail time and fines, a conviction can lead to problems with an immigrant’s ability to legally stay within, or enter, the United States. If you are an immigrant and have found yourself in a similar situation, understanding what can happen is the first step in stopping it from happening.

The following processes could occur or begin due to a criminal conviction:

  • Deportation: Perhaps the most dramatic of immigration-related consequences, the deportation or removal process could be initiated as part of sentencing, ultimately sending an immigrant back to his or her country of origin. An immigrant’s visas or green card are likely to also be revoked or suspended.
  • Exclusion: If an immigrant has been convicted of a crime, leaves the country, and attempts to reenter, he or she may find that an immigration judge has ruled to exclude them; this is often called “denied entry” in legal forums. An immigrant that has been excluded can get more or less stuck in customs, with or without a green card or visa, until the matter is sorted or he or she exits to another country.
  • Denial of naturalization: Immigrants in the process of naturalization can have that process halted temporarily while undergoing a criminal investigation. If convicted, naturalization may be stopped permanently.

While the aforementioned three immigration-related consequences are usually saved for serious crimes, the decision is ultimately up to an immigration judge. Depending on a person’s criminal record, personal life, and the implications of the crime in question, any sort of conviction – felony or misdemeanor, federal or state – could impact immigration status.

Criminal Defense Immigrants Can Depend On

If you are an immigrant who has been charged with a criminal violation, the first step to protecting your right to stay within the United States is finding a strong criminal defense attorney. Northampton Criminal Defense Attorney Jesse Adams of The Law Offices of Jesse Adams is a true career defense attorney with more than a decade of courtroom experience paired with impressive case results. If you live in Massachusetts and need help right away with a criminal case, do not hesitate to contact our law firm to set up a free consultation.

The criminal justice system recognizes more than one form of murder, separating them into two different categories: manslaughter and murder. Manslaughter can be either voluntary or involuntary, though both charges are treated less egregiously than murder. Here is how the law distinguishes the two:

Manslaughter

Voluntary manslaughter is defined in one of two ways:

  1. While in the heat of an argument, or while under duress, a defendant was provoked and killed someone.
  2. Someone was killed during mutual combat.

In determining whether or not a death qualifies as murder or manslaughter, the court considers many factors, including provocation, anger, premeditation, and timing. This last element is the most critical. If the murder occurred in the heat of passion, the defendant might be charged with manslaughter instead of murder. If a person got angry during an argument, left, and returned with a weapon to kill that individual, he or she would likely be charged with murder instead of manslaughter. The difference between the two examples is that, in the second one, the individual had time to consider his or her actions.

Murder

Murder is generally defined as the premeditated and intentional killing of another individual. Like manslaughter, there is a lesser charge for those who do not commit the act with premeditation. Second degree murder is a death that occurs as part of a felony crime, such as rape or robbery, and is otherwise known as felony murder.

Northampton Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a violent crime, such as murder or manslaughter, you are already keenly aware of how serious this matter is. The consequences of a conviction can alter a person’s life forever, leading to extensive imprisonment, parole or probation, mandatory counseling or anger management, and a permanent criminal record. You do not have to face this alone.

At The Law Offices of Jesse Adams, Jesse Adams is dedicated to fighting for the rights and freedom of his clients. Do not leave your future up to chance.

Call us today at (413) 931-3828 to schedule a free consultation.

The most critical factor in determining the potential penalties for a DUI hit and run is whether or not anyone was injured or killed at the scene of the accident, since this will usually increase the severity of the consequences one might face. However, there is no real standard of punishment since such cases often involve multiple charges, including reckless driving. If a defendant has a prior DUI conviction on record, this may also enhance the severity of the punishment. This is why one of the first things you should do after being arrested for this crime is seek skilled legal counsel.

Possible Penalties

Drivers who leave the scene of an accident after knowingly colliding with or fatally injuring a person may face one of two sets of penalties in the state of Massachusetts:

  • A fine between $1,000 and $5,000 and a state prison term between 2 ½ and 10 years
  • A fine between $1,000 and $5,000 and a county jail term between 1 and 2 ½ years

In both cases, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year. If the hit and run accident resulted only in injury, the driver may face a prison term between 6 months and 2 years, and a fine between $500 and $1,000.

The DUI would be a separate charge, resulting in a fine between $500 and $1,000 and up to 2 ½ years in county jail, for first time offenders. All subsequent DUI offenses will result in harsher penalties.

Drunk Driving Defense Attorney in Northampton

Being arrested and facing such serious charges can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience. If you find yourself in this situation, you must consult an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible, to avoid having your rights trampled on. At the Law Offices of Jesse Adams, attorney Jesse Adams has over 10 years of proven courtroom experience and a reputation for providing zealous and persuasive representation.

Call our office today at (413) 931-3828 to schedule a free consultation.