Boston Criminal Lawyers Blog
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Massachusetts State Police arrested Richard S. Saunders, of Reading, on Monday night on Motor Vehicle Charges after he allegedly drove the wrong way on I-93 in Boston.

Saunders was charges with Reckless Driving, Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle, and Failure to Stop for Police.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts State Police began pursuing a minivan that had been reported out of Medford earlier Monday morning. The ‘slow-speed’ pursuit reportedly began in Dorchester and eventually led into South Boston and onto I-93.

State Police called off the pursuit for safety concerns when the vehicle began going the wrong way on I-93, but the minivan nonetheless still caused a 4 car crash and eventually exited the highway at the Neponset Circle exit.

Saunders had allegedly fled the vehicle and was arrested after he was allegedly found hiding under a pickup truck.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crimes, including Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Failure to Stop for Police.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Boston Criminal Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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Lowell Police yesterday arrested four people on Massachusetts Drug Crimes Charges in connection with the seizure of 75 pounds of marijuana and 2 guns.

Phaly Chhoeun, 28; Samnang Sath, 34; Sanith Siv, 35; and Mao Keo, 33, all of Lowell, are each facing charges of Drug Trafficking; Drug School Zone Violation; and Conspiracy to Violate the Massachusetts Drug Laws.

Mao Keo is also charged with Massachusetts Gun Charges and being an Armed Career Criminal.

The drug investigation by the Lowell Police Department that led to these arrests came after police executed a search warrant at an apartment in Lowell.

In many drug cases where search warrants are involved, police will often have to rely on a period of undercover surveillance of the target location and the suspected individuals believed to be involved. Sometimes police will also employ undercover police officers, but most often they will rely on confidential informants who will conduct ‘controlled drug buys’ with the individuals.

In drug investigation where police believe that drugs are being sold from a particular location but are unsure of the identity of the individuals involved, the use of confidential informants becomes even more important. Sometimes, however, police will be reluctant to reveal the identity of the confidential informants, even at trial, and this could sometimes prove advantageous to the defense.

In every case involving search warrants in drug cases, the application for the search warrant should be scrutinized extremely carefully for any deficiencies. In some cases, the probable cause necessary for the issuance of the search warrant may be lacking, and the person may have meritorious challenge in getting the drugs excluded (by filing a Motion to Suppress Evidence).

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Drug Crimes Charges, including Drug Trafficking.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Drug Crimes Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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In Massachusetts, it is a crime to lie to or mislead a police officer, or otherwise impede a criminal investigation.

Under the Intimidation of a Witness statute, the Massachusetts legislature criminalized conduct where a person willfully misled or lied to a person furthering a criminal investigation with the intent to impede or obstruct justice.

In one recent case, Commonwealth v. Patrick Fortuna, the Massachusetts Appeals court considered a case where the defendant had been shot. While being treated at the hospital, he was interviewed by the police about who had shot him. He told the police that he was shot while walking home and didn’t know by whom, because the shooter had been far away.

During questioning, however, the police officer noticed what appeared to be gunshot residue near his wound and on his clothing. When the officer questioned the defendant about the gunshot residue, the defendant became confrontational and refused to answer any further questions.

At trial, the prosecutor called a forensics experts from the Boston Police crime lab who offered testimony that, based on the chemical testing of the gunshot residue on the defendant’s clothing, he had been shot from a distance of no more than 18 inches. Based on this testimony, a jury then convicted the defendant of Intimidation of a Witness for intentional misleading a criminal investigation.

In considering the defendant’s appeal of his conviction, the Appeals Court ruled that where the defendant’s account differed from the account of the forensic expert, a jury was able to infer that the defendant had lied or intentionally misled police.

It seems almost paradoxical that a person has a right to remain silent by asserting his Privilege Against Self-Incrimination, yet can be prosecuted and sentenced to prison for lying to police for fear of facing criminal prosecution. The better practice, under the law, would be simple to refuse to answer any questions and consult with an attorney.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Criminal Appeals.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Appeals Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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images.jpegThose convicted of any crime in Massachusetts should always consider challenging their conviction by filing an appeal. One way to litigate a Massachusetts Appeal is asking the trial judge to consider a Motion for New Trial based on undisclosed evidence by the prosecution.

In order to secure a new trial on the basis of undisclosed evidence, a defendant must be able to establish 3 things:

  1. the evidence was in the possession, custody or control of the prosecutor;
  2. the evidence is potentially exculpatory (e.g., tends to show evidence of innocence); and
  3. the prosecutor’s failure in disclosing the evidence prejudiced the defendant.

Once the defendant has demonstrated to the trial judge that the evidence was potentially exculpatory, he must establish that he was prejudiced by not having had the benefit of this evidence. In order to establish prejudice, the assessment is whether there is a substantial risk that the jury would have reached a different conclusion if the evidence had been admitted at trial.

In a case recently litigated before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the defendant had filed a Motion for New Trial based upon the prosecutor’s failure to produce exculpatory evidence.

In the case of Commonwealth v. Murray, the defendant had been convicted of 1st Degree Murder. During the trial, the defendant had brought forward a theory of manslaughter based on the assertion that the victim was a gang member. The trial judge, however, did not allow the defendant to refer to the assertion that the decedent and his friends were part of a “gang”, but only allowed him to reference their affiliation as a “group”. During the trial, the witnesses also denied they were part of a gang; and a police officer who testified at trial also stated that he wasn’t sure that the decent was a member of that ‘group’.

Two years after the trial, 20 members of that gang were indicted by state and federal prosecutors. Those indictments, however, contained an affidavit that referenced this group as a violent street gang; identified 3 of the witnesses who testified at trial as gang members; and also identified the decedent as a gang member.

Even though that the defendant’s attorney had not specifically requested the gang related information prior to the trial, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld the Motion for New Trial on the basis that the information contained in the affidavit could “bolster [the defendant’s] theory of the case, contradict the testimony of [witnesses], and demonstrate their motive to lie.”

In this regard, as a result of the newly discovered evidence, the judge ruled that there was a ‘substantial miscarriage of justice’ because, if the jury had heard this evidence, they could have reached a different verdict.

Contact a Massachusetts Criminal Appeals Lawyer.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Criminal Appeals, including those for Murder, Drug Crimes, Gun Crimes, Sex Crimes, or Theft Crimes.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Criminal Appeals Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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In the recent case of Commonwealth v. Romero, the Massachusetts Appeals Court issued a split-decision where the defendant, charged with Massachusetts Gun Crimes, challenged his conviction based on insufficient evidence for “constructive possession”.

The defendant in the case was in the driver’s seat of a parked car – he was the owner and operator in the car – along with three other passengers who were sitting in the car as well. At 1:30 a.m., a police officer drove past the car and testified that, as he drove by, he could only see the top of 4 peoples’ heads because they were crouching down in their seats. Upon seeing this, the officer turned around and parked behind the defendant’s car.

As the officer began to approach the car, from about 3 feet away, he testified he could see in the car and from his vantage point one of the rear passengers reach towards the front of the car through the two front seats, this while the defendant/driver was looking side to side and also looking at the front seat passenger, who was looking at an object in his hand.

When the officer shined the flashlight into the car, the front seat passenger dropped the object in his lap, which turned out to be a gun. The defendant denied any knowledge of the gun being in the car. At trial, the defendant testified that when he picked up the front seat passenger, he showed him a gun and that he had touched it.

In his appeal, the defendant challenged the sufficiency of the evidence at trial as to Unlawful Possession of a Firearm based on “constructive possession”.

Under Massachusetts criminal law, in order to prove “constructive possession”, the Commonwealth must establish knowledge on the part of the defendant, coupled with the ability and intent to exercise dominion and control over the object. The court has recognized that mere presence, without more, is not enough to demonstrate knowledge or ability to and intent to exercise dominion and control, but could be inferred with the presence of other incriminating evidence.

The Appeals Court in this case rejected the defendant’s challenge that there was insufficient evidence of knowledge and held that because the gun was on the lap of the front seat passenger and the defendant was sitting next to him, the evidence was sufficient.

With regard to whether there was sufficient evidence of “ability and intent to exercise control” of the gun, the Appeals Court was divided. Unfortunately, the majority relied on several “plus factors”, in addition to mere presence, that warranted the inference that the defendant intended to exercise control over the firearm. Among the “plus factors” the Appeals Court relied upon were (1) ownership of the vehicle; (2) the defendant was the operator of the car; and (3) the defendant’s proximity to the person who had the gun, which was in plain view (and not hidden). The court also noted other “incriminatory factors” that suggested “intent”, including that the occupants were slouching down, the location of the incident on a dark street; and the time of night.

In reaching its decision, the majority of the Appeals Court reasoned that:

“an owner and operator of a motor vehicle, who has knowledge of the presence of a firearm, unquestionably has the ability to exercise dominion and control over that firearm…if the owner and operator of the car chooses not to exclude a passenger who he knows has a weapon, it is a reasonable inference that the owner and operator also has the intent to exercise dominion and control over the firearm as he does over the car itself.”

I believe the dissent, however, correctly pointed out that the majority in this decision essentially created a new strict liability for vehicle owners or operators, even if they truly had not intent to possess a weapon or any other unlawful object. The dissent cautioned that “courts may now punish an owner or operator of an automobile, or a property owner, for simply tolerating the presence of a weapon or contraband within the limits of their proprietary interest.”

Moving forward, one would hope that a further appeal is taken and the matter is review by the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges and Criminal Appeals.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Criminal Appeals Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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Randolph Police reported that they have arrested a man that was wanted in connection with the late-night robbery in the North Dartmouth Mall.

Michael Killory, 26, was arrested and charged with Armed Robbery while Masked; 4 counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon; and Use of a Firearm in Commission of a Felony.

According to police, Michael Killory allegedly exiting one of the dressing rooms at a store in the North Dartmouth Mall wearing a ski mask. He allegedly ordered the store employees on the floor and grabbed a deposit cash bag before running out the rear door.

Recent reports have suggested that one of the store employees followed him out the door and, when Killory took the ski mask off prior to getting into his car, the employee recognized him as someone he had worked with in the past at that same store.

Randolph Police reported that Michael Killory was arrested at the Outback Steakhouse in Randolph, where he was currently employed.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, including Armed Robbery and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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A Massachusetts State Police trooper was arraigned in Lynn District Court last week on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges for allegedly soliciting a prostitute in Lynn.

The trooper, who is reportedly a 27 year veteran with the Massachusetts State Police, was arraigned in Lynn District Court on charges including Sexual Conduct for a Fee, Failure to Stop for Police and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.

According to the Lynn Police Department, the trooper was reportedly observed by Lynn Police who were conducted surveillance operations on prostitution in Lynn when they allegedly observed him and the woman inside his pickup truck.

The Essex County District Attorney’s Office alleges that, when officers approached the trooper’s truck, he put the truck in reverse and almost struck one of the officers.

The Massachusetts State Police Trooper, who was reportedly off-duty at the time of the alleged incident, has been suspended without pay indefinitely.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Sexual Conduct for a Fee involves the act of engaging or offering to engage in sexual conduct for a fee, and is punishable by imprisonment to the House of Corrections for up to 1 year.

By definition, ‘sexual conduct’ in Massachusetts may include intercourse, oral sex or any intrusion for someone’s body into the genital or anal area of another person’s body.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges, including Sexual Conduct for a Fee.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Sex Crimes Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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trivino.jpgA hockey star from Boston University was arrested this past weekend on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a female BU student.

Corey Trivino, who has already been drafted by the New York Islanders in the 2008 NHL Draft, was arraigned in the Brighton Division of the Boston Municipal Court on Monday on sexual assault charges including Assault with Intent to Commit Rape; 3 counts of Indecent Assault & Battery; and 2 counts of Breaking and Entering in the Nighttime.

According to the Boston University Police Department, Corey Trivino allegedly pushed his way into the room of a female BU student and groped her. BU police allege that Trivino was intoxicated at the time.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Assault with Intent to Commit Rape is an extremely serious felony charge that carries a sentence to state prison for any term of years up to life.

In order to prove the crime of Assault with Intent to Commit Rape, the government would have to show that the defendant assaulted the person with the specific intent to engage in sexual intercourse without their consent. Because the prosecutor would have to prove “intent” beyond a reasonable doubt, it is not necessarily an easy charge to prove unless the facts truly illustrate such a circumstance.

By contrast, the Massachusetts Sex Crime of Indecent Assault & Battery a touching that is done without the person’s consent and where the touching involves an ‘indecent act’. An ‘indecent act’ is defined as one that is offensive and most typically involves the touching of the private portions of the other person’s anatomy.

A conviction for either crime of Assault with Intent to Rape or Indecent Assault & Battery, as with most Massachusetts sex crimes, would require the person to become subject to Sex Offender Registration.

Given the severe penalties involves in sexual assault charges, anyone charges with such crimes should Contact a Massachusetts Sex Crimes Lawyer.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has experience in defending persons charged with Massachusetts Sex Crimes, and is available 24/7 for consultation on charges including Rape, Assault with Intent to Commit Rape, and Indecent Assault & Battery.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Sex Crimes Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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A graduate student from Harvard University was charged with Massachusetts Sex Crimes for allegedly sexually assault a woman on an MBTA train.

The Harvard graduate student is reportedly scheduled to be arraigned this morning in Cambridge District Court on one charge of Indecent Assault & Battery.

According to the MBTA Police, the man allegedly assaulted a woman on the red line train at near Kendall Sqaure on November 28. He later allegedly got off the train in Boston at Park Street.

The man was reportedly arrested last Friday after he was identified following a surveillance photo from the MBTA was posted in stations and on the internet.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Indecent Assault & Battery involves an ‘indecent touching’ without the person’s consent. A conviction for this sex crime is punishable by imprisonment for up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections or up to 5 years in state prison.

In addition, a conviction for the sex crime of Indecent Assault & Battery renders the person subject to Sex Offender Registration; as well as requiring him/her to submit a DNA sample to the state’s database.

Contact a Massachusetts Sex Crimes Lawyer.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Sex Crimes, including Indecent Assault & Battery and Rape.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Massachusetts Sex Crimes Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

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A man has been charged with Massachusetts Murder and Sexual Assault Charges in connection with the murder of Rosanna Camilo, whose naked was discovered in her Mattapan apartment two weeks ago.

Eldrick D. Broom, 27, of Boston, was arraigned this morning in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court with 1st Degree Murder and Sex Crimes Charges.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office alleges that Brook, who once lived across the hall from Rosanna Camilo, had access to her apartment through one of her former roommates and attacked her two weeks ago. Following the alleged attack and sexual assault, he then allegedly strangled her to death. Her body was reportedly discovered with a cord around her neck.

Rosanna Camilo’s half-naked body was discovered by her 16 year old daughter when she came home – and her infant 17 month old son was still in his crib.

Broom was arrested this morning in Roxbury after Boston Police allegedly linked his DNA to the crime scene.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, including Murder and Sex Crimes Charges.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Boston Murder Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.