Criminal Defense Lawyer: Sex Offense Charges

            If you are charged with a sex offense in Massachusetts the penalties can be much more substantial than just incarceration.  For instance, if you are convicted of a sex offense you will likely be required to register with the Sex Offender Registry Board.  This requires annual registration, and allows for public access to your personal information.

Additionally, many towns have residency requirements that disallow sex offenders from residing in certain locations.  For example, some towns won’t allow sex offenders to live within 1,000 feet of a school.  This can obviously be problematic if such person already owns a home within 1,000 feet of a school before any such conviction.

Similarly, if you are placed on probation for a sex offense, GPS is required for the period of probation.  The GPS will also include exclusion zones, or locations you can’t go to.  There is also a significant monthly cost for the GPS, which is in addition to the supervised probation fee.

Most convictions for sex offenses will also subject the person to submission of DNA for inclusion in the DNA database, and the potential to be examined for involuntary lifetime commitment under the sexually dangerous person’s statute.

As a result, if you are charged with a sex offense, contact a criminal defense attorney who will fight for you.  Don’t hesitate; the penalties are far too severe.

Drug Crime Attorney

Drug Crime Attorney

            If the police execute a search warrant for drugs at a residential address, the search warrant application must meet a constitutional threshold to be deemed valid.  At a minimum, there must be probable cause to believe that illegal drugs are located within the residence.  This is highlighted by Mass. General Laws Chapter 276 section 1, which deals with searches and warrants in general.

Similarly, if the search warrant application is based on controlled drug buys from the residence by a confidential informant, there must be information contained within the search warrant application identifying the informant’s past reliability and basis of knowledge that narcotics are contained within the residence.  Independent police corroboration of facts in the warrant affidavit can make up for deficiencies in the informant’s reliability and basis of knowledge.

Additionally, if you are not the subject of a search warrant and you just happen to be in the residence at the time of search and drugs are found, there has to be some evidence to establish that you either possessed the drugs or conspired with others to do so.

As a result, if you find yourself charged with a drug crime in Massachusetts, contact a drug crime attorney who knows how to fight for you.  Don’t hesitate there may be a mandatory minimum sentence waiting.

When Facing Drug Charges-What to Do, by Worcester Criminal Lawyer

Worcester County Firefighter Charged With Theft of a Drug and

Obtaining Drugs by Fraud

A Princeton, Massachusetts firefighter was arraigned the other day in Worcester Central District Court on one count of larceny of a drug, and one count of obtaining drugs by fraud. Any Worcester area citizen has to be concerned where such a person in a position of power and trust is charged in such a manner. What is important to remember, however, is that the firefighter is innocent until proven guilty, according to Worcester criminal lawyer Shane W. Surrette.

The idea of innocence until being proven guilty is often dispelled with in society today, as we often adopt sensational allegations and leave it up to the person being charged to disprove the allegations.  While larceny of a drug and obtaining drugs by fraud are serious charges, as are any drug offenses, we as a society must remain vigilant not to condemn those charged with criminal offenses, and we must allow the court process to take its course.

As drug offenses can affect any segment of the population, as the Princeton case highlights, if you or someone you love is faced with possessing, stealing, or intending to distribute drugs, don’t go at it alone. Contact an experienced criminal lawyer who has tried drug cases in both the Superior and District Courts.

For more information, please contact Attorney Surrette by clinking the link below:

Faced w/Drug Charges-What to Do? by Criminal Attorney Shane Surrette

What to do When Faced With Drug Charges Today in Light of the

State Drug Lab Scandal

If you are facing drug charges today, you may feel that the deck is stacked against you. Not only are there mandatory minimum sentences, but there are also enhanced penalties based on drug weight, according to criminal attorney Shane W. Surrette of Worcester, MA. For example, if you are in possession under the law of 18-36 grams of cocaine, this is sufficient weight for trafficking, calling for a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 2 years.

Possessing anything less than 18 grams of cocaine would be insufficient for trafficking and would likely subject you to an allegation of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.  Depending on the particular subsection you are charged under, this could call for either a mandatory minimum sentence of one year incarceration or no mandatory minimum sentence at all.

The differences referenced above are obviously significant, and with recent allegations that a chemist at the Massachusetts crime lab was not even testing substances, and was making substances test positive for drugs when drugs weren’t even present,  your confidence in the judicial system may be compromised.

As a result, it is important for you to hire a Worcester Criminal Drug Lawyer who is going to challenge the Commonwealth’s testing procedures, and all quality assurance procedures to make sure that your rights are scrupulously protected.  Don’t hesitate, you future depends on it.

Search Warrants: A Breakdown by MA Criminal Defense Attorney

When the Police Come to Search the Home for Drugs

            When a search warrant for drugs is issued for the home under Massachusetts law, the police have no longer than seven days to conduct the search. In most instances the police will conduct the search either the same day that the warrant is issued, or the following day. When the police come to the home, you can be certain that they are going to search the entirety of the residence, according to criminal defense attorney Shane W. Surrette of Worcester, MA.

With this in mind, just because a search warrant is issued and the police find evidence of drugs and drug distribution, this doesn’t mean that the warrant was valid in the first place.  For instance, the warrant must state with particularity the exact premises to be searched, and if there are any ambiguities in the listing of the residence to be searched, any such discrepancy should be resolved in favor of evidence suppression.

Similarly, if the warrant is based on controlled buys by a confidential informant, the warrant affidavit and application must specify some of the informant’s basis of knowledge that drugs and distribution materials are in the residence, as well as the informant’s reliability. Basis of knowledge is typically shown where the informant can describe that he/she has been in the residence and has seen drugs and has purchased drugs in the residence.

Reliability of the informant is often shown by the informant’s track record of providing information that has led to charges and convictions in other cases. If, however, basis of knowledge and reliability are lacking in a particular case, the police may make up for any deficiencies with their own observations that corroborate an informant’s statements.

What is important when charged with a drug offense after the police execute a search warrant for the residence is not to panic, and to contact a Worcester Criminal Defense Attorney with experience handling drug offenses.

For more information, contact Attorney Surrette at the link below:

Meaning of ‘Intent to Distribute’ by Drug Attorney Shane. W. Surrette

What  Does it Mean to Possess Drugs With the Intent to Distribute

Whenever there is a charge or indictment for possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, often times the main issue to be litigated is whether or not the government can prove an intent to distribute, according to drug attorney Shane W. Surrette of Worcester, MA. For example, beyond claiming an observed hand to hand transaction, many times the government will allege that the presence of certain items make the case an intent to distribute rather than a mere possession case.

Some of the items that the government will look at to determine if there was an intent to distribute include: the presence of cutting instruments(cut product), various cell phones, numerous cut corner baggies, lists with numbers and/or names, as well as large amounts of both narcotics and cash. Usually the Commonwealth will utilize a police officer witness to testify in an expert capacity that the presence of some or all of the items listed above show that the drugs possessed were consistent with an intent to distribute.

Clearly, as the number of items listed above increases, the likelihood that the Commonwealth will be able to prove an intent to distribute also increases. For example, if the only allegation of an intent to distribute is the high quantity of drugs found, than that could obviously be indicative of someone who uses a lot of the drug, is not a dealer, and who possessed the drugs for personal use.

Similarly, as with any innocent items found with drugs, the central issue comes down to whether the items can be explained away, or whether the inescapable conclusion is that their presence shows that the drugs possessed are consistent with an intent to distribute. This is a fact driven determination and from a defense perspective less is obviously more.

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