In general, Article 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights allows the police to enter a home in four circumstances. These circumstances include:
- A judicical warrant supported by probable cause;
- Probable cause plus exigency, such as hot pursuit of a violent suspect trying to escape;
- Under the emergency aid doctrine, where the police have an objectively reasonable basis to believe that there may be someone inside who is injured or in imminent danger of physical harm;
- The voluntary consent of a person with common authority over the home.
Commonwealth v. Porter P., 456 Mass. 254, 270 (2010). If you find yourself faced with a crime after a search of your home contact the Worcester MA Attorneys who can help you. Contact Shane W. Surrette, Worcester, MA Attorneys at (774) 364-4605 or at [email protected] today.
When police execute an arrest warrant in Massachusetts, they may conduct a protective sweep of the area if they have a reasonable belief that the area could harbor a dangerous individual. Some of the factors to be considered in whether the sweep of the general area is based on reasonable suspicion include:
- the violence implicit in the crime for which the person is sought and in his criminal history;
- the location of the arrest in relation to the area to be swept;
- resistance or cooperation by the defendant at the time of arrest; &
- presence or the suspicion of presence of other individuals in the area.
Commonwealth v. Saywahn, 16-P-1098 (2017). If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Shane W. Surrette at (774) 364-4605 or at [email protected] today.
If you are charged with a drug crime in Massachusetts where possession is an element of the offense, it is important to note that possession has a specific legal definition. The Commonwealth may allege that an individual either directly or constructively possessed the controlled substance. Constructive possession requires:
- Knowledge of the item;
- Ability to exercise control over it; &
- Intent to exercise such control.
Many drug cases proceed on a constructive possession theory. With this in mind, it is import to have a drug crime attorney who can help you in your individual case. Contact Drug Crime Attorney Shane W. Surrette at (774) 364-4605 or at [email protected] today.
A person charged with certain enumerated offenses under Mass. Gen. Laws. c. 276 section 58A may be held for 120 days pending trial. An operating under the influence charge may qualify under the statute if there are three prior convictiions against the accused. This means that in Massachusetts if you are:
- Charged with operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor;
- Have three prior convictions for operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor; &
- Are found dangerous by a judge, you may be held without bail awaiting trial, pursuant to the dangerousness statute.
Commonwealth v. Dayton, SJC 12213 (2017). If you are charged with a DUI in Massachusetts, contact the DUI Massachusetts Lawyer who can assist you at a dangerousness hearing and beyond. Contact Attorney Shane W. Surrette at (774) 364-4605 or at [email protected] today.
If a police officer in Massachusetts completes a routine civil traffic stop, and the officer doesn’t have facts suggesting a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the officer is required to allow the individual to drive away. Commonwealth v. Cordero, SJC-12210 (2017). This means that a routine stop can’t be prolonged beyond the justification for the stop without evidence suggesting criminality. In the Cordero case, the Supreme Judicial Court found certain factors insufficient standing alone to suggest a reasonable suspicion that crime was afoot. These included:
- Nervousness of the motor vehicle operator;
- Evasive answers; &
- Presence in a high crime area.
The determination must be made on a case by case basis. As a result, if you or someone you know is charged with a crime after a motor vehicle stop, contact the Worcester MA Attorneys who can help you. Contact Shane W. Surrette, Worcester, MA Attorneys at (774) 364-4605 or at [email protected] today.