Whether you know it or not, your smartphone just got a lot smarter – for police departments and prosecutors, that is. In an important ruling released on Wednesday of this week, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled that police officers can conduct a limited search of an arrested person’s cell phone, to determine if recent […]
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MASSACHUSETTS CELL PHONE RECORDS & POLICE INVESTIGATIONS: SJC TELLS POLICE: GET A SEARCH WARRANT FIRST
Technology – especially internet and smart phone technology – is moving at light speed. The law is trying to catch up to these changes, and a decision yesterday by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) made more headway in that race. The decision, Commonwealth v. Augustine, deals with whether or not police or law enforcement […]
Massachusetts SJC Should Revoke Ban on “Secret” Recording of Police
We live in the Age of Information; the Age of the smartphone. An age in which the activities of almost every citizen are monitored by sources both public and private – including your own cell phone, debit cards and credit cards. Some examples we may not care to think about, but as a Massachusetts criminal […]
Haverhill Texting Sentence: Get The Message?
As a Dedham, Massachusetts motor vehicle violations lawyer, I’ve been watching the Haverhill District Court trial of Aaron Deveau, age 18. Deveau was on trial for Motor Vehicle Homicide By Negligent Operation, following the February 2011death of a man, Daniel Bowley of New Hampshire, in a car crash that police and investigators say was caused […]
First-Ever Texting-While-Driving Trial Begins in Massachusetts
It’s a sign of the times. It used to be that the worst thing you could do when driving was to pick up and answer your cell phone, get distracted, and cause an accident, or worse, a Massachusetts motor vehicle homicide. Nowadays, it’s texting while driving that we all have to be even more careful […]
Search Warrants of Computers: How Long Are They Valid?
Search warrants have traditionally been the focal point of many an appellate court’s decisions in the area of criminal law. This area of law is governed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and here in Massachusetts by Article 14 of the Massachusetts Declarations of Rights, and is extremely important because it governs when […]
COVID-19 & Domestic Violence: A Potentially Viral Outcome
A lot of consequences of the quarantine measures and stay-at-home orders flowing from the COVID-19 pandemic predictable were predictable: Economic harm, educational impacts, hoarding at stores, transportation problems, etc. But as a Massachusetts domestic violence lawyer, I can assure you that an even more disturbing impact awaited in this environment: Domestic violence. And it’s not […]
TEXTING SUICIDE GUILTY VERDICT: A MAJOR SHIFT IN HOMICIDE LAW
The long and painful saga of the trial of Michelle Carter, charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in the 2014 suicide death of her 18 year-old “boyfriend” Carter Roy III, is not completely finished. Not on a legal level, because Carter has yet to be sentenced – that will come later. And on a personal level, the […]
Massachusetts DUI/OUI: Don’t Make It A Stupor Bowl Event
Amid all the Super Bowl hype, try to remember something: Aside from New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo, Super Bowl Sunday is one the drunkest days of the year. Worse still, the number of inebriated people who get behind the wheel after drinking at a Super Bowl party or similar event, […]
Texting While Driving: R U a Real Idiot?
So many times when driving around, I ask myself, ”What is wrong with people these days? Are they just plain stupid, homicidal or suicidal?” I’m referring, of course, to the widespread and outrageously growing habit of texting while driving. On a clinical level of mental health, I wonder what new, modern mental illness will soon […]