Worcester Criminal and Real Estate Law Blog

Economically depressed areas see higher incarceration rates

The topic of bail was touched on recently in this blog, discussing the concept of 'release on one's own recognizance'. While this means no bail is posted, most people in Massachusetts are held pretrial if they are unable to post the bail that has been set. The move is designed to ensure that the accused shows up for their court proceedings. What is typically supposed to happen after the judge sets bail is that the accused or a family member shows up and pays in cash and the money is returned after the case is closed.

In Massachusetts, however, a non-refundable commissioner's fee worth $40 is charged if one doesn't pay bail during the day. Though the measure is supposed to ensure people return, all it ends up doing, according to some experts, is make it all the harder to pay bail. Where posted bail is sometimes as low as $25, an extra fee deepens the cut. Additionally, while the money is all posted in cash, it is returned by check, which means people who are redeeming it at a check cashing facility have to pay an additional fee.

DUI charges are unrelated to injuries to others

It is a mistake to believe that drunk driving charges are only brought after someone suspected of drunk driving collides with another vehicle, causing an occupant to suffer bodily or property damage. Criminal charges in the form of DUI or DWI and penalties result as soon as the driver is apprehended, whether or not anyone else was involved in the incident. Two recent arrests of twenty-something males demonstrate this.

According to police officers, two males, one 21-years-old and one 23-years-old, were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Massachusetts recently. In the first instance, police claim they received a call about a vehicle that was speeding and nearly hit the people making the call. After this missed collision, the vehicle soon crashed into the roundabout curb. In this instance, the 21-year-old university student was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation of a motor vehicle to endanger.

How can a lawyer help me complete a real estate transaction?

When Massachusetts residents are entering into real estate deals, a lot of money is at stake and everyone is out to protect their own interests. This is why not only it is essential to read the fine print carefully, but it is also vital to ensure the fine print covers all contingencies. Even a slight mistake, whether intentional or not, can bring a close to closing day. However, an ordinary citizen may not be aware what to look for or what to include, and this is where the seasoned and knowledgeable lawyers of Aitken, Chacharone and Power, P.C. can help.

Lawyers at our firm pay attention to the fine print so buyers and sellers don't have to. From negotiating o drafting to finalizing the terms of the deal, we pay attention to the details to ensure that the deal can be followed through without problems. We recognize the importance of closing day and create the framework to ensure it happens smoothly. Ambiguities lead to misunderstandings and disputes, so we work with all involved parties at every stage of the process to remove doubts.

What should I include in a real estate purchase agreement?

When one finds the house of their dreams and at a price they can afford, it can seem like all the pieces are finally coming together. However, if the purchase agreement is not drafted correctly, the pieces can all start falling apart and the property may end up going to someone else who is more prepared and has a better drafted document.

Massachusetts' residents looking to make an offer on a piece of real estate need to ensure their documents are in order. That means the purchase agreement should include a few key provisions that covers both them and the buyer. The most important aspect to keep in mind is that the correct purchase agreement should be used. There are a number of purchase agreement contracts, and one must ensure their agreement covers the type of property in question.

Shoplifting charges are no petty matter

From your youngest days, you may have enjoyed a good thrill. Perhaps your parents loved hearing you squeal when they tossed you into the air and caught you in their strong and secure hands. As you grew, you certainly enjoyed roller coasters and maybe even a dirt bike. It's possible that your taste for a thrill grew in other ways, too.

You may have enjoyed seeing how much you could get away with at school and at home before your game finally got you into trouble. While the consequences of your actions may have seemed pretty severe, they may pale in comparison to the penalties you face for accusations of shoplifting.

Can a criminal conviction be sealed in Massachusetts?

Many people hesitate to hire someone who has a criminal record, even if their record is for an activity completely unrelated to the job they are applying for. Additionally, many employers do not consider the time period that has passed between the conviction and the application for employment. Many people make mistakes in their youth and end up paying for them for the rest of their lives.

How can Massachusetts police test if a person is drunk driving?

We all dread it -- driving home after having a couple of alcoholic drinks at a party because a designated driver ran off, and the rearview mirror shows blue and red flashing lights behind us. Even a Massachusetts driver cannot be sure what their blood alcohol concentration is, so how will a police officer figure it out? By using one of the field sobriety tests at their disposal.

Though we have all heard of Breathalyzers, field sobriety tests actually precede them and are used by police officers to observe the suspected drunk driver's attention level, physical ability and balance, along with other factors to determine if someone is drunk driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration endorses three standardized field sobriety tests: the walk and turn, the one-leg stand and the horizontal gaze nystagmus.

Woman facing felony aggravated DUI charges after crash

A supposed drunk driving accident in Massachusetts has left everyone involved seriously injured, with one person facing life-threatening injuries. A drunk driving accident is one in which the person accused of causing the crash is allegedly intoxicated, that is, they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more. Drunk driving on its own is a crime, and when someone is injured while the person is supposedly driving while intoxicated, then additional criminal charges can follow.

According to the police, the 38-year-old woman who reportedly caused the accident was driving her vehicle in the northbound lane when her vehicle crossed over the centerline and hit an oncoming vehicle. A 67-year-old woman who had at least one other person in the car with her was driving the vehicle the accused supposedly crashed into.

How can you avoid problems as a landlord?

As a Massachusetts landlord, you know there are a myriad of challenges that you may face. Owning rental property is often a lucrative endeavor, but when problems arise, it can be quite costly. In order to protect your financial and legal interests, you would be wise to intentionally work toward avoiding certain problems.

One of the most beneficial ways that landlords can avoid issues is to be cognizant of their obligations to their renters. Additionally, it is wise to know about renters' rights and to understand how to effectively deal with disputes when they arise. As a landlord, you may find it useful to seek appropriate legal guidance to both deal with ongoing issues and avoid future problems.

Is a criminal trial the only way to fight one's charges?

Though proving one's innocence or fighting one's case in a court of law sounds appealing on paper, the reality is that there are a number of factors outside of the control of the accused that affect the outcome of the criminal trial. The charges the prosecutor presses are one of those factors. If convicted, the judge would have to sentence the defendant according to the charges. Prosecutors press criminal charges based on a number of reasons, including the evidence against the accused and their criminal history.

Massachusetts residents may be surprised to hear that prosecutors, not judges, may have the biggest impact on the defendant's sentences. Since they determine the charges and can decide whether or not to agree to a plea deal, they have a lot of control in their hands. This, as a result, affects the resulting sentence if the accused is convicted. According to one report, these are some of the reasons there are discrepancies between the sentences for white and black male offenders who are similarly situated. According to data from 2016, black males are given sentences 19.1 percent longer on average than white males.

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