October 2017 Archives

Grounds for appealing a criminal conviction

When a Massachusetts resident is convicted of a crime, they may think they have no more legal options to avail, but this is not the case. It may be possible for a convicted person to appeal the court's rulings and findings, but the appeal must be based on errors made at the lower court's level. These errors must not be harmless-it has to be demonstrated in court that the error is substantial. So what is a substantial error-one that affects the convicted person's rights?

Field sobriety tests do not measure OUI of marijuana

Police officers conduct field sobriety tests on suspected drunk drivers in order for officers to get a sense of the driver's impairment from alcohol. The officer takes notes on such indicators as whether the driver's speech is slurred, or whether the driver is able to walk in a straight line, and then records an opinion as to whether the driver appears impaired. This is considered good evidence to show drunkenness, but is it an accurate measure of marijuana impairment? This was the question in front of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Council and the court has concluded that it cannot.

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