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What is Bail?

Bail is a mechanism designed to “reasonably assure the appearance of the person before the court.” In other words, it is collateral that guarantees that the defendant shows up for each future court appearance. Bail can be an amount of money (cash bail) or a defendant’s promise to appear (personal recognizance).  In Massachusetts, there is a “presumption of […]

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What is an Arraignment?

An arraignment is, typically, a defendant’s first appearance in court before a judge. A defendant comes to court in one of two ways – under arrest, by the police or under summons, on their own. At the arraignment the defendant is formally charged with whatever crime(s) he/she is accused of committing. A plea of Not […]

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IN THE NEWS: Court holds Waltham landscaper accused of stabbing former foreman without bail

FROM NEWTON.WICKEDLOCAL.COM: The Waltham man who allegedly stabbed his former landscaping foreman in Newton was ordered held without bail Wednesday, pending trial. Elder Quechel’s attorney, Henry Fasoldt, asked Judge Dyanne Klein to set bail at $2,000. Fasoldt said his client would have no contact with the alleged victim. But Klein ordered Quechel held without bail. “There […]

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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Declares Community Parole Supervision for Life (CPSL) for Sex Offenders Unconstitutional

On June 11, 2014 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled in the case Commonwealth v. Cole that lifetime community parole is unconstitutional. Before this ruling, certain convicted sex offenders were subject to parole for life in which parole officers were given unilateral power to set terms of probation for the offenders and determine if those terms […]

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What is Parental Kidnapping? How is it Different from Kidnapping?

Parental Kidnapping – referred to as “Kidnapping Minor by a Relative” – is treated less seriously than ordinary Kidnapping. As described in the statute, parental kidnapping includes any relative of the victim.  The definition of Parental Kidnapping can be found in Massachusetts General Laws chapter 265, section 26A. The law describes two scenarios in which […]

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What is Kidnapping?

When we hear the word “kidnapping”, many of us think of an abduction off the street or of someone being tied-up and stuffed in the trunk of a car. While those scenarios certainly meet the definition of kidnapping, most kidnapping charges in Massachusetts come from less serious scenarios. A person can be charged with kidnapping […]

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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Considering Constitutionality of Lifetime Parole for Sex Offenders

Is Community Parole Supervision for Life (CPSL) for sex offenders constitutional? Does CPSL violate the Separation of Powers principle?   These questions are being considered by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). The issues are best analyzed by first answering the obvious question – what is CPSL? CPSL is the power given to the parole […]

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Show-up Identification Procedures are Ripe for Challenge

In a recent case, Attorney Henry Fasoldt successfully argued that the show-up identification procedure used by the police was so “unnecessarily suggestive” that it was unconstitutional. The judge agreed and the Identification made by the witnesses was suppressed. Going one step further, the judge suppressed any future in-court identifications by the same witnesses as he […]

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Law Change: 17-year-olds Charged with Crimes Now Treated as Juveniles

For many years in Massachusetts 17-year-olds who were charged with committing crimes were charged in adult court. Now, with a recent law change, their cases will be heard in the Juvenile Court. Governor Deval Patrick signed the bill into law on September 18, 2013. The bill had bi-partisan support and even support from prosecutors. Massachusetts […]

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Legal Notes: Commonwealth v. Galvin’s Impact on Sentencing

The Case In 2011, Defendant Galvin was indicted for distributing cocaine, and for being a second or subsequent offender in violation of section Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 94C, 32A(d). In 2012, before Defendant’s trial had commenced, the Legislature enacted the Crime Bill.  This bill amended the enhanced penalty provision of section 32A(d) by reducing the […]

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