Monday, August 13, 2012
Attorney Michael Erlich posted on Monday, August 13, 2012
Being arrested on the suspicion on soliciting prostitution is not only a serious and an embarrassing matter but if the City has its way, it will be a costly one as well. The proposed legislation would allow the Worcester district attorney to apply the drug forfeiture laws to prostitution-related crimes. City Solicitor David M. Moore said the special legislation is similar to legislation filed by the city in 1996 and nearly identical to a bill pending before the state Senate filed by Sen. John F. Keenan, D-Quincy.
While the special legislation sought by the city manager would apply only to Worcester, the proposed general legislation now before the Legislature would authorize the state attorney general and district attorneys statewide to seek court orders declaring prostitution-related property as eligible for forfeiture.
At first glance you would think that it would have a deterrent effect on prostitution but I would love to see the statistics on how much of a deterrent effect the same forfeiture laws have had on drug dealing. You might think twice the next time you let someone borrow your vehicle.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
State senators will debate next week whether to close a gaping loophole in Massachusetts’ drunk-driving laws that has given thousands of offenders a free pass on their first OUI bust.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled unanimously against the RMV in how it applies administrative suspension for people arrested for OUI's. The heart of the case deals with how the RMV treats a continued without a finding ruling (CWOF). The case clarified that the RMV cannot treat a CWOF as a prior conviction therefore lessening the administrative suspensions for a breath test refusal on a subsequent OUI. For instance, if a person refused a breathyliazer on a second offense and their first offense was a CWOF (typical first offense disposition) then the RMV cannot suspend the individual's license of 3 years as a second offense refusal. This usually comes into play during a second offense but may also have implications for multiple offenders. If a person refuses a breath test on a 4th offense, the license suspension is lifetime. Under the new law, the same person would be subjected to a 5-year suspension.
What the CWOF doesn't do however, as the article fails to point out is give any person a free pass on their first OUI. Even if a case is continued without a finding. In addition to the court license suspension, the defendant will have to complete a driver alcohol school, pay significant fines and be on probation for a year costing over $700 just in probation fees. Though it will be dismissed after the one year, it never evaporates and it's still a first offense. In addition, under the law as it existed, the court will suspend the individuals’ license for 2 years on a second offense, with no importance being placed on how the first offense was treated.
I anticipate that this loophole will be closed shortly, however, at the time of this blog, thousands could benefit from the ruling.
Friday, May 4, 2012
There are many changes to our CORI laws taking effect today, May 4, 2012, but without question the most significant change in addition to the reduction in waiting periods to seal your criminal record is found in MGLA Chapter 276 Section 100C .
The prior law stated:
"In any criminal case wherein a nolle prosequi has been entered, or a dismissal has been entered by the court, except in cases in which an order of probation has been terminated, and it appears to the court that substantial justice would best be served, the court shall direct the clerk to seal the records of the proceedings in his files. The clerk shall forthwith notify the commissioner of probation and the probation officer of the courts in which the proceedings occurred or were initiated who shall likewise seal the records of the proceedings in their files.
I have highlighted the pertinent section of the old law because that qualifier has been removed by the new CORI law. This means for example, that if you had a misdemeanor A&B charge Continued Without a Finding for 1 year (CWOF) and you were placed on probation with a dismissal entering last month, you would be eligible to have that case sealed under the new law. Prior to today, you would have had to wait the statuary waiting period for a misdemeanor which was 10 years. ( Its 5 years under the new law).
Although it appears that a hearing will still be required by law to show to a court that substantial justice would be served by sealing the record, the threshold to make that showing is quite attainable.