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Police Search Social Media

People often say be careful what you post on social media. This is good advice. Although you may think your content is protected by the Constitution that is often not the case. For example, in a recent case called Commonwealth v. Carrasquillo the hig… Read More
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Social Media and Criminal Law

There is no doubt that we are living in an age of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and other apps are now a regular part of our daily lives. The traditional letter and phone call are now being replaced by texting and video calls.… Read More
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Felony will be Dismissed in 36 Months if Successful Probation.  

October 27th 2023
Enticing a Child Under 16
Client was a very pleasant young college student that was charged with enticing a child under the age of 16. This charge is a felony charge which, if found guilty of the charge requires that the client register with the sex offender registry board as a registered sex offender. A felony charge is the most serious as it comes with many secondary penalties including the Sex Offender Registration requirement, if guilty. The strategy in this case was to avoid the guilty conviction with an alternative plea. This alternative plea would prevent a conviction, and in doing so would also avoid the sex offender registry, entirely. While reviewing the evidence the Commonwealth had, we also prepared what would make a persuasive plea before a judge. That included, background data on the family member and developing affidavits of support, then background memorandum and related materials. Also, included in preparation was the hiring of an expert to determine if there was a sexual deviancy that was present and undiagnosed. Fortunately, the evaluation from the evaluator came back very positive and we presented to the court. Today, the court determined that they would not enter a guilty conviction despite being asked by the District Attorney. Also, because of getting an alternative disposition with no conviction, there is no obligation for a sex offender registry. The client will have to perform therapy, no social media and avoid contact with any non-family member under 16.
RESULT: Felony will be Dismissed in 36 Months if Successful Probation.

Teenager Given 2nd Chance at Life for Provable Felony Offense

August 15, 2023
Assault and Battery
Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon
A young man was given a summons to appear for the charges of assault and battery and (felony) assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. According to the police report, a group of teenagers beat up the complainant. The police report detailed that a particular client ending the fight by punching and them stomping on the other teenager. The young man who was injured had an eye that was completely swollen shut and he was transported via ambulance. The defendant was identified using video which appeared to be uploaded to social media. The defendant did not have a claim of self-defense. Generally, in these circumstances where you have young teens that have fights is not uncommon for the police to file for a clerk magistrate hearing which is a pre-hearing before being formally charged. Since this is a felony charge, the defendant has no legal right to one, but the police can make exceptions to the felony rule and still choose to not have one based on the seriousness of the offense. Attorney Barabino continued to advocate to possibly avoid an arraignment even if thought it wasn’t likely, but he went to the District Attorney (“DA”) prior to the arraignment date and the DA agreed to postpone the hearing. We asked to make an exception for diversion—and they reviewed but the diversion committee rejected it based on a variety of factors. We continued to postpone the arraignment suggesting an alternative. Eventually, we can up with a plan for judicial diversion, but the DA would have to agree to simply dismiss the felony charge before even being arraigned. They agreed. Client then petitioned the court for the alternative diversion with just the one assault and battery and the court allowed the petition. However, a mere day before the end of the diversion he apparently stole some candy and when confronted, threw a rock or other item to smash the storekeeper’s window. However, we postponed the arraignment date for one future date and then today with the storeowner’s theft not appearing to be charged in any way, we re-requested a pre arraignment dismissal—and got one.
RESULT: Child Given 2nd Chance at Life for Provable Felony Offense.

Collective Knowledge Doctrine

Thanks to the Constitution, people have privacy rights that protect them from searches by police that are unreasonable. For example, in order for police to search your home they are almost always going to be required to have first obtained a search w… Read More
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Cell Phone Privacy

A big question in law is how much privacy a person should have in their cell phone. Smartphones are complex tools that allow a person to connect with people and places all over the world. Often we know how we are connecting. We send a text, an email,… Read More
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What is POST?

In 2020, Massachusetts passed a new law on police reform. Among other things, the legislation created a commission to certify and decertify police officers called “POST.” This new law has impacted how law enforcement officers do their job and cou… Read More
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U.S. Army Soldier Keep Career

March 8th 2021
Assault and Battery Domestic
Clerk Magistrate Hearing
Client was a career U.S. Army Soldier on active-duty status with over a decade of service. If the complaint issued, his career would be over. According to police, his ex-girlfriend alleged that he struck her at the gym after a break-up. The allegations resulted in a charge of domestic assault and battery. Fortunately, the police filed for a clerk magistrate hearing instead of an arrest or summons arraignment. The police filed for a clerk magistrate hearing which, if we are successful, will never appear on any record—and not impact his career in the U.S. Army. Attorney Barabino and client spent countless hours preparing for the hearing reviewing witnesses and possible testimony. We also collected documentary evidence from social media, and prior police reports. In the end, both parties testified and based on the testimony the clerk magistrate determined that the accuser did not meet her burden of probable cause and the complaint WILL NOT ISSUE.
RESULT: U.S. Army Soldier Keep Career

Texting and Driving

Is texting and driving illegal? In Massachusetts you could get into legal trouble if you text and drive. Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law last November making it illegal to use hand-held devices, like cell phones, while behind the wheel.… Read More
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GPS Monitoring

Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265, Section 47 certain crimes require people placed on probation to wear a GPS monitoring device. These crimes include sex crimes and crimes against children. How much would a GPS monitoring device interfere… Read More
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