» Burden of Proof

Bail Jumping

What is bail jumping? Bail Jumping. Under Massachusetts’s law, a defendant failing to appear in court after released on bail is committing a crime. Massachusetts law specifically states that: “A person who is released by court order or other lawf… Read More
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What does a Jury See?

Does a jury see everything? The short answer is no. Often times courts sanitize or redact evidence. Normally, the attorney and the district attorney will discuss and either agree to the limit what the jury can see and not see. And if the parties can&… Read More
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Transferred Intent

What is transferred intent? One of the elements of most crimes that the Commonwealth must to prove is “intent”. There is a related legal principle called “transferred intent.” This applies when a person intends to harm one person but instead… Read More
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License or Authority

What can I do with a license? It is the burden of the Commonwealth to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not have license or authority to do something when you are charged with a crime. However, under G.L. c. 278 § 7 a person relying on a… Read More
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Knowledge in Criminal Law

What is knowledge in criminal law? A perception of the facts required for a crime is knowledge in criminal law. It is the burden of the Commonwealth to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time of the offense the defendant knew something. This… Read More
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Disorderly Conduct

What is disorderly conduct? Disorderly Conduct, violent or tumultuous public behavior that causes inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, is punishable in Massachusetts. Under M.G.L. c. 272, § 53 a first offensive could result in a fine of up to $150. A… Read More
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Criminal Harassment

What is criminal harassment? Harassment can be a crime in Massachusetts and may result in a Harassment Prevention Order being issued. Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265, Section 43A a person who engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or sp… Read More
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Criminal Intent Explained

What is criminal intent? Many crimes require intent for conviction. Intent means being aware of the natural and probable consequences of an action. Specific intent is a conscious act with the determination of the mind to do it according to Commonweal… Read More
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Intoxication With Alcohol or Drugs

While intoxication is never by itself an excuse or justification for a crime, it may be a relevant consideration in a case involving criminal charges. It is normally not a defense for intent, but according to Commonwealth v. Sama, 411 Mass. 293, may… Read More
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Mental Impairment Short of Insanity

This post will answer the following legal questions on the legal defense of mental impairment short of insanity. What is mental impairment short of insanity? Sometimes individuals are so impaired when they commit a crime that they are legally conside… Read More
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