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Supreme Court Restricts Police

The Supreme Court handed down an important Fourth Amendment decision yesterday in Rodriguez v. United States, prohibiting police from extending the duration of a traffic stop without reasonable suspicion, even for a very small amount of time, for reasons unrelated to vehicle and driver safety. It’s reassuring that the “Roberts” Court, known for its conservative […]

The Breath Test Dilemma

  One aspect of Massachusetts criminal law that can sometimes affect the lives of decent, otherwise law-abiding citizens pertains to “operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor” (OUI).  A question criminal defense attorneys are asked all the time is: “If I ever get busted for OUI (‘drunk driving’) should I take a breath test?” First […]

Emergency Aid Exception

On April 11, 2014 Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the “emergency aid exception” to the constitutional warrant requirement extended to police action undertaken to render emergency assistance to animals.  This was a “case of first impression”, and the ruling is sure to please animal rights activists.  For a brief summary of the facts and […]

Tracking a persons movements

Recognizing that “the digital age has altered dramatically the societal landscape”, in Commonwealth v. Augustine, (decided February 18, 2014) Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court applied state constitutional principles to subject Cellular Site Location Information (CSLI) to the protections of the warrant requirement.  The case is interesting in that the Court afforded customers’ physical location(s) (as determined […]

Seventeen Year Olds No Longer Prosecuted as Adults in Massachusetts

On September 18, 2013 Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law a bill placing 17-year-olds accused of crimes under the jurisdiction of the state’s juvenile courts. Prior to this legislation, 17-year-olds in Massachusetts were prosecuted as adults, regardless of the circumstances or severity of the offense. Thirty-nine other states and the federal government use 18 as […]

The Senate passes the LBGT anti-discrimination bill

On Thursday, November 7, 2013, the U.S. Senate approved a landmark civil rights legislation that would protect gay, lesbian and transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace. The Employment Nondiscrimination Act, or ENDA, passed the Democratic-led chamber on Thursday, 64 to 32. Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake became the latest GOP members to […]