What is a Civil Conversion in MA Criminal Courts?

In Massachusetts, the civil conversion statute allows criminal courts to decriminalize certain minor offenses by converting them into civil violations.   What is a Civil Conversion? Under a little-known Massachusetts law, a lower level criminal offense can actually be handled as a civil infraction. The statute allows for a criminal court process whereby a misdemeanor offense is converted to a civil matter. Civil conversion is therefore the decriminalization of the complaint against you. It is often negotiated by plea agreement. Related … Continued

Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle in Massachusetts

Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle is also Driving to Endanger under M.G.L. c.90 § 24. If you are charged with negligent operation of a vehicle, you are facing a misdemeanor offense meaning the state is charging you with criminal negligence in Massachusetts. What is Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle? Massachusetts criminal law defines Negligent Operation as driving a motor vehicle such that the lives or safety of the public might be endangered. Some jurisdictions charge this as Driving … Continued

Could I Lose My College Financial Aid From a Drug Conviction?

The answer is Yes. A college student facing drug charges in Massachusetts or elsewhere risks losing their opportunity to receive federal financial aid if the outcome in the criminal case results in a conviction. FAFSA Drug Conviction Policy All student financial need is assessed through the federal Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA). The Department of Education sanctions college students who have been convicted of a drug crime while receiving federal funds. (*Students may also lose state grants and scholarships … Continued

Should You Hire an Attorney for a Title IX Hearing?

A college student facing sexual assault, sexual misconduct, harassment or other serious allegations should strongly consider hiring an experienced defense attorney to help prevail in a Title IX hearing. Title IX hearings can quickly turn into disciplinary hearings that result in devastating consequences for the accused. What is Title IX? Title IX is a federal civil rights law prohibiting schools and colleges that receive federal funds from discriminating against individuals based on sex. The law requires schools to have anti-sex … Continued

Differences Between Murder and Manslaughter in MA

What are the differences between murder and manslaughter in Massachusetts? In Massachusetts, the differences between murder and manslaughter fall into three categories: (1) Intent (2) Culpability, and (3) Sentencing. Manslaughter and murder are forms of homicide. Murder is considered by all states to be among the highest criminal offense a person can commit because the act involves taking another person’s life. There are two levels of murder in Massachusetts, as well as an alternative to murder called manslaughter. These terms … Continued

Will I Get Probation for a Misdemeanor in Massachusetts?

Whether you receive probation for a misdemeanor offense in Massachusetts depends on the effectiveness of your defense attorney and three key elements: 1) The nature of the offense or alleged crime, 2) Your criminal history (if any), and 3) Your personal qualifications for any specific probation programs. If you’re on pretrial probation and successfully complete all terms, your case will be dismissed. If you are on a split sentence or you plead out to straight probation, your case will be … Continued

12 Weird Laws in Massachusetts

Reasonable questions often arise about the proper application of the law to a specific set of circumstances. Good lawyering centers on such queries as part of normal practice. But some statutes beg questioning because they are anything but normal, and several weird laws in Massachusetts make this cut. Here are twelve surprising laws in Massachusetts you may not have known existed. 12 Weird Laws in Massachusetts Don’t butcher the national anthem! – Or else risk a $100 fine if you … Continued