Do you know your Worcester County Courts?


Central Mass Courts

Busiest court-the busiest court in central MA is no other than the Worcester Central District Court.  This court is also known as CDC. After Boston Municipal Court, CDC usually ranks second or third busiest court constantly trading places with Springfield.  You will find the clerk and probation offices on the first floor.  The Juvenille session and Probate and Family on the second floor.  The District and Superior Courts on the third and fourth floors.   

 http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/worcesterdistrictmain.html

Smallest court-Winchendon MA.  This is the most northern court in Worcester County.  Many attorneys still remember when the actual court room was above a pizza shop.  There are stories in which the court room would be filled with the wonderful smell of pizza in the afternoon, making dry cleaning a must.  The court only had a session once every two weeks.  Unfortunately, as of June 2nd of this year this landmark and quirky court has been moved to Gardner. 

 http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/winchendondistrictmain.html

 Busier than you think court-Dudley.  Dudley is a small town near the Connecticut boarder in central Massachusetts.  Don’t let the location or the size of the court fool you because you will usually find this court packed with people.  Dudley also has cases that are more serious than you assume for a small town.  There is a good amount of serious drug cases that come through this court.  The court usually only has one judge and doesn’t have any jury trials.  All jury trials are transferred to East Brookfield. 

 http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/dudleydistrictmain.html

 Most OUIs per cases court-Westborough.  Westborough does have a jury session and the overwhelming majority of cases tried are OUIs.  So beware if you are in the Westborough area driving around with a couple drinks under your belt, don’t be surprised to be pulled over. 

 http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/westboroughdistrictmain.html

 Strangest cases court-East Brookfield.  East Brookfield has one of the most beautiful courts in central Massachusetts.  It also has many strange cases that come out of there.  There are a lot of cases in which involve animals.  From time to time you will hear about cases that involve mistreating animals to people’s strange relationships with animals.  The vast majority of cases are pretty normal, but once in a while you will get a strange case from this court. 

 http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/eastbrookfielddistrictmain.html

A list of the rest of the courts in Central Massachusetts: Clinton District Court, Fitchburg District Court, Gardner District Court, Leominster District Court, Milford District Court, Orange District Court, and Uxbridge District Court

http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/courtsworc.html

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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License suspension


Most people need their license and it is an important part of their daily life. A person’s license can be suspended for many reasons. The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) could have suspended the license because the court ordered it, moving violations or other rules and regulations. The court can suspend a person’s license for a number of reasons. A person’s license can be suspended for being convicted of drug related offenses, OUI conviction or even a warrant. Yes, if you don’t show up in court, the court will issue a default and a warrant for your arrest. The RMV may then suspend your license.

Driving while your license is suspended is a criminal offense, and it carries a fine and a jail sentence. The judge doesn’t need to sentence a person to jail, but under the statute a person could spend up to 10 days for a first offense and up to a year if charged with a subsequent offense. It is really silly to go to jail for this offense because your license is suspended due to a default. So you need to be careful and make sure you show up for your court dates.

To prove that your license was suspended the prosecutor needs to prove that you were operating a motor vehicle, on a public way, while your license was suspended and you had notice. Now it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove that you had notice. They will usually do this by entering the registry cert. that will include all the letters sent by the registry to your last know address. It is your responsibility to update your address with the registry. So if the registry sent a letter to your last know address, it becomes your burden to prove that you didn’t get the letter.

Finally, I have seen many people move away and get a license in a different state. That does not mean that your license is not still suspended in Massachusetts. Some states will allow you to get a license despite your status of your MA license, while others will require you to reinstate your MA license first. Running from your problems are never the answer. In the end, the problems always linger and most come back and get you. Beware of the easy way out and deal with your problems as they come.

http://www.mass.gov/rmv/suspend/index.htm

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Top ten best excuses in criminal cases


(the blog doesn’t contain any information learned through attorney client conversations)

1. License case: “It wasn’t me, my brother did it, my brother did it” The defendant doesn’t have a brother.
2. Assault and Battery Case: “The guy walked into my fist. I tried to stop him, but he kept running into my fist!”
3. Shoplifting case: “I was going to return it if it didn’t fit, really I was.”
4. Conspiracy case: “it was entirely my wife’s idea, I will testify that way if I need to.”
5. Assault with Dangerous Weapon: “The cops must have planted my fingerprints on the weapon.”
6. Drug case: “I was only given $5,000 to drive this bag from one location to another, how was I supposed to know there was something illegal in the bag?”
7. Minor in possession of alcohol: “Yeah, we had the alcohol, but I wasn’t given my Miranda rights, so that means a dismissal right?” The police saw the person drinking in the car and there were no statements to be suppressed.
8. OUI case: “I drank a lot, but I wasn’t that drunk because I got to the car and I was driving.”
9. Drug case: An overweight person claimed that she didn’t use crack cocaine. While pointing at herself she stated, “look at me, does it look like I use crack!”
10. My favorite: A doctor gets arrested for trying to elicit sex from a prostitute. “I was doing research on STDs.”

You never know what you are going to encounter. The majority of people that I meet are not like this, but there are a few that keep things interesting. Some people I believe have convinced themselves of this other alternate story to the point that they can’t be considered lying anymore. Finally, I do have to say I enjoy this job. With these experiences, how can I feel any differently?



For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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Breaking down the Breathalyzer process


Alright, so you probably already know a lot about the breathalyzer (BT) or at least hear about it all the time. However, this post is to clarify what the machine really is and how the process really works.

At most police stations the BT machine is usually in a separate room from the booking room. When you get brought back to the police station they will usually “book” you. Essentially, the police do things like take down your information, document your belongings, and make sure you are not suicidal amongst other things. The majority of police stations have video so don’t be rude and try your best to not look drunk.
After the police take down your personal information, they will ask if you consent to a breathalyzer test. At this point, they will give you a form to sign to indicate whether you consent to or refuse the breathalyzer.

If you consent to a breathalyzer you will usually be brought into a second room that also has video recording. The breathalyzer machine itself is stationary and can’t be moved around. There are three major parts: the machine itself, a tube that comes out from the machine for you the blow into, and finally a small printer resting above the machine. When most people think of breathalyzers they think of the portable ones that you can buy online or police have with them on the side of the road. Portable breathalyzers are different than the actual breathalyzer machine. Courts have ruled portable breathalyzers are unreliable, one of the reasons being that they rely on fuel cell technology. The actual breathalyzer machines that can be used by the prosecution are the ones at the police station.

Before the test begins the certified operator who is usually a police officer needs to enter a lot of information. There are several prompts that the officer needs to respond to and it usually takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. Once all the information is entered and the machine is warmed up, the subject is asked to blow into the machine for about 5 seconds until the machine beeps. Each subject will be asked to give two breath samples. After the second sample is given the test is over.

If you fail or refuse the breath test your license will be suspended. If you find yourself ever in this situation, you should refuse the breathalyzer and contact an attorney right away.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Massachusetts+breath+testing+for+alcohol:+a+computer+science…-a0188847512

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-188847512.html

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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