What in the world is a guilty file?


In Massachusetts a guilty finding is a pretty unique resolution to a case.  Essentially, a person is still found guilty, but there is no immediate sentence.  In order for the court to guilty file a charge, the judge needs the consent of both the defendant and the Commonwealth. 

 This type of sentence is most commonly seen when a defendant has several charges on the same docket.  If the defendant pleads out to the more severe charges, the Commonwealth will usually agree to guilty file the minor charges. 

 Technically, a defendant that has charges that have been guilty filed can be sentenced later on.  A defendant has the right to request sentencing on any filed charges at any time.  Obviously, unless there is some unique reason, most defendants will never request to be sentenced on a charge that has been guilty filed. 

The Commonwealth may request that a defendant be sentenced on a charge that has been filed for several reasons.  One way the prosecution may request sentencing is if a related conviction or sentence is reversed or vacated.  A second way is for the prosecution to prove that the defendant has committed a new offense.  Finally, the prosecution may request a sentence if the defendant has violated a condition that the filing was based upon. 

In Massachusetts, it is becoming more common to state when the charge will be guilty filed until.  On the new green sheets (sheets that are used by prosecutors and defense attorneys alike to write out plea deals) you will actually see an area in which you can write an end date for charges that are guilty filed.  Essentially, the Commonwealth has until that end date to request that a defendant be sentenced on a charge that has been guilty filed. 

Depending on the situation a guilty file could be a good way to resolve certain charges.  There are things that need to be kept in mind before trying to resolve your case in such a fashion.  Remember that a guilty file still counts as a conviction on your record.  Please don’t attempt to resolve your case without an experience professional. 

Interes9ted twitter followers please visit- twitter: http://twitter.com/AttorneyChan

Interested in becoming a Facebook fan please visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Boston-MA/Law-offices-of-Attorney-Jason-Chan/101494423854?ref=sgm

For more information:

Massachusetts Criminal Procedure Rule 28: Judgment http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/source/mass/rules/criminal/crim28.html

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

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Does what you learn participating in mock trial really work in the real world?


There are many mock trial competitions in Massachusetts. The American Mock Trial Association holds a regional competition every spring for college students in Boston. While the Massachusetts Bar Association has a mock trial program for high school students. These excellent programs do a great job in giving students a solid foundation regarding trial work.

In the past years, I have been a judge for the American Mock Trial Association regional competition usually held at the Suffolk Superior Court. This year, I have had the pleasure to be an attorney coach as part of the Mass. Bar Mock for the Holliston team.

The more I am involved with these mock trial programs, the more I want to encourage people to participate. These programs give students a good idea of what trial work is about a build a good trial work foundation. Mock trial programs are more important than ever because fewer cases are going to trial. That means that young attorneys have fewer opportunities to learn and to actually try cases.

While participating in a mock trial program is not the real thing, there are many things that students can learn about real trial work. A few being the ability to analyze a case, getting to know court room procedure, learning some basic rules of evidence and understand the trial process. Like most lawyers would say, knowing where to stand, how to talk and not panicking is half the battle.

I hope this post will inspire students to participate in mock trial programs. It is a lot of work; however, the pay off can be instrumental to your future success. I myself have never competed in a mock trial program, but have found judging and coaching mock trials wonderful experiences. I would encourage all attorneys to take some time and participate.

Interes9ted twitter followers please visit- twitter: http://twitter.com/AttorneyChan

Interested in becoming a Facebook fan please visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Boston-MA/Law-offices-of-Attorney-Jason-Chan/101494423854?ref=sgm

For more information:

Holliston Mock Trial Team: http://www.wickedlocal.com/hopkinton/features/x690799802/Students-approach-the-bench

Massachusetts Bar Association Mock Trial Program: http://mocktrial.massbar.org/

American Mock Trial Association http://www.collegemocktrial.org/welcome/welcome.php

Interested in being a judge for the American Mock Trial Association Regional competition in Boston MA? Email: buregionalmocktrial@gmail.com

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

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Failing to return a leased sofa could get you charged with a crime


We see these commercials on television all the time.  Many places offer to allow you to rent ordinary house hold items for a monthly fee.  Some of these items include bed room sets, washer driers, televisions and computers.  However, renter beware, if your lease runs out don’t sell the product or try to keep the item.  If the items are not returned at the end of the lease, the rental agency can bring a civil suit and apply for criminal charges. 

 Essentially, a person that doesn’t returned lease property can be charged under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266, Section 87; larceny of leased or rental property.  Under Massachusetts law one of the ways a person can be charged is if the person fails to returned lease property within 10 days after the expiration of the lease or rental agreement. 

 The potential penalties for being convicted are up to a $1,000 fine and imprisonment for up to one year.  Also, a person who is convicted must pay restitution for any financial loss in addition to any jail time or court fine.  Under the law, even if a person serves a year in jail, the person is still responsible to pay any restitution to the rental company. 

In economic times like these many people are losing their jobs and ability to pay for things around the house.  It is very important that you return the items that you have leased from a company.  Many rental companies preferring applying for criminal charges in lieu of bringing civil complaints because these companies don’t want to spend the money on civil cases.  So in case you wanted to sell your leased property, just remember you can spend up to a year in jail. 

Interes9ted twitter followers please visit- twitter: http://twitter.com/AttorneyChan

Interested in becoming a Facebook fan please visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Boston-MA/Law-offices-of-Attorney-Jason-Chan/101494423854?ref=sgm

For More information:

Massachusetts General Laws CHAPTER 266. CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/266-87.htm 

Telegram and Gazette reporting on people being charged for larceny of leased or rental property

http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/telegram-gazette-worcester-ma/mi_8005/is_2010_Jan_1/courthouse-records/ai_n45726649/

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

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