Don’t ruin your life with a threatening text, email or Facebook message


Technological advances have brought about a lot of good for people, but it has also lead to its share of issues. It is so easy to interact with people we like and don’t like. For the most part, we are one click away from getting ourselves in trouble.

In the past, when young people sent harsh comments, emails and messages to one another it was rarely faced with tough punishments. Now with the school systems and police departments more aware of the detrimental effects that hazing and bullying can have, these messages are now treated as serious threats. Some may think that this is an overreaction to the recent deaths connected to bullying, while others believe more needs to be done. Either way, the situation is that quicker action is being taken against any acts of bullying, hazing or threats.

Seeing that there is so much attention on this area, it is important that young people refrain from stating anything that resembles a threat. With these messages being sent through the computer or phone, it also makes it much easier for the police to gather evidence. In the end, if you think it may be perceived as a threat, it is unwise to write the statement.

Aside from facing potential punishment from schools, the suspected offender who wrote the threat may face criminal consequences. A criminal record for a young person may be detrimental for the person being accepted to college, getting a job and his or her life. So think twice before writing a threatening message to anyone.

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

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Lessen your chances of getting pulled over for DUI


It is Labor Day weekend and it is the last opportunity for most people to enjoy a long weekend before the winter.  People are going to pack the highways and the police are going to be out in full force and arresting people for DUI.  The last thing that you want is to be pulled over for DUI.  The best way to avoid a DUI is to not drink and drive.  However, there are other things that you can do to lessen your chances of being pulled over for a DUI. 

 There are obvious DUI signs that a police officer looks for in DUI situations.  Some DUI signs that may lead an officer to suspect a person of a DUI are: the car is weaving, inability to stay within lanes, car accident, failing to obey traffic lights and just driving poorly. 

 However, even if the DUI suspect is driving properly, the DUI suspect may still be pulled over for civil violations.  When the officer approaches the DUI suspect and smells alcohol, the officer may start their DUI investigation.  A person can be pulled over for many civil violations that may lead to a DUI investigation.  Some common violations are rejected inspection stickers, improper window tint and excessive sounds from the car or mufflers. 

In short, it is important not to draw any attention to yourself because your car is not in good working order.  Before you go out make sure that your car is not going to draw unwanted attention from the police.  If you have an expired inspection sticker then don’t drive the car.  Because if you been drinking and get pulled over for a civil violation, it could end up with you being charged with a DUI. 

 To find out more information regarding the different DUI offenses, you can visit the DUI index.  http://www.attorneychan.com/dui/index.html

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

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Tough not to get caught-crimes that weren’t so smart. Part II


Last week’s story was about a breaking and entering that wasn’t planned out very well to say the least.  It’s difficult to imagine that this week’s story could top last week’s.  Remember that the suspect from last week left fingerprints and blood at the scene and then tried to cash in numbered scratch tickets.  Before you rush to judgment, just wait to hear what this next person did. 

 Story number 2: Traffic anyone? 

A suspect decides to rob a bank downtown Boston late Friday afternoon.  He goes into the bank without a hat, sunglasses, or any type of disguise.  The bank has a main entrance and a side entrance.  The suspect has a getaway car and driver waiting at the side entrance.  As a result, the suspect wants to wait for the bank window that is closest to the side entrance.

 The problem starts with the fact that there aren’t too many people waiting in line.  There are several windows open and several bank tellers are asking the suspect if he needs help with anything.  The suspect is persistent in his desire to wait for that one bank teller closest to the side door.  The suspect ends up waiting for the bank teller closest to the side door for up to 10 minutes.  This gives the other bank workers ample opportunity to look at the suspect.  If that isn’t enough, the cameras are recording him this entire time. 

 Finally, the suspect goes up to his desired window and hands the bank teller a note demanding money.  The bank teller calmly hands over the money and the suspect flees out the side door.  With all the information the police probably would have caught the person sooner or later, but this is when the situation makes a turn for the worse. 

 Not really planning out his getaway route, the suspect takes 93 South for his escape.  Now anyone that works in Boston knows that 93 South on a late Friday afternoon is similar to a parking lot.  The police find out that the suspect fled onto 93 South, get onto 93 South, put on their lights and gently weave through traffic.  The suspect is found stuck in traffic not more than 3 exits away from downtown. 

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

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Owing the court money or community service could land you in jail


People don’t like court.  Most people want to get their criminal cases done as soon as possible.  As a result, many people are not paying attention to the judge.  Unfortunately, the clerk will reduce into writing the judge’s orders onto the docket (court’s paperwork). 

 A lot of pleas end up in court fines or community service.  Usually, the judge will allow a certain amount of time for the court fines to be paid or community service to be completed.  If the money or community service is paid by a certain date, the defendant usually doesn’t need to show up to court.  However, if the money isn’t paid or community service isn’t completed, the person needs to show up to court to address the situation. 

 If a person fails to show up to court to address the failure to pay or completion of community service, a warrant will be issued for the person’s arrest.  To add to the person’s problems, the court adds extra fees for removing a warrant. 

 Usually, a person won’t be sent to jail for failure to pay court fees or completing community service.  Most judges will give the person another chance to make good on their promise.  However, if the fines or community service have lagged in the court system for some time, judges have locked up people.  If a person is locked up for failure to pay a court fine, the person will usually get credit for about $30 a day.  Meaning if a person owes a $300 fine, the person would be sitting in jail for 10 days.  So the next time you owe the court a fine or community service, make sure you get it done or else you could end up in jail one day. 

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

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A dollar makes all the difference


As the economy is getting worse, theft rates are going up.  That shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone, but did you know that the cost of the item by a dollar can make a world of difference? 

 In a Massachusetts larceny case, the Commonwealth represented by the prosecutor needs to prove three things.  First, the defendant took and carried away property.  Second, the property was owned by someone else.  And finally, the defendant intended to take and keep the item. 

 Now, the cost of the item is very important when it comes to being the defendant.  If the item taken is worth$250 or more, then a person can be charged with larceny over $250.  If the item is worth $249 or under, then the person is usually charged with larceny under $250. 

 Larceny over $250 is a felony, while the charge of larceny under $250 is considered a misdemeanor.  The burden is on the prosecutor to prove that the item is worth $250 or more. 

 It seems very silly that there is such a difference in the law and potential penalties based on a single dollar.  When the statutes were drafted $250 was a lot of money.  Perhaps the legislature at the time felt as though anyone taking anything worth that much money should be considered a felon.  The reality today is that most people have items that are worth over $250 on their persons.  Most cell phones, Ipods and definitely computers are well over that threshold.  Sometimes one dollar does make all the difference. 

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

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Tis the season to be road blocks


Summer is here and the weather is going to be great. The Fourth of July makes a wonderful long weekend for everyone. As you go to cookouts and barbecues this weekend, alcohol is a staple for celebration. Just keep in mind that police are out in full force and be prepared for road blocks.

When road blocks are set up, police usually come out in full force. You will usually see several police officers with their flashing cruisers at a road block. The officers at the start of the road block stop traffic and make sure cars are going into the road block in an orderly fashion. These officers also look out for any cars that are trying to turn around and escape detection. If these officers see anyone trying to run, they will usually call for an officer that is sitting in a cruiser to chase the fleeing vehicle.

Other officers stop cars at random, usually every 4th or 5th car and talk to the operator. If the officer stopping cars detect that the operator may be over the limit, the officer then waives the suspected driver to an area for further testing. Cars sent to further testing will find other officers that will ask the suspect several questions and perform field sobriety tests. Finally, there are usually many other police officers assisting in arresting people and securing the area.

If you do see a road block don’t run. By the time you see the road block, the officer in the front of the set up will have seen you. If you run, a cruiser would be sent to stop you. Also let’s face it, if you believe you are under the influence, running away will only make the situation more dangerous. So enjoy your Fourth, but be mindful of those road blocks. Just in case, you may want to put my number in your phone 508-808-8902.

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:

http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x546151264/Police-roadblocks-legal-but-some-question-effectiveness

http://www.patriotledger.com/news/cops_and_courts/x1880507907/Memorial-Day-roadblocks

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

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My girlfriend is not looking to press charges


 A person is charged with domestic assault and battery. In a domestic assault and battery, the defendant has an existing relationship with the alleged victim. Domestic assault and batteries most commonly happen between people in married or dating relationships. A person can also be charged with domestic assault and battery on their family member. Whether the assault and battery is characterized as domestic or not the maximum penalty is the same.

When most people get charged with domestic assault and battery they believe that the alleged victim is pressing the charges. As a result, they also believe that if the alleged victim isn’t pursuing the charges, the charges will be dismissed. In actuality, the charges usually came about because the police file application for criminal complaint. The clerk issued the complaint. And now the district attorney’s office is prosecuting the charges. The district attorney office is the entity that is prosecuting the charges and not the alleged victim.

Though the district attorney’s office may take the alleged victim’s wishes into consideration, the prosecution have to do what an allege victim wants. District attorneys around the country are increasing their pursuit in these types of cases. It is becoming much more difficult to resolve these cases even if the alleged victims want them dismissed.

Assault and battery charges are serious and many defendants are being wrongfully accused of these crimes. If you are charged with an assault and battery case, expect it to take at least a few cases even if the alleged victim wants the case dismissed.

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

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For more information regarding domestic violence and help MA laws about domestic violence

http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/subject/about/domviolence.html

Help for domestic violence victims http://www.janedoe.org/ Executive Office for Sexual and Domestic Violence http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eopssubtopic&L=4&sid=Eeops&L0=Home&L1=Crime+Prevention+%26+Personal+Safety&L2=Personal+Safety&L3=Sexual+and+Domestic+Violence

Resources for Domestic Violence and Abuse

http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=mg2subtopic&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Resident&L2=Family&L3=Domestic+Violence+%26+Abuse&sid=massgov2

Women’s Law

http://www.womenslaw.org/gethelp_state.php?state_code=MA

Counseling and Education to Stop Domestic Violence

http://www.emergedv.com/

Domestic Violence Unit

http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/cyp/dv/pt4.htm

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

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Why do people take plea bargains?


 In a plea bargain, essentially the defendant agrees to admit the charges and to receive a certain type of punishment. The punishment itself can vary from a fine, to probation and finally incarceration.

There are certain advantages to pleas that can’t all be covered in this post. However, I will try to cover a few main reasons why defendants decide to plead. First, a defendant will usually get a better deal pleading to a case before trial than if the defendant was found guilty after trial. It is common for the prosecution to recommend probation before trial, but jail time if the person is found guilty at trial. Therefore, many defendants may want to take a plea deal before trial to avoid jail time.

Second, the prosecution may be dismissing some charges in exchange of the defendant agreeing to a plea bargain. There are certain charges that have mandatory jail sentences. That means if you are charged with one of these crimes and convicted at trial, the judge can only sentence you to jail for that specific period of time. In order to avoid serving a minimum mandatory jail sentence a defendant may agree to a plea bargain.

Third, the defendant may just want the case to be over. I hear this all the time and try hard to convince a person not to plead to a case just to get the case over with. Once you plead to a case, it is very difficult to change the result. There are certain situations the case can be reopened, but it is becoming increasingly difficult. Court cases take time and people get impatient. Therefore, some people plead to cases just because they want to get the done. This is an awful reason to plead to a case and one should be careful about pleading just to resolve a case.

Finally, pleading to a case is serious business. It isn’t like impulsively going out to buy something that you can’t afford from the store and deciding to return it the next day. The criminal process is much more difficult and you can’t return a plea based solely on buyer’s remorse.

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

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Pleading Guilty: Rights and Other Legal Aspects


 Many times when someone comes to my office after the arraignment, they tell me that they want to plead not guilty. I tell the person that the court probably has already entered a not guilty plea during the arraignment. Most people are very nervous during the arraignment and simply miss the court entering a not guilty plea on their behalf.

Once a not guilty plea is entered, a guilty finding can be entered in one of two ways. First, the person may bring the case to trial and a judge or jury can find the person guilty. Second, the person can plead guilty as part of a plea bargain.

When a person chooses to plead guilty, the person is giving up many constitutional rights. Some of these rights include: the right to remain silent, the right to presumed innocent, the right to confront witnesses against them, right to cross examine witnesses, right to a fair and impartial trial and right to file motions to suppress and appeal those rulings.

In every criminal case, the prosecutor, also called the Commonwealth in this state has the burden to the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. When a person pleads guilty he or she is relieving the Commonwealth of the burden to prove the case against them. Every person has a constitutional right to remain silent and say nothing and to be presumed innocent.

By pleading guilty the person is giving up his or her constitutional rights. The person is admitting to the facts that are alleged in the police report. Because the person is admitting to the facts, the Commonwealth no longer needs to provide evidence to prove the charges. A person may plead guilty for many reasons, the most common to receive a more lenient penalty. The Commonwealth likes pleas because it no longer needs to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

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:

Plead guilty or go to trial? http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06086/677199-85.stm

US Supreme Court Center, Guilty Pleas: http://supreme.justia.com/constitution/amendment-14/61-guilty-pleas.html

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

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Violating probation could lead to more jail


Most people would rather be on probation than be in jail.  Therefore, most are willing to accept any terms on probation to avoid jail time.  The problem arises when the person violates probation.  If probation is violated, it is possible to serve more jail time than a straight committed sentence.

A straight committed sentence is when a person is committed to jail for a certain period of time.  It is understandable that people want to get out of jail so they want probation.  The problem occurs when people violate the terms of their probation and end up back in court.

If a person is found in violation of their probation, the judge can sentence the violator to the maximum sentence for each charge they are on probation for.  Technically if a person has 4 different charges they are on probation for, and if each charge carries a sentence of up to 2 ½, then a person could be in jail for up to ten years.  Now it is uncommon to see a judge, especially in district court to sentence a violator to serve a sentence consecutively, or one after another.  It is more common to see a judge allow a person to serve their sentences together or concurrently. 

 However, the issue still remains that under certain circumstances a short committed sentence may be better in the long run than probation.  If a person knows that they are not a good probation candidate and they are just going to end up violating then a straight committed sentence may be the way to go.  In the end, doesn’t it make sense to be in jail for a shorter amount of time right away verses a much longer period of time down the road?  This is something that you should consider prior to agreeing to probation. 

Interested 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:

 http://www.jud.ct.gov/faq/adultprob.html

http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/juvenilecourt/violation-probation-order.pdf

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statuTes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0948/titl0948.htm

http://www.criminal-law-lawyer-source.com/terms/probation-violation.html

http://www.delsignoredefense.com/lawyer-attorney-1426070.html

http://www.mckennapc.com/PracticeAreas/ProbationViolation.asp

http://www.topaziolaw.com/PracticeAreas/Clerk-Hearings-Probation-Hearings.asp

http://www.expertlaw.com/library/criminal/sentences.html

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

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