The crime of Arson requires that the Defendant act both willfully and maliciously in setting the fire or causing the building to be burned, which is the state of mind necessary to commit arson. Willful and malicious convey two distinct and necessary elements of the crime and have different meanings.
A “person having care and custody” of a child is a parent, guardian, or an employee of a home, school or institution that has the same responsibilities supervision or care that a parent has regardless of whether that supervision or care is temporary.
The courts have found that a defendant living with a mother and her children who assumed childcare responsibilities was a persona having “care and custody,” despite the fact that he was not the children’s legal guardian or father.
A court found a mother guilty of wantonly or recklessly permitting substantial bodily injury to a 13-year-old daughter, where the mother didn’t get her daughter medical attention until she was close to death even though the daughter got sick, stopped eating, lost thirty-four pounds, had a swollen stomach, couldn’t walk to bathroom and was forced to wear diapers.
Prosecutions for the offense often involve situations where children were subjected to the exposure. Charges for masturbating in a public place comprise a majority of the open and gross lewdness charges. Its important to note that the victim “alarmed or shocked” to the point of suffering emotional distress and simply being offended is not enough to sustain a conviction. A finding of guilty is based largely on the temperament of the member of the public that witnessed the exposure.
In the state of Massachusetts, breaking and entering is defined as entering any type of location (a home, an office building, or even a car) without permission and with the intent of committing a crime. Breaking and Entering in the Daytime with the Intent to Commit a Felony is a crime governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 § 18. Anyone found guilty of breaking and entering in the daytime with the intent to commit a Felony faces or fine up to $500 or imprisonment in a state prison for a maximum of 10 years, or imprisonment in the house of corrections for a maximum of 2 ½ years.
Armed robbery while masked is an extremely serious crime, a conviction for which carries a mandatory minimum sentence in state prison for 15 years. Broadly speaking, in the state of Massachusetts, a person can be charged with armed robbery if he was armed with a dangerous weapon while assaulting another person and robbing another person (on the street, in a store, at home, etc.) It is not necessary to have used, or even displayed, the weapon in question, but there does have to be an implicit threat of force.
Unfortunately, many people abuse the system in an attempt to obtain restraining orders for illegitimate purposes. Often times a jilted lover will seek a restraining order out of spite or a spouse will seek a restraining order during a divorce in order to strength their position in the event of a custody battle. Unfortunately most people don’t realize the potential consequences that can result from a having a restraining order filed against them. If someone gets a 209A restraining order issued against you then your name will be entered into the national criminal database despite the fact that this a civil matter and not a criminal matter.
A defendant convicted of stalking faces a sentence of up to five years in state prison, or a fine up to $1,000 or imprisonment in the house of corrections for up to 2 ½ years or both. A Defendant convicted of a second offense of stalking faces a mandatory minimum sentence in a state prison of at least 2 years and maximum of up to 10 years.
Threatening to commit a crime is a criminal offense in Massachusetts. It’s a very common charge. The majority of the time these charges can be addressed at a clerk magistrates hearing. That’s because these crimes aren’t often committed in the presence of many witnesses and the only evidence that supports the charge comes in the form of the alleged victim’s testimony. Hiring a lawyer early in the case at the clerk’s hearing stage will give you the best chance of getting the case dismissed before formal criminal charges can be brought against you. Often times a bitter ex-girlfriend, boyfriend, ex-wife or husband will try and use the criminal court system to exact some form of revenge. In an attempt to use the court system for illegitimate purposes they file a bogus criminal complaint. It’s unfortunate when this happens because the accused party is forced to face these charges.