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WOMAN ARRESTED FOR DRUNK DRIVING AFTER STRIKING STATE TROOPER

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, June 08, 2011
A Weymouth woman was recently arraigned in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court on charges that she was drunk and driving into oncoming traffic on Morrissey Boulevard when she struck a state trooper.  Since Jan. 1, 2010, forty five state troopers have been struck and injured by Massachusetts drivers.  More than half of those accidents involved drivers impaired by alcohol. The woman was arrested at the scene but posted $5,000 bail and was released from custody.  Her license was suspended for 180 days because she allegedly refused a Breathalyzer test.  As a condition of release, the court ordered her to remain alcohol free and submit to alcohol testing three times a week while her case is pending. The consequences of a DUI conviction can be significant and long lasting.  If you have been arrested for DUI in Massachusetts, you need a skilled Massachusetts DUI lawyer with experience fighting DUI cases. At Brooks & Crowley LLP, we’re ready to hear about your case and give you a free consultation to help you determine the best course of action.

INCREASED POLICE PRESENCE FOR MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND AND BRUINS GAME

Joseph Coupal - Saturday, May 28, 2011
As Memorial Day weekend commences, motorists can expect to see extra police patrolling roads throughout Massachusetts.  In addition, state police will be conducting sobriety checkpoints at undisclosed public roads in the following counties:
  • Suffolk- Thursday, May 26, 2011 into Friday, May 27, 2011
  • Worcester- Saturday, June 4, 2011 into Sunday, June 5, 2011
  • Middlesex- Friday, May 27, 2011 into Saturday, June 28, 2011
State police and local authorities conduct checkpoints throughout the state to look for drivers who are impaired by drugs or alcohol.  They will also be using these roadblocks to further the “Click it or Ticket” campaign by issuing tickets to drivers not wearing a seatbelt or for unbuckled passengers. Due to tonight’s final face-off between the Bruins and Tampa Bay in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals police presence will also be increased in the surrounding areas of TD Garden in Boston.  Officers and specialized units, such as the drug and motorcycle units, will be on standby to control fans and motorists exiting the game. If you are arrested for DUI, whether or not it involves a roadblock or “sobriety checkpoint,” contact an attorney who knows how to defend these cases successfully.  Call Brooks & Crowley LLP at 781-251-0555.

SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT RULES BREATHALYZER CERTIFICATES NONTESTIMONIAL

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Today, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that prosecutors in drunk driving cases do not have to call a technician to testify that the breathalyzer machine used by police worked properly at the time of the test. The defendant in Commonwealth v. Zeininger, convicted of drunk driving in Greenfield, argued that the annual certification of the machine presented at trial in documentary form constituted “testimony” from a witness that the defendant should have been able to cross-examine at trial. The defendant’s attorney argued that admission of the certificates without the testimony of the technician who signed them denied the defendant her right of confrontation under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Court disagreed, stating that the certificates are “business records,” since the certification of breathalyzers are made “for the administration of an entity’s affairs and not for the purpose of establishing or proving some fact at trial.” Because of the generalized nature of the certificates and their primary purpose to ensure the “accuracy and standardization of all breathalyzer testing equipment,” the Court concluded the certifications are non-testimonial and admissible without the technician’s testimony. If you have been arrested or charged with DUI in the Greater Boston area, it is important to have legal counsel that specializes in Massachusetts DUI defense. With over 30 years of experience trying and winning DUI cases, Brooks & Crowley LLP can provide you with the specialized Massachusetts DUI lawyer service you’re looking for.

MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE SOBRIETY CHECKPOINTS ANNOUNCED

Joseph Coupal - Sunday, September 05, 2010
The Massachusetts State Police recently announced sobriety checkpoints for Essex County over Labor Day weekend and Worcester County for the following weekend. State troopers typically work along with local officers in establishing these roadblocks, typically along secondary roads for several hours at a time. They have motor-home sized vehicles (known as the “Batmobiles”) which contain all facilities needed to process arrestees, including breath testing equipment. These operating under the influence cases can often be won, since they typically involve random stops and questioning, rather than observations of bad driving, which provides fertile ground for cross-examing the arresting officers.

MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2010

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 29, 2010
The Massachusetts State Police have planned a sobriety checkpoint for Friday, July 30, 2010, which will continue into Saturday, July 31, 2010. This roadblock will take place during varied hours on a secondary state highway in Middlesex County.  Middlesex County is the largest county in Massachusetts, and includes Burlington, Cambridge, Concord, Framingham, Natick, Newton, Somerville, Lowell, Wakefield, and Waltham. The State Police often team up with local law enforcement officers when conducting these sobriety checkpoints. Portable breath testing equipment and mobile facilities for booking arrestees are deployed at the scene. Federal grant funding is often used, as part of the nationwide “over the limit, under arrest” mobilization. The State Police are dedicating additional resources toward detecting drivers who may be under the influence of drugs as well as alcohol. The State Police have been training a number of drug recognition experts, or DRE’s, to detect drug impairment. If you are arrested following a sobriety checkpoint, contact attorneys who know how to defend these cases. Call Brooks & Crowley LLP at 781-251-0556.

SOMETIMES THE DUI TRIAL IS ALL ABOUT THE PRIOR OFFENSES

Joseph Coupal - Saturday, July 03, 2010
Defendants in Massachusetts who are charged with subsequent offenses which carry enhanced penalties are entitled to a separate trial on the issue of whether the defendant is the same person named in the prior offense. A statute found in General Laws chapter 278, section 11A governs the procedure. It states, in relevant part: If a defendant pleads guilty or if there is a verdict or finding of guilty after trial, then before sentence is imposed, the defendant shall be further inquired of for a plea of guilty or not guilty to that portion of the complaint or indictment alleging that the crime charged is a second or subsequent offense. If he pleads guilty thereto, sentence shall be imposed; if he pleads not guilty thereto, he shall be entitled to a trial by jury of the issue of conviction of a prior offense, subject to all of the provisions of law governing criminal trials. A defendant may waive trial by jury. The court may, in its discretion, either hold the jury which returned the verdict of guilty of the crime, the trial of which was just completed, or it may order the impanelling of a new jury to try the issue of conviction of one or more prior offenses. Upon the return of a verdict, after the separate trial of the issue of conviction of one or more prior offenses, the court shall impose the sentence appropriate to said verdict. In some DUI cases, the issue to be decided is not whether a defendant is guilty of the new offense, it is whether the Commonwealth is able to prove the prior offenses beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes, defendants admit guilt on the new offenses and go to trial on the priors alone. Given the lifetime look-back that Melanie’s Law introduced, the Commonwealth may be forced to rely upon old court records to prove the priors at this trial. And, where the proof is questionable as to the identity, or otherwise insufficient, the court or jury will be warranted in finding the defendant not guilty. Although the Registry of Motor Vehicles will count all convictions when calculating its license suspension, an acquittal on the subsequent offense trial can save defendants from mandatory terms of imprisonment. Make sure that your DUI attorney knows how to protect your rights. Call Brooks & Crowley LLP today at 781-251-0555.

STATE POLICE SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2010

Joseph Coupal - Monday, June 14, 2010
The Massachusetts State Police have planned a sobriety checkpoint for Friday, June 18, 2010, which will continue into Saturday, June 19, 2010. This roadblock will take place during varied hours on a secondary state highway in Norfolk County. Norfolk County is comprised of over a dozen cities and towns, including Quincy, Weymouth, Brookline, Dedham, Needham, Canton, Cohasset, Milton, and Plainville. The State Police often team up with local law enforcement officers when conducting these sobriety checkpoints. Portable breath testing equipment and mobile facilities for booking arrestees are deployed at the scene. Federal grant funding is often used, as part of the nationwide “over the limit, under arrest” mobilization. The State Police are dedicating additional resources toward detecting drivers who may be under the influence of drugs as well as alcohol. The State Police have been training a number of drug recognition experts, or DRE’s, to detect drug impairment. If you are arrested following a sobriety checkpoint, contact attorneys who know how to defend these cases. Call Brooks & Crowley LLP at 781-251-0556.

NEW STATE POLICE SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT PLANNED FOR SATURDAY, JUNE 19, 2010

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 10, 2010
The Massachusetts State Police have announced that a “sobriety checkpoint” will be implemented beginning Saturday, June 19, 2010 and continuing into Sunday, June 20, 2010. The roadblock will take place on a secondary state highway in Worcester County. The State Police often team up with local law enforcement when operating the checkpoints, which may utilize over a dozen officers at a time as well as mobile breath testing equipment. Many of these roadblocks are part of the nationwide “Over The Limit, Under Arrest” mobilization, for which state and federal grant money is used to fund police overtime, equipment and education. Last year, the constitutionality of these checkpoints was again called into question, but the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rejected the challenge. However, the police must strictly comply with the many requirements that the Court has outlined, and the failure to do so may result in the exclusion of all evidence obtained against a defendant. If you are arrested following a roadblock or “sobriety checkpoint,” contact attorneys who know how to defend these cases successfully. Call Brooks & Crowley LLP at 781-251-0555.

400 WRONGLY CONVICTED IN WASHINGTON OVER FAULTY BREATHALYZERS

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 10, 2010
Nearly 400 people in Washington, D.C., have been convicted of driving while intoxicated based on faulty breath tests that calculated blood alcohol levels about 20 percent higher than the reality. D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles said the problem was caused when a police officer set improper baseline levels on the machines, the Washington Post reports. Nickles’ office is contacting the convicted drivers and their lawyers. About 200 of those convicted spent some time in jail, the story says. At least one lawsuit has already been filed based on the revelation.

MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE ANNOUNCE SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT FOR SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 2010

Joseph Coupal - Sunday, June 06, 2010
The Massachusetts State Police recently announced that a “Sobriety Checkpoint” will be implemented beginning Saturday, June 12, 2010 and continuing into Sunday, June 13, 2010. The roadblock will take place at an undisclosed secondary state highway in Hampden County. Hampden County is comprised of Springfield, Chicopee, Hoyoke, Wilbraham, Westfield, and several other towns. The State Police often team up with local law enforcement when operating these checkpoints, which may utilize over a dozen officers at a time as well as mobile breath testing equipment. Many of these roadblocks are part of the nationwide “Over The Limit, Under Arrest” mobilization, for which state and federal grant money is used to fund police overtime, equipment and education. The constitutionality of these sobriety checkpoints were recently upheld by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. However, the police must strictly comply with the many requirements that the Court has outlined in order for them to survive constitutional challenges, and the failure to do so may result in the exclusion of all evidence obtained against a defendant. If you are arrested following a roadblock or “sobriety checkpoint,” contact attorneys who know how to defend these cases successfully. Call Brooks & Crowley LLP at 781-251-0555.

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