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Massachusetts Appellate Law Blog: June 2021

June 15, 2021

In case of first impression, on June 1st, 2021, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held that a person could not challenge the warrantless search of another person’s cell phone. The case is Commonwealth v. Delgado-Rivera, 487 Mass. 551 (2021).  Some background: In June 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Riley v.…

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Massachusetts Case Law Update: February 4th, 2021.

February 12, 2021

In a decision from the Appeals Court in Massachusetts on February 4th, 2021, the Court reversed the conviction of a defendant, holding that the trial judge was wrong to seat a juror the defendant sought to remove with a peremptory strike. The case is Commonwealth v. Gonzalez, No. 19-P-1767, 2021 Mass. App. LEXIS 15 (App.…

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How Long Does A DUI Stay On Your Record In Rhode Island?

January 4, 2021

Having a Driving Under the Influence (hereinafter “DUI”) conviction on your record can be a stressful and restrictive experience. You may face license suspension, probation, mandatory community service hours, or potentially imprisonment. Moreover, the consequences you face for the years following your DUI conviction will depend on countless different factors. Most notably, the number of…

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Who Decides Cases Heard By Appellate Courts?

June 29, 2020

The United States court system is divided into three levels: district courts, appellate courts, and the Supreme Court. Appellate courts were born out of a need to reduce the caseload on the Supreme Court, so they became an intermediary between the lower courts and the highest court in the land. Today, as then, the Supreme…

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Digital Evidence in Criminal Trials

January 2, 2020

By its very definition, digital or electronic evidence is any information that is stored or has been transmitted in digital form. It may be used at trial if the court determines it to be relevant. To admit it, the court must find out whether it is authentic and decide if they would accept a copy…

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Breath Test Results Still Being Excluded From Evidence in Massachusetts OUI Cases

February 20, 2018

On August 23, 2017, the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association announced that their prosecutors would suspend the use of alcohol breathalyzer tests in current and future Operating Under the Influence (“OUI”) cases and would refrain from offering the tests into evidence at OUI trials or in plea negotiations.  The reason for this suspension is due to the questionable…

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Breaking Down RI’s New Firearms Law – What You Need To Know

November 13, 2017

In response to the growing problem of domestic violence, the Rhode Island legislature enacted the Protect Rhode Island Families Act, which requires people served with restraining orders and convicted of domestic violence offenses to surrender their firearms. The Protect Rhode Island Families Act amends Section 8-8.1-3 of the Domestic Assault chapter to allow a court…

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