Violent crimes/ Crimes against the person/ Sex offenses
In Massachusetts, MGL c. 265 governs "Crimes Against the Person." This is a very comprehensive chapter of laws that covers violent crimes from simple assault to murder, and certain sex offenses ranging from indecent assault and battery to aggravated rape.
Most crimes against the person involve a complaining witness, or a victim. For example, you cannot be convicted of kidnapping unless the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you forcibly confined a person or sent him out of the Commonwealth against his will. If the alleged victim consents to going with you, then it is not against his will and you cannot be convicted. However, if the alleged victim is unavailable to testify, the prosecution may use circumstantial evidence to demonstrate lack of free will or commission of a criminal charge. This applies to any crime against the person when the alleged victim is unable to testify- the most obvious situation being a murder charge.
If the prosecution's primary evidence against you is the complaining witness's statement, then we will do everything in our power to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding his/ her version of events, as well as his/her character and background. Very often, a visit to the scene can reveal inconsistencies and impossibilities with the witness account. We have been highly successful at uncovering lies and varying accounts by the alleged victim, which has been the difference in protecting our client's liberty. This is very often the situation in domestic violence cases. The allegations are often deep-rooted, stemming from ongoing tumultuous relationship. One minor disagreement can be the tipping point for the alleged victim who now wants to see our client suffer, even if unjustly, through the criminal court system. If this is the case, we will use all legal recourses available to uncover, and showcase, the truth. One uncovered lie by the alleged victim in a domestic violence case may be the difference between a dismissal and jail time. For sex offenses, revealing such a lie can be the difference between a state prison sentence and having the case dismissed without our client ever registering as a sex offender. We have successfully defended cases resulting in the latter.
If you are charged with, or even being questioned about, a crime against the person, the worst thing you can do is speak to law enforcement without a criminal defense attorney. Very often, the prosecution's strongest evidence of guilt is the defendant's own statement. Even if you believe you are acting in your best interest by being apologetic, you can rest assured that you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Additionally, you are not required to provide a DNA sample without a court order. If you are asked to do so, it's time to cease all questioning, leave, and contact your lawyer. That said, if the damage is already done and statements have been made, we will do our best to analyze the context and circumstances surrounding those statements. There may be a valid legal grounds suppress (have thrown out) any information you provided to police, including your own DNA. The best practice, however, is to remain silent.
In some cases, the evidence against you may be overwhelming. You may not wish to have the case tried to a jury, or you may wish to have the case resolved as quickly as possible. At Urbelis Law, we have a record of success in resolving cases that fall into this category short of trial, in a way that takes into account or client's personal and professional situation, minimizing the damage and long-term effects. It is important that we fully evaluate your needs, and your case, as soon as possible in order to take action, as certain legal recourses may become time-barred.
MGL c. 272 also covers many sex offenses that are not categorized as "Crimes Against the Person", but instead as "Crimes Against Chastity, Morality, Decency and Good Order." This chapter covers a variety of misdemeanor offenses such as soliciting a prostitute to more serious felonies like dissemination of child pornography.
All convictions for sex-based crimes under c. 265 require SORB registration, while a defendant convicted under c. 272 is only required to register for certain sex offenses. A person convicted for any one of the following offenses and who either lives, works, or goes to school in Massachusetts must register as a sex offender:
- Indecent assault and battery on a child under 14
- Indecent assalt and battery on a mentally retarded person
- Indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or over
- Rape of a child under 16 with force
- Rape and abuse of a child
- Assault with intent to commit rape
- Assault of a child with intent to commit rape
- Kidnapping of a child
- Enticing a child under the age of 16 for purposes of committing a crime
- Enticing away a person for prostitution or sexual intercourse
- Drugging persons for sexual intercourse
- Inducing a minor into prostitution
- Living off or sharing earnings of a minor prostitute
- Second and subsequent conviction for open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, but excluding a first or single adjudication as a delinquent juvenile before August 1, 1992
- Incestuous marriage or intercourse
- Disseminating to a minor material harmful to a minor
- Posing or exhibiting a child in a state of nudity
- Dissemination of visual material of a child in a state of nudity or sexual conduct
- Aggravated rape
- Aggravated indecent assault and battery on a child under 14
- Aggravated rape of a child under 16 with force
- Aggravated rape and abuse of a child, and repeat offense
- Enticing a child under 18 via electronic communication to engage in prostitution, human trafficking, or commercial sexual activity
- Trafficking of persons for sexual servitude
- Trafficking of persons for sexual servitude upon a person under 18 years of age
- Second or subsequent violation of human trafficking for sexual servitude
If you have been charged in Massachusetts with a violent offense, a crime against the person, or a sex charge, contact our office for your free initial consultation: