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A: Always be respectful to an officer during a car stop. If asked to step from a vehicle be aware of how you do so and how you stand in front of the officer. He will be observing whether you pull yourself out of the seat using the car to balance yourself or lean on the vehicle and whether you are swaying as you stand.

A: The higher court will review the transcripts of the trial to see whether any of the defendant’s constitutional rights were violated or whether the trial judge failed to follow the proper rules of evidence and procedure during the trial. To overturn a conviction an appellate court must find an error which could have made a material difference in the jury’s deliberations.

A: The age of adulthood in Massachusetts is 17, this does not mean that a minor cannot face charges in adult court. A minor can be indicted as a “youthful offender” which means the minor will be treated as an adult and face the same penalties as an adult would for the crime.

A: In state court trafficking is a charge of possessing a large amount of a controlled substance, an amount which alone is evidence that it is not for personal use but rather to distribute or “traffic” in the controlled substance. Possession of large amounts of drugs carries mandatory minimum sentences which are set out by statute.

A: After an arrest for assault and battery a defendant appears in court the next day and may face a restraining order hearing. A judge has the power to order that the defendant remain out of the home and away from the children and spouse for up to one year.

A: If you have received a summons to appear in front of a grand jury you need to contact us to receive advice before appearing to testify, anything you say to the grand jury will be under oath, recorded and used against you if incriminating. If you lie to a grand jury you can be prosecuted for perjury.

A: If you are not a US citizen but are here as a permanent resident or with a temporary visa, criminal charges may cause immigration to either seek deportation or prohibit you from returning to the US if you were to leave. People who have overstayed their visa or who have entered the country illegally may also cause immigration officials to take action.

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