We blog about relevant issues in criminal defense law, discuss the misconceptions surrounding criminal defense law, and provide readers with helpful criminal defense information and resources.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Did You Know That Telling A Lie Is Against The Law? Well, It Is When It's Regarding A Federal Agent.

If ever you find yourself having to talk to a federal agent it is in your best interest to mind everything you say. It is imperative that you remember the mantra, "I will not answer anything without my attorney present." If an FBI agent asked you where you just came from and you responded "school" because you were nervous and you simply blurted it out, when in fact you didn't have school today, guess what? You are now subject to time in a federal penitentiary.

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001 makes it a crime to "knowingly and willfully make any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the United States."

Your lie does not even have to be made directly to an employee of the national government as long as it is "within the jurisdiction" of the ever expanding federal bureaucracy. Though the falsehood must be "material" this requirement is met if the statement has the "natural tendency to influence or [is] capable of influencing, the decision of the decision-making body to which it is addressed."

United States v. Gaudin , 515 U.S. 506, 510 (1995). (In other words, it is not necessary to show that your particular lie ever really influenced anyone.) Although you must know that your statement is false at the time you make it in order to be guilty of this crime, you do not have to know that lying to the government is a crime or even that the matter you are lying about is "within the jurisdiction" of a government agency.

United States v. Yermian , 468 U.S. 63, 69 (1984). For example, if you lie to your employer on your time and attendance records and, unbeknownst to you, he submits your records, along with those of other employees, to the federal government pursuant to some regulatory duty, you could be criminally liable.

One can face prosecution for the tiniest of lies or misleadings, even if there is no personal or financial gain to be made. Something as simple as mistaking a time or a date could send you to prison. If you are ever in contact with a federal agent, or any employee of the federal government, refer to your mantra and call Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney Paul Moraski.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Massachusetts Drug Lab Scandal Update

The latest news concerning Massachusetts State chemist Annie Dookhan has revealed her close, sometimes inappropriate, relationship with prosecutors. In an effort to trump up charges, Dookhan went as far as altering findings to ensure a victory for the prosecution. It's becoming more apparent that prosecutors and police alike were the beneficiaries of Dookhan's misdeeds.

This is just another revelation that the gross abuse of the legal system has left in its wake a number of broken laws and accomplices. The biggest victim in all of this mess are the people of Massachusetts. Tax payers will have to foot the bill for her indiscretions and countless individuals are wrongfully serving time behind bars, fulfilling her personal vendetta of "getting drug dealers off of the streets."

Emails obtained by the Boston Globe detail Dookhan's last nine years of correspondence with district attorneys. It's clear she views herself as part of a prosecution team. In a series of email exchanges with Norfolk's Assistant D.A., she agrees to increase the amount of marijuana found for the purpose of charging the suspect with drug trafficking. The minimum weight for trafficking is 50 pounds. She far exceeded that number by exaggerating the marijuana's weight to over 80 pounds.

It is daunting to think how many Annie Dookhan's are out there. As long as there are, then our justice system will suffer from their perversion. How can one receive a fair trial when the prosecution isn't playing by the rules? Personal vendettas and playing "God" are two of the justice systems biggest corruptions. It is not yet told how far her deceptive practice has reached but as the trial gets underway it is sure more evidence of tampering and accomplices will emerge.

To date, Attorney Moraski has been filing Motions for a New Trial, Motions to Stay the Execution of a Jail/Prison Sentences, Motions for Post Conviction Discovery Requests and Motions to Withdraw Guilty Pleas. Contact Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney Paul R. Moraski at (978) 744-1200, if you believe your drug conviction was jeopardized by improper testing

The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski
221 Essex Street, Suite 51
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
Tel: 978.744.1200
Cell: 978.397.0011
Fax: 978.825.1370