Misleading a Police Investigation

Lawrence Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, PC has been defending people accused of committing crimes in the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts for over twenty years. The Lawrence District Court is one of the busiest courts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The range and diversity of crimes flowing through this court rivals that of any court in the country. Simple misdemeanors such as disorderly person or OUI cases are prosecuted there. Murders, rapes and child abuse cases originate in that court before being indicted to the superior court. Our office has handled all of these cases with in great success Lawrence and throughout the Commonwealth. Stephen Neyman’s experience is unmatched and he is well known in this court as a zealous advocate. If you have a case in the Lawrence District Court call him now.

Obstruction of Justice in Massachusetts

The crime of misleading a criminal investigation is being prosecuted more frequently in Massachusetts. The statute prohibiting this activity, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268 Section 13B makes it a crime to mislead someone who is conducting a criminal investigation. To prove this case the district attorney need only show that the defendant lied to the police in order to impede their investigation. These charges can be prosecuted in either the district court or the superior court. Sentences can range from a term of probation to ten years in state prison.

Will I be Prosecuted in the Superior Court or the District Court?

The decision to prosecute one of these cases and the recommended sentence depend largely on the underlying crime that was being investigated and the extent of the defendant’s obstruction. Take for example a recent Essex County Massachusetts case involving a twenty-seven year old woman who with two young children who lied to the police to protect her boyfriend during a murder investigation. The woman, a Lawrence, Massachusetts resident told the investigating officers that the man was with her and that they were at her aunt’s home at the time of the killing. The aunt refuted this representation. Cell phone records further proved that she was not telling the truth. The boyfriend was convicted of murder and the woman was still prosecuted in the Salem Superior Court. A state prison sentence was recommended by the district attorney.

So why was the woman prosecuted? The answer is two-fold. 1) the prosecutor wanted to make sure that the woman did not try to testify for her boyfriend at the murder trial. A pending ten-year felony charge would prevent that; and 2) prosecutors want to send a message to the general public that lying to protect someone from being prosecuted will not be tolerated.

How Can I Defend Against a Charge of Misleading a Police Investigation in Massachusetts?

There are always defenses to cases that might not be obvious to prosecutors. The representation made by the accused might not be a lie, rather, he or she might have been telling the truth. The police officers may have coerced the defendant to make that statement when in fact the person had no information at all about the crime. Or perhaps the lie was made under duress. In other words, the person who was being protected may have threatened the accused thereby making the defense of duress a viable way to defend the case. Remember that there is always a defense to a case and the best way to avail yourself of that defense is to hire the best lawyer you can immediately. We know that we can help you.

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