Below please find a link to the law regarding "threatening to commit a crime" and the elements that the prosecutor must prove BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT if you are to convicted of this crime.http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/districtcourt/jury-instructions/criminal/pdf/6700-threat-to-commit-crime.pdf
Massachusetts laws permit punishing someone who is convicted of threatening to commit a crime with a $100.00 fine and/or up to 6 months in jail.
The sooner you obtain a lawyer, the better! If you can't afford an attorney, you can ask the judge to appoint you a public defender. An attorney may may have several opportunities to get your case dismissed, especially since the evidence of the crime is often only the testimony of a witness. If you are facing a show cause
hearing, it may be difficult for the state to prove its case.
CHAPTER 275. PROCEEDINGS TO PREVENT CRIMES
Section 2 Complaint of threat to commit crime
“If complaint is made to any such court or justice that a person has threatened to commit a crime against the person or property of another, such court or justice shall examine the complainant and any witnesses who may be produced, on oath, reduce the complaint to writing and cause it to be subscribed by the complainant.”
If the above type of hearing has already occurred and the Complaint is going forward, again, it is VERY important to be represented by an attorney.
At a pre-trial
, it is an opportunity for you and/or your attorney to meet with the prosecuting attorney to see if the matter can be resolved without the necessity of a trial. An attorney may be able to work to have the charge dismissed or seek to have the prosecutor offer a plea bargain to reduce the charges. Moreover, at a pre-trial, the prosecutor and the defense attorney may exchange witness lists, evidence (including answering machine messages, e-mails and any other evidence that may be used at trial.
If the matter does proceed to trial, the complainant MUST appear. Also, there are defenses that can be raised for you and an attorney may show the jury the TRUE reasons that your ex in law is making the allegations. For example,
- Alleged Victim's Criminal Record - If the alleged victim has a criminal record or a history of violence, your attorney can attempt to present this information to the jury. Criminal convictions are generally admissible within a certain time frame (convictions for misdemeanors within the last five years are admissible; convictions for felonies within the last 10 years are admissible). History of violence evidence (also called "prior bad act" evidence) is generally admissible to impeach the alleged victim.
- Bias - In most threats cases that go to trial, there is bad blood between the defendant and the alleged victim. The alleged victim ordinarily wants to see the defendant convicted and punished. The alleged victim's desire for revenge will be fully exposed on cross-examination.This will show that the alleged victim's desire for revenge is the REAL reason that he brought the charges against you. Therefore, the jury can consider this in their determination of whether you committed the crime "beyond a reasonable doubt." An attorney may be successful in showing the alleged victim for what he is!
Therefore, it is VERY important that you contact an attorney who specializes in criminal law. Sometimes, an initial consultation is at a minimal charge. You can discuss the facts of your case, evaluate your options and decide how you should best proceed. You should contact an attorney BEFORE the date of your pre-trial. Even if you can't afford an attorney, you can still obtain valuable information at a minimal charge. Then, when you go to court (if you can't afford an attorney) you can ask the court to appoint you a public defender. And, if you do that, you will already have information.
The telephone number to the Massachusetts Bar Association attorney referral service is (NNN) NNN-NNNNor (866) MASS-LRS. You can also submit an on-line application for an attorney referral. http://www.masslawhelp.com/lrs-online-request-form.aspx
I hope you find this information useful.
It is my goal to provide you with EXCELLENT service. If you are satisfied with my answer, PLEASE RATE IT AS EXCELLENT or in another POSITIVE manner. If you have follow up questions, please ask.
Thank you for your business!