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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 116792
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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My 18 year old son burned a baseball hat on a residential street...what

Customer Question

my 18 year old son burned a baseball hat on a residential street...what can happen to him
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Can you tell us the whole story? Generally just burning something on the street would not get anything more than a warning from the MA local police, so please explain more.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
he and a friend put lighter fluid on a hat that was place on the street and lit it on fire. the neighbor called the police, and the police spoke to my son and friend and then left. so should be no issue. however, before the police came my son and friend were walking down the street and the neighbor jump in his car and literally tried to run them over. they ran and the neighbor actual drove his car onto the lawn to try and run over them. had it not be for some bushes my son ran through he may have been run over. i'd like to file a claim against my neighbor, but don't want my son to get in trouble over the hat burning which would have to be discussed if we file against my neighbor
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
I was kind of figuring that was the case. If the police did not take action and give them at least a summons for disorderly conduct/disturbing the peace (which is a $150 fine maximum for a first offense and there is no jail for a first offense in MA for this), then this matter is over.
The neighbor sounds like a nut if he drove the car onto the lawn and actually tried to run them over for this, since there was nothing they were doing that was a danger or threat to the neighbor. The hat burning at the worst would be setting open fires without a permit which has a $500 fine and no more than 1 month in jail (which is available but never given on a first offense for something like this).
It would be an assault by your neighbor to try to run them down with the car, which is a criminal offense, compared to the minor violations of burning a hat your son was committing.