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Can I Seal my Criminal Record in Massachusetts?

Can I Seal my Criminal Record in Massachusetts?

Are Criminal Charges Following You?
You have been in trouble with the law many years ago, but that criminal record has been following your around for years. Can you seal your criminal record? In Massachusetts it is possible to seal criminal charges on your record. If your criminal record has lead to difficulty in finding employment or housing you have the option to petition the courts or the Office of the Commissioner of Probation. Depending on the outcome of your criminal case you may need to only petition the court, however, in other circumstances you will need to petition the Office of the Commissioner of Probation. It is important to keep in mind that even a case that was dismissed or where you were found Not Guilty can still have an impact in your life when an employer, school, or housing official looks at your criminal record.
Hire an Attorney to Seal Records
Hiring an Attorney that can determine where you need to file your petition to seal, and what documentation needs to be submitted will help to significantly increase your chances of having your criminal record successfully sealed. If you petition the court, your Attorney can determine what court your petition needs to be filed in, and can represent you at the multiple hearings that take place before your petition can be allowed.
Experience Matters
At Cohen Cleary, P.C., we have experience in working with clients to seal records. Having a criminal record that is years old can still have a detrimental effect on your career, educational prospects, and can even prevent you from attending events with your child’s school. Hiring an attorney that knows the rules and procedures for sealing […]

By |April 22nd, 2016|Seal Record|0 Comments|

Retaliated Against for Making an OSHA Complaint?

Retaliated Against for Making an OSHA Complaint?
Have you ever been placed in an uncomfortable position by your employer due to their unlawful safety practices? Perhaps you made a complaint to your supervisor, the owner of company, or Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) office regarding these concerns. If your complaint contributed to, or was a motivating factor for your employer to take adverse employment actions against you, then you are protected from these retaliatory actions as you are deemed to be a “whistleblower.”

Common forms of retaliation include but are not limited: demotion; denying overtime or promotions; denying benefits; reduction in pay or hours; reassignment to a less desirable position; suspension; and termination. An employee has a very narrow window to submit a complaint for whistleblower retaliation (30 days) as such; if you have been subject to an adverse employment action by your employer it is important that you seek help and legal advice as soon as possible.

Filing a retaliation claim against an employer who retaliated against you for engaging in a protected activity is the first step to restoring your employment and being compensated for your lost wages. If you’re unsure of whether or not your complaint qualifies you for protection below is a list of the 10 most frequently cited workplace violations for 2015:

Fall Protection
Hazard Communication
Respiratory Protection
Lockout/ Tagout
Powered Industrial Trucks
Electrical – Wiring Methods
Machine Guarding;
Electrical – General Requirements

If you or someone you know has been a victim of retaliation for being a whistleblower, contact our office in Raynham, Quincy, or Plymouth, MA at (508) 880-6677 for a free consultation regarding your possible rights and remedies.

Authored by Attorney Eric Langfield, an associate at Cohen Cleary, […]

Served with a Restraining Order?

What do I do when I am served with a Restraining Order?

The police knock on your door and hand you a document stating that an Abuse and Prevention Order (also known as a Restraining Order) has been issued against you. You are required to follow the terms of the order and a failure to do so could result in criminal charges.

The Restraining Order may require that you not only stay away from a family member or intimate partner, but may also prevent you from being allowed to make any contact whatsoever with the individual who requested the Restraining Order. How did this happen? In order to obtain a Restraining Order, the alleged victim completed an application and an affidavit alleging that that he/she is in fear of imminent physical danger from you. A case was presented to the Judge, and the Judge agreed, issuing the temporary Restraining Order. On the document you are served, there is a hearing date and it is important that you attend that hearing. This is your opportunity to present your side to Judge. Depending on the accusations, you may need to bring witnesses and evidence to support your case. A Restraining Order can have an impact on more than just your ability to be near a certain person. It can effect custody of your children, where you can live, your ability to have firearms, your residency, your employment, as well as your reputation.

An attorney can help you decipher the orders and possibly determine the next steps you need to take. These steps can include fighting the Restraining Order or seeking to change or modify the terms of the Restraining Order. If you have been served with a restraining […]

Should I sign a severance agreement?

Should I sign a severance agreement?
“All good things must come to an end”
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote that “all good things must come to an end.” Even the most harmonious employment relationships will reach an inevitable conclusion whether due to retirement, relocation, business decisions or a mutual agreement to part ways. In some of these situations the employer may offer an employee a severance agreement or package.

A severance agreement is a legally enforceable contract between an employee and an employer.  This agreement usually grants the employee certain benefits, whether it is pay for a specific period of time, the continuation of health benefits or other terms that can be negotiated. Employers, however, do not often give severance agreements out of the kindness of their hearts but rather do so to protect the employer from any claims that the employee may have against the employer. The agreement may also contain non-compete and/or non-solicitation provisions that can have a profound impact after the employment relationship has ended.

If you receive a severance offer, it is inadvisable to think that the employer is magnanimous and to sign the document without the legal guidance to ensure that you fully understand the terms and conditions contained within that document. A severance will often give the employee continued salary for a short specified period in exchange for the signing of a release that forever releases the employer from claims that may have occurred during the employee’s employment. The questions that often arise in these situations are whether the employer is offering a good deal? Is the severance adequate for the rights that the employee is giving up? What are the rights that the employee is giving up? What are the employee’s obligations after […]

By |February 22nd, 2016|Employment law|1 Comment|

Should I Get A Restraining Order

Should I get a Restraining Order?
Restraining Orders are often referred to as “Abuse Prevention Orders” in the Courts and are effective tools that can be used to provide a level of protection to someone who is in fear of imminent danger of physical harm from a family member or intimate partner. When a Restraining Order is issued against someone, that person must abide by the rules set forth in the Order or possibly suffer criminal consequences to their actions. In order to obtain a Abuse Prevention Order, you must go to either your local Probate and Family Court or District Court and complete an application and an affidavit and attend at least one hearing. If you are in an abusive relationship, the Restraining Order is an important tool in obtaining your safety. There are certain circumstances where you may be able to obtain an Restraining Order on behalf of a third party such as your children.

Restraining Orders can prohibit a Defendant from being within a certain number of feet from a victim, prohibit access to places like schools or employment, prohibit any contact via third parties, and, at times, even prohibit contact with the parties’ children. It is important to consider all the issues as well as the pros and cons prior to seeking a Restraining Order.

If you or someone you know is in need of legal assistance call us today at (508) 880-6677 for a consultation with an experienced Restraining Order attorney.

Our law firm is centrally located in Raynham and Plymouth MA and serves all of Eastern Massachusetts.

By Janna K. Saad, Esq

Do I need a guardianship or a health care proxy to help make medical decisions if my spouse, parent, or grandparent is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s?

Do I need a guardianship or a health care proxy to help make medical decisions if my spouse, parent, or grandparent is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s?
The short answer is yes, but do not panic.

There are several possible courses of action that you can take if your loved one is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is important to first find out if your loved one has executed a health care proxy. A health care proxy is an estate planning document that allows your loved one to formally nominate a person to make health care decisions for them if your loved one is deemed incapacitated by a doctor. If they have executed one, upon a doctor determining that your loved one cannot make health care decisions for themselves, the named individual in that health care proxy will then be in charge of making medical decisions on behalf of your loved one. If your loved one has not executed a health care proxy nominating a health care agent, and has not been deemed incapable of making medical decisions, you should discuss with them who they will want to make medical decisions on their behalf. It is important that you move with great haste and have your loved one execute a health care proxy as their mental capacity can quickly change.

If your loved one has already been deemed incapacitated hope is not lost, but the process will take some additional time. You will have to petition the court to have a guardian appointed. A guardian is an individual officially appointed by the court to make health care decisions on the behalf of your loved one. You can seek to have yourself, another family member, or a […]

Is An Employee In MA Protected For Using Medical Marijuana?

Is An Employee In Massachusetts Protected For Using Marijuana?
The landscape of marijuana tolerance in the United States is no doubt changing. This includes those who advocate for the medicinal use of cannabis and those who are willing to tolerate its recreational use. We question, Is an employee in MA protected for using medical marijuana?

Currently there exist 23 different states that have passed some form of medicinal marijuana use law, not including the District of Columbia and the seven states where legislation is currently pending. That means an astonishing 30 states, or 60%, could have legislation legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana. Of the 23 states that currently allow for medicinal marijuana use, 4 states plus the District of Columbia have passed legislation allowing for the recreational use of marijuana.

While Massachusetts has not gone as far as to allow for recreational use of marijuana, they are 1 of 19 states which has decriminalized certain possession laws for small amounts of marijuana. In addition to its liberal views of marijuana, Massachusetts is also happens to be one of the most civil rights minded states, being one of the first states to implement anti-discrimination laws in education (1855), public accommodations and employment (1944).

So as one of the more lenient states in the country in their opinion of marijuana and their history of being pioneers in the fight against discrimination one could easily assume that Massachusetts would allow for the use of medicinal marijuana as a reasonable accommodation for those employees who are lawfully prescribed cannabis for treatment of serious and chronic disabilities, however that is likely not the case. Unfortunately that is an issue which has yet to be decided in Massachusetts.

Colorado was one of the first […]

By |December 21st, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Should I hire an Attorney if I am charged with an OUI/DUI?

Should I hire an Attorney if I am charged with an OUI/DUI?

If you have been arrested or charged with Operating Under the Influence (OUI) or what many states commonly refer to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) then you are already discovering the complicated procedures to get your license back.  If you have been charged then your license has already been suspended. It is important to hire an attorney to represent you if you have been charged with either an OUI for drugs or alcohol due to the consequences on your license and potential for jail time. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complex laws that can prevent you from getting your license back. In many cases if your license was suspended for refusing a breath test the only way to get your license back before the 6 month minimum loss of license is to have your case dismissed or be found not guilty.

If you are going to proceed in your case by having a trial, it is always in your best interest to be represented by an attorney that knows the rules of evidence, the trial procedures, and the best way to defend against these charges. An experienced attorney will also be able to look at the evidence against you and determine what motions need to be filed on your behalf. For example, to admit the results of a breath test against you at trial certain procedures needed to have been adhered to, and an attorney can look at the evidence and see if the proper procedures were followed. If the procedures were not followed your Attorney can file motions to prevent the results of your breath test from being used […]

Should I hire a lawyer if I am injured in a car accident?

Should I hire a lawyer if I am injured in a car accident?

The short answer is yes!

If you have been in a car accident and have suffered personal injuries you are entitled to receive compensation for all of your injuries. It is typical to receive payment for property damage to your vehicle as well as payment of some of your medical expenses for your injuries. After filing a claim with the insurance company you will often be contacted and asked to provide a written or recorded statement. You also may be offered payment for damage to your vehicle and some medical expenses and asked to sign a release. If you sign that release you may be agreeing to accept less compensation than you deserve, which works out well for the insurance company but does not work out very well for you.

The automobile insurance company has trained professionals who look out for them. This is why it is important for you to have a lawyer who will fight to protect your rights and get you the money you deserve. Once you hired Cohen Cleary, P.C. You will no longer have to worry about what to say or what to do because we will deal with the insurance company for you. We will make sure that you receive payment for the damage to your vehicle, damage to your personal property, payment of all medical expenses, payment for lost wages, and payment for all of your pain, suffering, and emotional anguish that is caused by the car accident. If you have more than $2,000.00 in medical expenses or if you have suffered a permanent and serious disfigurement, broken bone, or loss of hearing or sight then you […]

Legal Issues in Same Sex Divorces

Legal Issues in Same Sex Divorces
After searching for love and the expensive wedding, you now find yourself in the same position as approximately half of all married adults in America: in need of legal representation for your divorce. With the quickly changing political climate in the country regarding same sex marriages you now need to navigate the laws of same sex divorce, and this blog will address some of the issues you may face including: parentage; child custody, and child support.

While the legal recognition of your same sex marriage should not be an issue in Massachusetts that does not mean you may not face some unique issues with your divorce proceedings. During divorce proceedings you will need to resolve the issues relating to the division of your marital assets, alimony, child custody, and child support.

The issues of parentage, child custody, and child support have the possibility of becoming the most troublesome aspect of your divorce. In general, the rules that govern heterosexual marriage regarding child custody and child support will apply so long as both parents are the legal parents. So long as both parents have a legal relationship with the child, custody, support, and parenting plans will be treated the same as heterosexual divorce.

Where there are potential serious issues are when both parents have not established a legal relationship with the child. In Massachusetts, children born via assisted reproduction within a legal spousal relationship are the legal children of the couple. This presumption is still there even when only one of the spouses has a biological relationship to the child. However, if the child was born using assisted reproduction before the legal marriage occurred the subsequent marriage of the parties does not legitimize […]

By |October 5th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Legal Issues in Same Sex Divorces|
Cohen Cleary, P.C.

Cohen Cleary, P.C.