Can you explain the law in MA regarding leaving the scene of an accident?

Additional Information:

My 22-year old daughter was involved in a minor accident in a shopping plaza in Framingham, MA.  She doesn’t know if she caused damage to the parked car she hit.  She left the parking area without leaving her contact information and now she’s wondering what she should do.  Can you please explain the law in this situation and her legal responsibilities? Thanks.

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

It is a crime to leave the scene after knowingly causing personal injury or property damage. There may be extenuating circumstances and she should contact a lawyer to discuss the facts of her case in order to determine how best to handle any charges that may be pending. [Read more…]

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor in Massachusetts?

Additional Information:

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor in Massachusetts? Does it have to do with whether you can go to jail or not if you get convicted or is it some other factor? Thanks.

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Generally speaking the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is the amount of time one would serve. A felony which is more serious  would be served in a state’s prison. A misdemeanor would be served in a house of correction or a jail. A felony charge would include crimes like murder, rape assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. A misdemeanor charge would include crimes like driving under the influence,larceny under $250.00 and a simple assault. [Read more…]

In Massachusetts, how are assets divided in a divorce?

Additional Information:

We have been married for over thirty years, unfortunately, I now realize that all of our assets are in my husband’s name.  Does this mean that if I file for divorce I will not get anything?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Not at all.  It matters little to a Probate Judge whose name the property is in.  Rather, the Judges in Massachusetts try to make an equitable division of all assets and liabilities, which generally mean that the property acquired during the course of the marriage, should be divided equally.

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I’ve witnessed some sexual harassment at work.

Additional  Information:

I have been working for this company for only six months.  While there, I have noticed that my boss has been sexually harassing some of my co-workers.  I have been asked to give a statement about what I witnessed, but I am worried that I will be fired.  What can I do?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

If your employer were to treat you differently or terminate you, you would be able to sue him for retaliation.  Although it is never easy to stand up for someone else, if you do, you should be assured that the law will protect you.  If you fear this may happen, please call an Employment lawyer who concentrates in the area of trial work.

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In long term marriage with aggressive husband, how do I legally protect myself and our children?

Additional Information:

I have been married for over eighteen years and we have two children together.  Since the children were born, we decided that I would stay at home and raise them.  My husband has been getting more aggressive with me and I worry that things may happen.  I do not want to leave the house, as I have no place to go.

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

If you feel threatened or intimidated by your husband’s actions, or if your husband gets violent with you, you should call the police immediately.  They can help you get an Abuse Prevention Order, which will protect you.  You should then call a lawyer that concentrates in the area of Domestic Relations or Divorce.  That lawyer can file a motion for temporary orders to make certain that you get the protection from the Court that you need, as well as making sure that you get adequate child and spousal support.

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I am pregnant. Are there any laws protecting my employment?

Additional  Information:

I have been working for my company for over three years.  Recently I became pregnant and informed my supervisor of the fact.  Since that time, he has been acting differently towards me.  I am worried that I may be fired.  I know that I am an “employee at will” according to the employee’s handbook, but I wonder if there are any laws protecting me.

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Absolutely, Massachusetts has laws protecting employees relating to discrimination because of maternity.  M.G..L.c. 151B §4(1) and M.G.L.c. 149 §105D prevent against sexual discrimination in the workplace and discrimination based on maternity.  You should immediately call a lawyer who handles Employment Discrimination cases.

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