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Leonard Eugene Milligan III

Leonard Milligan’s Answers

2 total

  • How come a misdemeanor crime in this state can be sentenced to 2 1/2 yrs in a HOC while a felony like let's say B&E

    is 2 1/2 yrs also if the case was tried in a district courts jurisdiction?

    Leonard’s Answer

    Any confusion you might be experiencing is because there are several "rules" as to which crimes are misdemeanors and which are felonies. Ultimately, general rules (e.g. length of potential sentence) are occasionally overridden by statutes.

    If your question is why this happens--the answer is that legislatures make adjustments given a variety of factors. Crimes which are frequently committed by otherwise lawful people, e.g. an A&B or an OUI, are misdemeanors probably because the legislature is helping people avoid the stigma and consequences of a felony conviction for a first offense. Meanwhile, add some aggravating factors to those same charges (e.g. Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon or OUI third offense are felonies). If that weren't confusing enough, all those crimes, if they remain in the district court, have the same maximum penalty.

    If your question is merely "how can I can tell if a crime is a misdemeanor or felony?", then I suggest you visit http://www.mass.gov/Eeops/docs/chsb/cori_master_crime_list.pdf.

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  • Is Self defense a valid and proper defense for public affray?

    My daughter was in a group of 5 girls that was surrounded by approx. 10-15 rival students. She was struck in the face twice and then she hit her assailant in the face and was able to get into theei car and call for the police. When the police got ...

    Leonard’s Answer

    I've always found affray to be one of the most vague criminal charges. Often, prosecutors and police officers use it when they know that the actual combatants won't testify against each other. I think self defense is a viable defense, but your lawyer should also pursue intent issues. Ultimately, because of the way most statutes or common law affrays charges are worded, it remains vague. I always file a motion to dismiss and affray charge saying that it is constitutionally vague as applied to the victim in a beating.

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