Archive for the ‘False ID’ category

Possession of a Fake ID – Loss Of License in Massachusetts

January 23, 2013

Every year students will find a way to get their hands on a fake ID that they can use to buy alcohol or gain access to the local nightclub or bar.  Every year the police ramp themselves up in college towns across America to find these students and charge them with Being a Minor Purchasing Alcohol and will confiscate these IDs when they make the arrest.   Others will find themselves in bars when the police enter to check IDs.  Then the problems begin. 

The wise student has in his or her possession a fake ID which actually belongs to someone else and has another picture and someone elses information on it.  They will explain to the police that they do have an id (show the correct ID to the police believe me) and they also have “found” or are in possession of someone else’s ID because they intend on returning it or some version thereof.  In my previous life as a Boston Police Officer I can assure you I have heard every variation and I can equally assure you that the local police have also.

However there are now places where those that are under 21 will go and get their own picture on an out of state license with their own information but a, somehow, mistaken birthdate that makes them 21 years of age.  These licenses, or fake IDs, will serve their purpose until such time as the police take a look at it and then you will face charges but with less of a defense in court that you were “holding it for someone else who lost it”.  

The punishment in Massachusetts is a $300 fine which most students mistakenly pay and walk out of court without mom and dad knowing anything.  The problem is that you now have a criminal record and the court will then notify the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles which will promptly send notice to your home that your Massachusetts Driver’s License is being suspended for 18o days!  Now that’s a problem to most students and others under 21 (and their parents).

Here’s the advice:

1.  Don’t have a fake ID.

2.  Assuming no one listened to #1 above then, if and when, you are arrested or summonsed to court be SMART and have an attorney with you THE FIRST TRIP TO THE COURTHOUSE to try to stop the process at the initial hearing with a fine, community service and an alcohol program (mandated by courts sorry) and head the problem off before they send notice to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.   Be aware that some police departments have policies that mandate that the officer transmit the information to the Registry when they arrest you. 

3.  If you have already been notified that your license is to be suspended then contact an attorney to appeal the ruling as you ARE ELIGIBLE TO GET A “CINDERELLA LICENSE” that will allow you to drive for twelve hours a day. 

Contact us at 617-328-6900 and we can assist you to try and prevent a criminal record and the ensuing loss of license.  We can also assist you at the Registry Hearing where the Board will decide whether you meet the requirements for a twelve hour license.  You are NOT entitled to a twelve hour license and that is where an experienced attorney can help make sure you get one granted to you.   For more information check out our website at .  Also feel free to email me at

Having the fake ID was your first mistake, using it was your second, not getting an experienced attorney involved as soon as possible will be your third.  Let us, or the attorney of your choice, help you.


What Happens If You Get Arrested in Massachusetts

January 17, 2013

I was just arrested now what?

First, invoke your right to remain silent.  Shut up.  Do not give any confessions.  Do not give any statements.  Do not sign anything that even remotely smells like a statement or admission.  You have a constitutional right not to make a statement to the police.

Second, demand to speak to your lawyer, immediately.  You have a constitutional right to speak to your lawyer before questioning by the police, but only if you request one.  Once you have demanded to speak to your attorney do not speak to the police until your lawyer speaks to you.  The police DO NOT have to get a lawyer for you but they do have to stop questioning you.

Third, do not talk to your cell mates regarding your case.  They may inform on you to get leniency in their cases.  You may have to talk to them but you do not have to discuss the specifics of your case.

Fourth, if you are arrested for Driving While Intoxicated you should refuse to give a breath sample if you have had anything at all to drink.  You should refuse to participate in any field sobriety test.  If you have been drinking you should refuse to admit anything at all.  If you have “an odor of alcohol on your breath” you will most likely be arrested anyway as almost every police officer will not gamble his future on letting you go with the possibility that you may end up in an accident or cause an accident.  Any admission is likely to result in your arrest anyway.  Giving a breath test that shows a blood alcohol over .08 is going to be admissible as evidence and may be the basis for a conviction alone. Failing a field sobriety test is admissible and may result in conviction.  You have the right to remain silent and to refuse to give evidence about yourself so USE THAT RIGHT!

Fifth, even if you cannot afford to hire an attorney you can have one appointed for you.  When you do this you will be getting the next lawyer in line that day.  Most of these attorneys are excellent but you need an expert in drunk driving so you should plead “not guilty,” tell the judge you will hire your own attorney, and ask for copies of all of your reports from the court so that you may give them to the attorney of your choice.  If you cannot afford an attorney, the court has documents for you to fill out to see if you are eligible for a court appointed attorney.  Ask for these when you report to probation the very first day in court.

If you have been arrested and would like more information or assistance, feel free to contact us at (617) 328 -6900 or visit our website at

New England Patriots, UMass Football and Gillette Stadium Concert fans are being arrested in record numbers.

September 29, 2012

Every week UMass Football fans, New England Patriots fans, and concert goers are arrested at Gillette Stadium and in Foxborough Massachusetts by officers patrolling the stadium, roadways and the surrounding parking lots.  There is a large police presence at these events and they are looking for Fake IDs, drunken behavior and DUI’s. You can be issued a trespass order and if you don’t comply you find yourself under arrest. If you find yourself arrested and charged with a crime a good attorney can assist you in getting a diversion program or help you win your case in Wrentham Court.  We are experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorneys familiar with Wrentham Court and Gillette Stadium arrests.  Our attorneys have a combined experience of more than forty years of successfully defending people arrested for crimes all over Massachusetts.  Make us your law firm.   Call the law office of Sweeney and Associates in Massachusetts at 617-328-6900, or feel free to email any questions you may have on this or any Massachusetts Criminal Law to me at   Please visit our web page for more information on a variety of topics at

Mass Motor Vehicle Laws, Ticket Appeals, Driver’s License Suspensions and Fake IDs

June 16, 2010

APPEAL THE TICKET and call Sweeney & Associates at 617-328-6900 for a free consultation. TIME MATTERS!

Massachusetts has enhanced the penalties for speeding and for Junior operators receiving any motor vehicle citation. YOUR CHILD NOW FACES A LICENSE SUSPENSION FOR A SPEEDING TICKET OR FOR HAVING A FAKE ID. (SEE MY BLOG BELOW FOR DETAILED INFO ON FAKE ID’S IN MASSACHUSETTS!

Every parent and junior operator should be aware of the license loss they face under the states drunk driving laws and also for other moving violations including speeding and operating with other passengers in the motor vehicle. EVERY operator has a right to appeal any citation they receive and they should appeal and hire a lawyer familiar with these appeals.

The tables below should assist you and every teen should be aware of these penalties BEFORE they get pulled over by the police. Knowledge and prevention beats hiring a lawyer every day.

Driving with other passengers in first six months:
• 1st offense: $35 fine; plus 60 day license suspension
• 2nd offense: $35 – $75 fine; plus 180 day suspension; plus completion of registry program that encourages attitudinal changes
• 3rd offense: $75 – $150 fine; plus 1 year suspension; plus completion of registry program that encourages attitudinal changes

Junior Operator Driving between midnight and 5 am:
• 1st offense: $100 – $1,000 fine; plus 60 day license suspension
• 2nd offense: $100 – $1,000 fine; plus 180 day license suspension; plus completion of registry program that encourages attitudinal changes
• 3rd offense: $100 – $1,000 fine; plus 1 year license suspension; plus completion of registry program that encourages attitudinal changes

Permit Holder driving without an adult or between midnight and 5 am:
• 1st offense: $100 – $1,000 fine; plus 60 day learner’s permit suspension
• 2nd offense: $100 – $1,000 fine; plus 180 day learner’s permit suspension; plus completion of registry program that encourages attitudinal changes
• 3rd offense: $100 – $1,000 fine; plus 1 year learner’s permit suspension; plus completion of registry program that encourages attitudinal changes

Junior Operator drag racing:
• 1st offense: $250; plus 1 year license suspension; plus $500 to reinstate license; plus completion of the state courts against road rage program
• 2nd offense: $500; plus 3 years license suspension; plus $1000 to reinstate; plus completion of the state courts against road rage program

Junior Operator speeding (in addition to fines):
• 1st offense: 90 day license suspension; plus $500 to reinstate license; plus completion of registry program that encourages attitudinal changes; plus completion of the state courts against road rage program; plus $50 reinstatement surcharge; plus must retake and successfully complete driving test
• 2nd offense: 1 year suspension; plus $500 to reinstate; plus completion of registry program that encourages attitudinal changes; plus completion of the state courts against road rage program; plus $50 reinstatement surcharge; plus must retake and successfully complete driving test

Permit Holder speeding (in addition to fines):
• 1st offense: 90 day license suspension; plus $500 to reinstate license; plus completion of registry program that encourages attitudinal changes; plus completion of the state courts against road rage program; plus $50 reinstatement surcharge; plus must retake and successfully complete driving test
• 2nd offense: 1 year suspension; plus $500 to reinstate; plus completion of registry program that encourages attitudinal changes; plus completion of the state courts against road rage program; plus $50 reinstatement surcharge; plus must retake and successfully complete driving test

Junior Operator operating recklessly or negligently (in addition to fines):
• 1st offense: 180 day license suspension
• 2nd offense: 1 year license suspension, if it occurs within 3 year period of first offense.


When your license has been suspended or revoked by the registry of motor vehicles you must apply for a hearing to have it reinstated. A court order in some instances is NOT binding upon the registry of motor vehicles. For example a Court may treat a drunk driving offense as a first offense and order the standard first offense license suspension whereas the registry may see that, in fact you have more than one drunk driving offense on your record and they WILL treat the suspension as a second or third, etc. despite the court’s finding. That is why you need an experienced attorney to explain the outcome of any case.

The Registry will also suspend your license if you are found with a fake ID or are guilty of most drug offenses, whether a car was involved or not! Once again an experienced attorney can assist you.

Reinstating Your License

To reinstate your license or your right to operate, you may need to appear for a hearing at an RMV Hearing site. To be prepared for your hearing, please choose one of the following to view the registry’s criteria needed when appearing before a hearing’s officer for your particular type of suspension: OUI Hardship Criteria, First Offense (24D) OUI Hardship Criteria, (94C) Drug Offense Hardship Criteria, HTO Hardship Criteria.

If you had a hearing at the Board of Appeals and received a letter of decision rescinding or modifying the Registrar’s actions, you may appear at any Registry branch for reinstatement. Please bring the letter of decision with you.


If your license was suspended or revoked, a reinstatement fee will be due when your license is reinstated. This fee ranges from $100 – $1,200, depending on the offense. This reinstatement fee is in addition to any other fee or charge for which you may be responsible.

Junior Operator Reinstatement Fees:

For reinstatement of a learner’s permit or junior operator license, a Driver Attitudinal Retraining Course and/or the State Courts Against Road Rage (SCARR) program may be required.

Payment Defaults

Non-Criminal Citation

If you defaulted on a non-criminal civil citation and have been suspended as a result, you must pay the fine to the court and bring the green court release forms to any Registry branch. There is a $10.00 filing fee to remove each default. In addition, a $100.00 reinstatement fee is required if your license or right to operate was suspended.

Non-Criminal Citation after January 1, 1992:

If you received a non-criminal citation after January 1, 1992, you may pay the citation, late fee and/or reinstatement fee by calling the registry or paying at one of their full service offices, or

Mail your fees to (Do Not Mail Cash):

Attn: Citation Payment
Registry of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 55890
Boston, MA 02205-5890

Criminal Citations

If you defaulted on a criminal civil citation and have been suspended as a result, you must pay the fine to the court and bring the green court release forms to any Full service Registry branch.

Out-of-State Suspensions and Revocations

If your Massachusetts license is revoked due to a suspension or revocation in another state, you must be reinstated in that state before you can resolve any revocation in Massachusetts. Once you have resolved the suspension or revocation in the other state, you may resolve your revocation in Massachusetts by bringing either a reinstatement letter or a current driving record from the state of suspension to any Registry branch

Please note, your reinstatement letter or driving record may not be more than 30 days old.

If you have any questions or need more information about your Massachusetts suspension or revocation, you may call the Suspensions Department at (617) 351-7200.

Call Sweeney & Associates at 617-328-6900 for a free consultation before you go to court or immediately upon receiving any notice from the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Attached is a brochure outlining suspensions and revocations.

Elderly Drivers

Speaking with an elderly parent about surrendering a driver’s license is a delicate issue but one which most of us face at some point or another.  Given the importance of keeping everyone safe I have put together some information which is helpful to families that have to face this issue.  Attached is the Reporting requirements and medical report form needed for the RMV to take action.  They can also be found online at this link HERE.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles website has excellent links to resources that will be extremely helpful to both you and your family as they outline the best way to deal with elderly and/or medically impaired drivers as family members.  The first link is the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles link and the others can be found on this site.  Please be advised that should your parent or grandparent surrender his or her license then there would be no need for the reporting form and the registry will issue them Mass ID free of charge.  Should the necessity come up to file a report you should be explicit about the limitations and, whenever possible, speak to his/her doctor first.  If the doctor is in agreement with the family then he/she can submit the form and it will be revoked immediately.

The best way to approach this issue is with the family physician’s assistance.  Once the family members express concern to a family physician he/she can then sit down with the parent or grandparent and, as an interested caregiver, intervene on behalf of the family and assist the patient in understanding the necessity of surrendering the license.  Also it is important to remember that once a report is filed by a family member and it is contested a physician needs to sign off that the patient can drive.  Therefore it is always helpful to voice your concerns to her physician IF you need the assistance and definitely if you end up filing the revocation request.

As always if you need any assistance please contact us and we are happy to assist you and your family through the process.  We sincerely wish you and your family the best in dealing with this emotional issue.

Mass Criminal Law – Legal Information for College Students and Parents

June 16, 2010

Greetings and welcome to Massachusetts from the attorneys at  Sweeney & Associates.

As a parent of high school and college students, both in state and out Richard J. Sweeney is acutely aware that you may not know the laws of Massachusetts, and more importantly, what to do if you, or your son or daughter, should find yourself in trouble in Massachusetts. There is nothing more terrifying than being in another state and not knowing who to turn to. We work closely with schools and colleges, as well as local police departments and courts, to ensure that students avail themselves of the many first offender opportunities available to PREVENT YOU OR YOUR CHILD FROM “GETTING A RECORD.”

An experienced attorney can guide you through the court system and assist you in getting a hearing before a clerk magistrate or enrolling you in pre-trial and pre-arraignment programs designed to give young first time offenders the ability to correct their behavior without getting a criminal record.
Each and every college will discuss the local laws with the students at their first opportunity. The colleges located in and around Boston enforce the possession of alcohol laws more than the enclosed suburban campuses due to neighborhood involvement in keeping students from partying in local neighborhoods as opposed to on-campus parties. The Boston Police have a zero tolerance policy and tend to arrest each student for simply possessing alcohol while under the age of 21 or for any possession of illegal drugs. HOWEVER you should be aware that there are MANDATORY JAIL TERMS for certain drug offenses and there are programs for first offenders. IT IS NOT WISE TO PAY THE FINE AND WALK OUT OF COURT!!! This will cause you to have a record that will follow you for the rest of your life, will impact on your status as a resident of a dorm in certain schools, affect your immigration status, your ability to have, receive financial aid or possess certain professional licenses after you graduate. You are entitled to a first offender or diversion program for certain drug and alcohol cases including possession of drugs or alcohol, driving under the influence and other offenses. Also it is important to note that urinating in public by itself does have negative consequences but it is extremely important to have an attorney involved to have the charge amended to one that will not make you a candidate for the SEX OFFENDER LIST.

In short, do not speak to the police if arrested. Ask for an attorney and DO NOT attempt to handle the case yourself in court. We have actually been in court with clients when other students, with the aid of their own attorneys not as familiar with Massachusetts’ Courts and we have watched these students, plead guilty, pay a fine and leave. THEY NOW HAVE CRIMINAL RECORDS AND LOST THEIR CHANCE AT A FIRST OFFENDER PROGRAM, while our clients are paying the same fine but PRIOR TO ARRAIGNMENT!!!!! NO CRIMINAL RECORD!!

This page is not long enough to outline all of the remedies available nor to discuss how each school or university handles these different crimes. As parents and attorneys we know that you need some free initial advice and the time to have someone explain your options. If you, a friend or your student gets stopped by the police please do not give any statements and call the experts at Sweeney & Associates. We know the law and we know the courts. Help us help you.

Richard J. Sweeney is a retired Sergeant from the Boston Police Department who spent many years dealing with students in the Kenmore Square, Allston/Brighton neighborhoods as well as directing a drug unit prior to his retirement. As a former hockey coach of high school and college students he has a tremendous amount of experience dealing with high schools, prep schools and colleges when their students get in trouble.

You are paying a tremendous amount for the best education you can get. Don’t make the mistake of a lifetime and not get the best attorney because you think you know what to do. We have been contacted by CEO’s, politicians, judges, attorneys and corporate counsel from more than half of the United States and Puerto Rico as well as foreign nationals to have us represent their children, or their client’s children for everything from possession of alcohol to sex crimes. We have our own immigration specialist, our own investigator and our own well-chosen associates that allow us to deal with your problem with individual care for you and your family during trying times. Call the experts before you make a decision that will affect the rest of your life. Choose your lawyer as you chose your school.

We welcome calls from new students, or parents of new students, that may have individual questions.

Contact us at 617-328-6900 or email us at

Please feel free to contact us with any question at 617-328-6900 or email us at  Don’t let money stop you from calling us to answer your most important questions.  You did a lot of research to choose your school.  Do the same when it comes to a law firm that will help you define your future.  We can help.  Just ask your friends.

See the Massachusetts General Laws at:

Pre-Gaming: Students Charged with Possession of a Fake ID, Underage Drinking or Other Criminal Charges.

November 15, 2009

Pre-Gaming is the term used for drinking before the game or before you go out for the night.  A term used and recognized by high school and college students nationwide and often the pre-cursor to bad things happening including binge drinking, sexual assaults and even death from alcohol poisoning or other accidents related to alcohol use.

Finishing high school or starting college is an opportunity for many young people and every year a small percentage get caught breaking the law or even lose their lives when they are drinking.  Expert help is only a phone call away when you, a friend or a family member gets arrested or charged with a crime.

One mistake that results in a criminal conviction can affect the future of even the most promising college student.  At  Sweeney & Associates, we will find the best resolution for you or your college student charged with a crime.  Don’t get a criminal record, don’t lose your driver’s license, don’t get expelled from school!  Contact us at 617-328-6900 or email one of our attorneys at:

The Life-Changing Severity of a College Student Crime

Whether you are a college student or the parent of a child attending a Massachusetts college, we can help.  We recognize the severity of a drug possession charge or how damaging it is if a student is caught purchasing alcohol for a minor or driving drunk.   You can get a criminal record that follows you for life and face suspension of your driver’s license here and at school.

Where the stakes are higher and you find yourself facing a felony, a domestic violence case, a robbery, internet or computer crimes or drug deliver charges; too much is at stake and you need the level of aggressive representation found at an experienced law firm.  BEFORE you talk to the police, call us at 617-328-6900.   Going at it on your own is never a wise option.  Accepting a plea bargain from the prosecution without an attorney at your side is unwise.  Will the police or district attorneys advise you that a plea will result in a driving license suspension on your record for ninety days or more; or that the conviction of an alcohol offense could remain on your license for life?  A criminal record that starts at a young age can come back to haunt the student when they are ready to enter the workforce.

If law enforcement did not take the proper steps in your arrest, we will bring that information to light. Your future is at stake. One mistake does not have to impact you for the rest of your life.  Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced lawyer,  please contact us online at  or call 617-328-6900.  We have attorneys that practice throughout Massachusetts and we are available 24 hours a day.