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Merrimack Valley Legal Blog

Reconsideration of sex offender registry classification ordered

One thing that people who are being charged with child pornography might not think about is having to register as a sex offender because of a conviction. There are two sides that don't see things in the same way when it comes to this. On the one hand, some want to protect the convicted person's rights. On the other hand, most agree that the children need to be protected.

A case went before the Massachusetts Appeals Court that clarifies some points about whether the person should have to register as a sex offender. In the case, a person deemed "John Doe" noted that he was unfairly classified as a level 2 sex offender after he was convicted of child pornography. In this state, people who are level 2 or level 3 have their information available to the public.

Reasonable accommodations are required in some cases

When you have a disability, you might still be able to work to earn a living. You have specific protections for this under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws. Knowing these rights can help you ensure that your employer is remaining in compliance with them, which can provide you with an equal chance to support yourself as any fully abled body person would.

In order to be considered a person who is covered under the ADA, you have to meet the definition of disabled. This means that you have a mental or physical impairment that limits life activities. This doesn't have to be anything obvious, but having a doctor's verification can help.

You aren't anonymous on the internet, so use caution

As we recently discussed, internet sex activity might not always be as innocent as it seems. You have to think about how your activities are aligning with the laws. For example, there are strict laws against child pornography in this country, which means that viewing content that purports to fall under this category should be avoided. We know this is easier said than done, so there are some instances in which a defendant might face criminal charges for actions that they didn't think were illegal.

One thing that you should remember anytime you are online is that you do have some semblance of anonymity, at least on the surface. It is usually possible to view websites using an incognito option; however, there are still records that can be pulled that can show law enforcement what you were viewing.

Internet activity isn't always as innocent as it may seem

The internet has opened up a world of possibilities for information and entertainment, but you shouldn't be careless when you are online just because things are available via your computer, tablet or smartphone. It is still possible to engage in illegal activities even when they are readily available.

Internet sex crimes is one of the newer categories of criminal activity because the internet is still relatively new. For this reason, there seems to be some significant confusion about what types of sexual activities are legal online.

Can using prescribed medical marijuana get you fired?

Can medical marijuana get you fired? This has been a question on the minds of almost all those who use prescription cannabis. If medical marijuana is legal in a state, most employees feel that they should have no problem consuming it, the same as they would prescription pills. Unfortunately, since marijuana levels can be difficult to detect in your system and the drug sticks around on urine tests for a longer length of time, it can be difficult to ascertain if an employee is under the influence of the medication while he or she is engaged in work activities. To add to the conundrum, medical marijuana is not legal under federal law, making court cases a little trickier than they may originally seem. 

Retaliation due to a protected activity is illegal

Employers can handle their employment practices in pretty much any manner they choose as long as they are within the confines of the law. One area that they must comply with strict regulations on is retaliation. No employer is legally able to allow retaliation in their company.

Retaliation refers to any negative employment action that is based on a protected activity. There are many activities that can't lead to any form of retaliation. The key point for all employees to remember is that it isn't going to be easy to prove that you were retaliated against.

Child porn charges might lead to registering as a sex offender

The pull to view anything and everything on the internet is understandable. Computers, tablets and smartphones bring the entire world to us. While there are many good things that you can do on these devices, there are some that must be avoided at all costs. One of these is viewing child pornography. While you might think that there isn't anything wrong with it since it is readily available, just looking at child porn on the computer can lead to criminal charges.

It is often said that not knowing the law isn't an excuse to break it. This concept applies here. Law enforcement officials are going to take a firm stance against child porn because they believe in protecting the children. If you are facing this charge, you should know that it is very serious.

If you agree, put it in writing

No matter the kind of business deal you want to make, you should create a contract between the involved parties. Among other things, you will want to establish the length of the contract, define any financial obligations and include terms of recourse if someone breaches that contract.

In many situations, contracts seem clear-cut. However, a dispute can arise when one party feels another did not fulfill their contractual obligations. Such is the case with the ongoing breach of contract dispute between Michael Jackson’s estate and HBO.

Child pornography: Beware of what you view online

You might think that you can look at whatever you want when you are on the internet. While there are many things that you can legally view while you are online, some are actually illegal despite their presence. This is the case for child pornography. It is fully illegal to view, possess or take lewd pictures of people who are under 18 years old. These activities are covered under federal and state laws.

Some people have argued that it is a First Amendment right to possess these types of images. The United States Supreme Court ruled that sexually explicit pictures of minors aren't protected by freedom of speech rights. Besides the precedent set in 1982 by that court, there have been many other rulings that uphold and expand upon what is legal and illegal under the child porn umbrella.


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