A 24-year old man, his mother and his landlord all are facing charges regarding alleged drug possession and dealing in the Norwood area. Norwood Police Detectives apparently executed the search warrant while the 24-year old man was not at home. However, his mother, who was at home, was then charged with Class D drug marijuana possession and also for being in charge of a so-called disorderly house regarding her role in this matter.
The landlord is also being charged for supposedly allowing this activity to take place after police claim to have notified him about certain activity. Under Massachusetts law, landlords can be punished for not taking action to prevent purported drug activity from taking place. The landlord can receive a fine of $1,000 and face a year of imprisonment if found guilty regarding such charges.
Landlords obviously are placed in a dilemma when faced with such a law. It seems that the actions that landlords are supposed to conduct can include eviction of the tenants. However, it is unclear at what point such actions need to be taken since landlords may not always know or understand the exact extent of the supposed criminal activity taking place.
A drug charge even without a conviction generally comes at a price. The presumption is often made that those arrested are automatically guilty of the crimes charged. The burden of proof still remains upon arresting officers and the prosecution to demonstrate that criminal wrongdoing did take place.
Criminal defense attorneys have the right to demand any evidence showing that a crime has been committed also be produced. Additionally, attorneys have the right to challenge any evidence that came about because of an improperly issued search warrant, or due to officers going beyond the scope of the search warrant that was executed.
Source: Wicked Local, "Norwood Police charge drug dealer, arrest his mother," by Brad Cole, June 19, 2013