Massachusetts criminal defense Attorney Blog
Aggressive Defense of All Criminal Matters
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Mandatory Minimum Sentences May Be On The Way Out

Just two days ago an article on masslive.com revealed a bold and hopefully accurate prediction by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants . . . that mandatory minimum sentences will be repealed. A decade or two ago a majority of the Massachusetts criminal defense bar could not imagine this would ever become a real discussion. However, less than three years ago mandatory minimum sentences for some drug crimes were reduced and the threshold weight of drugs for certain trafficking offenses was increased. Perhaps the legislature now understands what Justice Gants’ means when he stated that abolishing these types of sentences “makes fiscal sense, justice sense, policy sense and common sense”. Continue reading →

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Texting and Driving in Massachusetts

Recently my office has seen a rash of criminal cases originating when the operator of a motor vehicle is stopped for suspicion of texting while driving. The newly enacted law, G.L. c. 90 Section 13B states that anyone caught sending or reading an electronic message while driving will be fined. Fines range from one hundred dollars for a first offense to two hundred fifty dollars for a second offense and to five hundred dollars for a third and all subsequent offenses. Unlike an OUI case, operation for this statute does not include texting while a vehicle is stationary. The police are jumping on this law as justification for stopping people they suspect are up to something other than simply texting. The stops are resulting OUI complaints and various Massachusetts drug crimes charges. Luckily, the law against texting and driving in Massachusetts is one that is difficult to prove and a large majority of these stops will be suppressed. Continue reading →

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What is a lobby conference?

A very small percentage of criminal cases go to trial. Much of the pretrial criminal work is geared towards learning as much about the prosecution’s case as we can. Through the discovery process we understand the strengths and weaknesses of our own case as well. Extensive effort goes into position our clients for success either through motions or plea negotiations. Not all motions are successful however nor for that matter can all cases be negotiated to a favorable resolution. When a criminal case reaches that point a trial might be scheduled. Yet, prior to actually trying the case there is usually one last opportunity to resolve the case through judicial intervention. This is done with a lobby conference. This article answers a question asked by one of my clients a few days ago. “What is a lobby conference and how does it work?”. Continue reading →

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Getting A Heroin Conspiracy and Possession Case Dismissed

Heroin has become the most problematic drug for prosecutors to deal with in Massachusetts. The number of heroin possession arrests builds everyday. No community is immune. From the most impoverished cities to the most affluent suburbs heroin use and addiction to the drug has run rampant. There is however a lack of consistency in the resolution of these cases from court to court in the Commonwealth. Getting a heroin conspiracy and possession case dismissed can be routine and easy for your lawyer in some courts and an extremely arduous endeavor in others. This post examines how some courts handle these cases and what you should expect from your lawyer if you are charged with a heroin related drug crime in Massachusetts. Continue reading →

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Most Massachusetts district courts hear criminal matters on a daily basis. There are many criminal cases however that never find their way into a courtroom. These cases get resolved before a clerk magistrate at what in known as a criminal clerk’s hearing. This is a proceeding to determine whether a complaint will issue. The process for issuing a criminal application is simple. Either a law enforcement official or a civilian file forms in the clerk’s office stating facts supporting what this person perceives to be a crime. The clerk’s office schedules a hearing date and notifies the parties by issuing a notice in the mail. This post discusses what happens at a hearing on an application for a criminal complaint in Massachusetts.

Application for a Criminal Complaint in Massachusetts

Application for a Criminal Complaint in Massachusetts

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Defending College Students Charged With Shoplifting

One of the most common criminal charges college students face, particularly in Massachusetts is the crime of shoplifting. The courts in Boston see a significant number of these cases. The last thing a college student can afford is having a criminal record so effective, experienced legal representation is a necessity. Our office has been defending college students for nearly three decades. We have managed to get countless shoplifting cases dismissed and we have made sure that our clients have left the courthouse without having a criminal record. Successfully defending college students charged with shoplifting is something in which we take great pride. Continue reading →

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Will I Have A Record If My Case Was Continued Without A Finding?

Not a week goes by where someone doesn’t call me to ask about the significance of a continuance without a finding. The typical question is “will I have a record if my case was continued without a finding?” The answer to this is case specific. If someone tells you that a continuance without a finding (CWOF) means that you have no criminal record you have been given bad advice. CWOFs serve a purpose that can in some instances be very beneficial. Other times however the impact of a CWOF can be devastating. This post examines certain aspects of a criminal case disposition through a CWOF. Continue reading →

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Defending An Indecent Assault and Battery

The mere words “indecent assault and battery” are troubling to anyone reads about this crime. The general title of the offense suggests that a serious sex crime has occurred. The prosecution can prove an indecent assault and battery anytime the accused touches someone on a portion of the anatomy understood to be private. Kissing someone on the mouth can in some circumstances satisfy the prosecution’s burden of proof. This at times makes defending an indecent assault and battery a difficult task. This post examines some things to consider when defending someone against these charges. Continue reading →

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How Can I Get a Larceny Case Dismissed?

Larceny cases fall into two general categories in Massachusetts. Larceny under two hundred fifty dollars is a misdemeanor. Larceny over two hundred fifty dollars is a felony. The former is punishable by up to one year in the county house of corrections and the latter by up to five years in state prison. The felony version of larceny is often charged in district courts in Massachusetts meaning that the prosecution is not seeking a state prison sentence. When larceny cases involve disputes over money the person accused is often surprised at how the matter can be charged criminally. In this situation people call will me and ask “how can I get a larceny case dismissed?”.  This article examines one of these cases. Continue reading →

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Selling Heroin

During the course of an unrelated investigation police in Methuen, Massachusetts saw Jose Quesada get into a car bearing New Hampshire license plates. The officers followed the car and learned that the driver, a Salem man had a suspended license. The officers made an inquiry and found the driver in possession of heroin. He was charged with heroin possession and a motor vehicle crime. Meanwhile, the man admitted that he purchased the drugs from Quesada. Quesada was arrested and charged with selling heroin and possession of heroin. The case in pending in the Lawrence District Court. Continue reading →