Massachusetts criminal defense Attorney Blog
Aggressive Defense of All Criminal Matters
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Finding The Right Criminal Defense Attorney

For most people, being charged with a crime is an unnerving experience. The first thing someone might do is get on the Internet and research the statute under which he has been charged. This is a really bad idea. You will look at the statute and see a potential jail or state prison sentence. Panic will start to set in. So, you might next use the Internet to find a criminal defense attorney. The website might provide you with similar information. This might not make you feel any better. Keep this analogy in mind. When you don’t feel good you might go to the symptom checker on the Internet. And guess what? You will quickly learn that you have a terminal illness. Yet once you meet with a doctor you find out that you only have a pulled muscle. So while the Internet and criminal lawyer websites might be a good starting place for representation you have to do more to find the right person to represent you. Here are my thoughts on how to find the right criminal defense attorney for your case. Continue reading →

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Assault and Battery on Police Officer Defense

I was recently reading and article in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune about Methuen, Massachusetts police officers with assault arrests in their background. The article, written by Douglas Moser on July 16, 2015 identifies two Methuen officers charged with violent crimes. One was facing with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. The other was charged with assault and battery on police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly person. All cases were dismissed. None of this prevented the men from becoming police officers. I have no problem with this. However, when reading the article I am reminded about the hurdles attorneys face when defending assault and battery on police officer cases. Continue reading →

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Pretrial Probation for a Felony or a CWOF For a Misdemeanor

Anytime you can dispose of a criminal case and not have a record you should really think about taking the deal that is on the table. Unless there are potential collateral consequences the risk of going to trial usually outweighs the reward. Obviously this is not always the case. There are times when an experienced lawyer will be confident recommending challenging a constitutional violation or having a jury waived trial over a pretrial resolution. But usually the opportunity for pretrial probation or a continuance without a finding is preferred. There are however times when a decision between pretrial probation for a felony charge or a CWOF for a misdemeanor must be weighed. Here are some thoughts on that dilemma. Continue reading →

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Underage Drinking

Furnishing Alcohol To Minors

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 138 Section 34 makes it a crime for anyone to knowingly furnish alcohol to someone under the age of twenty-one. This law is strictly enforced. Typically we see an increase in these charges around this time of year. Graduation parties and gatherings after prom tend to grab the attention of law enforcement. Neighbors complaining about noise, traffic congestion and large assemblies of young people trigger a visit from a local patrol officer. Their response is predictable. Enter the property where the party is being hosted. Question its patrons about their age, take a look into windows and doorways and contact the adult host. Once the officers learn that alcohol is being consumed by minors names are taken, the party is broken up and criminal applications and summonses issue. Furnishing alcohol to minors in Massachusetts is now considered a serious crime and if you are charged with it you need to hire a lawyer.  Continue reading →

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The Police Want To Talk To Me…What Should I Do?

Several times each month I get a similar call from a perspective client telling me that “the police want to talk to me…what should I do?”. My advice never waivers. I have always been consistent in my belief that nothing good comes from talking to the police. Again today I received one of these calls. This call made me think about a certain patterns of conduct that police engage in and my assessment of their reasons for doing so. Here are my thoughts on that subject. Continue reading →

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Defending Date Rape Allegations in Massachusetts

When someone is charged with rape in Massachusetts the indictment reads that the defendant “did unlawfully have sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, with the named victim and compelled said person by force and against her will, or compelled said person to submit by threat of bodily harm”. Those words are read to the jury just before opening statements. The jury has already been impaneled and sworn. The defendant stands alone while the clerk reads those words. Nothing in those words qualifies or describes the act in any way. You are charged with rape. So, defending date rape allegations in Massachusetts is serious. These allegations are incredibly terrifying for the accused. Continue reading →

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I never took the time to figure out what percentage of my clients gets arrested over the weekend but I am sure the number is significant. Several years ago, when I opened my own practice an older lawyer gave me some friendly advice. He told me that if possible, never schedule anything in court for Monday mornings. That advice has served me well over the years. Every weekend I get scores of telephone calls from people who got arrested, are in need of immediate legal assistance and getting arraigned on Monday. This past weekend was particularly busy. One of the messages I got from my answering service was “I got arrested over the weekend and I need a criminal attorney, what should I do?”. This article addresses that question.

Young man in handcuffs

Arrested over the weekend?

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Arraignment Process in Massachusetts

Several times each week and sometimes multiple times in a day I am in a court in Massachusetts representing a client at his arraignment. This proceeding is so familiar to me that I often take for granted that my clients will know what to expect and how the arraignment process in Massachusetts works. In truth, unless you have been involved in the criminal legal process in the past you probably don’t know what will happen at this hearing. This post examines the process and what you should expect on the day of your arraignment. Continue reading →

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Massachusetts Criminal Accord and Satisfaction

Massachusetts has a statute that in some instances essentially permits a person accused of certain crimes to pay the victim in exchange for getting the charges dismissed. The statute, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 276 Section 55 states that a person charged with an assault and battery or a misdemeanor that could also be the basis for a civil lawsuit can pay the victim in exchange for having the charges dismissed. Of course, this type of resolution, known as a Massachusetts criminal accord and satisfaction needs to be in writing and approved by a judge. Continue reading →

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Texting and Driving in Massachusetts

Not too long ago Massachusetts enacted a law prohibiting texting and driving. The statute, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 13B has enables police officers to make motor vehicle stops that in the past would not have been considered lawful. There is however a silver lining for Massachusetts criminal defense attorneys challenging stops under this law. The statute is written in a way that makes it virtually impossible for a judge to sustain the stop if properly challenged through a motion to suppress. Here is why. Continue reading →