Criminal Defense Attorney

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What will my sentence be? Will I go to jail? For how long?

If you are convicted of, or plead guilty to, a crime, there will be consequences. Consequences range from having the case continued with conditions for a certain period of time, to probation, to a suspended jail sentence, to a number of years to be served in a county jail or State prison. The maximum sentence […]

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What are the different classes of drugs?

Illegal drugs (often referred to as “controlled substances”) in Massachusetts are divided into five different categories, or classes: A, B, C, D and E. Generally speaking, the controlled substances in classes A and B include addictive street drugs like heroin, amphetamines and cocaine, as well as oxycontin and LSD. They are the most strictly regulated, […]

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What is the difference between “trafficking” and “intent to distribute” drugs?

Both offenses involve the intent to distribute illegal drugs, but the laws against trafficking specify certain amounts of drugs. The trafficking statute also sets out escalating penalties as the drug amounts increase. The laws on possession with intent to distribute do not specify any minimum quantities. Generally offenses charged under the trafficking statute are more […]

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What is CORI? What is a BOP?

CORI stands for Criminal Offender Record Information. BOP stands for Board of Probation record. The terms are synonymous and used interchangeably. Though neither term is official, they are both commonly used to refer to a person’s criminal records in Massachusetts. The records are maintained and updated each time an accused person appears in court. Also, […]

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What is a Breakdown Request?

A breakdown request is a request made by a defense attorney, often in a written letter, to the attorney prosecuting the case (called the “assistant district attorney” or ADA in Massachusetts). A breakdown letter generally proposes that the charges against the client be dismissed or reduced to less serious ones in exchange for the client’s […]

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What is Probation? How is Probation different from Parole?

The Probation Department in Massachusetts oversees people charged with crimes while their cases are pending, and sometimes as part (or all) of a sentence once a person is convicted or pleads guilty to the offense. Probation Departments are typically located in the courthouse where your case is heard. Conditions of probation can range from minimal […]

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What is a Mandatory Minimum Sentence?

In most criminal cases in Massachusetts the judge has discretion to impose a sentence as he or she sees fit, ranging from no jail time at all up to the maximum allowed by the law. A sentence for assault and battery, for example, ranges widely – from probation, to one day in jail, to two-and-a-half years […]

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What is a “Subsequent Offense”? What if my Prior Offense is From Another State?

A person charged with a “subsequent offense” is being charged with a crime and has been previously convicted of the same or similar crime, one or more times. In Massachusetts, depending on the crime, you may be convicted of a subsequent offense even if your prior conviction comes from a different state, so long as […]

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What is a Default? Can I be Arrested if I am in Default?

A default occurs when a defendant fails to show up to court. This can happen even when a defendant is late to court. You most certainly can be arrested if you are in default. Typically, after a default is entered, the judge will issue a “warrant” against a defendant. That warrant allows any police department to arrest […]

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Can the Amount of Bail be Changed?

Yes, a defendant’s bail may be modified, but only if the Judge is convinced that there has been a “material change in circumstances” in the defendant’s favor. Some examples of material changes in circumstances: unreasonable delay in the court conducting hearing/trial, new exculpatory evidence, suppression of evidence against defendant, defendant’s deterioration of health.

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