Criminal Defense Faqs
When should I retain an attorney?If you have been charged with a crime in the Worcester area, you are likely facing fines and jail time. Fines and imprisonment are the most common punishments for crimes in the United States, but you can also lose important rights – like the right to privacy, vote or the right to bear arms. Even a small case can bear collateral consequences that you might not be aware of such as malicious destruction of property which is not a driving offense but carries a 1 year loss of license with no right of a hardship liceense. It might also lead to loss of employment. You need an experienced lawyer can help you avoid the collateral consequences of criminal cases.
Which courts do you practice in?I practice in all Massachusetts courts and US District Court . I can honestly say that there are only 2 courts that I have not appeared in.
Can the victim drop the charges?No. If you’ve been arrested is a police department that is charging you. The only person to decide to drop the charges is the District Attorney. Even if the victim does not want to go forward you may still be prosecuted by the District Attorney. The complaining witness 911 call may be used as an excited utterance and the missing complaining witness may not be enough to dismiss the charges. You need an experienced attorney that understands the rules of evidence.
Should I fight this Massachusetts criminal charge?The quick response to this is yes. A criminal conviction may affect driving privileges, employment prospects, government benefits just to name a few. You need an experienced attorney to advise you of those consequences.
Is a CWOF the same as a guilty?No. A Continuance Without a Finding is an admission that if the case did go to trial that there was a good chance that you would be found guilty based upon the facts. It is not an admission of guilty. You will be placed on a period of probation and the case is ultimately dismisssed if you complete probation successfully. I tell all of my clients, the success of your probation is not on me or the probation officer's shoulders, it all rests in your hands. However, a CWOF may affect your rights in federal court or your immigration status. You need an experienced attorney to advise you of these consequences.
How long does a Massachusetts criminal case usually take to finish?A typical criminal case can be as short as one month and may go on for years. Often clients will ask why the case is taking so long to get to trial. Your trial may be continued several times. Courts will prioritize cases. Oldest cases, cases with out of state experts, custody cases will have priority over out of custody and younger cases. This is strictly judges discretion. As upsetting this might be, No attorney can control this.
Do I have to answer questions from the police?No! Never answer questions without an attorney being present.
Who decides if I have to testify at trial?It is your decision whether you want to testify at trial, not your attorney. The attorney will provide you with an opinion but only the client decides whether to testify or not.
How much will a case cost me?Each case is different, however, every initial consultation is free and we will never take a case without first agreeing to a price. Why will my case be less in District Court than in Superior Court? Each case is different and estimating the amount of work is not as simple as it may sound. An experienced attorney can estimate how many court appearances and the amount of work anticipated in a case. Each court is different, each DAs office is different, each judge is different.
Does your firm need the payment in full?A retainer is required and in most cases a payment plan will be worked out. Visa and MasterCard are accepted for your convenience.