Being accused of, investigated for, or formally charged with a crime is a very scary time in your life. The criminal justice system is extremely complex, and the fear and anxiety of the process will unfortunately cast a shadow over the rest of your life. It is extremely important to engage a committed and proactive attorney at the earliest stage possible to minimize the damage and eventually achieve the best possible results. At Urbelis Law, we will listen to your unique concerns and your unique circumstances; we want to tailor our representation to you, as a person. We will utilize our many years of creative advocacy to protect your rights, interests, and vigorously defend your criminal matter. We have helped thousands of individuals from all walks of life, and we also represent businesses being investigated or charged with criminal activity. In addition to our state court practice, we regularly handle federal criminal matters in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Time and time again, we have avoided criminal charges from being pressed against our clients, obtained the outright dismissal of entire criminal cases, and minimized damage for our clients. When the situation calls for it, we are never timid regarding the prospect of going to trial. We have achieved Not Guilty verdicts in more than 80% of the hundreds of cases that we have taken to trial. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are here to fight for you.
If you do not have prior OUI (operating under the influence) convictions, your conviction will be treated as a first offense in Massachusetts. People convicted of an OUI can face possible jail time, as well as a license revocation or suspension and fines. The longest jail term that you can face for a first offense OUI is two and a half years. However, if you were carrying a passenger under age 14 at the time, you can be charged with child endangerment. If your drunk driving caused a serious bodily injury to someone else, the charge will be OUI serious bodily injury, which is charged as a felony and can result in incarceration for up to 10 years. A defense to an OUI charge may involve challenging the procedures that law enforcement used to determine a driver’s intoxication, or it may involve arguing that the initial stop of the vehicle was unjustified.
Many different kinds of drugs are criminalized under MGL c. 94C, known as the Controlled Substances Act. Some drug crimes are charged as minor misdemeanors, while others are charged as serious felonies. One of the most common charges is drug possession. A prosecutor who can show the court that your property was used as part of drug activity may move for the forfeiture of your property, money, and home. However, a Boston criminal attorney may be able to raise several potential defenses to a drug charge, such as a constitutional violation related to the manner in which law enforcement seized the drugs.Violent Crimes
Violent crimes include assault, battery, kidnapping, and murder. You can be charged with a violent crime, or a crime against the person, under MGL c. 265. This chapter criminalizes a wide range of violent crimes, as well as certain sex crimes. In most cases, when there is a violent crime, there is a complaining witness or victim. Even when a victim is not available to testify, however, a prosecutor can use circumstantial evidence to seek a conviction. Our firm has experience investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding an alleged violent crime. There are situations in which we can uncover lies or inconsistent or implausible statements by the victim that can support a strong defense.Sex Crimes
Sex crimes include rape and sexual assault. What needs to be proven depends on the specific sex crime with which you are charged. Rape offenses are among the most serious felonies in Massachusetts. The prosecutor will need to establish that you had sexual intercourse with another person and compelled that person to submit by force and against their will or through a threat of bodily injury. Rape can be punished with a maximum of 20 years in prison, and then up to life in prison if there are aggravating factors associated with a particular rape charge. Defenses that a criminal lawyer in the Boston area might raise could involve asserting consent or showing inconsistencies in the alleged victim’s account of what happened.Theft and Property Crimes
MGL c. 266 criminalizes crimes against property. These crimes can include minor misdemeanor shoplifting, as well as more serious crimes like armed burglary. To get a conviction, a prosecutor needs to prove intent, but the degree of intent varies depending on the crime. You can be charged with certain property crimes if your actions were wanton, rather than intentional or knowing. Some serious felony charges related to property crimes carry a mandatory minimum state prison sentence. A defense often involves challenging the prosecution’s ability to show the required level of intent.White Collar Crimes
White collar crimes are usually economically motivated. These crimes include racketeering, embezzlement, money laundering, insider trading, bribery, public corruption, fraud, identity theft, securities fraud, computer crimes, and tax evasion. While white collar crimes may not seem as serious as violent crimes, they can lead to harsh penalties, so you should promptly consult a Boston criminal lawyer who is experienced in handling these cases. What must be proven depends on the white collar crime being charged and the statute that covers it. For example, MGL c. 266 s. 30 provides that you can be charged with larceny by embezzlement if you convert or secrete another party’s property, intending to steal, embezzle, or convert that property. Thus, if you are in charge of depositing money from the cash register and pocket some of it, you may be charged with embezzlement.Gun and Weapon Crimes
Although the Second Amendment provides for a right to bear arms, this is not an absolute right. In Massachusetts, guns and other weapons are strictly regulated. In order to legally possess or own a firearm in Massachusetts, you need to have a valid firearms license. Under MGL c. 269 s. 10, you can be charged with carrying a firearm without proper licensing, and you can face a mandatory minimum sentence if you are convicted. The criminal attorneys at our Boston firm can look closely at the facts of these charges to determine whether your constitutional rights were safeguarded, or whether there is another basis to suppress evidence based on an improper search or seizure, or an improperly issued warrant to search.Administrative Hearings
Often, administrative hearings are held in connection with criminal charges. Our firm prides itself on guiding people through difficulties even before they face formal criminal charges. We may be able to represent clients at clerk magistrate hearings, at which we have often been successful in preventing formal criminal charges from being filed. We also handle probation surrender hearings and hearings before the Registry of Motor Vehicles. We also handle hearings involving 209A restraining orders; if you violate one of these orders, it can be charged as a crime. Sometimes it is possible to seal a criminal record, a procedure that can change your life, and our firm has experience helping clients with this process. Mr. Urbelis has taught other attorneys about the record sealing laws that took effect in 2012.Police Misconduct and Civil Rights
Although police officers have one of the most important jobs in a community, they sometimes abuse their power. The consequences for a victim of a police officer’s abuse of power can be tragic. Police officers have qualified immunity from civil lawsuits. They are protected against lawsuits arising out of many mistakes and bad decisions. However, this protection is limited. A police officer can be liable to a victim for damages in federal court under 42 U.S.C. s. 1983 if the officer’s conduct violated clearly established law or was not in good faith. Clients bringing police misconduct and civil rights claims should know that we will not ask you for payment unless you get compensation from your claim.Consult an Experienced Criminal Attorney in the Boston Area
If you are accused of a crime in Massachusetts, you cannot afford to take the risk of going without an attorney. We can provide a free initial consultation around the clock. Urbelis Law represents people throughout Suffolk, Middlesex, Norfolk, Essex, Worcester, and Plymouth Counties. Call us at (617) 830-2188 or contact us via our online form.