2017 Final Case Results Part 2
Roxbury District Court, July 27, 2017
MOTION TO VACATE PRIOR CONVICTION: Our client pled guilty in 1997 to Receiving a Stolen Motor Vehicle. In 2016 it came up when trying to renew his immigration status (he had a visa), causing deportation proceedings. He has three children, takes care of his elderly mother, and owns a tow truck business in Massachusetts. We filed a motion to vacate the plea on the grounds that the public defender who represented our client in 1997 did not properly investigate client's immigration status or advise client of the immigration consequences of pleading guilty.
RESULT: Motion allowed. Client may now renew his visa and stay in the United States.
Barnstable District Court, July 27, 2017
CHARGES: Operating with a suspended license, operating with revoked insurance, operating with a revoked registration.
RESULT: All charges dismissed upon the total payment of $100.
Quincy District Court, July 26, 2017
CHARGES: Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle. Our client was originally represented by a court appointed attorney shortly after his arrest in 2007. In 2008, that public defender encouraged our client to take a Continuance without a finding on the two charges, telling our client that such a disposition would lead to dismissal of the case. Unfortunately, the attorney did NOT inform our client that it could cause immigration consequences for him. In 2015, our client learned that because of the CWOF he pled to, he could not renew his visa and would be subject to deportation. We filed, argued, and won a motion to vacate his prior plea on the grounds that the public defender was ineffective as a matter of law. The case was reopened, and scheduled for trial. Prior to trial, we were able to file motions to have the breath test reading (.16) excluded, as proper foundational requirements were not filed. The Commonwealth would still move forward with the prosecution.
RESULT: On the day of trial, the Commonwealth did not have sufficient evidence to proceed. Case dismissed, and our client may now renew his visa.
Boston Municipal Court, July 17, 2017
CHARGE: Operating Under the Influence of Liquor. This case proceeded to trial, where the arresting state trooper testified that our client was weaving in and out of lanes on the highway, smelled like alcohol, had slurred speech, could not hold himself up without leaning for balance, and failed two field sobriety tests. At the police station, our client took a breath test resulting in a .07.
RESULT: Trial verdict of NOT GUILTY.
Worcester District Court, June 27, 2017
CHARGE: Domestic Assault and Battery. Our client was accused of beating up his live- in girlfriend. By the time the case was scheduled for trial, through, we had discovered significant inconsistencies in the allegations.
RESULT: Case dismissed.
Ayer District Court, June 26, 2017
APPLICATION FOR CRIMINAL COMPLAINT: The police department applied for a criminal complaint against our client for leaving the scene of property damage (hit and run).
RESULT: After a hearing, no complaint issued against our client.
Marlborough District Court, June 13, 2017
CHARGE: Operating Under the Influence of Drugs (Marijuana). Our client was arrested after a police officer saw him driving erratically, changing speeds, and stopping on the travel lane of the highway. The officer also noted our client's eyes to be bloodshot, his movements were slow and lethargic, and there was an overwhelming odor of burnt marijuana coming from his car. After a hearing on our motion to suppress certain statements, all statements that our client made relating to smoking marijuana earlier that evening were excluded from trial.
RESULT: Not Guilty after trial.
Chelsea District Court, May 23, 2017
CHARGES: Operating Under the Influence causing Serious Injury, Reckless Operation, 2 counts Assault and Battery on a Child with Substantial Injury, Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. Witnesses stated that our client crossed over the median to strike another vehicle head- on. One adult and two children were taken to the hospital with injuries. EMS reported that upon their arrival, our client made statements about intentionally causing the accident, and they formed the opinion that she appeared highly intoxicated. Multiple empty "nip" bottles were located inside her car.
RESULT: After we filed numerous motions to exclude certain evidence, we were able to resolve this case for our client to her strong satisfaction. The OUI- serious bodily injury charge was amended down to the lesser charge of misdemeanor OUI; our client pled guilty to that offense and reckless operation, while the other three charges were dismissed.
Dorchester District Court, May 17, 2017
CHARGES: Assault and Battery on a Household Member, Witness Intimidation.
RESULT: After our investigation uncovered substantial bias and motive to fabricate these allegations, the case was dismissed by the Commonwealth.
Waltham District Court, May 11, 2017
CHARGE: Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol. Our client's car was parked in a Mobil gas station parking lot. The arresting officer had driven by and seen the car in the lot at midnight, then when he drove by again one hour later and the car was still in the same spot, the officer went to check on the car, which had its engine on, since the gas station was closed. Our client was sound asleep in the driver's seat. After a few minutes of trying to wake our client up, the officer was able to do so. The officer testified that a strong odor of alcohol came from inside the car, and our client did not even know what state he was in. Our client made some strange statements, did not perform well on the field sobriety tests, and was arrested.
While a parking lot is generally a public way because members of the public have a "right of access," and our client's car was seen there prior to the store closing, we filed a motion for the court asking for a required finding of not guilty. There is case law in Massachusetts demonstrating that when a business is closed, its parking lot is not necessarily a "public way" at that time, as members of the public would not then have a right to be there as invitees. Given that the only evidence of our client's impairment was from an hour after the business was closed, the government could not prove concurrence of the 3 OUI elements (operation, on a public way, while intoxicated). In other words, there was no evidence that our client was impaired while operating his car at the time he was on a "public way"- which would have been prior to the store closing- or whether he drank in the parking lot for an hour while the store was closed (and thus when it was not then a public way).
RESULT: NOT GUILTY by way of a motion for a required finding.
Chelsea District Court, April 7, 2017
MOTION TO VACATE PRIOR CONVICTION: Our client had a prior conviction after her plea to larceny over $250, a felony. This plea/ conviction was now coming back to harm her with immigration, and was going to be grounds for her deportation. We filed a motion to vacate this conviction on the grounds that her attorney at that time provided her with insufficient legal representation.
RESULT: The court allowed our motion to vacate the prior conviction, and the district attorney's office declined to reprosecute the case.
Lynn District Court, April 4, 2017
APPLICATION FOR CRIMINAL COMPLAINT: The Saugus Police applied for a complaint against our client for operating without a driver's license, after our client was involved in motor vehicle accident.
RESULT: After a clerk magistrate's hearing, no complaint issued against our client.
Boston Municipal Court, Dorchester Division, March 27, 2017
CHARGES: Possession of a False RMV document, Providing False Information to RMV to obtain a driver's license.
RESULT: After several pretrial hearings, our motion to suppress statements made by our client was allowed. Specifically, our client's statements to police, after being arrested, about how he obtained false documents, could not be used at trial because of various ways in which the police violated our client's rights before obtaining these statements. By the time we reached a trial date, the case was dismissed. This was significant because any sort of conviction or probation for these charges would have resulted in our client's deportation, as he is not a U.S. citizen. He is now applying for his green card.
Plymouth District Court, March 8, 2017
CHARGES: Operating With a Suspended License, Operating with Revoked Insurance.
RESULT: Dismissed prior to arraignment.
Somerville District Court, March 7, 2017
APPLICATION FOR CRIMINAL COMPLAINT: The Somerville police department applied for a felony criminal complaint against our client for the charge of indecent assault and battery. Our client was a senior at Somerville High School who had already been expelled as a result of this accusation. The complaining witness, a former girlfriend, claimed that the two bumped into each other in a school hallway when no one else was around, and that our client then accosted her and groped her against her rejections.
RESULT: After a full hearing, the clerk declined to issue a criminal complaint against our client.
Chelsea District Court, February 28, 2017
APPLICATION FOR CRIMINAL COMPLAINT: The MSPCA applied for a criminal complaint against our client for animal cruelty (felony), who left her dead dog outside their offices. After an investigation, the MSPCA found that our client took improper care of the dog, as it had defecated on itself, walked around with severe abrasions on its feet, and clearly it should have been taken for professional treatment months ago. Our position was that while our client was extremely wrong in the way she cared for the dog, she did in fact do what she thought, in her mind, was appropriate; the dog was found wearing a diaper, bandaged up, etc. Clearly, effort (albeit unsuccessful) to care for the dog had been undertaken. While clearly the dog should have been taken to a veterinarian, our client had no criminal intent to inflict abuse or gross negligence, and her conduct was not criminal.
RESULT: After a contested hearing against the MSPCA, the clerk agreed with our position and did not issue a criminal complaint.
Boston Municipal Court, February 24, 2017
CHARGE: Operating Under the Influence, Negligent Operation. Client was arrested after a state trooper observed him operating 50 mph over the speed limit and driving erratically, mumbling his speech, smelling like the strong odor of alcohol, and failing several field sobriety tests.
RESULT: We were able to have this case transferred to the "Veteran's Court" session of the court based on our client's significant service to our country during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Pursuant to the Valor Act, our client will now received the treatment for his PTSD and alcoholism related to his service, after which the case will be completely dismissed without any adverse finding against him.
Boston Municipal Court, February 24, 2017
CHARGE: Operating Without a Valid License.
Lawrence District Court, February 23, 2017
CHARGES: Malicious Destruction of Property over $250 (felony). Our client was charged with malicious destruction of property over $250 for admittedly damaging the car of someone with whom he was in a fight. This client was a previously convicted felon who had already served time in the house of corrections.
RESULT: After we filed several motions, the case was eventually dismissed.
Lawrence District Court, February 17, 2017
CHARGES: Possession of a Loaded Firearm *Probation Violation* This client hired us to represent him at his probation surrender hearing. He had previously been placed on probation with an 18 month suspended sentence hanging over him for this offense. The violation notice, alleging that he had failed to pay probation fees, report as required, and notify probation of his new address, caused him to be arrested and put into state custody pending a hearing. Probation provided notice that it intended to have him committed to serve the full 18 months of his suspended sentence.
RESULT: At the final surrender hearing, we worked out an agreement with probation whereby he admitted to violating probation and paid back the fees owed, and he would not have to serve any committed time. He was released that day.
Woburn District Court, February 16, 2017
CHARGES: Operating without a License. Our client had an arrest warrant out of Woburn District Court as he failed to appear at his previously scheduled court date, and he has a lengthy record of other criminal offenses.
RESULT: We removed his default warrant and were able to have the case dismissed upon his payment of $200.
Wrentham District Court, February 15, 2017
CHARGES: Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct. Our client was arrested after an altercation with police at Gillette Stadium during the Countryfest concert. Given that he previously had similar charges and had served committed time in the past, the District Attorney's office was originally seeking a conviction and further committed time on this new case.
RESULT: On the scheduled trial date we had both charges dismissed upon the total payment of $300 in court costs.
West Roxbury Court, February 8, 2017
CHARGES: Trafficking Cocaine, Possession with Intent to Distribute Class B (Cocaine), and Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws. Our client was driving a car with her boyfriend riding passenger, and that boyfriend was found to have a significant amount of cocaine on him.
RESULT: All charges dismissed. Our client is now applying for citizenship.
Attleboro District Court, February 8, 2017
APPLICATION FOR CRIMINAL COMPLAINT: After witnesses identified my client's car as having struck a parked car in a Walmart parking lot, causing minor damage, then leaving, the North Attleboro Police Department applied for a criminal complaint against our client for leaving the scene of property damage.
RESULT: After a full hearing, no complaint issued against our client.
South Boston Court, February 7, 2017
CHARGES: Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol. Our client was pulled over after a state trooper ran her license plate and determined her license was suspended. Upon speaking with her, the trooper noticed her eyes to be bloodshot and she smelled like alcohol. Our client performed decently on the field sobriety tests, but did admit to having 2-4 drinks in the previous hour and a half.
TRIAL VERDICT: Not Guilty.
Quincy District Court, February 2, 2017
CHARGES: Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Leaving the Scene of Property Damage and Possession of Alcohol by a Minor. A citizen called the police station and identified our client's vehicle as having crashed into the median barrier and keep driving. The state police caught up to our client on the highway, observed her swerve across three lanes, cutting off several vehicles, and eventually our client stopped in the breakdown lane. Our client admitted to striking the median, and the trooper observed her to be slurring her words and with an open bottle of vodka in the rear seat. Our client failed several field sobriety tests and blew a .14 on the breath test at the station.
RESULT: We were able to have four out of the five charges (OUI, Reckless Operation, Leaving the Scene, Possession of Alcohol by a minor) ALL dismissed outright. Our client took a CWOF with administrative probation for one year only on the one count of negligent operation. The court did not suspend her license, she was not required to pay any fines, and her motor vehicle insurance did not go up as a result of this disposition.
Haverhill District Court, January 31, 2017
CHARGE: Operating Without a License.
RESULT: Dismissed on $200 court costs.
South Boston District Court, January 30, 2017
APPLICATION FOR HARASSMENT PREVENTION ORDER: Our client was accused on multiple occasions of harassment that qualified for such an order to be granted against her if the court credited the accusations.
RESULT: We were able to resolve the matter without the hearing against our client. No harassment prevention order was issued by the court.
Brighton District Court, January 26, 2017
CHARGE: Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol.
RESULT: After discussions relating to the admissibility of the breath test in this particular case, the district attorney's office agreed to a six month general continuance (NO admission or CWOF), and so long as our client does not drink alcohol during those six months, the case will be dismissed. The criminal charges will not appear on his driving record or effect his motor vehicle insurance, his license will not be suspended, and this case will not count as his "first offense" if he is ever arrested for a similar offense in the future.
East Boston District Court, January 23, 2017
APPLICATION FOR CRIMINAL COMPLAINT: The Boston Police Department applied for a criminal complaint against our client for possession of class B (cocaine).
RESULT: After a hearing the clerk magistrate declined to issue a formal criminal complaint against our client.
Chelsea District Court, January 13, 2017
APPLICATION FOR CRIMINAL COMPLAINT: The Revere Police applied for a criminal complaint against our client for the following charges: Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Unregistered Motor Vehicle, Attaching False Plates, Uninsured Motor Vehicle.
RESULT: After a hearing, no complaint issued against our client.