2019 Case Results
Below is a list of some of the favorable results we have achieved for our clients in 2019:
April 16, 2019
Somerville District Court
MOTION TO VACATE CONVICTION AND FOR NEW TRIAL: Our client, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, fled to the United States in 2009 with his wife, to whom he is still married. He fled from violent conditions where innocent people were being killed, including his mother and father in law. In 2015, he pled guilty to domestic assault and battery on his wife, as his court- appointed lawyer informed him that doing so was the only way to avoid going to jail. In 2018, he learned that this conviction was preventing him from obtaining a work permit and might cause his deportation. If that happened, he would leave behind his wife, who cannot read or write in any language, and does not speak English, to fend for herself. He would also be sent back to very dangerous circumstances. He then hired our firm to see if we could help. After reviewing his case, we determined that his court- appointed attorney was ineffective as a matter of law. He performed no independent investigation, and since the lawyer did not speak any Spanish he was unable to effectively communicate with our client at any time except on scheduled court dates in the presence of a court- certified interpreter. Had the attorney done the minimal amount of work of a competent defense attorney, he would have learned that our client's wife was always willing to invoke her marital privilege and not testify against our client. Without her testimony, there was insufficient evidence to convict our client, and the case would have eventually been dismissed. We filed a motion to vacate our client's guilty plea.
RESULT: After the government put forth an aggressive opposition to our motion, Attorney Urbelis rebutted each of their legal arguments, enough for the court to ALLOW OUR MOTION. Our client now does not have a conviction on his record, and is not in deportation proceedings. The government does, however, plan to re-prosecute our client, but we remain confident that they will have insufficient evidence to do so this time around.
April 9, 2019
Middlesex Superior Court
INDICTMENTS: Conspiracy to commit larceny over $1200, conspiracy to utter false checks. Our client was 19 years old at the time she was indicted for these felonies. She took part in a "card cracking" scheme that defrauded numerous banks over a period of a year. She was a nursing student pursuing her bachelor's degree when she regrettably got involved with this scheme.
RESULT: After two years of litigating this case, we were able to reach a resolution whereby our client would plead guilty to one misdemeanor of conspiracy to commit larceny under $1200, and the uttering false checks indictment would be dismissed. Our client will serve one year of probation and have to pay back restitution in the amount of $500, which is the amount that could directly be traced to her specific actions.
March 21, 2019
Quincy District Court
CHARGE: Our client was arrested for operating with a suspended license for operating under the influence. This particular charge carries a sixty day minimum mandatory sentence in jail; the judge has no discretion.
RESULT: After hiring us, we were able to have the charge amended to simple operating after suspension, as our client was improperly charged under the statute. The case was dismissed upon the payment of court costs.
March 18, 2019
Chelsea District Court
MOTION TO VACATE ADMISSION AND FOR NEW TRIAL: Client was referred to us by his immigration attorney. A Dominican national, he was facing deportation as the result of a 2006 plea to possession with intent to distribute marijuana. We reviewed his case and filed a motion to vacate that guilty plea on the grounds that his prior counsel was ineffective as a matter of law.
RESULT: Our motion was allowed, and the district attorney's office declined to reprosecute the case. Our client is no longer in deportation proceedings.
March 18, 2019
Boston Juvenile Court
CHARGE: Our client, a 17 year old high school senior, was arrested at the St. Patrick's Day parade in South Boston for being a minor transporting alcohol. He had a lot to lose, including his scholarship to a major University where he was scheduled to enroll in the fall. His father retained our services.
RESULT: We were able to have this case resolved prior to a formal criminal complaint issuing in court. Had that happened, regardless of the eventual outcome, our client would have had a record on his CARI. Now, there is no record whatsoever, and our client will be able to move forward with his life. (He was, however, grounded by Dad for the remainder of the school year).
March 15, 2019
Woburn District Court
CHARGE: Leaving the Scene of Property Damage. Our client was charged for fleeing the scene of an accident after causing damage to another's vehicle without exchanging identification or registration information, as required by law. An investigation revealed the other vehicle's paint left on our client's vehicle, and our client admitted to being the driver. She subsequently hired our firm.
RESULT: We were eventually able to resolve this matter without any conviction, or even any admission (such as a CWOF) to the offense. So long as our client remains out of trouble for one year, the case will end in a complete dismissal without any adverse finding or license loss. We fully expect our client to remain problem- free for that one year, as she is a successful business executive with no prior record whatsoever.
March 7, 2019
South Boston District Court
APPLICATION FOR CRIMINAL COMPLAINT: Boston Detectives applied for a complaint against our client, a 23 year old recent college graduate now applying to grad school, for passing a fake ID to her 20 year old friend at a bar. The Detectives testified before a clerk magistrate that our client was one of the most rude, drunk, and offensive suspects they'd dealt with in quite some time.
RESULT: After a full hearing, the clerk declined to issue a formal criminal complaint against our client.
March 6, 2019
Gardner District Court
CHARGE: Operating Under the Influence, 2nd offense. We took this case to trial. The arresting state trooper testified that when he observed our client was operating on the highway at 1am without his lights on, he signaled for him to pull over. He testified that our client had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and stunk of booze. He also testified that our client was uncooperative, unsteady on his feet after exiting the cruiser, and appeared to be "drunk." Attorney Urbelis attacked all facets of the trooper's investigation through cross examination.
RESULT: Not Guilty verdict. After the acquittal, we filed a motion for immediate reinstatement of our client's license, which had been suspended for 3 years due to his refusal to take a breath test after the arrest. The prosecution opposed our motion. After the judge heard oral arguments, he allowed our motion; our client is now fully licensed again.
February 25, 2019
Lawrence District Court
MOTION TO VACATE GUILTY PLEA AND DISMISS CASE: We filed our motion to vacate our client's guilty plea and set the matter for a hearing in front of the First Justice of Lawrence District Court. The Commonwealth filed a written opposition to our motion, and each side made oral argument. The guilty plea from 2006, as it stood, was now causing our client, a Guatemalan national, to face deportation.
RESULT: Motion allowed, case dismissed. Our client is no longer facing deportation.
February 7, 2019
Chelsea District Court
MOTION TO REVISE AND REVOKE PRIOR SENTENCE: Our client, a non- citizen, came to our office after being referred to us by his immigration attorney. In 2015, he pled guilty to two charges and was sentenced to probation with conditions. As it turns out, his court- appointed attorney at that time did not properly investigate the impact that such sentence would have on our client's immigration status. Our client was now facing deportation as a result of that sentence. After he hired us, we filed a motion to vacate those guilty pleas and for new trial on a number of legal grounds. After the district attorney's office reviewed our motion, we reached an agreement with their office to revise the original sentence in a manner that would NOT effect our client's immigration status.
RESULT: The court allowed our agreed- upon motion to revise and revoke the original sentence. Our client is no longer in deportation proceedings in immigration court.
February 5, 2019
Lowell District Court
CHARGE: Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol. At trial, a Massachusetts State Trooper testified that our client nearly caused a 3- car crash on Route 495, drifting in and out of lanes multiple occasions. The trooper also testified that our client failed to pull over when signaled, and did not do so until a while after the Trooper was forced to activate his siren. He testified that once pulled over, our client was unable to locate his registration, sat there looking confused, with bloodshot eyes, a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, and slurred speech. He said that our client was confused as to his route home, and admitted to drinking beers throughout the evening. The trooper testified that after being ordered to exit his car, our client was unable to stand still without losing his balance, and failed multiple field sobriety tests. He testified that our client appeared "drunk" and that when being transported to the station for booking, the cruiser was overtaken by the "overwhelming" smell of alcohol coming from the back seat where our client was sitting.
VERDICT: After a lengthy cross- examination, Attorney Urbelis picked apart the trooper's entire investigation, which he later emphasized in closing argument. After just twenty minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of NOT GUILTY.
January 30, 2019
Worcester Juvenile Court
APPLICATION FOR JUVENILE COMPLAINT: Police responded to a compliant of a house party with teenagers. Upon arrival, police found our seventeen year old client and four other girls at the house with empty beer bottles scattered about. When questioned, all four girls admitted to drinking the beers. The police applied for a juvenile complaint against our client on the charge of minor in possession of alcohol.
RESULT: After a clerk magistrate's hearing, we convinced the clerk to NOT issue a juvenile complaint against our client. There will be no record of this incident moving forward.
January 23, 2019
Dedham District Court
CHARGES: Kidnapping, Domestic Assault and Battery. The Commonwealth called five witnesses to testify against our client in this jury trial. Essentially, we did not contest the allegations, but raised (and were permitted to argue) the affirmative defense of necessity, over the prosecutor's objection. While an acquittal on both counts would have been ideal, our mail goal was to obtain an acquittal on the serious felony charge of kidnapping, which carried with it significant imprisonment.
JURY VERDICT: Not Guilty on Kidnapping, Guilty of misdemeanor domestic assault and battery.
January 9, 2019
Lawrence District Court
CHARGE: Domestic Assault and Battery
RESULT: Case dismissed.
January 3, 2019
Leominster District Court
PROBATION VIOLATION PROCEEDING: Our client was on probation for assault and battery. While on probation, he was charged with RAPE. This new offense triggered probation revocation proceedings. For this type of proceeding, the standard to find a violation is much less than the proof required in a criminal case. After a hearing, if the judge finds that it is more likely than not that the probationer committed the violation (in this case, the new offense of RAPE), then he is found to have violated the terms of probation and will be sentenced to jail.
RESULT: A lengthy evidentiary hearing was conducted, which included the testimony of our client's accuser. She described a forcible rape. On cross examination, Attorney Urbelis was able to establish her motive to lie; she and our client were going through a bitter custody battle of the son they shared in common. If our client went to jail, she would then get full custody. Our client also elected to take the stand and gave his side of the encounter; that it was consensual. After final arguments by Attorney Urbelis and the Assistant District Attorney, the judge found that our client did not violate his probation by committing rape. In other words, the accuser had been discredited.