How I Win Cases

Some cases are harder to win than others and I never run away from a challenge. Because I spent the first 12 years of my law career as a public defender, I have fought the toughest battles and gone to trial on the most challenging cases. I bring that breadth of experience and fighting spirit to my private practice in which I focus almost exclusively on criminal defense in the federal and state courts of Massachusetts. I have a proven record of success in the courtroom and am confident to go to trial no matter how difficult the battle will be. In order to win tough cases, I always start preparing for trial the moment I get the case. Even if the case appears to be one that might benefit from a plea deal, I focus on a possible trial just in case the plea negotiations don’t work out to my client’s benefit. Because prosecutors and judges know that I am not afraid to go to trial on tough cases, my clients get very good offers. I never pressure a client to take a plea and will only advise them on the likelihood of success at trial.

Doing My Own Investigations

I always hire an experienced licensed investigator to work on my cases because I don’t trust what is written in the police report. Police need to clear cases which means that they will do the minimum investigation necessary to obtain probable cause to arrest. A person accused of a crime needs an experienced investigator looking out for his interests.

In a recent case, I represented a man accused of aggravated rape after his ex-girlfriend accused him of holding her captive in a shed and assaulting and raping her from early evening on a Friday until she escaped Saturday morning. I did my own investigation and uncovered a 911 call from late Friday night in which my client could be heard begging the police to get his ex-girlfriend off of his property because she wouldn’t leave. The detectives and prosecutor assigned to this case did not uncover this important piece of evidence. The jury acquitted him of the aggravated rape.

I represented a young man accused of armed assault with intent to murder for stabbing someone at a party where everyone was drunk and looking to fight. The victim of the stabbing and his brother testified that my client initiated a one-on-one fight with the victim and pulled a knife out and stabbed him because he was losing the fight. The stabbing victim was unarmed man and much smaller than my client. I presented several witnesses from the party who all agreed that my client had been surrounded by a large group of angry men, including the one who was stabbed and his brother, who swarmed him and beat him to the ground. Following many hours of intense and meticulous preparation, my client testified beautifully about the attack and his belief that he was going to be beaten to death. He was acquitted of all charges.

In another case in which my client was accused of rape of a child, the police failed to investigate another adult male living in the household. I learned that this other man was a registered sex offender and highlighted the police’s failure to investigate him as a possible suspect to the crime. As the trial developed the jury started to suspect that the child’s mother was covering up for this man who was the father of her youngest children. The jury found my client not guilty.

Working with Expert Witnesses

It is important that you hire a lawyer who knows how to challenge expert witnesses and to use them to her client’s benefit. Your case may have testimony about DNA, accident reconstruction, or drug analysis. I have tried many cases in which I successfully cross-examined the government’s expert witnesses and have called my own expert witnesses. In a motor vehicle homicide trial, for example, I successfully convinced a jury of twelve that the wet road on which my client was speeding was so inherently dangerous in its design that her failure to stay within the designated lane of travel, which resulted in a single car crash that killed her passenger, was not the result of careless driving. This victory required calling my own expert – a highway design engineer – and successfully cross-examining an engineer from the Department of Transportation about the highway’s design. I also successfully challenged the prosecution’s accident reconstruction expert for giving an opinion that my client was at fault that was not supported by the physical evidence from the collision.

Suppression Matters

Just because a person committed a crime does not mean that he should be found guilty of that crime. If the police illegally searched and seized evidence, then it can’t be used against the defendant at trial. I have a proven record of successfully suppressing illegally seized evidence and have lectured extensively to criminal defense lawyers on the subject.

A Superior Court judge suppressed my mentally ill client’s confession to an armed robbery. When I met my client for the first time one day after his arrest and confession I immediately recognized that he was off of his medication and severely decompensated. I immediately lined up a forensic psychologist to evaluate him before the medication provided to him at the hospital where the court had sent him could improve his mental functioning. Following a two-day hearing the judge agreed that his confession was involuntary. The prosecution was left with no choice but to dismiss the case because the remaining evidence was insufficient to convict him.

A judge in the Superior Court suppressed child pornography files found on my client’s computer. The police focused in on my client after a state trooper accessed his computer via a peer-to-peer file sharing network and found illegal files. The police determined the IP address that the computer was using to access the Internet, learned that it was registered to Comcast, and got the subscriber information for the account. The judge suppressed the evidence found on the computer because the search warrant affidavit did not establish sufficient probability that the device with the contraband files was in the home at the time that the search warrant was executed and because the items listed in the affidavit for which the police were permitted to search was too broad.

A judge in the Superior Court suppressed trafficking weight of cocaine after the police pulled over my client for no reason and illegally searched a lockbox found inside a backpack that was inside the car. I convinced the judge that this search exceeded what an officer may permissibly do at a motor vehicle stop.

A judge in the Superior Court suppressed guns and several pounds of marijuana after police kicked down the door of an apartment following a report that man had been beaten up and threatened with a gun. The detective who authored the police report claimed that officers noticed guns and drugs in plain view as they quickly went through the apartment to make sure that there were no people who could have posed a threat to them. I demanded the “turret tape” which is a recording of all police communications over the radio and called all 9 officers who responded to the scene to testify at the suppression hearing. Through their testimony and the recording I was able to establish that the people in the apartment had already been arrested and taken outside long before the police found the guns and drugs. This made the search illegal because the police were required to obtain a search warrant. The case was dismissed since the evidence had been suppressed.

A large capacity gun found in my client’s car was suppressed in the Superior Court because the police improperly demanded my client’s driver’s license which resulted in an illegal search of his car. The police alleged that they stopped the car because of excessively tinted windows. Before approaching the car the officer ran the plate which was registered to a woman who he believed had a warrant. Upon approaching the car he saw my male client sitting in the car and should have been able to see that the tinted windows were not in violation of the law. The judge held that as soon as the officers approached the car and the male driver and that the windows were lawful, they should have let him go without any further demand for his license.

Know The Law (even the obscure provisions)

A client who had been arrested on an unrelated matter faced additional gun charges because when the police found unlicensed firearms in his house while executing a search warrant as part of the investigation on the first case. My client had an expired Firearm Identification (FID) card. The police charged him and the prosecutor indicted him, all unaware that Massachusetts General Law Chapter 140 section 131 creates an exemption to the heavy criminal penalties imposed on people found in possession of firearms without a valid license if the person has an expired FID card and has never been rejected in an attempt to renew it. My motion to dismiss the criminal charges relating to the guns was allowed.

A client was pulled over due to excessive tinting of his windows and could not provide the officer with a valid license. The officers arrested him for driving with a suspended license and prepared to have his car towed. The officer claimed that when he entered the car to do an inventory of the items in the car he found a gun in the center console. I explained to the judge that Massachusetts General Law chapter 90, section 9D, which prohibits excessive tinting, does not apply to factory installed tinted windows and that markings at the bottom of the window showed that this car had factory installed windows. The judge agreed with me that the officers should have stopped their inquiry into the driver once they approached the car and saw the markings on the windows. The gun was suppressed.

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