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I’m often asked how people find me and how do they know I’m the right person

to handle their case. Most people look online and choose the first lawyer they

see but more time and effort should be placed into finding the right criminal

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I have had many clients who have been charged with stealing items from a store.

If the items are valued over $250 the charge can take the form of a felony

larceny over $250. Shoplifting is a misdemeanor charge and is usually issued for

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Indecent assault and battery is a touching of another person in an area which

is deemed fundamentally offensive when viewed by contemporary standards, and it must be without consent or justification. This generally

includes areas of the buttocks, breasts and crotch and by definition any

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Simple possession of drugs for personal use is a common charge.there is a heroin

epidemic in Massachusetts and all over the country. Heroin and opiate is a drug

which creates a strong craving in addicts. Heroin addicts are responsible for a

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Whether you are involved in a bar fight one argument which took turned physical

at home with your spouse or partner you may find yourself charged with domestic assault

and battery and in the Boston District Court wondering what to do.   It is

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In Massachusetts District Court cases can begin by either an arrest and application by the police for a criminal charge to be issued or an application for complaint requesting a clerk magistrates hearing also known as a show cause hearing. When the police are witnesses to an event or the charge is a felony they have the right to apply directly for the charge to be issued and an accused would be brought to court in custody or sent a summons for an arraignment. An arraignment is the formal reading the of charges in open court where a plea of not guilty is entered and the court inquires of the accused as to whether he has an attorney or is seeking a court-appointed attorney because they cannot afford a private attorney. A court appointed attorney is only provided to the indigent or those who make less than a certain amount every year. The amount of salary required to not qualify for a court appointed attorney is very low, if you work at all it is difficult to receive a court-appointed attorney.

The other way the case can begin in District Court other then by arrest and arraignment is by application for criminal complaint. A person is entitled to have a criminal clerk magistrates hearing related to misdemeanors in which the police are not a witness. The clerk magistrate or show cause hearing is an informal hearing in front of the clerk magistrate in which a police officer usually reads from a police report as to the facts which make up the charge against the accused. At times witnesses are brought in by the police to testify especially when it is one witness’s word versus the accused which makes up the case. The standard of proof for issuing the charge is one of probable cause to believe that the accused was involved in the crime. The clerk magistrate’s hearing is not a trial, rules of evidence are relaxed and a clerk is the one who decides whether probable cause exists to issue a charge. An accused can testify and also bring in witnesses or evidence to help explain his side. One must be very careful because the accused will be placed under oath anything a person says at the hearing can be used against him on a later date if the charges issue.

The clerk magistrate can decide not to issue the charge and take the matter under advisement where it will disappear after a certain amount of time as long as there are no new accusations against the accused. A matter can always be brought back on a later date and issued if new developments have aggravated the situation.

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Client is a software engineer from India who would suffer the loss of employment if her company became aware of her being charged with the felony of larceny over $250. She is here on an H-1 B business visa and is the sole provider for her family back in India. Based on the extreme hardship she would suffer I was able to speak with the prosecutor explain situation and convince the Commonwealth to agree to postpone arraignment for her to complete 40 hours of community service. Upon completion of 40 hours of community service at a nonprofit organization they agreed to dismiss charges of larceny over 250 and receiving stolen property prior to arraignment.

Client was found with over two thousand dollars worth of merchandise that was taken from two stores. Since the merchandise was valued over $250 she was not charged with shoplifting but the more serious felony charge of larceny over $250 and receiving stolen property. The receiving stolen property charge was related to the property in her possession which was from another store. These types of matters can either be scheduled for a clerk magistrate hearing or in this case the person can be arrested, a bail set and scheduled for arraignment. She was arrested by the Braintree police and released on her own personal recognizance to appear in Quincy district court today.

As a criminal lawyer in Boston Frank Fernandez has handled many magistrate hearings some in Quincy, Boston Municipal Court and many other counties all around Massachusetts. A Clerk magistrate hearing is a hearing before a clerk in which the clerk of court decides whether probable cause exists to charge someone with a crime. The officer involved in the arrest does not need to appear. At times a witness or victim may be summonsed to testify. Hearsay is allowed and a clerk may hear from an officer not involved with the case who merely reads the police report as a summary of what took place. A person can then ask questions of the officer or be sworn in and testify themselves as to their version of the events. Anything you say can be used in future proceedings against you if charged with a crime. It is important to have a criminal attorney represent you to be able to speak on your behalf without you making any admissions or make statements which can later be used against you. A criminal lawyer can inform the clerk as to your personal situation and give reasons why a charge should not issue. Attorney Fernandez has been very successful in convincing the court to not proceed with charges although probable cause exists.

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On Wednesday, October 15 Max Bickford was riding a moped in downtown Boston when all of the sudden a plainclothes police officer chased a suspect into the street in front of him. The suspect was arrested stopping traffic. Bickford took out his cell phone and began to videotape the arrest. The officer told him to move out of the way which he did. In the video the officer is then seen grabbing Beckford’s phone and this is where the video ends. Bickford states that the officer then threw the phone on the ground breaking the face of it. He was placed in handcuffs and thrown to the ground himself. He was eventually released and given back his broken cell phone.

Bickford called the police station to lodge a complaint and was told by the lieutenant that the officer believed there may have been evidence on the cell phone. It is not illegal to videotape an arrest made in public. The police need a search warrant to seize and look into phones content.

The Boston police, as well as all police departments all over the country, need to start to get used to the idea that they can and will be videotaped in the performance of their duties in public. Large cities such as London have video cameras set up throughout the whole city which allows for surveillance from a main headquarters to provide Public Safety and evidence. It is about time that the police begin to use video surveillance to their own advantage. Many crimes have no witnesses but yet can’t be solved through surveillance video of a public area.

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Boston Municipal Court client is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm without a license. The possession of a firearm without a license charge carries a mandatory minimum 18 months House of corrections sentence.

Facts of the case are that client goes to a friend’s home with a backpack with a couple small bags of marijuana in the backpack as well as a weight scale. While the client is charging his phone in the upstairs bedroom of his friends home two cousins of his friend come running back into the home stating that the police are on their way.

One of them stated that the gun jammed on him. Police arrive on the scene,

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A Northeastern University student reported an attack in the early morning of Thursday while walking on Huntington Avenue. Northeastern police report that the student was grabbed by her neck and the assailant attempt to drag her down an alley on the 500 block of Huntington Avenue near the Wentworth Institute of technology. The young student began to scream which drew the attention of nearby security officers which caused the assailant to run from the scene. The suspect is described as a black male in his 20s 6’2″ approximately 180 pounds.

As a criminal lawyer in Boston it is this time of year when university students return to the city that there is an uptick in assaults and sexual assault type crimes. Any students who are new to the area should be extra cautious especially late at night. Many areas of the city can be dangerous it is important to become familiar with your surroundings and your new neighborhood before venturing out alone late at night.

Having defended many accused of both assault and sexual assaults it is common for them to prey on people who walk alone or who are distracted by looking at their phones.