Criminal Practice

Experienced Attorneys Helping Massachusetts Residents Fight Prosecution

The defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman have devoted their careers to protecting the rights of those charged with criminal offenses. With over 25 years of experience, Stephen Neyman has the trial skills and legal resources necessary to fight the prosecution at every step of a case. Our criminal defense lawyers have represented many Boston residents who have been charged with OUI, drug crimes, white-collar crimes, sexual assault, and more. No matter how challenging your case, Stephen Neyman can provide you with personalized attention and dedicated legal representation.

Protect Your Rights against Sex Crimes Charges

The consequences for defendants who are convicted of a sex offense in Massachusetts can be significant. In addition to a jail sentence and other criminal penalties, they may face the requirement of registering as a sex offender. This classification can adversely affect a person’s ability to find education, employment, or housing opportunities well into the future.

There is a broad range of conduct classified as sex crimes, ranging from rape and date rape to indecent assault and battery. To prove a charge of indecent assault and battery, the prosecution must show that the defendant committed an assault and battery involving indecent touching of the victim’s body without the victim’s consent, and that the victim was at least 14 years old. People convicted of this crime may be punished by up to two and a half years in the House of Corrections or up to five years in state prison. However, there are often many defenses that may be available to individuals accused of indecent assault and battery or other sex offenses. For example, they may argue that the accuser consented to the behavior, that someone else actually perpetrated the unlawful behavior, or that the accuser is bringing false allegations. Many of these cases hinge on the credibility of the defendant and other witnesses, so it is critical to enlist an attorney who can properly prepare your case.

Fighting Allegations of Domestic Assault and Battery

Massachusetts law imposes substantial penalties on a wide spectrum of conduct that involves physical harm or the threat or attempt of physical harm between members of the same household. These are defined not only as people who have blood or marriage ties but also as people who are living together, have had children together, or have merely dated at some time. Domestic assault and battery is usually charged as a misdemeanor, which can be punished by up to 30 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. The penalties may be more significant if the alleged perpetrator was under a restraining order at the time.

A defense that may be applicable to this type of charge is that the accuser called the police in a fraudulent attempt to gain an advantage in a child custody matter or another family law dispute. In other circumstances, a defendant may be able to argue that the accuser actually had consented to the conduct on which the charges were based. Sometimes the alleged assault also may be a response to the accuser’s use of force, in which case a theory of self-defense may be appropriate. Knowledgeable guidance from a legal professional can help you understand which arguments may be most relevant to your specific situation.

Facing Prosecution for OUI in Massachusetts

Under Massachusetts law, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher is considered Operating Under the Influence, commonly known as an OUI. An OUI is often referred to interchangeably as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), and all the terms essentially have the same meaning. For drivers under the age of 21, the BAC limit is .02%.

The penalties that may result from an OUI conviction are different for specific situations, and they often depend on factors such as whether it was a first-time offense or whether there were any injuries to others. The penalties and administrative sanctions for those with repeat OUI convictions were significantly increased in 2005, when Melanie’s Law was enacted. The law also created new offenses that may lead to charges in addition to an OUI, such as Child Endangerment while OUI if a child under 14 years is in the driver’s car, and Operating After Suspension for Drunk Driving if the driver was operating a vehicle while under the influence when his or her license was suspended due to an OUI already.

There are, however, many potential defenses to an OUI charge. Depending on the circumstances, these may include a lack of probable cause for arrest, the faulty use of a breathalyzer, or the incorrect administration of field sobriety tests, among others.

Mounting a Defense to Drug Charges

It is illegal to unlawfully possess, distribute, or manufacture controlled substances in Massachusetts, including marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and other street drugs, as well as any unauthorized prescription drugs. Depending on the drug and the circumstances of the charge, penalties can include fines, mandatory treatment programs, jail sentences, suspension of driver’s license, and probation. For example, although simple possession of marijuana of one ounce or less is subject to a $100 fine and forfeiture of the drug, an additional charge for intent to distribute any amount of marijuana can result in fines of up to $5,000 and incarceration for up to two years. Penalties may be increased for repeat offenders or in certain other situations.

Although Massachusetts drug laws can be complicated and the penalties severe, there are several defenses that may be available. Drug charges are commonly the result of a search and seizure of illegal substances by a police officer. If the officer did not have probable cause or consent to perform a search, or if it is found to be unreasonable, the evidence obtained can potentially be suppressed in court. This may lead to a reduction or even dismissal of the charges. Most recently, the Massachusetts Supreme Court held that the smell of marijuana alone is not sufficient to justify a search of an entire vehicle to find an amount over one ounce. Remembering details of your arrest, such as these, can help provide your attorney with important information to defend against your charges.

Protecting Your Rights When Facing Prosecution for Theft or Larceny

Larceny is defined generally as the taking of the property of another without their consent and with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. In Massachusetts, there are several types of theft crimes that fall under the definition of larceny. Typically, if the value of the property is under $250, it is charged as as a misdemeanor offense, which can carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $300 fine. Theft of property valued over $250 is a felony charge, punishable by a five-year maximum prison sentence and up to a $25,000 fine, although crimes involving motor vehicles or certain types of victims or perpetrators may result in more severe penalties. Defenses to these crimes may include lack of intent to steal or consent by the property owner, among others.

Fighting Other Charges in Massachusetts

Although drug and sex crimes offenses are among the most commonly charged offenses in Massachusetts, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman have extensive experience handling a variety of other criminal cases, including assault and battery, theft, white collar crimes, guns and weapons charges, federal crimes, motor vehicle offenses, violent crimes, OUI, and child pornography. For most of these offenses, certain defenses may be available that, if established, can help avoid a conviction or minimize the consequences. These may include unreasonable search and seizure, unlawful arrest, obtaining a confession after failing to use Miranda warnings, and others. In any type of case, it is important to remember that the prosecution has the burden of proving every element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. A tenacious lawyer can help a defendant make sure that the prosecution cuts no corners in meeting that heavy burden.

Discuss Your Criminal Prosecution with a Skilled Boston Lawyer

A seasoned criminal defense lawyer can provide invaluable legal insight into your case and help you determine the best course of action to resolve criminal charges in Massachusetts. With over two decades of experience, Boston attorney Stephen Neyman has represented individuals in Boston charged with drug offenses, domestic assault and battery charges, and a variety of other crimes. To schedule a confidential consultation and learn about your options under the law, call the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman at (617) 263-6800 at any time of day, or contact us online. We proudly serve clients throughout Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex, and Plymouth Counties.