Nicole Colby Longton, Attorney at Law - Worcester Criminal Defense Attorney

Call Today, Free Consultation.
Office: 508-793-2000
Mobile: 508-241-9000

Call Today, Free Consultation.
Office: 508-793-2000
Mobile: 508-241-9000

Dedicated to Protecting the Rights Of The Injured & Accused

Case Summaries

2015 cases

Clerk’s Hearing – All Charges Dismissed
Client’s perfect record and long-term professional employment were threatened as a result of an incident last fall. Client was sitting in his parked car with his wife, waiting to pick up a family member. They had their windows down and watched as a group of teenagers walked by. Seconds later, they heard a crash and realized that these teens were throwing rocks and other things at their car. Client told wife to call the police and then got out of the car to confront the teens. The teens began running. Client chased after them, and finally caught up with one teen who threw the rock. The officers eventually arrived and teen alleged that the Client had assaulted him and pushed him to the ground. The Client immediately explained that he never assaulted the teen. As is very common with “he said, he said” type situations, the officers initiated charges against both the Client (District Court), and the teen (Juvenile Court).

Client stood to lose his perfect record and his career if the complaint issued. Client hired me and we immediately began to gather supporting evidence, including witness statements from neighbors that flatly contradicted the teens’ story. At the hearing, all charges were dismissed. Client’s record is clear and his job is secure.

Client was travelling on a back road west of Boston. As he slowed down with traffic, he was struck from behind. Client suffered significant soft tissue injuries, lost wages, and months of physical therapy before he returned to “normal”. After flatly rejecting the insurance company’s initial “low-ball” offer, the client was prepared to hold out for proper compensation for his pain and suffering.

Client was a college student, with absolutely no criminal record. He was doing very well academically and a top athlete. But Client was struggling financially. He was working as much as he could to help pay his tuition, and he didn’t want to ask his single mother for help when he got behind on bills and had no money in his account. In a moment of weakness he took a fellow student’s dining/debit card and transferred money to his own. When confronted, Client apologized and confessed to everything. He was then charged with identify fraud, larceny and credit card fraud.

Client immediately and voluntarily left school and began working two restaurant jobs full time. He paid full restitution to his former classmate. He has continued working as much as possible with the goal of returning to college full-time when his finances allow, and when his criminal cases resolved.

Today we were able to work out a wonderful disposition that will allow the client to get his life back on the right track. The identify fraud and credit card fraud were each dismissed, and client was placed on pre-trial probation (chapter 276 section 87) on the misdemeanor larceny charge. As long as client stays out of trouble, the larceny charge will be dismissed in one year. No admission, no conviction and Client’s record will be pristine.

Client, a single mother and RN student, was driving her young child home. She stopped to run an errand and ran into an acquaintance she hadn’t seen in a while. When he asked her for a ride, she agreed. A few miles later when she was distracted by her young child crying, she briefly took her eyes off the road, which caused her to rear-end the car in front of her. The acquaintance said he would get out and talk to the other car to see if there were injuries or any damage, while the client gathered her paperwork. A few minutes later her acquaintance jumped in car and told Client to leave right away.

He said the young teenagers in the other car told him they were not injured, there was no damage. He also claimed the driver said she didn’t have a license, and she was begging him not to call the police. Client was torn, but didn’t want to get the girl in trouble. Imagine her surprise when she was later contacted by the PD asking about the accident. Client immediately went to the WPD with her car, where she was told she was being charged with leaving the scene of property damage.

Client’s friend referred her to me. We soon learned that the story Client’s “acquaintance” told her wasn’t true, and it appeared the acquaintance made up the story to get client to leave right away. He apparently had an outstanding warrant and was afraid he would be arrested.

On the second court date, all charges against Client were dismissed upon proof that Client’s insurance had covered the property damage. Many thanks to the wonderful and understanding family of the teenager, who assented to this outstanding disposition. Because all charges were dismissed, Client can continue working full time in the medical field, taking care of her children, and pursue her RN degree.

Client is a 20 year old student at a top college with a competitive triple major. He is trilingual, has outstanding grades, and is being recruited by numerous major companies. Last Halloween weekend, Client decided to go out of town and visit his friend from High school at one of the state’s biggest party colleges. Things got out of hand, and client soon found himself exchanging drunken words with another student. A cop responding to a different disturbance observed the interaction and approached the client. He searched the client’s bag and found alcohol. Client was summoned to court for disturbing the peace and minor in possession charges.

Client considered representing himself, but eventually, he very reluctantly told his mom. Mom wisely insisted they hire an attorney and immediately got to work calling lawyers. She was eventually referred to me. On our first call, she asked me to promise her son’s future wouldn’t be ruined.

I told her that while ethically I am precluded from promising a certain result, I could assure her I would treat her son’s case the way I would want my own to be treated. I spent hours with the client and his mom learning all about their very unique family background and client’s lifetime of high achievement. After client and his mom endured a stressful wait for a date for our clerk magistrate hearing, it was finally held today.

I am happy to report that all charges against client have been dismissed. There will be no entry on the Client’s criminal record. Client can begin his highly-competitive internship this month, and have his choice of companies after graduation.

My teenage client was charged with four counts of larceny and shoplifting. Client was seen on video, and when confronted, confessed to the loss prevention and law enforcement. Client was terrified, she thought she had ruined her record and her life was over.

She confided in her parents who were also incredibly distraught over her situation. As much as they were disappointed with her alleged actions, as she was not raised that way, they also didn’t want to see her hopes and dreams ruined because of this one bad decision. They wanted to see her accept responsibility but at the same time, did not want it destroying her record.

They began calling lawyers and spoke to a few who immediately offered to plead Client out for a fairly modest fee. The parents didn’t feel comfortable giving up so soon and that is when they were referred to me. I explained the different options for resolution including a trial.

After I was hired, I began conferencing the matter with the District Attorney’s Office. After weeks of discussing various possible resolutions, we appeared today in court for the first time for Client’s arraignment. We stepped the case back to allow the ADA and I more time to negotiate, as the options that were offered could have interfered with Client’s ability to return to College and obtain professional employment.

After another 3 hours of negotiations, including multiple discussions with the alleged victim (the retail store), we were able to reach a phenomenal result: all charges against the Client were decriminalized and converted to civil infractions. That means there is no criminal conviction or admission on her record. No jail time, and no probation. After paying court costs, everything will be closed and Client’s record is clean.

I am confident this young woman has learned from this experience and am very pleased she can put this behind her and get back on the right track

Client was employed as a general manager of a local company. This company would occasionally receive complimentary items from local vendors, which the absentee Owner would authorize employees to use. On one occasion, a vendor provided free tickets to a children’s show. Owner told the Client he had no use for them, and Client could use them for his children.

A few months after the show, the Client approached the Owner about illegal employment practices he had observed. Owner refused to remedy the situation. Client subsequently left his employment and reported the practices to the Attorney General’s office. A civil suit was filed, and months later, Owner agreed to pay a six-figure settlement because of his unlawful employment practices.

As soon as the settlement was signed, Owner of company attempted to retaliate against Client, and filed a police report claiming that Client had stolen the free tickets 18 months earlier. Client attempted to handle the matter himself at a clerk’s hearing, but without skilled representation, the complaint issued.

Client then hired me. After nearly a year of pre-trial discovery, we were able to locate multiple witnesses (current and former employees) to attest that the tickets were given to Client. We brought in the certified court records regarding the prior lawsuit and were prepared to show that this Owner has a history of suing and/or disparaging any departing employees.

I am happy to say that today, when we answered “Ready for Trial”, the Commonwealth was forced to move to dismiss, as they could not prove their case. While it is unfortunate that my client had to endure the stress of these false allegations for the past year, he is ecstatic to be able to put this matter and job behind him. And hopefully our total victory will make the Owner think twice about he treats his current and former employees.

2014 Cases

Leominster District Court – Client, a married father of two and decorated veteran was summonsed to a clerk’s hearing for allegations that he assaulted a neighbor. At the hearing we were able to demonstrate that the alleged victim was a convicted felon and known drug user and dealer. Alleged victim claimed client assaulted him because he owed him money. In reality, at the hearing we offered evidence suggesting the alleged victim fabricated the entire story to get an ambulance ride to the hospital and pain pills. All charges were dismissed and client’s record remains pristine.

Client was charged with intimidation of a witness after getting into a verbal argument with former sister-in-law. On trial date all charges were dismissed against our client when we established that there was no pending criminal action (only an expired civil restraining order), and therefore the intimidation of a witness charge did not apply. Case was dismissed and client will keep her clean record.

Policy Limit: Client was operating a motorcycle in Worcester. He was travelling at an appropriate speed when a motor vehicle ran a stop sign and struck him (T-bone). Client was thrown from the motorcycle and was transported from the scene by ambulance where he was taken in for emergency surgery. Client hired me soon after the accident and we were quickly able to obtain the policy limit from the insured driver. At the same time, I was also able to negotiate his medical liens down to approximately 15% of their original claim (an 85% reduction). Even better – this week, after months of negotiations with his insurance company, we were able to obtain the policy limit on his underinsured claim as well. Client received every last dollar available to him, without ever having to sit for a deposition, or set foot in a courtroom.

Dismissal Prior to Arraignment – Client was called by the Police Department one afternoon while on her way home from shopping. Though client was never confronted at the store, the officer told her an employee believed he saw her shoplifting on camera, and then followed her to the car to get her license plate. Client, a single mother with a perfect record and great job, was shocked at the allegations. She told the officer he could search her home and car, she hadn’t taken anything. Officer declined and instead summonsed her in for a probable cause hearing before a clerk magistrate. Client hired a different attorney, and after a hearing, the complaint against her issued, and client was scheduled for arraignment (at which time she would have a criminal record).

After the probable cause hearing, client was referred to me. Today was client’s arraignment and after reviewing the case with the District Attorney’s office, I was able to have the entire case dismissed PRIOR to arraignment. Client’s record is still completely clean, and her long-time employment, and pension, is secure.

Juvenile Court:
My client, a 17 year old AP/honor roll student with multiple college scholarship offers was found with marijuana after a motor vehicle stop. Based on the quantity, he was charged with possession with intent to distribute. Today we were able to have the matter continued under c. 276, Section 87. As long as the client stays out of trouble, the case will be dismissed in a few months, with no admission or conviction on his record. His record is completely protected, and he will be able to keep his scholarship.

Assault & Battery Dangerous Weapon
Client was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after trying to prevent his friend from being attacked from behind. Client was alleged to have picked up an individual at a bar and thrown him to the ground. We later obtained a surveillance video that showed a different story (and which the police had not seen at the time the charges were brought). In the video, the alleged victim can be seen in a physical altercation with the client’s friend. As the friend tried to walk away from the fight, the alleged victim chased after him. At that time my client stepped in – to protect his friend from being attacked from behind. On trial date charges were dismissed following an “accord & satisfaction” – client’s job is secure and his record is protected.

Client was laid off from his Massachusetts employer after the employer closed down Client’s division. Client was left with no income and a family to support. After some deliberation, he decided to open his own business in the same industry, and soon established a network of projects throughout the United States. When the employer learned how successful client’s business had become, it threatened to file suit against client and his new company claiming that Client had violated his non-compete (an agreement that client signed when he was first hired, without consulting a lawyer). At that time, the Client attempted to resolve the matter without an attorney and entered into an agreement to pay a significant sum of money to avoid litigation. When Client was unable to keep up with the payments, the former Employer sued the client and his company. The Client’s business and livelihood was on the line. Client was referred to me. I immediately looked at the original non-compete and learned that it was limited in scope to Massachusetts and at a minimum, Employer had no basis for restricting Client’s work outside of the state (notwithstanding the agreement he had signed). After a few weeks of negotiations, today we reached a settlement – the lawsuit against my Client will be dismissed and his business and livelihood can continue uninterrupted.

Wrentham District Court:
23 year old client with a perfect record, and steady job, was driving home in the early hours of the morning around a winding back road. Client wasn’t familiar with the corner and took it too wide, causing him to scrape the sides of his tires on a very large rock. Client managed to pull the car up and park it safely on the side of the road, where it would not block traffic or interfere with anyone’s private driveway. Client then walked the few miles to his friend’s house where he spent the night intending to take care of the car in the morning. Within a few hours, client awoke to police at his friend’s door, where he was charged with leaving the scene of property damage and a marked lines violation. The criminal charge carried a jail sentence of 2 1/2 years. Today we were able to have client’s case continued under c. 276, section 87 (pre-trial probation). As long as client does not get into any trouble, his case will be dismissed outright in one year. Client did not have to make any admission and there is no conviction. The WORST thing that can happen on a pre-trial probation is the case is restored to a trial list. At that time, client can come right back and continue to fight the case with motions and trial. Of course with this client, a wonderful young man who comes from a very supportive and loving family, I am very confident he won’t have any problems with successfully completing pre-trial probation

Client was a 19 year old college student who was being investigated by campus police for an alcohol-related theft. Client spoke to College officials regarding the allegations (which were speculative at best). College officials advised him that the allegations would be put before the disciplinary board, and if Client was found “responsible” at a hearing, Client could be expelled and his transcript would be permanently tarnished. After considering the risks of proceeding with the hearing, the Client decided to voluntarily withdraw from the College, with the promise that by withdrawing, his transcript would not mention the disciplinary hearing. Days later, client received a letter from the College stating that despite what they had previously told him, the disciplinary matter would be noted on his transcript. He was further advised that the specific allegations against him would be disclosed to other colleges or employers who inquired. At that point Client’s family hired me to assist them, and proceed with litigation if necessary. After a few weeks of negotiations, today we were able to reach a resolution with the College where Client’s transcript remains clean (as he was promised), so that he will be free to apply for transfer to other schools.

DISMISSED (on trial date) – Domestic Assault & Battery
After a whirlwind romance, client moved her new boyfriend into her home. After a few months of boyfriend refusing to get a job, client and boyfriend began arguing frequently. One night after a verbal disagreement, boyfriend broke up with the client. In response, Client told her boyfriend to leave her house. Boyfriend refused because he didn’t have any place to go. After client fell asleep, boyfriend called the police and made allegations that caused the client to be arrested. As a result, client was prohibited from returning to her own home. Client hired me soon after and we immediately marked the case up for trial. Today, all charges against Client were dismissed.

DISMISSED – Defense Motion Allowed – Larceny Over $250
Alleged victim claims he gave Client a ride. He then stopped at a convenience store to buy a drink, and when he returned to the car, client was gone. Alleged victim further claimed to the police that there was money stolen from his wallet that was left in the car, and a text message on his phone referencing the money. Curiously however, no text messages were ever located, and the surveillance video from the convenience store did not support alleged victim’s story. After a motion to dismiss for lack of probable cause, the entire case against Client was dismissed.

CLEARED OLD WARRANTS, ALL CASES DISMISSED. Client lost his daughter in a tragic accident in the late 1990’s. He soon went into a bad depression, lost his job, and allowed his driver’s license to lapse. He continued driving however, and was arrested over the next few years on multiple occasions. In 2003, on his trial date, his public defender told him he would be going to jail for 6 months. He panicked and walked out of the courthouse and never looked back. He was terrified he would lose the job he had just received and couldn’t afford a private lawyer yet. Soon after, he met his future wife and they married. They bought a home. He continued working 2 jobs full time (walking distance from his home) to support their growing family. But in the back of his mind, client was terrified of his past. This year, his new wife hired me because she knew what an emotional toll these old cases were taking on him. After meeting with the client I was able to ease his fears and assure him that we could resolve these cases in a favorable manner that would allow him to get back to the wonderful new life he created. I am happy to say as of yesterday, everything was resolved and client is ecstatic. Client’s cases have all been dismissed, and he again has a valid driver’s license.

ALL CHARGES DISMISSED. My client, a young single mother and graduate student was estranged from her son’s father. They had a difficult relationship but were attempting to remain cordial and in contact for the sake of their child. Recently when my client attempted to see her son’s father to discuss an issue with their son, she was greeted at the door by his new girlfriend who demanded she leave. New girlfriend alleged that my client then broke into the home, and assaulted her and her son’s father. When client hired me last month, she was facing charges of breaking and entering a building at nighttime with intent to commit a felony, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, and vandalizing property. Any of these charges alone or combined could have destroyed client’s future career plans (pharmacist). Thankfully today, I was able to have all charges against my client dismissed. This event will have absolutely no impact on her record and she is free to pursue her dream career.

Harassment Prevention Order Issued. Client dated a young man for approximately one month. When client attempted to break off the relationship, the young man would not let it go. For months he embarked on a non-stop campaign of insulting messages via text, email, facebook, etc. Client attempted to change numbers, block his ex on social media, etc. to no avail. The harassment then escalated – client’s ex began impersonating him on social media, setting up fake accounts to insult the client, accuse him of disseminating STD’s, posting intimate photos and videos that he then linked to client’s social media pages. Client was stressed out and did not know where to turn. He searched online and saw that I had successfully handled matters like this in the past. I met with client, explained his options and the next day appeared in court to obtain a temporary harassment prevention order. Today, the harassment prevention order was issued for a full year – client can rest easy knowing that if his ex contacts him again, it will be in violation of the HPO and result in criminal charges. For more information on restraining orders or harassment prevention orders, check out this link on my website:

Client called me a few weeks ago when he found himself arrested and charged with possession of an illegal narcotic. Client was facing jail time, loss of his perfect record, and loss of financial aid for college. Client was scared to lose everything he had worked for. Thankfully a friend who works in a local courthouse referred him to me. Today was our first court appearance. After conferencing the case with the prosecutor, I was able to have the matter continued for 3 months under Chapter 276, Section 87. If client stays out of trouble for 3 months, everything will be dismissed. No admission, no conviction, and his record remains pristine.

Pedestrian vs. Motor Vehicle Accident. Last year, my client was walking across the street early in the morning in Worcester, on his way to work, when he was struck by a motor vehicle. This was not a case where my client walked off of the curb carelessly and was struck; to the contrary, my client had safely walked across an entire lane of travel and was into the next lane when the other driver came over a hill and struck him. My client was rushed from the scene in an ambulance. Unfortunately when the responding officer arrived he chose not to cite the driver because it didn’t appear my client was in the cross-walk when he was struck (though it wasn’t definite as my client was thrown as a result of the vehicle impact). As a result of the officer’s refusal to cite the driver, the driver’s insurance company refused to pay for the client’s loss. Client needed multiple surgeries, was confined to a wheelchair for weeks, and unable to work. The insurance company continued claiming my client “walked into their insured’s vehicle” and therefore, their insured was not liable. Client’s mother insisted he call a lawyer and after some research, she called me. After 9 months of advocacy where the insurance company refused to acknowledge their driver’s own negligence contributed to the accident, last week we finally reached a settlement. My client’s medical bills are all paid. And today I was able to give him a check that for his pain and suffering that will get him back on his feet, with plenty left over for a much needed vacation for himself and his family.

3 courts this morning – from Clinton to Gardner and back to Worcester Superior with charges ranging from possession of a firearm to threatening to blow up a building. Great results all around. I am especially pleased that my young college student client now has a second chance at his life. This Client previously pled out to a serious firearm charge and accepted a 4 year probation sentence (with another lawyer). Unfortunately, though the terms of his probation mandated that he remain drug-free, there was nothing in place to assist the client with achieving sobriety. After the client violated his probation multiple times (for testing positive for marijuana), he was taken into custody. The client’s mother then hired me to represent him on his violation of probation, where the probation department was seeking to impose the balance of his 4 year sentence in the House of Corrections. After months of advocacy and hearings, today we were able to have the violation of probation withdrawn. We were able to have the Client admitted to a wonderful rehabilitation facility in New Hampshire (the most successful facility I have worked with). Upon completion of his program there (@4-5 weeks), client’s probation will be terminated. He will have a new lease on life, free of probation and with a strong foothold on his sobriety. He and his mother are ecstatic with the result!

Client is a very successful self-employed tattoo artist. He stopped one evening to get gas after work. When he went inside to pay, he slipped on a slick, slippery substance left on the floor. The clerk immediately called an ambulance where client was taken to the hospital and treated for broken/dislocated fingers. Due to his injuries to his hand, client was unable to work for a few months and lost significant income. Without income, client soon lost his health insurance. The store refused to make any medical payments, and denied all liability for his fall. Client was going to give up until a friend referred him to me. When the store’s attorneys refused to acknowledge liability, I immediately filed suit. After months of discovery and review of store records (where we learned that the store intentionally reduced cleaning staff to save money), the store finally acknowledged their liability. Today I was able to provide my client with a settlement that compensates him for his pain and suffering and lost wages.

Four months ago, client and his long-time girlfriend were in process of breaking up. Client moved out. According to his ex-girlfriend, when client returned a few days later to pick up his belongings, he became upset when he saw that she left everything he owned on the back porch. According to the ex-girlfriend, after the client gathered his belongings, he kicked the back door as he was leaving. There was no allegation that the client damaged the door or ever entered the apartment. There were no photos depicting any damage to the door. There were no other witnesses suggesting that the client did anything other than pick up his belongings and leave. Nonetheless, without ever being asked to tell his side of the story, client was immediately arrested and charged with vandalism. Today on the trial date, all charges against the client were dismissed. Because of the dismissal, Client can proceed with his plans to change jobs.

Client, a mother and graduate school student was shopping with her young children, a pre-schooler and an infant in a stroller. As she pushed her youngest child in the stroller, she placed her items in the basket underneath. At some point, her pre-schooler began to have a shopping-induced melt-down. After repeated attempts to calm him down were unsuccessful, she began to walk toward the exit to flag down her husband who was waiting in the car. As she approached the exit, the security personnel stopped her and removed the items from the bottom of the stroller. Client was brought into the security office, the police were called, and she was summonsed to court for felony larceny charges. Client was mortified – she had never been in trouble a day in her life and had no intention of leaving the store with the items. She was stressed out and couldn’t sleep. She knew that if she were convicted, she would not be able to work in her chosen field after graduation, and she would not be able to volunteer with her kids’ school. Client was referred to me and within a week of hiring me, we were able to bring her case forward, and upon payment of court costs, have it dismissed PRIOR to arraignment. No arraignment means client’s record remains pristine.

Over 3 years ago, Client was injured in an accident when another driver crossed the center lane and struck client’s car. The client was treated at the ER, and suffered from back and neck pain. She received physical therapy and chiropractic care for months, but at the end of the treatment she was still not 100%. Unfortunately, her doctors told her she was at a medical end point. Client was employed in medical field, and trusted her doctors, so she decided to just “endure the pain”. Finally, a colleague suggested she see an osteopath. She was reluctant at first, but ultimately, after treatment with the osteopath, she returned to 100%. Client had never considered suing, until her insurance company refused to pay for the osteopath bills (that’s right, they refused to pay for the treatment that worked!). Client spoke with a few attorneys but didn’t feel comfortable with any of them so she waited. Finally, Client was referred to me. As she was describing the accident and everything she had been through over the prior years, I quickly realized she was approaching the statute of limitations (something the other lawyers apparently forgot to mention).

I always remind prospective PI clients when they call that they have 3 years from the date of the MV accident to sue. When this client called me, she had 3 days left to file suit. In those 3 days, I needed to notify the insurance company, open a claim, gather supporting documents, medical bills and police reports, and draft and file a complaint in Superior Court. I am happy to say that we were able to do all of those things, and after a few months of litigation I am providing my client with a check that not only compensates her for all of her out of pocket medical bills (including osteopath treatment), but for her pain and suffering as well. Timing is everything – another week and she would have lost her opportunity for any compensation!

Dismissed Prior to Arraignment – Crisis Averted! My client, an immigrant who came here as a teenager, was in her last year of graduate school when she allegedly committed a moving violation. She was told to expect something in the mail. Client had just married and moved into her new home with her husband, so she provided the new address to the police officer. Unfortunately, as a result of a paperwork error, the officer sent the citation to the wrong address. Client later learned that her failure to attend the hearing or pay the civil fine, caused a criminal complaint to issue against her. The timing could not have been worse. Client found out on 4:00 p.m. the night before her immigration hearing (for her citizenship application) that there was a warrant for her arrest. Client called me frantic that she would not be able to attend her immigration hearing the following day without being arrested. Because it was such a time-sensitive matter, and I was already booked in 2 courts the following morning, I suggested she may need to get a different lawyer. She refused and said she had talked to another lawyer, but she knew she wanted me. She definitely made a good choice. The next morning, I managed to get to all 3 courts, and have client’s warrant cleared, and all charges against her dismissed PRIOR to arraignment. Client could attend her immigration hearing and continue on her path to citizenship with absolutely nothing on her record. These charges may not have seemed like the most serious to many of my clients or colleagues, but the reality is nothing was more important to my client, who had done everything by the book her entire life. These charges, had they continued, could have threatened everything she worked for. Many thanks to the clerks and district attorneys who expedited my matters so I could be in 3 places at once and help this deserving young woman put this matter successfully behind her!

At a clerk magistrate’s hearing this morning, Client faced charges of Breaking and Entering. Client had recently been divorced and moved out of the home she shared with her husband. As part of their divorce, husband agreed to buy her out of the house and allow her to access her belongings that were still there. As you probably guessed, the husband never paid for the house, nor did he allow client to get her things. When the client attempted to go back in herself to get her personal belongings from her home the police were called and she was notified that she would be charged with breaking and entering. Thanks to a vigorous defense, and a very cooperative police department and clerk magistrate, the complaint did not issue against my client. My client will continue to have a pristine record, and with this dismissal is one step closer to putting her life back together after a very difficult divorce.

Client was involved in a single car accident on a winding country road in the early morning hours, following an overnight shift. Client had no prior criminal record and his driving record was clean. There was absolutely no allegation the client used alcohol or drugs, or was texting prior to the accident. Following the accident however, client was summonsed to court and charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle and marked lanes violation. At first Client attempted to resolve the matter himself, but once he realized he was facing jail time as well as a license loss, (which would have caused him to lose his job), he hired me. In one court date, were able to have client placed on pre-trial probation. Client resolved the case with no admission, no conviction, and no license loss. Client’s record remains pristine and his job is secure.

5 courts and 2 trials in 3 days this week – everything from assault and battery to possession of a firearm. Great results in each court. On the date of trial, prosecutor filed a nolle prossequi (declining to go forward at trial because it could not prove its case). In another matter, prior to trial, the court continued the case under c. 276, Section 87 – pre-trial probation. With pre-trial probation, no admission or conviction entered on client’s record. That means if the client stays out of trouble, at the end of the probation period, the charge will be dismissed. Client’s record will remain pristine.

Dog Bite:
My client was in his home on a quiet Sunday afternoon when he heard screams for help coming from the street. He saw two women walking a small dog in the street. The women were screaming as his neighbor’s dog was violently attacking the small dog. Client ran out of his house and pulled the larger dog off of the women and saved the small dog. Client suffered serious lacerations and puncture wounds on his arms and hands from the larger, aggressive dog. Client was treated at hospital and began incurring medical bills. He returned to work right away and tried not to make a big deal about the incident, but as his medical bills continued pouring in, he decided to try to raise the issue amicably with his neighbors (the owners of the larger dog). The owners however, refused to speak with him. At that point, client asked me to assist.

We opened a claim with the out-of-state insurance company, but for months it denied their insured was liable for my client’s injuries. The company clearly didn’t understand Mass law, so I repeatedly explained that under Mass law, their insured was “strictly liable” for the injuries sustained by my client. Eventually a supervisor reviewed the file and applicable law, and put a fairly modest offer on the table. The adjuster insisted this was the final authority on the claim, and said their offer would never get any better, and they would take their chances with a jury. Luckily my client trusted me when I said that it wasn’t a strong offer and we should file suit. After a few months of litigation, this week we were able to settle the case. In addition to paying all of the client’s medical bills, he received a settlement of more than TRIPLE the insurance company’s “final” offer.

Domestic Assault & Battery: Client was in the process of a divorce. He went to his ex-wife’s home to pick up his young children for visitation (as allowed by probate court). It was a cold evening, and when his son appeared with a t-shirt and sandals on, he asked him to go back in the house to retrieve warmer clothes. His son said that his mother wouldn’t let him. Client went into the house himself and asked for the clothing. When his ex-wife wouldn’t get it, he tried to go upstairs to get it himself. Client’s ex-wife then called 911 and reported that Client pushed her out of the way in order to head upstairs. Client was subsequently arrested for A&B.

After client hired me, I obtained the 911 tape and learned that the wife’s initial report to 911 was that she made physical contact with my Client FIRST. In fact, in her first report to the dispatcher, she stated that she tried to restrain him by grabbing on to him as he tried to go upstairs, and when he took her arm off of her, she fell backwards. Her story began to evolve when she spoke with the officers and later obtained a restraining order, and eventually she forgot to mention that she had physically grabbed my Client first. After a short period of pre-trial probation, the charges against my Client will be dismissed. Client’s record remains pristine.

Removal of Old Warrants – All Charges Dismissed
Back in the early 1990’s, Client was a teenager living in Massachusetts. As a result of some youthful indiscretions, he lost his license and couldn’t afford to reinstate it. He was soon arrested for various driving infractions including operating without a license. He was broke and facing these open cases when he took the opportunity to move to the West Coast in the early 90’s to live with family. The open cases had always been in the back of his mind, and now 20 years later, he was married with children and working in a great job. He was finally in a financial position to be able to address the charges. He called me to see if I could help him resolve the cases. After months of court appearances, this week, he was ecstatic when I told him that I was able to have all of his matters dismissed, without him ever having to appear. He can now move forward with his life, without worrying about these old charges, and without losing thousands of dollars in travel costs, and valuable vacation days from his job.

A woman came up to me in court this week and said she was sorry to bother me, because she saw that I had more “serious” cases on, but she was in a little bit of trouble and wanted to hire me after seeing me argue a motion. I told her what I always tell clients – my representation is the same irrespective of whether it is a serious or minor charge. Sure, that trespassing case may not be the most “serious” case the Commonwealth is prosecuting, and it’s not the most “serious” case on my desk, but it is the most important case to my client, and that is all that matters. From the time I opened my own office with a handful of files and a lot of ambition, I told myself to treat each case like it is the only one I have. It’s become increasingly difficult over the years as my caseload has increased exponentially each year, but I still have the same dedication and approach to client service 6 years later. In the past week I appeared in 8 different courts, with outstanding results and relieved clients all around.

A local college student was recently accused of violating his college’s code of conduct. There was no allegation of criminal behavior, but the student was nonetheless found “responsible” at a school hearing and was placed on probation. As a result this student lost his right to play college sports. His mother called me when she read about my success with similar cases. After I took over the case I immediately reviewed the college’s policies and soon discovered that not only was this young man deprived of nearly every right guaranteed by his college’s handbook, the college’s “investigation” was practically non-existent. Indeed, despite the fact that at least 5 independent witnesses observed the alleged incident, the campus police and administration never contacted a single one, instead relying ENTIRELY on the untested word of the complaining witness. At the hearing before a single judicial officer, my client hadn’t even even been allowed to call any witnesses on his behalf, nor could he ask any questions of the complaining witness (who did not even appear at the hearing).

We later learned (and within 48 hours were able to provide documentation) that the judicial officer had a personal relationship with the complaining witness. Needless to say after receiving our comprehensive appeal, where we outlined each of these issues and provided documentation of the school’s violation of my client’s rights, the college reinstated his right to play his chosen sport.

I never cease to be amazed at how many colleges will gladly run rampant over their accused students’ rights. I receive at least one to two calls a week from across the country on cases just like this. I can’t help but think that for every one of these cases I take (and win), there are probably dozens of students out there who are forced to endure unfair and biased hearings because they don’t know their rights. I have handled disciplinary hearings and appeals at almost every college in the state. While some schools try their best to respect their students’ rights and provide fair and unbiased hearings, many do not. I look forward to the day when every college will provide their students with the fair hearings they promise in their handbooks, rather than the kangaroo courts they currently offer.

Client was referred to me by a friend. He spent his late teens and early 20’s in and out of Court. After a stint in jail he was released and resolved to put his life back together as best he could. He got a job and moved up in his company eventually earning a great salary. Years later he learned that his old life of crime would continue haunting him even though he had been trying to do everything right. Client learned that he was supposed to lose his license immediately after his convictions, but the RMV never imposed the suspension.

Years later, they caught up to him and suspended his license. He now had a job, an apartment, a car, and a lot to lose. He tried to take cabs and ask for rides where he could, but he had a long commute. Eventually he was at risk of getting fired because his rides were too unstable and he began driving again. He was pulled over multiple times on the way to work. Each of these charges carried the risk of jail and additional license losses.

His friend referred him to me when his counsel suggested he take a “short period of incarceration” to end the cases since he had such a bad record. I couldn’t disagree with that advice more. Do you know how hard it is for someone to get a job with a criminal record? This young man managed to rise above his record, get in the door of a company and work so hard that he was promoted in a bad economy. I told him we would do whatever we could to make sure he kept that job and got his life back on track without having to start from scratch coming out of jail again. I worked out a plan to get him in compliance with the RMV. After months of negotiating with the ADA, at our hearing, the judge agreed with our request that all of client’s open cases be dismissed. Client is now eligible for a driver’s license and his job is secure.

One of my cases this morning arose out of a rather unusual situation. This client first came to me nearly 2 years ago when his parents suggested that he call an attorney to talk about some harassment he had experienced. They called their family’s corporate attorney who referred the client to me.

At that time, client was a nursing student who was involved in a neighbor dispute that he was concerned was escalating out of hand. Client told me that he had called the police multiple times to report harassment from his neighbor, and each time he was told to “try to get along.” Each time the same officers responded, and nothing was done about his complaints. He reported that after the final incident, a new police officer responded and told him he would bring charges and to expect something in the mail. Client assumed that meant charges would be brought against the neighbor, and he would be called as a witness. Client called me for advice. I told him to call me when he received the documents in the mail. A few weeks later Client called because he received a summons in the mail – he assumed it was for the case against his neighbor. I looked at the summons and told him it was a good idea he had called because he was in for a shock – he was not being summonsed as a witness, but rather a defendant!

For the next few months we engaged in discovery, gathering all of the incident reports and witness statements demonstrating that my client had reported a pattern of harassment by this neighbor for years – and that each of his complaints had been ignored. After multiple hearings and a motion to dismiss, I was finally able to have all charges against my client dismissed. Unfortunately however, the client’s arraignment was still on his record (once you are arraigned and the charges are read to you – you have an entry on your CORI).

Because my client was applying for competitive nursing jobs and was close to completion of his nurse practitioner’s program, he was understandably nervous that this arraignment would send the wrong message to potential employers and possibly cost him job opportunities. The arraignment had already been raised as an issue with his current employer and precluded him from applying for new positions within the same organization. Once Client realized how important a pristine record was in the nursing field, he called me to ask about sealing his record. We filed our petition to seal in October, and today, after a hearing, the judge allowed my petition to seal the client’s record. The client can lawfully answer that he has no record and any employers conducting a search will be told that the client has “No Record.”

Client’s on-again and off-again girlfriend called the police one evening following a verbal disagreement. The Ex initially told the dispatch one story, then changed her story a few more times when officers arrived. In any event, as a result of one of her stories, client was arrested. He released the next morning by the court on his own personal recognizance.

A week later, client was arrested again when the ex called the police to report Client had assaulted her and took off. At his arraignment, client was represented by another lawyer. At that time, his bail was revoked because of the new charges and he was ordered “held for 90 days with no possibility of release”. Client’s family contacted me, insisting he was innocent and the ex was just angry at him and trying to hurt him any way she could.

I immediately got started and soon learned that his family was right: the Client had an air-tight alibi. Client went to work all day (with 8-10 witnesses), and then right after work, went straight to a local gentleman’s club with 2 friends from work. I tracked down the club owner, spoke with him on the phone and spent an afternoon at the club going over hours of surveillance video, getting affidavits from the employees, etc. All of the evidence showed that my Client was 100% absolutely at the Club the entire night and never even saw his Ex.

When faced with the video evidence and witness statements, the ex then admitted she made up the story because she was upset she learned Client was at the Club instead of home with her. She just wanted to “scare him” and didn’t think the Client would get arrested, held in jail, or lose his job (all of which happened).

I immediately filed a motion to reinstate his bail. Motion was allowed and Client was released the same day to face these charges as a free man. Today, I am happy to report that upon review of all of the evidence, all criminal charges against my client were nol prossed (nolle prossequi – Latin for “we shall no longer prosecute”). While Client has his work cut out for him trying to rebuild his life, get his job back, etc. he is relieved that he can now put these cases, and this relationship behind him.

Client was a college graduate, working full time in his field. He was always a “good kid” and never had any contact with the criminal justice system. At some point in his mid-20’s he experimented with drugs and his use quickly escalated. Though he managed to keep his job, his life was spiralling out of control. He soon found himself arrested and charged with possession of narcotics. He quickly put himself in rehab, and addressed his addiction head on. He told his family and with their help achieved a long period of sobriety and hired me to defend him. Even though he was sober and doing well and voluntarily undergoing constant drug tests, he knew he was still facing charges that could ruin his career. This week after months of motions and negotiation, all charges against him were dismissed. Client can finally get himself back on track and focus on his sobriety without these charges hanging over his head.

12 years ago, Client was in his early 20’s. He was away from his family, struggling financially, and fell on hard times. In a period of desperation, he cashed checks that did not belong to him. He then left the area and returned home to family where he slowly began to get his life back on track. Soon after Client left, a warrant issued for his arrest for multiple felonies and misdemeanors. He never received notice of it as he left Massachusetts, but over the next 10 years, it was always in the back of his mind. Client had no reason to ever return here, as he was able to establish himself in a wonderful career and eventually obtain a high-powered job overseas. But Client wanted to do the right thing, make amends, and hired me to see if there were any warrants and/or any way to resolve the matters.

After months of investigation and work with the District Attorney’s Office, I am happy to report that all charges against the client were dismissed upon payment of court costs and with no impact on his record. Client never even had to appear in Court in Massachusetts and can now rest easy that this matter is behind him once and for all.

As a defense lawyer, I frequently say that no one should ever be judged by the worst decision they ever make in their life. Many people hearing about this case may think poorly of this Client or question his character for taking something that didn’t belong to him – even if it was 12 years ago. But the truth is one bad decision does not define someone’s character, and the post-script to this story is proof of this.

This Client was so pleased with the result I achieved he asked if he could pay me additional money. I told him that as much as I would love more money, I charged him a flat fee, and I always honor it (even when I am on the losing end!). He then offered to donate to a local charity in my name. I told him about the Toy Drive that I help run with a few local attorneys. We have had a tough year with decreased donations and increased need and it was going to be a struggle to fund the Drive. The Client then made such a substantial donation, that we will be able to provide an entire shelter with coats and toys for homeless children. He also asked that I contact him each year so that he can continue to give back to our community.

Client was summonsed to a clerk magistrate’s hearing this morning to face allegations that he assaulted the former boyfriend of his former girlfriend. Client is employed in a highly specialized area of construction, frequently working on projects involving government contracts. If complaint issued against him today, Client was at risk of losing his ability to work on any of these contracts, and ultimately losing his livelihood. Client was ecstatic this morning when the Court dismissed all of the charges against him. His job is secure and he is free to put this unpleasant incident (and these relationships) behind him.

Client returned to his parent’s home on summer break from college. A few weeks before that his older sister (a college graduate), had returned home to live permanently. So for the first time in years, the entire family was under one roof. As these things often go, the adjustment was difficult for the entire family.

Soon the siblings got into a disagreement. It escalated and turned physical with each sibling saying and doing things they regretted. The sister left the house after one such incident, and in a fit of anger reported that Client assaulted her to the local PD. Police quickly responded and arrested Client based on his sister’s story.

Client’s family immediately called their “family” lawyer (a jack-of-all trades attorney) for Client’s arraignment the next day. Lawyer spoke to DA and reported to the family that Client would need to plead guilty, attend anger management and be in probation for 2 years to avoid jail time. Lawyer said this was “the best option” and encouraged Client to take it. Client’s family declined and said they needed to think about it. Client attempted to speak to the Lawyer over the next month regarding his defense, but didn’t receive a call back. At the next court date, Lawyer again suggested that Client take the offered plea or risk jail time.

Client and his family wisely refused and sought a second opinion. Client’s mom asked around and hired me soon after that court date. I immediately got started and after a few weeks of investigation, and advocacy, yesterday we appeared in Court for the first time on Client’s case. Result: all charges dismissed. No record, no probation, no anger classes. Client can proceed with his dreams of law school and the family looks forward to putting this incident behind them and enjoying a peaceful holiday season together.

A Rush to Judgment.
Client was a long-term and well respected school employee. One day just before a school vacation, Client as well as a few other staff members reported thefts at the school. Client was soon contacted by police because she was seen in the hallway at the time of the alleged thefts. Client gave a full statement to police, and cooperated entirely with the investigation, as she had nothing to hide.

Client soon learned that the “investigation” was more like a witch hunt. In fact, client was quickly charged and a replacement employee hired, based on nothing more than the fact that she was in the hallway at the time the thefts reportedly occurred.

Just like that, a life-time of achievement was thrown away. After months of litigation where we filed multiple motions for additional discovery regarding the investigation (or lack thereof), we obtained a copy of the surveillance video in the hallway.

This video showed that there was actually another individual in the hallway, and in the classrooms where thefts allegedly occurred. A careful viewing of this hour and a half video showed a high school student exiting one of the classrooms, pulling money out of his pocket, looking at it, and then doing a fist pump in celebration.

The evidence against him was damning, and my client endured significant heart ache and stress as a result of his actions. But my client was a consummate professional and educator and felt badly for this individual – a special needs student with serious limitations.

She didn’t want to sit through a trial where our entire defense would be to show that this boy was actually the culprit, as she knew he already had troubles.

So after significant negotiations, we were able to reach a fair resolution that allowed for my client to be vindicated without dragging this boy through the mud and stress of a trial.

My client accepted a short period of pre-trial probation. As long as client stays out of trouble, all charges will be dismissed. Client can get back to what matters – her wonderful family, without this hanging over her head. And hopefully, this young boy will get the help he needs.

Filed under: If you don’t want the cops to come, you probably shouldn’t call them.

Client’s boyfriend was upset with her drinking and texting other guys. He threatened to call the police to have her arrested (for what he wasn’t sure). Client called his bluff and told him to go ahead. So Boyfriend called the police and alleged that Client was drunk and he wanted her removed from his home.

When police arrived, Boyfriend was holding a broken phone. Officers asked him how it broke and he said Client did it. They arrested Client for assault and destruction of property.

Client was appointed a lawyer at her arraignment. At the pre-trial conference, the attorney suggested that she accept a CWOF (continuance without a finding) on the assault and destruction of property charges. While a CWOF is a wonderful result in some cases, this is not one of them.

Client had no record, and a very triable case. After months of discovery we were able to show that the destroyed property actually belonged to the Client. The Boyfriend also conceded in subsequent interviews that Client hadn’t done anything wrong at the time he called the police, and he only called them because he wanted to get back at her. Boyfriend never thought she would be arrested.

On the date of trial, all charges against Client were dismissed. Client’s record remains pristine.

Filed under: Her Ex-Boyfriend is Worse than Yours

Client, a single mother was in an on again and off-again relationship with her daughter’s father. She had a good job and was steadily being promoted while also caring for her daughter alone.

Her daughter’s father frequently was unemployed and when he did work, it was under the table (so he denied it). He was tens of thousands of dollars behind in unpaid child support, but she was not chasing after him because she tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe his tall tales.

Ex-boyfriend continuously tried to get back together with Client and insisted he was committed to the relationship and “this time” would be different. Client had reservations about his stories, so she dropped in at his apartment unannounced one day and realized that nothing had changed. Contrary to his story that he had a roommate, he was actually living in a studio apartment (with one bed) with a young woman. This was hardly the “roommate situation” he described. When confronted with this reality, he knew his lies caught up to him and client was so angry she would probably go after him for unpaid CS.

So Ex-boyfriend called police and alleged that client broke into his apartment, stole things (an ever-changing list), destroyed his property and left. Ex-boyfriend had the audacity to ask for thousands of dollars in restitution from her, notwithstanding that he owed tens of thousands of dollars.

Client was stressed out to the max, because she was due to apply for another promotion. As a single mother, this was a huge deal. Because of the open charges she wasn’t able to apply and almost lost the opportunity. But we were able to fast-track the case, and quickly select a trial date. On the date of trial, all charges were dismissed. Client can continue moving up in her career, taking care of her daughter, and hopefully move past this relationship once and for all.

November 2013

Belchertown District Court –
My client is a senior in college. He began dating a young woman he had been friends with for some time. After their first sexual encounter they exchanged texts and emails suggesting the contact was consensual and making plans for future encounters. Imagine my client’s surprise when 36 hours later, in the midst of final exams, he was asked to go to the police station to discuss an alleged sexual assault. Client cooperated with the police and showed them the texts suggesting it was consensual, but at the end of the interrogation, he was handed a restraining order. Client had never been in trouble before and was so confused, he then did one of the worst things he could have ever done. He walked outside of the interrogation room and texted his girlfriend to see what was going on. Client was arrested minutes later for violating the order. It didn’t matter that the sexual assault allegation was soon found to lack credibility and that investigation was quickly closed; because the restraining order had been issued and served, the client’s text to the girlfriend was a criminal violation of the RO. Client originally hired another lawyer and after multiple dates, no progress was made, and he was told he was facing 2 1/2 years in the house of corrections. Client then called me and after 2 court appearances, we were able to have the matter continued under c. 276 section 87, also known as pre-trial probation, for a period of 1 year. After 1 year the case is dismissed. No admission, no conviction, and client does not ever have to return to court on this matter. His record is pristine and he can pursue graduate school and future employment without any concerns.

Motor Vehicle Offense – Dismissed

My 19 y/o client was accused of driving recklessly, striking a mail box with her vehicle and leaving the scene. She was driving her friend home late at night, on a bad corner, and she had never been in trouble before so she panicked and left. Later that evening, the cops responded to her friend’s house where she told the police what happened. The next morning the client apologized to the mailbox owner and paid for the damage. After her arraignment when the client learned that in addition to jail time, she was at risk of losing her financial aid and ruining her record, her parents called me. This week we were able to have the client’s case continued under c. 276 section 87. After 1 year of unsupervised probation, the entire case will be dismissed with no admission or conviction on her record.

October 2013

NOT GUILTY – Worcester District Court.
Client was charged with assault and battery and threatening to commit a crime. Client was accused by his brother’s mother-in-law, during a bitter probate dispute involving client’s brother, sister-in-law and the alleged victim.

Prior to trial, the prosecutor offered probation to my client, and warned me that if my client was convicted, the Commonwealth would be seeking significant jail time. My client rightfully refused to plead guilty to doing something he didn’t do.

At trial, the prosecutor called a single witness – the alleged victim. After a thorough cross-examination where the alleged victim changed her story three times and even admitted to threatening my client, the Commonwealth rested its case. The defense then called three witnesses, including the defendant. After 5 hours of combined testimony, the jury was out for only 14 minutes and came back with a verdict of NOT GUILTY.

September 2013

Client is a mid-40’s professional who was charged with violating a restraining order. Client and his wife were in the process of divorcing when he began dating a woman whom he had met online through a dating site. Client eventually ended that relationship in an effort to reconcile with his wife. The day after he broke up with his former girlfriend, ex-girlfriend went to the local police (on a Saturday night) and obtained a temporary restraining order against my client. Client was forced to appear in Court on Monday morning (with no lawyer) to oppose the order; not surprisingly, without the benefit of counsel, the restraining order was extended.

Days later, client was notified that he had violated the restraining order and was facing a significant jail penalty – he had no idea what the violation was. At that point he called me. After reviewing the case file, we learned that the alleged violation was that the ex-girlfriend claimed she received an email from the online dating site suggesting that the client wanted to “meet” her. Though it was not a personal message from the client, and it didn’t indicate when the client supposedly initiated this contact through the site (i.e. it could have been before the RO issued), she believed it was a violation of the RO. Client vehemently denied sending any message – online or otherwise – and from our research into the website, it appears the message may have been generated automatically based on their past contact.

After discussing these issues with the DA’s office, we were able to negotiate a resolution where the case against my client will be continued under c. 276, Sec. 87 for 4 months and then DISMISSED, with no admission and no conviction, and no impact on his record.

Motor Vehicle Offense case

My client is in his final year of a highly competitive dual degree program, where he is scheduled to receive his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine as well as a Masters of Public Health this spring. Client has worked and studied 80- 90 hours a week for the past four years, while also volunteering in spay/neuter clinics. He had also served for 5 years in the armed forces before returning to graduate school. His dream was to re-enter military service as an Army Vet Corp officer doing public health work.

Unfortunately, Client’s bright future was at risk when he was involved in a very serious motor vehicle accident. Immediately after the accident, client was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a traumatic brain injury. When Officers approached Client for a statement, Client immediately took responsibility and told the officers that he was probably speeding. As a result of this conversation, Client was summonsed to a clerk magistrate’s hearing for charges of negligent operation and civil motor vehicle infractions. When Client learned that the criminal charge could cost him his dream of working for the federal government, he called me to represent him. After a full hearing before a clerk magistrate, I was able to prevent the charges from issuing against my client. Client’s record is pristine: there is no arraignment or any other entry on his CORI. He is free to work for the federal government or any other employer in the future.

August 2013

This week we successfully resolved a case for a juvenile who was facing felony charges after allegedly breaking into a local golf course and joy-riding with the golf carts. The juvenile and his family were distraught as he is an outstanding student who had never been in trouble a day in his life. From the outset, this young man and his family took responsibility for his actions. The family nonetheless hired me in the hopes that despite his desire to take responsibility, I could still protect his record. While it was an uphill battle legally (because admissions were already made), after working extensively with the local police departments and the golf course we were able to negotiate a resolution that allowed this young man and his family to close out the case without any charges being filed and with no impact on his record. Everyone involved in resolving this case acted fairly and reasonably – from the golf course owner who admitted to a few of his own youthful indiscretions, to the investigating police officers and DA’s office, everyone involved could see that this young man had already learned a life lesson. It’s a wonderful result for everyone involved, and the young man and his family couldn’t be happier that this matter is behind them.

Last year, my client was charged with conspiracy and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute after a package containing marijuana was delivered to his residence (the package was addressed to someone else). The investigation began when a Fed Ex employee called the police to report a “suspicious package”. Specifically, the Fed Ex employee found it suspicious that the seams of the package were taped up and it had originated from the west coast at what he believed was a fictitious address (it wasn’t). The officers quickly responded to Fed Ex with a narcotics dog. When the dog alerted to the package, the officers sought and obtained an anticipatory search warrant. The officers then dressed as Fed Ex workers and delivered the package to my client’s address. My client was at home at the time, but outside in the yard. The officers rang the doorbell and delivered the package to a friend inside (also NOT the name on the package). No one opened the package, and my client never went inside or had any contact with the package. Nonetheless, moments later, the officers returned to the address and arrested my client and his friend. After filing multiple motions to suppress and dismiss, and four different hearings on the matter, today I received the judge’s decision allowing my motion to dismiss all charges against my client.

Violent Crime case

Last week we closed out a case where my client was charged with assault/attempted murder of his former wife. The evidence against the client was largely based on his former wife’s statements (i.e., he said/she said). After the client was arrested, the alleged victim immediately sought and obtained a restraining order against my client. The order barred any and all contact with his former wife or children. For one year client complied fully with the order. We were weeks away from trial on the assault charges when my client was arrested at home one night – seemingly out of nowhere – for allegedly violating the restraining order.

The client had no idea why he was being arrested and asked the officer. The officer told the client that he violated the order by ordering a magazine subscription to be delivered to his former wife. The client vehemently denied sending any magazine and offered to show his bank accounts and credit card statements. The officer refused to listen and the client was arrested and booked based on the ex-wife’s story. The next day when the client told me what happened, I immediately began calling the magazine company myself trying to figure out what happened. I assumed it was an old magazine order that had inadvertently been renewed.

However, much to everyone’s surprise, I soon learned that it was a new magazine order. And the person who ordered the magazine was actually the client’s former wife! She even paid for it with her own check and filled out the order form with her name on it (to be delivered “care of” her husband’s name). She apparently wanted to see my client back in jail at all costs. A handwriting expert confirmed it!

Needless to say, once this evidence was presented to the DA’s office, the violation of the restraining order was dismissed. And we were able to resolve the assault case favorably with straight probation, instead of the 20 years of state prison time the client was otherwise facing.

July 2013

Today we successfully closed out a criminal case for a young woman who is ecstatic to be able to finally get her life back on track. A few months ago, client’s ex-boyfriend showed up at her apartment demanding to talk to her. She refused to let him in and told him to leave and they could talk on the phone. When he refused to leave, she finally opened the door to tell him that she would come outside (so her young son wouldn’t hear him yelling). When she opened the door, he pushed his way inside, purportedly to try to catch her with another guy (who wasn’t there). He was so enraged he assaulted her – she had bruises all over her body and suffered a miscarriage soon after the assault. At one point during the assault she was able to get a knife and chase him out of the apartment – he was cut (minimally) in the process and never needed medical attention. The ex-boyfriend nonetheless called the police and claimed my client assaulted him with a knife (he forgot to mention he pushed his way into her apartment and beat her).

The police responded to speak to the ex-boyfriend, and within minutes arrested my client. After my client hired me, we were able to bring a private criminal complaint against the ex-boyfriend for a number of charges including Breaking and entering and aggravated assault and battery.

Today, in light of the ex-boyfriend’s charges, all matters against my client were dismissed and she no longer has to worry that these criminal charges could cause her to lose her job or place in school.

May 2013

In cases where an individual is not arrested, but officers believe a crime occurred, the individual may be summonsed in for a clerk magistrate hearing. At a clerk magistrate or “show cause” hearing, a clerk magistrate determines whether there is “probable cause” to support the issuance of a complaint. This is a much lower standard than the “reasonable doubt” standard that is used at a criminal trial. If the clerk finds that probable cause exists, the complaint issues and the client will be charged criminally.

Today, I represented a client at a clerk’s hearing for charges of negligent operation and leaving the scene of property damage. The client allegedly lost control of his car, hit a construction barrier, and then drove away without notifying anyone. A few minutes later, he was stopped by police where he received a summons for this criminal complaint. Today at the hearing, I was able to demonstrate that the driver (an elderly man) had slipped as a result of the icy and snowy road conditions. When he struck the barrier, he immediately attempted to call 911, but there was no cell coverage and he was unfamiliar with his surroundings in the rural area.

Result: all charges against my client were DISMISSED with no license loss, and no criminal record.

Drug Distribution accuse

Client was charged with distribution of a class D substance (marijuana) and possession of “more than an ounce of marijuana”. Client was referred to me after a public defender suggested he enter a plea on the distribution charge. Client was facing 2 years in jail and was terrified of losing his job and clean record. Client’s friend (my former client) referred him to me. After meeting with the client and reviewing the police report I realized that the client had been improperly charged. First, the police report states that the client possessed “exactly one ounce” of marijuana. However, the client was charged under a statute that decriminalized “possession of one ounce or less” of marijuana. After filing a motion to dismiss, all charges were dismissed on payment of $100 court costs. No admission, no conviction, and no impact on client’s record.

When a client is injured in a car accident or slip and fall, their health insurance company may assert a “lien”, seeking reimbursement out of the client’s settlement or verdict for any medical bills they paid on the client’s behalf. As part of my advocacy for my clients I routinely negotiate the liens down to a fraction of their original amount before resolving the case. When the lien holder is the federal government however, it is almost impossible to do. Recently, my 86-year-old client (mother of an existing client) suffered a fractured shoulder as a result of a slip and fall. We were informed by Medicare that they were asserting a $43,000 lien on her claim. After cross-checking all of the diagnostic codes on the client’s treatment with the Medicare lien I learned that Medicare was erroneously seeking reimbursement for charges entirely unrelated to client’s fractured shoulder. After sending multiple letters, and speaking to 10 different Medicare representatives, today I was finally able to convince them to reduce my client’s lien from $43,000 to $2,000. We are now free to settle her case and the client can put the matter behind her. Though not as exciting (for me), this type of behind-the-scenes advocacy is just as important to my clients as anything that happens in a courtroom.

Sexual Assault case

Client was in his senior year of college when he was notified that a female student with whom he had a one-night stand during fall of his freshman year (yes 4 years earlier) was now alleging he had sexually assaulted her. She claimed that she was intoxicated and therefore couldn’t consent. Though text messages and emails preceding and following the encounter suggested she was sober and the encounter was entirely consensual, over time many of the messages were lost.

To compound matters, the accuser’s star witness and good friend was a young woman with whom the client had dated for over a year and just recently broken up with. And in the course of the college’s investigation, this second young woman/witness decided to ALSO accuse the client of sexual assault. What was notable about this allegation is that this young woman conceded that she dated client for over a year AFTER the day he allegedly assaulted her nearly two years earlier. The second young woman claimed that the client was a “player” and took advantage of her while she was intoxicated. In her view, it was rape because he knew she was a virgin, and he should have known that she liked him too much to say “no”.

Client was from out of state and had no idea what to do as he had never been in trouble before. Client went to the hearing without ever consulting an attorney. He believed he would tell the truth and everything would be fine. He soon realized that would not be the case.

The college held a single hearing on both women’s allegations. The hearing was unfair and biased against the client. The hearing violated the college’s own policies: it precluded the client from introducing exculpatory information while simultaneously allowing the alleged victims to conduct a character assassination on the client’s reputation as a “player”. After the sham hearing, client was found responsible on both counts and EXPELLED. In a split second, client’s 4 year investment along with his parents’ hundreds of thousands of dollars was gone.

After the hearing, the Client’s family read about me in a newspaper article regarding a similar case I handled and called me for help. Though this college did not allow attorneys to be present at any internal hearings, I worked tirelessly with the client to prepare him/his case for an appeal. After receiving our written appeal letter, within weeks Client was awarded a new hearing as to the first accuser (free from procedural defects and bias), and the college threw out the second woman’s allegation entirely.

At the new hearing – where client was finally given a level playing field – the board found the client “not responsible” and he was reinstated immediately. Client has now graduated and accepted a great job in a promising career.

April 2013

Today we successfully resolved a fairly unusual case. Every so often I receive a call from an out of state defendant seeking assistance with an old warrant in Massachusetts. Today I represented an out of state individual who had multiple warrants stemming from incidents nearly 10 years ago. Following his arrest(s) 10 years earlier, client had left the state, achieved sobriety, and turned his life around. He was now a highly successful business person, married with children, and an active volunteer in his new community. Even though client had no reason to ever return to Massachusetts, he nonetheless wanted to “make things right.” Today I was able to resolve all of his matters favorably, and the best part for the client was he never even had to return to Massachusetts.

Client and his wife were in the process of divorcing. Client went to his ex-wife’s house to pick up their daughter. After a verbal disagreement, ex-wife called the police and accused client of assault. Specifically, she complained that the client “glared” at her and “clenched his fists” while standing closely to her. Client was arrested and charged with assault. Client was referred by a former client. Client hired me the next day. I reviewed the police report and application for criminal complaint and immediately filed a motion to dismiss. Today the judge allowed our motion dismissing the assault charges finding that there was no basis for issuing the complaint. All charges DISMISSED – client’s record is clean.

March 2013

This week we successfully sealed 2 old criminal records for our client, stemming from his teenage years. Since those youthful indiscretions, client had finished college and started a career in the medical field. Client was in the process of pursuing an advanced degree in nursing when he learned that his old charges could prevent him from gaining employment at the top hospitals. Attorney Longton was able to have both matters sealed within a few weeks. The client is ecstatic that his CORI will be clean and he can lawfully answer “no” to any questions asking about prior arrests or convictions.

February 2013


Teenage client was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon stemming from an alleged fight between a group of 12+ individuals. Though Client was present on the evening in question, he vehemently denied involvement in any fight. At trial, Attorney Longton called witnesses to the stand on client’ s behalf, to testify that he never participated in any fight, and also the client was barefoot on the evening in question (so there could be no “dangerous weapon”.) At trial, the client was acquitted of all charges. Because of Attorney Longton’s zealous advocacy, the client’s education and career opportunities will not be harmed by these false allegations.

ASSAULT AND BATTERY – East Brookfield District Court

Client was charged with assault and battery. Client was in consideration for a new position at work and the pending criminal charges would have not only cost her the promotion, but placed her at risk of losing her current job as well. Client hired Attorney Longton and was able to have all charges against her dismissed at the first court appearance.

RESISTING ARREST – East Brookfield District Court

Client was charged with disturbing the peace and two counts of resisting arrest. Attorney Longton filed numerous motions on client’s behalf and was able to have the disturbing the peace charge dismissed prior to trial, with the Court finding that the officers lacked probable cause at the time they arrested the client. Attorney Longton took the matter to trial, where the client was ultimately acquitted of each of the remaining charges.


College Disciplinary Cases

Sexual Assault, School Disciplinary Hearing: Not Responsible

Before hiring Attorney Longton, client was found responsible at a college disciplinary hearing for sexual assault. Client was facing expulsion and with a tarnished transcript had no hope of a transfer to a comparable university. Client hired Attorney Longton after hearing about her success with similar cases. Attorney Longton prepared an appeal that resulted in the responsible finding being overturned and client was awarded a new hearing for the remaining charge. With Attorney Longton’s expert advice and preparation client was acquitted at the new hearing and was reinstated at school with no adverse impact on his transcript.

Criminal Cases

OUI -Drugs – Dismissed

Client was charged with OUI-Drugs after a car accident. Attorney Longton filed motions to dismiss and suppress and after an evidentiary hearing the OUI-Drugs charge was dismissed.

Violation of 209A Order – Dismissed

Client was arrested and charged with violating a restraining order when his former wife alleged he contacted her in violation of the terms of the order. Attorney Longton conducted an investigation that demonstrated the contact was orchestrated entirely by the former wife. After this showing, the Commonwealth dismissed the case against the Defendant.

Criminal Harassment – Dismissed

12 year old client was summoned to court for a Show Cause Hearing for charges that he criminally harassed a fellow student. After the Show Cause Hearing, the Clerk Magistrate agreed not to issue the complaint against the client. Client’s record was protected and remains pristine.

Assault With a Dangerous Weapon – Dismissed

Client was referred to Attorney Longton after being charged with Assault With a Dangerous Weapon (an axe.) After filing motions on her client’s behalf, Attorney Longton was able to have the entire case dismissed.

Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Over 14 – Dismissed

Client was charged with Indecent Assault and Battery. Attorney Longton immediately filed motions for discovery regarding information about the complaining witness. The Court ordered the Commonwealth to produce information regarding the complaining witness. When the alleged victim refused to comply, Attorney Longton filed motions to dismiss. After multiple hearings, Attorney Longton was ultimately able to have the case dismissed over the Commonwealth’s objection.

Personal Injury Cases

Lead Paint Injury

Client’s parents hired Attorney Longton after learning their 3 year old son had elevated levels of lead in his blood. Investigation revealed that while their apartment had largely been deleaded, chipping lead paint remained in one area. Client received a prompt settlement that favorably compensated them for their son’s injury.

Fall 2012

Worcester District Court

Client was represented by a different attorney at which time she was convicted of receiving stolen property. Months later, client was charged with a felony (larceny over $250) in a different jurisdiction. Client immediately contacted Attorney Longton for help. After investigating the matter, Attorney Longton discovered that the client was improperly being charged twice for essentially the same act (i.e. larceny of the very same goods she had previously been convicted of receiving). On these grounds, Attorney Longton was able to convince the Commonwealth to dismiss the felony larceny charge, allowing the client to protect her record from a dangerous felony conviction.

Worcester District Court

Client’s family came to Attorney Longton when they learned that client had a warrant for his arrest for a felony (larceny over $250). At the time they contacted Attorney Longton, the Client was attempting to seek treatment for his addiction problems at a well-regarded rehab facility. Attorney Longton was able to have the warrant removed, allowing the client to enroll in the rehab program. Upon his release from the facility, Attorney Longton was able to have the felony larceny charge amended to a simple shoplifting matter, allowing the client to continue working on his sobriety and pursuing his employment in a specialized trade.

Worcester District Court

Client was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon (a machete) by two neighbors, with whom there had been a long-standing family dispute. Attorney Longton fully investigated the matter and filed motions on her client’s behalf. Through her investigation, Attorney Longton learned that one of the two witnesses to the alleged assault had previously been convicted of a serious violent crime, after having previously lied about her involvement in the matter. Attorney Longton prepared to vigorously defend her client at trial and obtained the witness’ conviction records to use for cross-examination. Faced with this information, on the date of trial, the witnesses declined to go forward, and the Commonwealth agreed to dismiss the case against Attorney Longton’s client.

Framingham District Court

Client was charged with OUI (drunk driving). Because he was going through a contentious divorce and wanted to just put the case behind him, he attempted to resolve the matter himself with the District Attorney’s Office. He soon realized that even with a plea, he needed good legal representation. A friend referred him to Attorney Longton. Attorney Longton was able to have the matter continued without a finding (as opposed to the guilty finding that the DA’s office had previously insisted upon) and she also had all related motor vehicle charges dismissed. Client saved significant fees by hiring Attorney Longton, and his record was protected as the matter will be dismissed in one year as long as he complies with probation.

Worcester District Court

Client was charged with unlicensed operation and a marked lanes violation. Client had multiple similar offenses on his record and was at risk of jail time and significant fees and license loss. Attorney Longton was able to demonstrate that Client had a valid international license and all matters were dismissed.

Worcester District Court

Client – an alleged gang member – was accused of violent behavior toward multiple police officers, including resisting arrest and witness intimidation, at a house party. As a result of those allegations, when officers subsequently went to client’s home to arrest him, they found a firearm and a significant quantity of cocaine and marijuana. Attorney Longton was able to have the matters continued without a finding for a period of one year. As long as client stays out of trouble during that time, all matters against him will be dismissed and his record will be protected.

Westboro District Court – clerk magistrate’s hearing

Client was summonsed for a clerk magistrate’s hearing based on allegations that he was driving with a suspended license and without a proper registration sticker. Attorney Longton investigated the matter, was able to prove at the hearing that the license suspension resulted from a registry error, and the application for criminal charges was dismissed. Client’s record was preserved so that he would not face any consequences at work.

Worcester District Court

Client was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute after police officers discovered cocaine and paraphernalia in the apartment bathroom. Officers alleged that client admitted to living in the apartment. Attorney Longton filed motions to suppress the statements as well as the narcotics discovered in the apartment. Attorney Longton was able to demonstrate that the client did not in fact reside in the apartment and had no reason to know there were drugs present. All drug charges against the client were dismissed.

Worcester District Court

Client was charged with carjacking and was referred to Attorney Longton for help. Client was at risk of losing her job and her student loans. Attorney Longton went to work on the matter immediately and learned that the Commonwealth had failed to set forth the required elements in seeking a criminal complaint against the client. On those grounds, Attorney Longton filed a 3(g) motion to dismiss. The carjacking charge against the client was ultimately dismissed, allowing Client to continue her education and employment.

July 2012

Natick District Court – Clerk Magistrate Hearing

Client received a summons for a show cause hearing for larceny over $250. Attorney Longton was able to have the complaint dismissed, protecting the client’s record.

Natick District Court

Client was arrested and charged with larceny over $250 and shoplifting by asportation. When she was apprehended with the allegedly stolen merchandise she submitted to questioning by the police and gave a full confession. Client was at the time, an honors college student, with promising career prospects. Client knew that a conviction on these charges could ruin her record and any chances of finding gainful employment. Client hired Attorney Longton who went to work immediately. Attorney Longton was ultimately able to convince the District Attorney’s office to dismiss the charges after only a brief period of pre-trial probation. Because Attorney Longton ensured that the client did not make any admission or guilty plea, the client’s record is protected and she will be able to pass background checks for graduate school and future employment .

Worcester District Court

Assault and Battery – (same-sex domestic relationship) WPD officers responded to a call that an individual had been assaulted by his boyfriend. At the pre-trial conference, Attorney Longton was able to have the matter dismissed.

Worcester District Court – violation of probation hearing

Client was on probation for one year as a result of serious drug charges. Court advised client if he violated his probation, he would be sentenced to up to 2 ½ years in the house of corrections. After four months on probation, client received notice that he had violated his probation by failing drug tests and missing meetings with his probation officer. Attorney Longton began working immediately on the client’s behalf, speaking with the probation officer and compiling records of the client’s employment and up-to-date child support payments. By offering proof to the court of the client’s solid work history and recent clean drug tests, Attorney Longton was able to convince the court to keep the client on probation and not impose any period of incarceration.

Gardner District Court

Client – a highly respected professional was offered a new executive level job. Client was reluctant to accept the new opportunity because of concerns that a prior domestic abuse charge would be revealed as part of the background check. Client hired Attorney Longton who immediately filed a motion to seal and supporting affidavit with the court. At a hearing before a district court judge, Attorney Longton was able to convince the court to seal the client’s record. As a result of Attorney Longton’s advocacy, Client was able to accept the new more lucrative position without any reservations.

June 2012

Worcester Superior Court

Client and his co-defendant were each indicted on charges of unarmed robbery. Because of the client’s prior history of incarceration and the serious nature of the charge, the Commonwealth indicated it was going to ask the court to impose a sentence of at least 2-3 years in state prison on the client, and at least 18 months of incarceration on the co-defendant. The co-defendant, represented by a public defender, ultimately entered a guilty plea and accepted the 18 month sentence. Attorney Longton advised her client not to accept the plea deal however, and continued advocating for him and filing motions on his behalf. Attorney Longton filed a motion to dismiss that was ultimately successful. As a result, all charges against the client were dismissed without him serving a single day of incarceration.

Worcester Juvenile Court

Client was a sixteen year old high school student in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. When police officers searched the client they found a loaded high-capacity firearm. Client was indicted on the charges and was facing a mandatory period of incarceration in DYS custody as well as state prison. The Commonwealth immediately moved for the client to be detained at a “dangerousness” hearing arguing that no conditions of release could ensure the safety of the community. Client was represented at the time by a public defender, and after the dangerousness hearing the client was immediately held without any possibility of release. Client’s parents subsequently contacted and hired Attorney Longton. Attorney Longton immediately went to work, filing papers to appeal the juvenile court’s ruling on the dangerousness finding to Superior Court. After a new hearing in Superior Court Attorney Longton was able to obtain her client’s immediate release. Client was able to return home, complete his GED and apply for college while his case was pending. Attorney Longton continued to zealously advocate for her client and was ultimately able to convince the court to impose a period of probation without any incarceration, allowing the client to attend college, find employment, and get his life back on track.

May 2012

Worcester District Court

Client, a graduate student at a Worcester college, was heavily intoxicated at a Worcester bar. After a confrontation with bar staff and the detail officer, client was arrested for assault and battery on a police officer, assault and battery, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. Client called Attorney Longton the morning after her arrest and explained that if she was convicted of any of these charges she would not be able to obtain her professional license and would have to drop out of her graduate program. Attorney Longton began an immediate and thorough investigation of the charges and compiled documentation in support of her client. As a result of this advocacy, Attorney Longton was able to convince the District Attorney’s office to dismiss all charges on the very first court appearance. Client’s record was protected, and she will still be able to stay in school and ultimately pass her background check for her professional licenses as well as future employers.

Wrentham District Court

Client was summonsed to a clerk magistrate (show-cause) hearing for an allegation that he had provided alcohol to his minor children. Officers claimed client had admitted to the charge. Attorney Longton was able to convince the DA’s office and the Court to dismiss the matter after only a short period of pre-trial probation. Client’s record remains pristine, with no admission or conviction.

Clinton District Court

The registry imposed a lifetime license loss on client in 2008 after he refused to take the breathalyzer test (as a result of his previous OUI convictions). Client was represented by another attorney at the time. Though client was ultimately acquitted on the OUI, the Court denied the attorney’s motion to return client’s license. Client experienced financial devastation as a result of this license loss. A friend referred him to Attorney Longton. After multiple hearings, the Court agreed with Attorney Longton and ordered the reinstatement of the client’s license over the Commonwealth’s objection.

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