The Law Offices of Scott D. Bradley

Your Lifeline In Criminal Defense
We Offer 24/7 Availability For Your Convenience!

Call Us Today! 508-559-9400

Located in West Bridgewater. Serving all of Suffolk, Plymouth, Norfolk, and Bristol Counties

Criminal Defense Attorney

Welcome to my blog. Here, I will try and provide updates about important Massachusetts laws and Court decisions related to criminal defense. You can also find some interesting stories about various criminal incidents throughout the country.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Uncategorized

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

When Can I Lose My Right to Confidentiality?

The most basic underpinning of the attorney-client relationship is the fact that client-lawyer communications must be kept confidential. A Massaxhusetts criminal defense attorney is legally prohibited from revealing a client’s written or oral statements to any other individual, which includes employers, prosecutors, family members, or friends, without the express consent of their client. It does not matter if their client maintains their innocence or confesses their guilt. Communications between an attorney and their clients are privileged. Both private MA criminal defense lawyers and public defenders appointed by the court are equally bound by these restrictions.

However, there are certain conditions under which a defendant can forgo their legal right to confidentiality. Here are four scenarios that you should be aware of:

§ Speaking In a Public Location

Let’s say that you discuss the specifics of your case with your lawyer in a public location, like a restaurant, loud enough for other patrons to overhear your conversation. Could these other diners testify as to what they heard? The answer is yes. Attorney-client communications are classified as confidential only if made within a context where there is a reasonable expectation that they will remain confidential. A client who speaks to their attorney in such a loud manner that other individuals can overhear the conversation does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and therefore, waives this privilege. In a similar fashion, a defendant who discusses their case on a cellular phone in a public location similarly risks forgoing confidentiality.

§ Inviting Another Person to Be Present

For reasons that are perfectly understandable, a defendant will sometimes wish for their friends, spouses, or even parents to be present when they are consulting with their attorneys. If another party is present, is the conversation still classified as confidential?

The answer is quite possibly no. A defendant who opts to bring a “stranger” (defined as another individual who is not a part of the lawyer-client relationship) into a consultation or meeting risks losing their legal right to confidentiality. A district attorney could be able to question either the defendant or the stranger about what was discussed during the meeting. However, an attorney can have the privilege maintained by persuading a judge that it was imperative for the stranger to be included in the conversation. For example, if the third party can assist the attorney in developing a strategy or otherwise shed light on the case at hand, their presence would not risk confidentiality.

§ Jailhouse and Prison Conversations Via Telephone

Jailhouse and prison conversations between lawyers and their clients are classified as confidential, as long as the discussion occurs in a private location within the jail and neither party speaks so loudly that others can overhear what they are discussing.

However, what about phone conversations made using either a payphone or conducted in person (those made by speaking through glass via a telephone)? A defendant must take precautions to ensure that other prisoners and their jailers do not overhear what is being spoken. It is not uncommon for these individuals to purposefully eavesdrop and then claim that they accidentally overheard incriminating info because the information was spoken in a loud voice. If a judge believes the third party, the privilege is forfeited, and the other prisoner will be allowed to testify to the to the defendant’s statement.

Frequently, a jailer will warn a prisoner that their phone may or may not be monitored. This warning by itself means that phone conversations between lawyers and their prisoner clients may not be classified as confidential. If a jailer monitors a telephone call and happens to hear a prisoner make a case damaging admission to their legal counsel, then the jailer will more than likely be permitted to testify to the defendant’s statements in a court of law.

§ Sharing Conversations With Others

A defendant with an oversized mouth waives the legal confidentiality of attorney-client communications when they share statements made in these conversations with a third party (outside of the perimeters of spousal communications). A defendant does not possess a reasonable expectation of privacy for conversations that are revealed to others.

 

If you have more questions about lawyer-client confidentiality or require legal representation, please contact our law firm immediately. Your initial consultation is 100% free.

Hits: 174
0

Posted by on in Uncategorized

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

What Kinds of Cases Do You Handle?

This is one of the most common questions that we hear from new clients. Here is a brief overview of some of the types of cases our experienced Massaxhusetts criminal defense lawyers handle:

Appeals

Criminal defense continues beyond the initial trial. A defendant who has been convicted of a crime has collateral and appellate legal rights to further judicial review. An appellate review can uncover errors made by a prosecutor or trial court, which can be reversed upon appeal. In New Hampshire, the appeals process is complex. It requires a lawyer to be detailed oriented and knowledgeable. Our defense attorneys possess experience before federal and state courts of appeal, which function quite differently from trial courts.

The NH defense lawyers at our law firm have successfully represented numerous clients in appeal cases. Even if a defendant has been convicted of a serious crime, like rape or murder, could potentially have their original conviction set aside if the MA Court of Appeals deems that a judge, jury, or prosecutor wrongfully treated the defendant during the trial. The appeals legal process can rescue a defendant from a wrongful conviction, and if you have been convicted of a crime, you should immediately request an appeal with the assistance of an MA criminal lawyer.

Drug Related Crimes

New Hampshire remains at the forefront of aggressively prosecuting drug related crimes at both the federal and state levels. Even simple possession of marijuana is still classified as a crime in the state of Massaxhusetts. Rather frequently, we are requested to defend new clients in matters of simple roadside stops that resulted in an arrest for drug possession. While it might initially appear to be a minor matter, it can rather quickly escalate into a major concern. A drug conviction does result in a criminal record.

Our defense lawyers often defend clients against more serious allegations of drug trafficking, which can arise from numerous different contexts. Federal and state authorities frequently operate in consort with regards to investigating and prosecuting such cases, which run the gamut from drug sales and growing operations to possession with intent to distribute. The complicated approach of law enforcement to these matters, in addition to the complex Constitutional issues that come up, necessitates top quality legal defense, which our attorneys can provide.

Internet Crimes

The availability, usefulness, and convenience of the Internet continue to grow at an astonishing rate, as does the rate of Internet and computer crimes. The Internet enables each person to contact other individuals across the globe with a single click of the mouse, with no means of verifying a person’s identity or physical contact. This is the primary reason why scams, credit card fraud, and other similar offenses continue to grow.

Depending upon the particular offense, a conviction for an Internet related crime can result in time spent in a federal or state prison. Our lawyers have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the intricate federal and state laws surrounding Internet crimes and can create a powerful defense for any new client who is facing criminal charges of credit card fraud, identity theft, theft, phishing, and so on. Wrongful access to another person’s data or hacking can also incur serious consequences. Our New Hampshire criminal defense attorneys can provide the aggressive and experienced defense required to avoid a conviction.

Juvenile Crimes

Within the state of Massaxhusetts, criminal matters committed by minor children are handled in the juvenile court system, wherein a different set of standards and processes are applied. For juvenile offenders, there exist a plethora of different sentencing options. For the most serious offenses, a juvenile can be sentenced to time in a juvenile detention facility, rather than jail. The average juvenile case is dealt with via assignment to a parole officer and juvenile probation. A plan of programming and supervision is developed, which frequently include alcohol and drug screening and regular contact.

For more serious offenses, New Hampshire has devised a system for certifying a minor offender as an adult. Such cases usually involve serious sexual and violent crimes, like sexual assault and murder. In these cases, as with all juvenile cases, it is critical to employ the defense of a skilled defense lawyer who understands this complex certification process. These cases, in particular, are complex and sensitive and require an insightful and knowledgeable attorney, which our law firm can provide.

Sexual Offenses

There are fewer criminal allegations that are more stigmatizing that charges of sexual misconduct. In these instances, there is much at stake. A conviction for sexual assault can result in considerable prison or jail sentences, as well as the requirement for the defendant to register as sex offender. These obligations can last the duration of a lifetime.

Domestic matters, like romantic encounters and custody disputes, regularly pave the way for false allegations of sexual misconduct. The Internet and computer technology have similarly created a new genre of sexual offenses. Child pornography, luring, and Internet solicitation laws have placed thorough defense at a premium. Our criminal defense lawyers possess experience in analyzing medical issues, victim statements, and a plethora of other technological issues that routinely arise in sex cases. We know when to call upon the services of expert witnesses and how to use expert analysis effectively in pretrial negotiations and at trial.

Violent Offenses

Violent offenses are among the most serious that a defendant can face. Examples of such charges include assault and battery and simple assault. In addition to thousands of dollars in costly fines, a conviction for a violent offense can also result in a lengthy prison sentence. Our defense attorneys are well familiar with the impact that imprisonment can have upon a client. Lengthy prison sentences can destroy families, make professional opportunities disappear virtually overnight, and label individuals as violent offenders for the rest of their lives. We vigorously advocate for and defend clients who have been charged with such offenses.

Contact an Experienced New Hampshire Criminal Defense Lawyer

These are just a small sample of the types of cases our attorneys routinely handle. The list also includes theft offenses, white collar crimes, and many more.

Contact our law firm today to speak with an experienced member of our legal team. No case is too big or too small for us to handle. Your initial consultation is free, and all information discussed will remain wholly confidential.

Hits: 189
0

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

Learn What to Expect From Your Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing serious criminal charges that could result in prison time, it is imperative for you to have the best New Hampshire criminal defense attorney fighting on your behalf.

If you are facing the possibility of spending time in prison or other considerable criminal penalties, you need qualified and experienced legal representation. The Massachusetts legal system is designed in such a manner that, unless you possess legal experience and a high IQ, then representing yourself in criminal matters is nigh unto impossible. No two criminal cases are exactly alike. A criminal defense attorney is specifically trained to identify and analyze the specific facts of a case that make it unique. Moreover, an experienced defense lawyer can isolate certain factors and arguments that could negate or even mitigate any potential crime. At the end of the day, hiring a defense attorney to represent you in a criminal trial is a necessity.

The hats that an MA criminal defense lawyer wears are many. In addition to cross examining any witnesses the prosecution might present and producing witnesses for their client’s own defense, your lawyer will also:

§ Work closely with the prosecution and you to negotiate a plea bargain. This type of deal is designed to eliminate some, or all of the, charges brought against a defendant and to reduce the potential sentence you are facing. Prosecutors rarely opt to negotiate a plea bargain with a defendant directly, which is another reason why it is imperative to have legal representation.

 

§ Determine an appropriate sentencing program for your particular case. In the event that a client is deemed guilty by a judge or jury, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to create a sentencing program that prevents their client from ending back up in the NH criminal justice system. For example, instead of a client being sentenced to 12 months in prison, their lawyer may be able to negotiate a deal that sentences them to 6 months in prison with the remaining 6 months being spent in a drug treatment facility. This would enable a client to spend time working on the drug problem that led to their initial arrest.

 

§ Assist you with the thought processes and emotions that frequently accompany criminal trials. A defendant who is being prosecuted in a court of law will often feel depressed, embarrassed, suffer from low self-esteem, and be fearful.

 

§ Offer a reality check. Experienced NH defense attorneys have a more thorough knowledge of what will occur much better than their client will during criminal proceedings. Defense lawyers possess the distinct advantage of being able to remind objective throughout legal proceedings and can offer their client insight into how the trial is proceeding and what will most likely occur in the immediate future. Such “reality checks” and assessments are critical when a defendant is weighing whether or not to accept a prosecutor’s plea bargain.

 

§ Identify legal regulations and rules that a defendant would most likely not discover on their own. Many laws and rules regarding criminal prosecutions are buried underneath even more laws and rules, and even court opinions. For example, a defendant who attempted to represent themselves in a court of law might never know that the search law enforcement officials conducted of their home was illegal because they did not understand the numerous intricacies and nuances that surround the 4th Amendment.

 

§ Navigate your specific case through the Massachusetts legal system in which your case is being heard. In addition to the rules they have actually written down, many local jurisdictions have their own set of unwritten rules. For example, only certain district attorneys may have been approved to approve and accept proposed plea bargains. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can save a considerable amount of time by talking to the right person the first time around.

 

§ Explain the hidden costs that often accompany pleading guilty to a criminal charge. Many defendants who opt to represent themselves do not consider the collateral consequences of pleading guilty to a criminal charge. They tend to think only in terms of how long their jail or prison sentence will be; however, for example, having a conviction for fraud or theft could make it considerably more difficult for you to find gainful employment after your sentence is over.

 

§ Locate and hire private investigators that can not only investigate the alleged crime but also investigate the witnesses that the prosecution plans to bring in front of a jury. If a private investigator can find evidence that would discredit a particular witness’s testimony, it can tremendously assist your case.

 

§ Locate and hire expert witnesses that can present evidence on your behalf to rebut the prosecution’s evidence or to prove your innocence. This can make the prosecution’s case much less credible.

 

Books Are Not Going to Offer Much Assistance

It is a common misconception among defendants who choose to represent themselves in a court of law that reading novels or books that spell out a crime, punishment, or criminal defense will lead them to victory in their particular case. There is a marked difference between actually practicing law in a courtroom and simply reading about it. As any experienced attorney knows, understanding the subtleties, currents, and how a criminal trial ebbs and flows can determine whether a case is won or lost.

A prime example of how a criminal trial can ebb and flow is prosecutorial discretion. The simple act of determining what charges a defendant will face will create a significant impact on how the case is handled. For example, on paper, a crime may appear simple, but it could actually turn out to be a multi-count indictment. Which prosecutor has been appointed to make this determination can also have a considerable impact upon your case. MA criminal defense attorneys possess the skills required to negotiate with a prosecutor to determine which counts should be charged.

Given the importance of legal representation in criminal proceedings, don’t gamble with your chances and your personal freedom by hiring less than the best New Hampshire criminal defense lawyer. Contact our law firm today to set up a free consultation regarding your case.

Hits: 182
0

Posted by on in Uncategorized

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

Learn How Federal and State Cases Differ From One Another

If a violation of a federal criminal law occurs within the borders of New Hampshire, then it will be prosecuted with a federal court, rather than a county or state court, by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Successfully defending a federal criminal case an attorney to have the experience required to identify issues that are unique to the investigations and prosecutions of federal crimes, in addition to knowledge of federal sentencing guidelines. Our law firm maintains a capable team of Brockton Massachusetts criminal defense lawyers who rigorously defend clients from federal charges including tax fraud, white collar crimes, federal drug crimes, and public corruption.

To practice law within the federal court system requires an attorney to understand the issues that are unique to federal led investigations, which are investigations conducted by different federal agencies instead of a local police department. Such issues include the more frequent use of immunity and cooperation agreements and investigative technology than in a state court system. Analyzing the pros and cons of witness cooperation, creating cooperation agreements to guard clients from further prosecution down the road, and devising clear understandings with regards to consideration for cooperation are just a few of the issues critical to effectively representing clients within the federal court system.

Correctly applying and interpreting federal sentencing guidelines is similarly critical in successfully defending federal criminal cases. Modern court opinions are slowly beginning to do away with the required application of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, but these guidelines still remain the primary driving force behind sentencing federal cases within New Hampshire. These guidelines enable downward and upward departures under a number of different circumstances, including acceptance of responsibility and cooperation, amongst others. At our law firm, we dedicated the time required to understand the nuances of sentencing guidelines and routinely offer guidelines analysis for our clients, in addition to fellow members of the NH bar who seek our assistance in handling their own federal cases.

Federal criminal charges and cases also frequently deal with issues that are related to the forfeiture of assets and property. Asset forfeiture is one issue that is complicated enough on its own that the United States Attorney’s office has dedicated lawyers assigned solely to issues that are related to the seizure of property and monetary funds in forfeiture actions. In addition to the direct consequences of federal criminal cases, forfeiture actions that are aggressive in nature often result in financial ruin for our clients. Our criminal defense attorneys possess a wealth of knowledge and experience dealing with these complicated situations and routinely address concerns about forfeiture within the context of case negotiations.

The impact of having a federal criminal record, exposure to federal prison conditions, and the application of harsh sentencing guidelines necessitate that individuals charged with a federal offense retain experienced legal representation. Our Massachusetts criminal defense attorneys are, unfortunately, familiar with the draconian impact that a federal conviction can have on our clients, their professional futures, and their families and loved ones.

Our extensive track record successfully reflects our abilities to secure favorable outcomes for each of our clients. Regardless of the seriousness of the federal charges that have been leveled against you, our defense lawyers utilize a team oriented approach when it comes to pursuing aggressive defense strategies. For a free consultation regarding your case, please contact our law firm today.

 

Hits: 173
0