Boston Assault and Battery Lawyer - Attorney Steven J. Topazio
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Assault and Battery

Boston Assault and Battery Lawyer

Massachusetts Assault and Battery Attorney

Assault & Battery Defense

Assault & Battery Defense

If you are being investigated or arrested for committing an Assault and Battery related crime, it is in your best interests to hire a qualified and experienced  criminal defense attorney. Only a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will have the experience needed to fight the charges and to protect your legal rights. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio has successfully defended clients who have been accused of or arrested for Assault and Battery crimes.

Attorney Topazio can help you in these circumstances and protect your rights by speaking to the police on your behalf; attacking overcharged complaints; challenging identity issues; and by developing the defenses of self-defense and defense of others to prevent severe penalties including the possible loss of your freedom.

Why hire Boston Criminal Lawyer Steven J. Topazio?

The Criminal Justice system in Massachusetts treats crimes of violence such as Assault & Battery more severely than other crimes. When the police are dispatched to a report of Assault Battery, their immediate focus is the safety of the victim, and not the rights of the accused. More often than not that focus results in the police developing a one-sided perspective into their investigation as to what really happened, with the end result being the accused is arrested with little or no input from him.

Attorney Topazio knows that Assault & Battery charges are also followed by requests for emergency restraining orders.  Any contact with the victim in these circumstances, even if the victim is a family member or loved one, may result in additional criminal charges being filed.  If you are accused or arrested in committing a crime of violence, it is important that you quickly obtain legal representation to explain your legal options and help you protect your legal rights. Attorney Topazio has successfully resolved many cases by navigating these complicated legal issues on behalf of his clients.  Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio can protect your rights by standing between you and the system.  He knows that the only way to get a case dismissed is through investigation, preparation, and a lot of hard work. Contact him online for a free case evaluation.

Assault and Battery Defense

Allegations of assault or battery can arise in any number of circumstances. Horse play can go out of control such as when a pushing match results in someone getting hurt; a fight starts because one person feels disrespected by another person’s comments; an argument with a girlfriend or boyfriend becomes physical; a fight with a co-worker goes out of control; could all result in charges being filed. Typically, an argument of some sort initiates the confrontation. Often exacerbated by alcohol, pride or other factors, the argument turns into a serious offense when someone is hit or punched and the police are called. When the police are called to a fight, their job is to make an arrest. The resulting criminal charges that follow need to be sorted out in court.It is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney review the circumstances surrounding the arrest so as to determine whether any crime has been committed. Attorney Steven J. Topazio has the experience it takes to evaluate your assault and battery case from every angle.He has been successful in getting charges dismissed if at all possible, or getting them reduced.Contact him online today to discuss your case.

SELF-DEFENSE; DEFENSE OF ANOTHER; DEFENSE OF PROPERTY

A person is allowed to act in self-defense, even if he or she strikes or hits another person. Defending yourself or others from an attack, may be a defense to the crime of assault and battery if you act reasonably. A person cannot lawfully act in self-defense unless he or she is attacked or is immediately about to be attacked. This is known as reasonable apprehension.

Where use of deadly force is at issue, a person may still act in self defense if he or she uses deadly force. An individual however cannot lawfully act in self-defense unless he or she has exhausted all other reasonable alternatives before resorting to force. A person may use physical force in self-defense only if he or she could not get out of the situation in some other way that was available and reasonable at the time. This is known as the duty to retreat. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio knows how to evaluate your case and to develop your defense.

Excessive force. A person cannot lawfully act in self-defense if one uses more force than necessary in the circumstances to defend oneself. How much force is necessary may vary with the situation. Exactness is not always possible.

Retaliation. A person cannot lawfully act in self-defense when one uses force in retaliation. The right to self-defense arises from necessity and ends when the necessity ends.

The “castle rule”: retreat not required in dwelling. A person lawfully occupying a house, apartment or other dwelling is not required to retreat from or use other means to avoid combat with an unlawful intruder, if two circumstances exist:

First, the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder is about to inflict great bodily injury or death on him (her) or on another person lawfully in the dwelling; and
Second, the occupant uses only reasonable means to defend himself (herself) or the other person lawfully in the dwelling.

Comprehensive Investigation and Case-Building

Too often people are arrested for assault and battery when a fight breaks out at a bar after a night drinking, or when physical contact results when a girlfriend accuses her boyfriend of infidelity. What you perceive as a minor issue is no longer a simpler matter once law enforcement and the courts become involved. Choose an attorney who you know will work hard to fight for you. Attorney Topazio is prepared to investigate the allegations and every aspect of circumstances of your case, in order to identify the right strategy for you to build an aggressive defense to these charges.

Contact Attorney Topazio for a Free Case Evaluation

Schedule a free confidential consultation with Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio.

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RECENT CASE DECISIONS

Assault & Battery MGL c 265 § 13A(a), A&B police Officer, Resisting Arrest MGL c 268 § 32B, Clerk Magistrate Hearing on Application for Complaint resulted in all charges being dismissed.

The client, a 24 year old Boston University student, received a summons to appear for a Clerk Magistrate hearing, hired Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent him.  According to a Boston Police report, officers saw a large group gathered around an Asian male who was lying on his back on the sidewalk with several drops of blood on his shirt and bleeding from the mouth. According to the report the victim stated that an unknown male had punched him in the right side of his jaw and fled.  The report indicates that an officer chased the client through several back yards.  At one point the officer came up to a fence and while attempting to climb over it the office alleges that the client shoved the officer back over the fence and the officer fell off.  Attorney Topazio met with police and the complainant in an attempt to negotiate a resolution of the matter.  Attorney Topazio learned that the complainant sought medical treatment at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and incurred a great deal of out-of-pocket medical expenses.  With the assistance of the police, cooperation of the complainant, Attorney Topazio was able to persuade the Magistrate to dismiss all charges against his client.

Boston Municipal Court Central

Pre-Trial Probation,

Disturbing the Peace – MGL c.272 § 53

ABDW – MGL c.265 § 15A

Resisting Arrest – MGL c.268 § 32B

The client, a 45 high-tech analyst, hired Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to defend him after being arrested by Boston Police.  According to the police report, the client, who had been drinking, approached an N-Star worker and began to harass him, yelling at him and causing a crowd to gather.  When approached by police, the client refused to stop yelling, and continued to act in a loud and unruly manner.  When the police officer decided to arrest the client for disturbing the peace, the client resisted being hand-cuffed, fell to the ground on his back, and then kicked the officer in his groin with his hard shoes.  Attorney Topazio met with the prosecution to negotiate a resolution of the matter so as to avoid the uncertainties of a trial.  Attorney Topazio was able to persuade the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case to give his client a term of pre-trial probation.  Pre-trial probation is an excellent resolution for a criminal case so as to avoid litigating the case or admitting to a charge, but is rarely offered by the government.  Pre-trial probation is an agreement between the government and the defendant to resolve a criminal case by complying with certain terms and conditions of probation that occurs before a trial or other final disposition.  If pre-trial probation is accepted by the court, the defendant’s case will be removed from the court docket list and then will be dismissed if the defendant complies with the terms of pre-trial probation and does not reoffend.  If the defendant violates the terms of the pre-trial probation, instead of facing a probation surrender hearing, the case rather reverts back to the docket list and proceeds in the ordinary course toward trial.

Result: Client is placed on terms of Pre-Trial probation and if conditions successfully completed, the case will end with all charges being dismissed. 

May 23, 2014
Boston Municipal Court Central

Assault and Battery MGL c 265 § 13A

The client, an aviation repairman for the United States Marine Corps, was arrested after getting overly aggressive during an “Occupy Boston” rally in Dewey Square and assaulting and battering an individual in the presence of police.  According to the police report, the client allegedly grabbed the complaining witness by the shoulder and started screaming obscenities in her face placing her in fear.  Attorney Topazio defended his client who was staying at the Dewey Square encampment and refused to tender a plea as the prosecutor was pushing for but instead pushed the case to trial.  Today at trial, Attorney Topazio was successful in getting the case dismissed.

Result: Case dismissed at trial.

January 16, 2014
South Boston District Court
Docket # 1303CR0876

Assault and Battery MGL c265 § 13A(a)
Application for Criminal Complaint
Clerk Magistrate Hearing

The client, a 23-year old Registered Nurse, received an application for criminal complaint alleging she committed an assault and battery on another, hired Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent her. Attorney Topazio spoke with the Boston Police Officer bringing the complaint in an attempt to investigate the allegations and to determine if a resolution could be fashioned whereby the criminal complaint would not issue so as to protect his client’s licensure with the Board of Registration in Nursing. Assault and Battery is a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of an RN that could result in the license being suspended or revoked. Today Attorney Topazio persuaded the Magistrate, with the consent of the Boston Police Officer, to dismiss the complaint filed against his client.

Result:Case dismissed.

December 20, 2013
Brighton District Court
Docket # 1308CR1199

Assault and Battery MGL c265 § 13A(a)
Domestic Violence

The client, a 21-year old graduate student, was arrested for domestic assault and battery after getting a fight with her boyfriend, allegedly hitting and scratching his neck because he refused to give her back money she loaned him, hired Boston Domestic Violence Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent her. The client was in the United States on a student F1 Visa and would face the possibility of adverse immigration consequences if convicted for a domestic assault and battery. Attorney Topazio met with the prosecutor and the boyfriend’s counsel to work out an accord, without success. Attorney Topazio then instructed his client to file charges against her boyfriend who had a history of physically hitting and abusing his client, and the case was continued for trial. Today at trial, Attorney Topazio persuaded the court to dismiss the case against his client.

Result: Case dismissed at trial.

December 13, 2013
Quincy District Court
Docket # 1356CR1812

Assault With Dangerous Weapon MGL c265 § 15B(b)
Restraining Order
Domestic Violence

The client, a 46-year old pharmaceutical professional, was arrested after getting into an argument with his wife after he threw a heavy book at her, hired Boston Domestic Violence Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to represent him. The client, who was in the United States on a work Visa, also faced the possibility of adverse immigration consequences that would follow a felony conviction. To make matters worse, following the incident, the client’s wife obtained a restraining order against him preventing him from any contact with her. Attorney Topazio filed a motion to modify the restraining order when he learned the wife moved out to the marital home. Attorney Topazio was successful in getting the court to modify to restraining order, which gave Attorney Topazio an opportunity to conference the case with the assigned prosecutor. The prosecutor involved in the case however would not dismiss the charges since the wife was on board with the prosecution and a cooperating witness who wanted the client to plead guilty to avoid jail time. Attorney Topazio requested that the wife be summonsed to court at the next pre-trial date so as to give him the opportunity to speak with her if she was willing to speak with him. After speaking with the wife, the wife exerted her marital privilege in court so as to not be forced to testify against her husband which the court accepted. Today, Attorney Topazio persuaded the court to dismiss the case against his client.

Result: Case dismissed.

November 22, 2013

Wrentham District Court
Docket # 1357CR1292

Assault With Dangerous Weapon MGL c. 265 § 15B(b)
College Student

The client, a 22 year old high school graduate and landscaper, was arrested by Millis Police and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon after getting into a fight with a group of males and observed trying to hit them with an aluminum bat, hired Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend him. The client maintained that he was attacked earlier and was only defending himself when the group confronted him a second time. Attorney Topazio investigated the matter and discovered video surveillance from a local establishment which captured the earlier event and showed the prior altercation where the other group of males confronted his client and tried to fight him. Attorney Topazio met with the Millis Police prosecuting officer and provided him with the contents of his investigation, arguing that his client was the victim and that his client’s version explains his actions. Attorney Topazio challenged the police characterization of his client unilaterally attacking the other group without provocation. Nevertheless, although Attorney Topazio argued that his client was acting in self-defense, he agreed that his client should have gone to the police first instead of taking matters into his own hands. By conceding that his client may have used too much force in defending himself and thus may have an imperfect right of self-defense, Attorney Topazio was able to persuade the Millis Prosecutor to agree to give his client pre-trial probation, with a condition that he complete an anger management program. Today, with the consent of the prosecutor, Attorney Topazio convinced the court to place his client on a term of pre-trial probation.

Result: Client avoids a felony conviction and case will be dismissed at conclusion of pre-trial probation.

September 06, 2013
Quincy District Court
Docket # 1356CR1812

Assault with a Dangerous Weapon M.G.L c.265 § 15B(b)
Assault M.G.L c.265 § 13A
Domestic Violence

The client, a 45 year old software professional, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon on his wife who immediately obtained a restraining order against him, hired Boston Domestic Violence Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend him. Attorney Topazio met with his client and prepared the case for trial. Attorney Topazio learned that his client’s wife accused him of throwing glass objects at her and then smashing them on the floor of their apartment, was adamant about testifying against her husband. The client, who is also a green card resident, if convicted, will suffer immigration consequences and become deportable if found guilty of this offense. Assault with a Dangerous Weapon is a felony charge where the client could receive up to five years in State Prison. Evaluating the strength of the Commonwealth’s case, Attorney Topazio conferenced the case with the court and convinced the court and prosecutor to reduce the charges to simple assault, a misdemeanor, where the client still would face up to 2 ½ years in a house of correction if convicted. The court indicated that it would continue the case without a finding upon a change of plea. In almost all cases, once a defendant in adult criminal court enters a plea of guilty, a conviction has occurred for immigration purposes. This is true even if under state law there is not a conviction such as a continuance without a finding. That is because the immigration statute contains its own standard for when a conviction has occurred, which it will apply to evaluate state dispositions regardless of how state law characterizes them. The statute provides that a conviction occurs:
• Where there is “a formal judgment of guilt of the alien entered by a court” or,
• “if adjudication of guilt has been withheld, where … a judge or jury has found the alien guilty, or the alien has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or has admitted sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilt, and … the judge has ordered some form of punishment, penalty, or restraint on the alien’s liberty to be imposed.
Attorney Topazio continued his case to evaluate the immigration consequences to his client upon an admission to a reduced charge of assault.

Result: Case pending.

August 30, 2013
Boston Municipal Court Central Division
Docket # 1301CR2348

Disturbing the Peace c.272 § 53
Resisting Arrest c. 268 § 32B
A&B with Dangerous Weapon c. 265 § 15A
College Student

The client, a 23 year old college student, was at a bar in Boston when her cousin got into an altercation and was stabbed. After the police arrived, the client was arrested by police who felt the client was interfering with their investigation, was represented by Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio. Attorney Topazio learned that his client was angry with police, and swore and yelled at them, and then when cuffed, kicked the officer, but only after her shoes had fallen off. Attorney Topazio argued that this case resulted from an unfortunate miscommunication between the client and police in a heated moment where the police did not know a relative was stabbed. Today, Attorney Topazio persuaded the prosecutor to give his client pretrial probation with the condition that she write a letter of apology to the officer. Chapter 276 Section 87 of the Massachusetts General Laws allows a court to place a person on pretrial probation instead of forcing the client to trial or having the client pleads guilty. Pretrial probation occurs prior to trial or a plea of guilty, and is a court-approved agreement between the prosecutor and defendant for a certain period of time and under certain conditions with the end result of all charges being dismissed if the client complies.

Result: After pretrial probation case to be dismissed.

August 22, 2013
Fall River District Court
Docket # 1332CR0160

Assault and Battery Dangerous Weapon M.G.L c.265 § 15A(b)
Disorderly Conduct, Subsequent M.G.L c.272 § 53
Disturbing The Peace M.G.L c.272 § 53
Threat to Commit Crime M.G.L c.275 § 2
Resist Arrest M.G.L c.268 § 32B

The client, a 28 year old head line chef, and father of two, was arrested on multiple counts after getting into a confrontation with police, hired Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend him. Attorney Topazio challenged the evidence and filed a Motion to Dismiss in the case. The police report in the case indicated that as officers who were investigating an unrelated crime of a possible rape in progress, they came upon the client in a parked car in a parking lot and attempted to handcuff him for their safety, when he began to resist by thrashing around and trying to pull his arms free from their grasp. The client began yelling obscenities at the police and for other people to come outside and help him. The police report did not report that the client was under arrest for disorderly when he pulled his arm away from the police officer who was pulling the client through the broken window of his motor vehicle. When trying to place the client into the police cruiser, it was alleged the client kicked an officer in the head. Attorney Topazio argued that the evidence used to establish probable cause for the charge of Disorderly Conduct in violation of M.G.L. c. 272 §53, relied upon by the clerk-magistrate, was insufficient as the report did not establish that defendant either intended to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly created a risk of public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm. The application for complaint is based upon the report, which establishes that the defendant was yelling for help after being pulled through a broken car window hole smashed by police. The report merely states that the defendant, who didn’t want to be touched or interact with police, pulled away from police when they were trying to handcuff him allegedly for police safety as the defendant was not under arrest. Attorney Topazio argued that these facts were insufficient to establish disorderly conduct. Today, Attorney Topazio persuaded the court to dismiss all charges against his client upon a a change of plea to guilty probation to the resisting arrest.

Result: All charges dismissed upon a sentence of probation to resisting arrest charge.

August 16, 2013
East Boston Division of Boston Municipal Court
Docket # 1305CR0780

Assault and Battery on Police Officer M.G.L c.265 § 13D
College Student

The client, a 2013 high school graduate and incoming freshman at the University of New Hampshire, after allegedly pushing a Winthrop Police officer into oncoming traffic who was questioning him, hired Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio. Attorney Topazio learned that when the police encountered his client that his client’s face was swollen and covered in blood, the result of being jumped and beaten earlier by other individuals. Attorney Topazio obtained photographs of his client and medical records which indicated that his client suffered a broken nose and cracked tooth, and provided same to the Assistant District Attorney. Today, Attorney Topazio persuaded the Assistant District Attorney to place his client on pretrial probation for a period of three months with a letter of apology to the police officer. Being placed on pretrial probation means the client did not have to admit to committing the offense. Pretrial probation is not a guilty plea or a conviction which could affect his client’s ability to obtain financial loans from the Federal Government. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 276, section 87 allows for the court to place an individual on pretrial probation for a certain period of time. If the client stays out of trouble during the period of pretrial probation, the case will be dismissed.

Result: Client receives Pretrial Probation and avoids a trial and possible conviction.

August 01, 2013
Boston Municipal Court
Docket # 1301CR4427

Assault and Battery M.G.L c.265 § 13A
College Student

The client, a summer school student at Boston College, was arrested for assault and battery after allegedly getting into a fight with his roommate at BC over making too much noise in the dorm room, was represented by Attorney Steven J. Topazio. The client was full time college student at Oberlin College in Ohio, and attending school in the United States pursuant to a student visa. Today, Attorney Topazio persuaded the court to place his client on pretrial probation for a period of six months with no travel restrictions, so his client can return to Oberlin College in Ohio to complete his education. Being placed on pretrial probation means the client did not have to admit to committing the offense. Pretrial probation is not a guilty plea or a conviction which could affect an individual’s immigration status. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 276, section 87 allows for the court to place someone on probation for a certain period of time. If the client stays out of trouble during the period of pretrial probation, the case will be dismissed.

Result: Client receives Pretrial Probation and avoids a trial and possible conviction.

July 24, 2013
Quincy District Court
Docket # 2013RO0306

Restraining Order M.G.L c.209A
Domestic Violence

The client, a 45 year old professional, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon on his wife who immediately obtained a restraining order against him, hired Boston Domestic Violence Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend him. Attorney Topazio learned that the restraining order indicated that the defendant was ordered pursuant to Section #3 to immediately leave and say away from the plaintiff’s residence. In the company of Quincy Police, in an attempt to pick up his belongings, the client went to his residence in Quincy MA pursuant to Section #10 of said restraining order, to pick up his personal belongings but was not able to gain entrance to said premises as he learned that the plaintiff no longer resided at that location. Attorney Topazio discovered that the mail had not been picked up for several weeks and that a letter from the United States Post Office was discovered in the mail confirming the plaintiff received a Change-of-Address notification. Attorney Topazio filed a motion modifying the terms of the restraining order with the court. Today, Attorney Topazio argued that his client has been in full compliance with all conditions of the Restraining Order since its issuance and that he cannot afford to pay the rent on two different apartments and requested that the restraining order be modified so as to allow his client to move back into his home, and the court agreed.

Result: Restraining Order modified.

June 27, 2013
Cambridge District Court
Docket # 1352CR0006

Assault and Battery M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A(a)
Domestic Abuse

The client, a 32 year old software developer and father of one, was arrested after getting into an argument with the mother of his child where it was alleged that the client shoved her several times and then grabbed and bruised her breast, hired Massachusetts Domestic Violence Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent him. Following the Client’s arrest, the alleged victim filed and received a Restraining Order against the client. Attorney Topazio met with the prosecutor so as to prevent indecent assault and battery charges being filed against his client. Attorney Topazio obtained a copy of the affidavit to the Restraining Order and discovered that the victim was focused more on not losing custody of the infant child than being afraid of the client. During the course of preparing for trial, Attorney Topazio discovered that the alleged victim hired a divorce attorney so as to establish paternity and through the divorce attorney offered a settlement whereby the result would deny the client visitation in exchange for the alleged victim not testifying against the client at the criminal trial. Today at trial, the client refused to negotiate away the rights to his child, and although the prosecutor wanted the client to convicted, Attorney Topazio persuaded the Court to give his client a continuance without a finding (CWOF) for nine months.

Result: Client avoids enhanced charges and a conviction and accepts a continued without a finding for nine months.

June 24, 2013
Chelsea District Court
Docket # 1214CR1508

Assault and Battery M.G.L. c. 209A
Domestic Abuse

The client, a 26 year father of one, was arrested after allegedly punching his girlfriend of six years after he discovered that she cheated on him with another man, was represented by Boston Criminal Lawyer Steven J. Topazio. According to the police report the client punched his girlfriend with a closed fist on the right side of his head. According to the report, the girlfriend fought back scratching the client’s face. Attorney Topazio challenged the factual basis of the charge and pushed the case to trial. Today at trial Attorney Topazio convinced the court to dismiss all charges against his client.

Result: Case dismissed at trial.

June 19, 2013
Quincy District Court
Docket # 1256CR3633

Assault and Battery c.265 § 13A
Domestic Violence

The client, a 76 year old retired oil delivery man, was arrested for assault and battery after getting into an altercation with his 55 year old son and allegedly punching him in the back of the head. The client initially represented himself in court but when the court told the client he could go to jail, he hired Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio. The client owns a three family building in Quincy where he lives on one floor, his son on a different floor, and a female tenant on the first floor. According to the police report, the client’s son (and also the alleged victim) told police that he got hit after getting into an argument with his father when his father learned that he had broken into the first floor apartment because he lost his keys to the building. The son later told the tenant of the first floor apartment that he had broken in to gain access to the building and apologized profusely for what happened but also said he so called “pleasured himself” in the tenant’s bed. The police report then stated that the son thought the incident was over until his father, the client, began yelling at him for entering the 1st floor apartment and for saying what he had done in the tenant’s bed, which caused the tenant to move out. The son accused the client of being sick at which point the client allegedly lashed out, punching his son once in the back of the head. Attorney Topazio learned that upon confronting the son about breaking into the 1st floor apartment, the client told his son to move out and the son ran by the client causing the client to lose his balance and to reach out to regain his balance and, in the process, grabbed the son in back of the neck. The client’s attempt to regain his balance failed causing him to fall and injure himself. Attorney Topazio developed a trial strategy whereby he acknowledged that his client made unintended contact with his son and argued that the contact was accidental. Under Massachusetts law, a person can only be found guilty of assault and battery for intentional contact. Accidental contact is not a crime. Today, at trial, Attorney Topazio persuaded the court to dismiss the case.

Result: Case Dismissed at trial.

June 17, 2013
East Boston District Court
Docket # 1205CR0434

Assault and Battery c.265 § 13A

The client, a 43 year old female cab driver, was arrested outside of Boston Logan Airport for allegedly head-butting a Massport employee. In the police report, the Massport employee stated that she approached the client’s cab and asked her to move the vehicle forward because she was obstructing buses from discharging passengers. The report then stated that the client refused and exited her vehicle and continuously yelled at the Massport employee then head-butted her before leaving. The client left the scene and was later summonsed to East Boston District Court and after a Magistrate hearing, a complaint for Assault and Battery was issued. The client then hired Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend her. The client denied any physical contact with the alleged victim. Realizing the event must have been captured on surveillance video, Attorney Topazio demanded copies of all video surveillance footage at Logan where the incident allegedly occurred. When the videos were not produced, Attorney Topazio filed a motion for authorization to subpoena complete security surveillance videos from Massport which the court allowed. Attorney Topazio discovered that the terminal where the alleged incident occurred has 8 surveillance cameras. The State Police, however, only produced one camera angle and failed to provide complete videos of all camera angles relating to this matter as ordered by the court. Not satisfied with only one video angle, Attorney Topazio filed a motion to compel discovery of the other camera angles and learned that the other camera angles were viewed by the State Police, and after viewing the videos and determining their probative value to the case without allowing Attorney Topazio to view the evidence, destroyed the footage. Attorney Topazio believed that exculpatory evidence was destroyed and filed a motion to dismiss the case due to egregious police misconduct and the loss of evidence. Attorney Topazio argued that prosecutorial misconduct includes not only lack of disclosure by the prosecutor but also inept and bungling performance of the police, which is attributed to the prosecutors, and that the prosecutor should be held responsible for the police loss of evidence. Today, the judge agreed with Attorney Topazio and allowed his motion to dismiss the case on the grounds of loss of potentially exculpatory evidence.

Result: Motion to Dismiss allowed. Case Dismissed.

April 11, 2013
Boston Municipal Court – Central
Docket # 1301CR0943

Assault and Battery with Dangerous Weapon MGL c. 265 § 15A
Assault with a Dangerous Weapon M.G.L. c. 265 § 15B

The client, a 20 year high school student, was arrested after an individual he was with on a bus got off the bus and stabbed another individual during a fight, was represented by Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio. According to the police report, the police were dispatched for a report of a stabbing at Boston Medical Center. The report states that a third party had an argument with the victim and then exited a bus he was on with the client, and then stabbed the victim. According to the police report, the client did not get off the bus until the next bus stop, but then ran towards the fighting parties. The police report states that the client was identified “as being present and who were the individuals chasing them as they made their way into the hospital.” The police report did not indicate that the police observed the client commit any stabbing nor indicated that the client knew that third party possessed a dangerous weapon (a knife) or was going to stab the victim. Attorney Topazio argued that it is clear from the facts that the defendant did not stab the victim. Attorney Topazio argued that the Commonwealth them must establish that the defendant acted as a joint venture in order to be found guilty. In Massachusetts, a person may be found guilty of Assault and Battery with Dangerous Weapon in violation of M.G.L. c. 265 § 15A and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in violation of M.G.L. c. 265 § 15B even if he did not personally do the act, but instead was present at the scene of a crime, and aided and abetted its commission as part of a joint venture with the third party. Attorney Topazio argued that the offenses were not part of a criminal enterprise. The client possessed no weapons. No evidence suggested that the client knew that the third party possessed a knife. Attorney Topazio argued that his client could not possess the necessary intent for a joint venture since the client did not know what was going on or participated actively in the crime. The court agreed with Attorney Topazio that the client did not associate himself with the joint venture as he was on a bus when the stabbing occurred. Attorney Topazio persuaded the court that the attack in this case was not planned but rather spontaneous and that the client did not participate in the physical acts which make up the crime but only came upon the scene after the attack occurred. Attorney Topazio was able to convince the court to reduce the charges to simple assault, in violation of MGL c. 265 § 13A, and his client accepted a sentence of nine months’ probation.

Result: Charges reduced to simple assault and Client accepts nine months of probation.

April 01, 2013
Chelsea District Court
Docket # 1114CR3158

A&B with Dangerous Weapon MGL c. 265 § 15A
Assault with Dangerous Weapon MGL c. 265 § 15B
Domestic Violence

The client, a 28 year old clerical worker and mother of one, was arrested after getting into a fight with a roommate, and was arrested, and represented by Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio. According to the Police Report, the roommate told the client to shut-up or she was going to punch her in the face. Not liking this, the client allegedly picked up a glass bottle and hit the roommate in the head, then grabbed the roommate by the neck and tried to choke her, causing superficial scratches on the roommate’s neck. After allegedly choking the roommate, the client thereafter grabbed a pair of scissors and went toward the roommate with them. Attorney Topazio hired a private investigator to investigate the allegations and prepared for trial. Today, Attorney Topazio was able to convince the court to dismiss all charges on the day of trial.

Result: All charges dismissed on day of trial.

January 16, 2013
Boston Municipal Court – Central Division
Docket # 1201CR5514

>Probation Surrender
Assault and Battery M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A
Disorderly Conduct M.G.L. c. 272 § 53

The client, a 44 year old laborer who was on probation, was arrested by an MBTA Transit Police Officer working in plainclothes, after the client bumped the plainclothes police officer who was trying to video record the client’s actions on his cell phone. Boston Criminal Lawyer Steven J. Topazio challenged the Prosecutor’s case on the grounds that the contact was unintentional and his client should not have been arrested. Boston Criminal Attorney Topazio argued that his client was no different than any celebrity who doesn’t want to be filmed and pushes away the paparazzi, but argued that his client never intentionally touched the undercover police officer. Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Topazio argued that it is not enough for the Commonwealth to prove that his client acted negligently—that is, acted in a way that a reasonably careful person would not, but argued that the Commonwealth must prove that the client’s actions went beyond mere negligence and amounted to recklessness before he could be convicted. In Massachusetts, a defendant acts recklessly if he knew, or should have known, that such actions were very likely to cause substantial harm to someone, but he runs that risk and goes ahead anyway. In other words, the defendant must have intended his acts which resulted in the touching, in the sense that those acts did not happen accidentally. Today, Boston Criminal Attorney Topazio obtained convinced the Commonwealth and the Court to file the charges against his client without a change of plea, thus avoiding a trial and violation of his client’s probation.

Result: Charges filed without a change of plea and client avoids a probation violation.

January 03, 2013
Chelsea District Court
Docket # 1214CR3049

Domestic Violence
Assault & Battery M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A
Threat to Commit Crime M.G.L. c. 275 § 2
Assault & Battery with Dangerous Weapon M.G.L. c. 265 § 15A(b)

The client, a 32 year old College graduate and Green Card holder, was arrested after allegedly pushing his wife of two months into a wall, hired Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent him. Boston Criminal Lawyer Topazio met with his client and his new wife after she dropped the Restraining Order she obtained against him. Boston Criminal Attorney pointed out to his new client that any conviction, even an admission to sufficient facts, under Federal law would be considered a crime of moral turpitude which could subject his client to immigration consequences. A Green card is the name given to the US Permanent Resident Card. Foreigners who hold such an identification card are legal residents of the US and eligible for employment. Boston Domestic Violence Attorney Topazio obtained a copy of his client’s marriage certificate to establish that his client was married. Today, Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer Topazio presented the documentation when his client’s wife exerted her marital privilege not to testify and despite the Commonwealth’s objection, persuaded the Court to dismiss all charges against his client.

Result: Case dismissed.

December 17, 2012
Cambridge District Court
Docket # 1252CR0977

Assault & Battery M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A
Witness Intimidation M.G.L. c. 268 § 13B

The client, a 38 year old visiting scholar, was arrested for assault and battery after allegedly getting into a fight with a woman she shared a house with, hired Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to defend her. Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Topazio advised his client that any conviction, including an admission to sufficient facts, because of her status in this country, could result in immigration consequences of deportation, denial of naturalization, or exclusion from the United States. Boston Defense Lawyer Topazio discovered that his client’s arrest followed the Cambridge Police questioning about a past assault and battery. Massachusetts Criminal Attorney Topazio prepared a motion to dismiss the case arguing that his client was denied her due process rights and should not have been arrested but rather should have been granted a Magistrate’s hearing. Boston Criminal Lawyer Topazio pointed out to the court that Massachusetts General Laws c. 276 § 28 creates authority for an officer to arrest for an Assault and Battery not committed in his presence when the A&B is domestic. Attorney Topazio argued that his client did not commit a domestic assault and battery because the parties were not family or household members. Today, Boston Criminal Attorney Topazio, after extensive negotiations with the Assistant District Attorney, persuaded the Assistant District Attorney to file a Nolle Prosequi ending the case. A Nolle Prosequi is a Latin term meaning “we shall no longer prosecute,” and is a declaration made to the judge by a prosecutor in a criminal case meaning the case against the defendant is being dropped.

Result: Case dismissed and immigration consequences avoided.

October 19, 2012
BMC Dorchester District Court
Docket # 1207CR0342

A&B on Police Officer M.G.L. c. 265 § 13D
Resisting Arrest M.G.L. c. 268 § 53
Disturbing the Peace M.G.L. c. 272 § 53

The client, an 18 year old individual who was arrested in his brother’s apartment, and charged with 3 counts of ABPO, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace, hired Boston Massachusetts Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to defend him. According to the police report, after responding to the third floor of an apartment house, Boston Police officers allege that they heard a loud commotion coming from the second floor so they knocked and gained entrance and saw the client fighting with an unknown black male. The officer alleges that the client struck a police officer in the face causing his glasses to fly off and then when an older female who was present tried to grab the client’s arms, he flung his arms causing the older female to fall to the floor. According to the police report when two other officers attempted to place the defendant under arrest, the defendant violently resisted, knocking the other two officers to the ground. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio met with the Assistant District Attorney in an attempt to resolve the matter short of trial. Massachusetts Defense Lawyer Topazio argued that the complaint against his client was a defensive complaint due to the fact that the older female, who was described in the police report as being knocked to the ground and injured, was his client’s mother. Boston Defense Attorney Topazio pointed out that the police never charged his client with A&B on his mother or ever identify the unknown black male they say his client was fighting with which the police alleged was the basis for entering the apartment. Today, Massachusetts Defense Lawyer Topazio convinced the Assistant District Attorney to resolve all the criminal charges pending against his client by placing him on pre-trial probation for a period of nine months, in lieu of any admission or trial.

Result: Client preserves his record and avoids a trial after agreeing to be placed on pre-trial probation for nine months after which all charges will be dismissed.

May 14, 2012
Boston Municipal Court
Docket # 0901CR3721

Assault and Battery, M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A
Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, M.G.L. c. 265 § 15A

The Client, a 27 year old restaurant worker, was arrested after being involved in a fight after a popular Boston nightclub closed and was letting out its patrons. Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer, Steven J. Topazio, investigated the case and learned that the complainant was injured and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital after receiving a large laceration to the back of the head and multiple bruises to the facial area. As a result of pursuing what happened at the hospital, Attorney Topazio discovered that the complainant stated that he was at the Boston nightclub and only remembered being struck in the head and had no other recollection of the incident. Today, Attorney Topazio refused to plea bargain with the Commonwealth and demanded a trail. Without the ability to identify his Client, the case was dismissed.

Result: Case Dismissed at Trial.

May 08, 2012
Fitchburg District Court
Docket # 1216CR0008

Grand Jury
Assault and Battery with Dangerous Weapon M.G.L. c. 265 § 15(A)(B)

The Client, an 18 year old High School Student, was arrested after he attempted to strike his ex-girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend with a motor vehicle, hired Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to defend him. According to the police report, the ex-boyfriend of the ex-girlfriend entered the Client’s home to beat the Client up after the ex-boyfriend discovered his girlfriend and the Client were dating. After assaulting and punching the client the ex-boyfriend was charged with home invasion. When the ex-boyfriend went outside, the Client attempted to run him over with his car. Attorney Topazio met with his Client and explained the Client’s Fifth Amendment Constitutional Right not to testify. After being requested to appear and testify before a grand jury, Attorney Topazio advised his client to refuse to appear or testify against his attackers. Attorney Topazio pointed out that due to the fact that the client was also charged with a crime and might incriminate himself if he testified before a grand jury, the Client could exert his right not to testify. Today as a result of the Client exercising his Fifth Amendment right not to testify at the grand jury, the Commonwealth was unable to get an indictment against the Client’s attackers. Additionally, with no witnesses available to testify in court at trial against the Client, Attorney Topazio was able to persuade the District Court to deny jurisdiction on the Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon charge, in lieu of going to trial, but instead dismiss the case as a result of the Commonwealth’s inability to obtain any grand jury indictment. Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon charge is a felony which has concurrent jurisdiction which could be tried in either the Superior Court or the District Court.

Result: Case Dismissed.

March 20, 2012
Fitchburg District Court
Docket # 1116CR1998; 1116CR1723

False Allegations
Attempted Murder M.G.L. c. 265 § 16
A&B M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A(a)
Violate Abuse Prevention Order M.G.L. c. 209A § 7
Aggravated A&B c. 265 § 13A(b)
Witness Intimidation M.G.L. c. 268 § 13B
Malicious Damage to Motor Vehicle M.G.L. c. 266 § 28(a)

The client, an 18 year old High School student, was arrested on domestic violence charges involving his girlfriend with whom he lived, hired Attorney Topazio to represent him. Shortly after the first case, the client got into another altercation with his girlfriend after which she applied for a restraining order. After this event, the girlfriend alleged that there was an incident between the parties wherein she alleged that the client violated the restraining order by trying to strangle her where she lost consciousness, and as a result the client was arrested on attempted murder charges. In preparation of the case, Attorney Topazio obtained cell phone records between the parties suggesting no attack occurred and that the girlfriend was making false allegations. Attorney Topazio spoke with witnesses to prepare his defense. Attorney Topazio also identified alibi witnesses which called into question the veracity of the girlfriend’s allegations that she was attacked when she claimed she was attacked. During the several months of pre-trial preparation, Attorney Topazio discovered prior incidents of false allegations made by the girlfriend against former boyfriends which resulted in criminal complaints being dismissed. Attorney Topazio obtained copies of these complaints in an attempt to show a pattern of making false allegations. Today, despite the Commonwealth’s request for yet another continuance on the scheduled probable cause hearing, Attorney Topazio was successful in getting the Court to deny the Commonwealth’s request and persuaded the Court to dismiss all charges for want of prosecution.

Result: All charges dismissed.

February 29, 2012
Cambridge District Court
Docket # 1152CR0955

Domestic Abuse
Aggravated Assault and Battery M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A

The client, a 19 year old college student, was arrested after getting into an argument with his pregnant girlfriend who he accused of cheating on him. After a heated argument the Client was accused of punching his girlfriend in the stomach and slapping her in the face. According to the police report, after police received multiple 911 calls that a man was hitting a woman, officers responded to an assault in progress. When the police arrived, they questioned the defendant who responded that nothing was going on but made statements that his girlfriend was pregnant with his child and that she wants to have the baby and he does not want to have the baby because of the child support that is involved. The officers made observations of the girlfriend who had been crying and whose eyes were black and blue. After questioning several witnesses as to what happened, it was reported that the client twisted the girlfriend’s arms inward then punched her several times in the stomach and in the face, and the Client was arrested for Aggravated Assault and Battery. Aggravated Assault and Battery is a felony charge that was brought because the victim was pregnant, and carries a sentence of state prison not more than 5 years, or house of correction not more than 2 ½ years. Attorney Topazio was retained after the client’s initial counsel was unsuccessful at a 58A bail hearing where the defendant was held in custody and only released on cash bail with GPS monitoring. After months of investigation and discovery, Attorney Topazio obtained transcripts of all court proceedings and prepared his case for trial. Attorney Topazio discovered that the girlfriend was hospitalized one month prior to this incident and received injuries to the head due to fighting, which he argued were the cause of the bruising. Attorney Topazio obtained the hospital records and moved to exclude photographs of the girlfriend on that basis. Today, at trial, the court ruled favorably on Attorney Topazio’s request to exclude certain key pieces of the Commonwealth’s case, creating the opportunity to negotiate a resolution. Despite the Commonwealth’s request for a one year committed sentence upon a change of plea, Attorney Topazio was successful in convincing the Commonwealth to reduce the charge to simple Assault and Battery provided his Client accept a 9 month suspended sentence and complete a certified batterer’s program.

Result: At trial, evidence is excluded and the client avoids jail by tendering a plea to a reduced charge of Simple Assault and Battery and receives a suspended sentence.

January 20, 2012
Boston Municipal Court
Docket # 1101CR4444

Assault and Battery M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A
Disorderly M.G.L. c. 272 § 53
Common Affray

The client, a 23 year doorman at a downtown Boston pub, was arrested when observed by police punch a patron twice in the face knocking him to the ground after a night of drinking. Attorney Topazio investigated the case and learned that his client lacerated the face of the victim by punching his teeth through his lower lip. Attorney Topazio met with the prosecutor and attempted to resolve the case and address the Commonwealth’s concerns regarding restitution. Today, Attorney Topazio requested a lobby conference with the Judge in an attempt to resolve the case. A lobby conference is when the prosecutor and defense attorney discuss their case with the judge in an attempt to narrow the issues and to resolve their case. Attorney Topazio addressed the courts concerns regarding his client’s lack of control and alcohol use, and over the Commonwealth’s objection, convinced the court to allow his client to tender a plea of guilty on the assault and battery count only, with the other counts being dismissed. The court agreed to continue probation for seven months on the condition that the client complete an anger management program and undergo an alcohol evaluation.

Result: Client tenders a plea of probation for seven months on the assault and battery count only with the other counts being dismissed.

January 03, 2012
Fitchburg District Court
1216CR0008

A&B with Dangerous Weapon M.G.L. c. 265 § 15A(b)

The client, who was out on bail on a different case while under house arrest and being monitored electronically by the court, was arrested on a charge of ABDW after being assaulted by three individuals on New Year’s Eve. The three individuals entered the client’s home allegedly armed with knives and attacked the client. The client was beaten and thereafter fled his home and entered his parked motor vehicle and locked the doors. Despite the client’s actions, the windows of the motor vehicle were smashed and the client attempted to flee by starting the vehicle and attempted to reverse out of the driveway crashing into his attacker’s motor vehicle. Attorney Topazio took the initial phone call from distraught family members on New Year’s Eve and rearranged his schedule so as to appear at his client’s arraignment scheduled for January 3, 2012. Today, due to the new arrest, the Commonwealth filed a motion to revoke his client’s bail and requested that the Court hold his client for 60 days without bail. Attorney Topazio was successful in convincing the Court to deny the Commonwealth’s request to revoke bail and was successful in securing his client’s release for custody.

Result: Commonwealth’s Motion to revoke bail denied and Client released from custody pending trial.

December 28, 2011
Boston Municipal Court
Application for Criminal Complaint

Assault & Battery M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A

The client, a 28 year old college graduate employed as a business systems analyst for a Boston Investment Company, received an application for criminal complaint after punching a fellow patron in the face while in Whiskey’s Smokehouse Bar in Boston. Attorney Topazio met with his client and learned that the on duty manager from the bar witnessed the assault and battery and that the client admitted to the police that he punched the victim after he was grabbed from behind by an unidentified person. Attorney Topazio, in an attempt to resolve the matter prior to criminal charges from being issued against his client, (which would also prevent an entry on his client’s board of probation record, commonly referred as BOP or CORI), contacted the investigating Boston Police Detective and explained his client’s position and addressed any concerns the police or victim had to a resolution of the matter at the Magistrate’s hearing. Attorney Topazio further arranged to have the case sent to court sponsored mediation should the Magistrate require as part of any resolution. Today at the hearing on the application for issuance of the criminal complaint, Attorney Topazio was successful in convincing to the Magistrate, with the consent of the applicant, to deny the issuance of the criminal complaint thus preserving his client’s CORI.

Result: Case dismissed.

December 06, 2011
Chelsea District Court
Docket # 1114CR1915

Assault and Battery, MGL c. 265 § 13A(a)

Assault with Dangerous Weapon MGL c. 256 § 15B(b)
Destruction of Property MGL c. 266 § 127

The client, a 40 year old Iraq War Army veteran, called police to remove his girlfriend from his apartment after they got into a fight in which she scratched him on the back. Despite going to police, the client was arrested after the police spoke to the girlfriend and concluded that the client was the primary aggressor. The girlfriend alleged that the client was jealous of her and accused her of cheating on him after reading her diary. The girlfriend further alleged that the client threw the diary at her then grabbed her by the throat and began to strangle her. Attorney Topazio hired a private investigator to speak with the complainant in an attempt to pin down her testimony and further to cooberate his client’s version of the facts. Attorney Topazio learned that the girlfriend recanted her statements to police. After learning this information, and refusing to accept a plea bargain from the Commonwealth, Attorney Topazio continued the case for trial. Today at trial, Attorney Topazio moved to have his client’s case dismissed for want of prosecution after the Commonwealth moved for a continuance after announcing to the court that they were not ready to proceed to trial, and the court agreed.

Result: Case dismissed at trial.

October 18, 2011
Boston Municipal Court
Docket No: 1101CR5106

Assault c 265 § 13A
Assault and Battery c 265 § 13A
Resting Arrest c 268 § 32B

The Client, a 41 year old individual, had been arrested after assaulting his mother when he accused her of stealing money from him. The client backed his mother into a corner, then pushed his sister against a wall after she got in between her brother and mother and tried to make him leave the apartment. The Client, who thereafter fled the scene when police arrived, fought with police when he refused to be handcuffed, was held on bail following his arraignment. The client who had no family support and could not post bail, wanted to resolve his case prior to trial so as to avoid confronting his siblings and elderly parents. Attorney Topazio contacted the District Attorney to negotiate a resolution but was unable to reach an accommodation. The Commonwealth had offered a 2 year committed sentence upon a change of plea, considering the client’s record and long history of domestic abuse towards his family, and would accept nothing less. Today, Attorney Topazio convinced the court, despite the commonwealth’s recommendation for a 2 year committed sentence, to sentence his client to four (4) months in jail, followed by a period of probation.

Result: Client committed to four months and given credit for time awaiting trial and avoids a two year committed sentence as recommended by the Commonwealth.

September 20, 2011
Brookline District Court
Docket No. 1109CR0627
Assault and Battery c 265 § 13A
Assault and Battery c 265 § 13A

The Client, a 50 year old self-employed restaurant owner with no criminal record, was arrested when he slapped his wife in the face several times following a heated argument. The Client was also charged with striking his daughter, who came to the aid of her mother and was struck and thrown to the ground when she came between her mother and father. When police were called by the client’s son, all three witnesses told the police the same story. After photographing a large welt, bruising, and redness on the wife’s right cheek bone near her eye, and talking with the Client, who admitted to consuming alcohol, the Client was arrested for domestic assault and battery. Following his arraignment, the Client was released on personal recognizance and ordered to remain alcohol free and to submit to random urine tests. After failing to appear for two scheduled urine tests, the probation department sought a warrant for the defendant’s arrest and the Commonwealth moved pursuant to c. 276 § 58B to revoke the defendant’s bail due to a violation of the conditions of release. The Client, who appeared in court on his own, as his attorney was unavailable, had the misfortune of conveying to the court that he thought the matter of random alcohol screenings was funny. The court made written findings that the Client was not taking the proceedings seriously and revoked his bail for a period of 60 days. When the Client’s attorney failed to appear on the Client’s next scheduled court date after 32 days in custody, the Client retained Attorney Topazio. Attorney Topazio went out of his way to meet with the family who were now in crisis and Client, who was incarcerated, and rearranged his schedule so as to advance his new client’s case and to get him in court as soon as possible. Within two days of being retained, Attorney Topazio appeared in court with his client who now had been held 35 days in custody without bail. On his first court appearance, the Domestic Violence Unit from Norfolk County objected to any modification of the Client’s revoked bail status. Unfortunately, due to judge unavailability, the Client’s case could not be reached and the case needed to be rescheduled. Today, after being held in custody for a period of 40 days, and yet only 7 days after being retained, Attorney Topazio was successful in securing his client’s release, by persuading the court to place his client on probation for eighteen months, prior to the 60 day bail revocation period, despite the Commonwealth’s request that the Client not to be released but rather incarcerated and serve a split sentence followed by three years of probation.

Result: Client released from custody after a change of plea and placed on probation.

September 12, 2011
Cambridge District Court
Docket No. 1152CR1316

The client, a 24 year-old male university graduate, employed as a financial analysist, was arrested for the charge of Assault and Battery. The Client allegedly got into an argument with his girlfriend and was observed by a witness who called police and stated she heard both parties yelling and observed the male pushing the female into the side entrance of the building across from where she was standing. Moments later, both parties exited the house, and she reported to police that they were still yelling at each other and they got into a parked motor vehicle. The witness stated that the male came around to the passenger side, and began to pull the female out of the vehicle, who was yelling “No, No.” Attorney Topazio initially prepared an accord and satisfaction agreement and provided a copy of the civil settlement to the prosecutor, An accord and Satisfaction Agreement can resolve a misdemeanor criminal charge, provided the complainant acknowledges in writing that she has received satisfaction for her injury, and then the court in its discretion, could dismiss the case over the commonwealth’s objection. Today, despite the executed Accord and Satisfaction, the prosecutor filed a Nolle Prosequi with the court dismissing the client’s case. Nolle prosequi is a Latin Legal Phrase, and is a declaration made by a prosecutor in a criminal case, meaning the case against the defendant is being dropped.

Result: Case Dismissed.

July 07, 2011
East Boston District Court
1005CR2010
Assault & Battery on Police Officer M.G.L. c. 265 § 13D
Disorderly M.G.L. c. 272 § 53

The defendant, a disabled American Veteran, was accused of stealing a piece of luggage at Logan Airport. When confronted by police, the defendant began to yell that it was his bag and that he had no identification when same was demanded. The Trooper again questioned him about the bag, and it was alleged that the defendant began shoving the Trooper and lunging his shoulder into his chest, was arrested, hired Attorney Topazio after being in default for several months. Attorney Topazio initially appeared in court and removed the default warrant without the defendant being held. Attorney Topazio next met with the Prosecuting Attorney and provided documentation about his client’s service in the Air Force and the circumstances of his disability. Attorney Topazio met with the Assistant District Attorney and pointed out that the bag in question did in fact belong to his client and that his client’s name was on the bag tag and computer print out. Attorney Topazio further pointed out that the Trooper created the situation which resulted in the arrest of his client. Today at a pre-trial hearing, Attorney Topazio argued for pre-trial probation as a way of resolving his client’s case. In the SJC case of Commonwealth v. Tim, T. a juvenile, 437 Mass. 592 (August 23, 2002), the court set clear limits on the use of pre-trial probation, stating that the procedures set forth in Brandano cannot be utilized to place a defendant on pre-trial probation over the Commonwealth’s objection. The Court noted that, standing alone c.276 §87 does not provide a method for disposing of a case. Only when §87 is used in conjunction with c. 278 §18 (which provides for a continuance without a finding upon an admission to sufficient facts) can §87 be used as a disposition. Today Attorney Topazio convinced the Assistant District Attorney to agree to give his client pre-trial probation, and the Court agreed.

Result: Count for Assault and Battery on a Police Officer and count of disorderly conduct will be dismissed at the end of the pre-trial probationary term.

February 18, 2011
Chelsea District Court
1014CR4039l
Disorderly Conduct M.G.L. c. 272 § 53
A&B on Police Officer M.G.L. c. 265 § 13D
Resisting Arrest M.G.L. c. 268 § 32B
The defendant, who was represented by Attorney Topazio, was inside a Dunkin Donuts in Revere when observed by a police officer to have a nip bottle in her back pocket. The officer described the defendant to also be be intoxicated. When she was asked by the Revere Police Officer to turn over the nip bottle, she refused. The officer attempted to confiscate the bottle by retrieving it from her back pocket, but when he stuck his hand into her back pocket the defendant pushed the officer in the chest. The officer thereafter attempted to handcuff the defendant who resisted, and as a result was tripped to the ground by the officer for prone handcuffing. Attorney Topazio filed a Motion to Dismiss all charges, alleging that the officer created the scenario to arrest his client. Attorney Topazio argued to the court that the officer mishandled the situation and was unjustified in sticking his hand into her back pocket in an attempt to retrieve a nip bottle. Attorney Topazio pointed out that courts generally do not inquire into the competency or sufficiency of the evidence in support of a criminal complaint. Nevertheless, Attorney Topazio pointed out that a necessary element of a Disorderly charge is that the tumultuous behavior or offensive conduct of the defendant has to “serve no legitimate purpose of the defendant”. Today Attorney Topazio convinced the Court that due to the officer mishandling the situation, his client was justified and had a legitimate purpose in protesting the male officer sticking his hand into her back pocket feeling her buttocks in search of a nip bottle. The court, over the Commonwealth’s objection that Attorney Topazio’s arguments were nothing more than trial defenses, dismissed all charges against his client.

Result: After hearing Motion to Dismiss allowed and all charges dismissed.

November 15, 2010
Malden District Court
1050CR0562

Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon M.G.L. c. 265 § 15A(b)
Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon M.G.L. c. 265 § 15A(b)

The defendant, was arrested after stopping a dump truck and kicking and hitting the driver with a chair, after the defendant witnessed the truck driver pick up his personal property and put it into the back of the truck, hired Attorney Topazio to represent him. Attorney Topazio investigated the case and learned that neighbors had captured most of the event on film. With multiple witnesses, and photos of the event, Attorney Topazio was unable to negotiate a resolution of the case with the District Attorney after a lobby conference with the court, and scheduled the case for a jury trial. Attorney Topazio filed several motions in limine on the day of trial which were allowed by the court thus limiting the use of evidence the Commonwealth had. A motion in limine is a motion made before the start of a trial requesting that the judge rule that certain evidence may, or may not, be introduced to the jury in a trial. This is done in judge’s chambers, or in open court, but always out of hearing of the jury. If a question is to be decided in limine, it will be for the judge to decide. Usually it is used to shield the jury from possibly inadmissible and unfairly prejudicial evidence. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on one court and guilty on the second count. The defendant now faced the possibility of being sentenced to 2 ½ years to the house of correction. In lieu of sentencing his client following the jury trial, Attorney Topazio requested that the case be continued one day so as to allow him to provide additional information to the judge who was now charged with the function of sentencing his client. Today, despite his client’s six (6) page criminal record and the request by the Commonwealth for a two (2) year House of Correction sentence, Attorney Topazio convinced the court not to commit his client to the House of Correction but rather to give him six (6) months probation with the condition of an anger management program. The Court agreed.

Result: After jury trial, the client is found not guilty on one count but guilty on the second court. In process of providing the court with an aid in sentencing, the sentencing of the defendant is continued one day to allow Attorney Topazio to provide the court with additional information. At sentencing the defendant receives six (6) months probation with an anger management program and avoids a committed jail sentence.

September 01, 2010
Boston Municipal Court
1001CR2572
Assault and Battery M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A
Pretrial Probation M.G.L. c. 276 § 87

The defendant, a professional tax analyst, was arrested on two counts of A&B after being witnessed by police punching two individuals in the face and knocking them to the ground, was represented by Attorney Topazio. Attorney Topazio learned that when his client was arrested he was walking with a friend, who happened to be Jewish, through the Holocaust Memorial on Union Street in Boston, when he heard two other individuals walking in the opposite direction make anti-Semitic remarks. When the defendant demanded an apology after identifying that his friend was Jewish and offended by the remarks, a fight broke out in which the defendant was witnessed by police striking the other two individuals. Attorney Topazio met with his client and realized that any admission or guilty finding would jeopardize his client’s job and future employment in his chosen profession. Attorney Topazio had his client obtain several letters of recommendation and evidence of accomplishments which he shared with the District Attorney in an attempt to resolve the case by way of pretrial probation. Pre-trial probation is a court-approved agreement or contract between the prosecutor and defendant before a trial or a plea of guilty. Under such an agreement, a defendant is placed on probation, in the care of a probation officer, for a certain period of time and under certain conditions before he is convicted of any crime. In return, the charges will be dismissed upon the defendant’s successful completion of his probation. If, on the other hand, the defendant violates any condition of his probation, then the charges will not be dismissed and the case will be placed back on the trial list and proceed normally. Today, despite the strength of the Commonwealth’s case, Attorney Topazio persuaded the District Attorney to give his client pre-trial probation in lieu of admitting to the charges and thus saving his record and career. Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 276 Section 87, the court agreed with the proposed resolution and placed his client on pretrial probation.

Result: Defendant’s record and career saved and case to be dismissed after successful completion of period of pretrial probation.

June 23, 2010
Boston Municipal Court
1001CR0161

Assault and Battery on Public Employee, M.G.L. c. 265 § 13D
Resisting Arrest, M.G.L. c. 268 § 32B
Disorderly Conduct, M.G.L. c. 272 § 53

The defendant, who was represented by Attorney Topazio, was arrested when he became belligerent to an off duty police officer. After being warned to go home otherwise he would be arrested, the defendant slapped the officer with an open hand on the buttocks. The defendant then resisted the officers at every opportunity and refused to submit to the arrest. Attorney Topazio learned that his client was out celebrating his birthday when he became extremely intoxicated which led to his arrest. Attorney Topazio caused his client to write a letter of apology to the officer and met with the District Attorney in an attempt to resolve the case short of trial. Attorney Topazio conferenced the case with the Court and pointed out that his client, who had no prior record, apologized to the police for his behavior and would address his excessive drinking by attending AA if the court would consider dismissing all charges before the next court date. Attorney Topazio’s goal was to prevent his client from getting a criminal record. Today, after proving to the court that his client was addressing his drinking problem, Attorney Topazio convinced the court to dismiss all charges against his client.

Result: Charges dismissed and case closed.

November 17, 2008
Boston Municipal Court
0801CR7652

Assault and Battery, M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A

The defendant, visiting Boston, got into a fight while in Fanuiel Hall and was seen by a Boston Police Officer punching and knocking another individual to the ground. The officers radioed EMS to respond to the victim who remained motionless on the ground. The defendant, who ran from police, was apprehended hiding behind a trash barrel, hired Attorney Topazio. Today, at a pre-trial conference, over the objection of the Commonwealth, was successful in getting the Court to give the defendant a continuance without a finding “CWOF” with unsupervised probation. A “CWOF” instead of a guilty conviction protected the defendant’s criminal record as it is not a conviction under state law. The court additionally waived all fines and costs.

Result: Trial avoided. Defendant protects his criminal record and the CWOF will end as a dismissal provided the defendant gets in no further trouble.