Attempted Murder & Aggravated Assault - Criminal Defense Boston
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Attempted Murder, Assault & Battery

Attempted Murder & Aggravated Assault and Battery

Aggressive Defense for People Accused of Felony Offenses

A number of different crimes are classified as felonies. Some examples of felony crimes are: murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault and battery, burglary, arson, drug distribution of controlled substances, most sex crimes (rape, solicitation of a minor over the Internet, child pornography) and larceny over $250.00.Punishments for a person convicted of a felony can range from probation to lengthy jail terms. Some of the other consequences of being convicted of a felony that most people don’t realize at the time of conviction are: loss of your right to vote, extreme difficulty in finding employment, the loss of right to carry firearms, etc.

Do not go to court without a lawyer if you have been charged with a serious felony.

If you are under investigation by the police, or believe that you may be facing criminal charges, it is critical that you consult an attorney immediately. Police officers use trickery and deception in order to persuade a suspect to cooperate and give a voluntary statement. Under no circumstances should you speak with law enforcement without an attorney. You should always contact an attorneyimmediately so measures can be taken to protect your constitutional rights, and your freedom.

Experience You Can Rely On

Attempted murder; assault with intent to murder; aggravated assault and battery are some of the most serious cases prosecuted in Superior Court where a defendant is exposed to State Prison time. These cases are prosecuted by the most experienced Assistant District Attorneys in the Commonwealth. Experienced prosecutors require experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio has more than 24 years of experience successfully defending the criminally accused. He has developed the knowledge and reliability to be one of the best lawyers to hire in these circumstances.

Assault with Intent to Murder

To convict a defendant of assault with intent to murder, the Commonwealth must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant assaulted the alleged victim with intention of killing the victim. It is absolutely incumbent upon the prosecution to prove that the defendant had a premeditated intention of murdering the alleged victim. Assault with intent to murder is a serious crime, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail for not more than two and one half years.

Attempted Murder M.G.L. c. (265 § 16)

Whoever attempts to commit murder by poisoning, drowning or strangling another person, or by any means not constituting an assault with intent to commit murder, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail for not more than two and one half years.

Assault in Dwelling or House with a Dangerous Weapon

To convict a defendant of armed assault in a dwelling, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon, entered a dwelling house and while therein assaults another with intent to commit a felony. This offense is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for life, or for a term of not less than ten years.

Mayhem(G.L. c. 265, §14)

To convict a defendant of mayhem, the Commonwealth must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant, with malicious intent to maim or disfigure, cut out or maimed the tongue, put out or destroyed an eye, cut or tore off an ear, cut, slit or mutilated the nose or lip, or cut off or disabled a limb or member, of another person. A conviction is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail for not more than two and one half years.

Comprehensive Investigation and Case-Building

For additional information about Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Topazio’s ability to protect your rights and liberties, contact his Boston office at 617-422-5803 or email him to schedule a free consultation.

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RECENT CASE DECISIONS

ABDW Stabbing Case Dismissed

The client was arrested for allegedly stabbing another in the buttock and charged with the crime of Assault and Battery With a Dangerous Weapon in violation of MGL c 265 § 15(A).  The client who was with another individual, was allegedly seen tossing an object then fleeing before being arrested. The other individual who the client was with was stopped by police and found to be in possession of a knife. Today at trial Attorney Topazio was successful in getting the case against his client dismissed.

Lengthy Prison Sentence Avoided After Attempted Murder Charges Dropped

After a night of drinking, the client returned home and encountered her roommate who also returned home after a night out drinking.  A fight  between the roommates ensued, and the client allegedly grabbed a knife and stabbed the roommate in the arm.  A friend of the roommate who tried to intervene was subsequently stabbed in the heart by the client, requiring emergency open heart surgery. The client was arrested and charged with attempted murder as well as assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury.  Attorney Topazio requested that his client undergo a psychiatric evaluation and lobbied the District Attorney to dismiss the attempted murder charge, (which carries a potential jail sentence of up to 20 years in state prison), after learning that his client was severely beaten by the other parties during the fight. Over the course of sever months, Attorney Topazio was successful in getting the attempted murder charge against his client dropped. Despite a recommendation to commit his client to a 7 to 9 year sentence, Attorney Topazio pursuaded the court to sentence his client to a sentence of 3 years to 3 years and one day on the charge of assault and battery serious bodily injury.

The client avoids felony convictions as well as committed time and is released from custody in two weeks thus voiding the full 90 day bail revocation. A&B on Police Officer MGL c 265 § 13D; Witness Intimidation MGL c 268 § 13B; Resisting Arrest MGL c 268 § 32B; Disorderly Conduct MGL c 272 § 53; Threats MGL c 275 § 2; Malicious Destruction of Property MGL c 266 § 127

The client, a 27 year old professional engineer, was arrested after refusing to exit a motor vehicle he was a passenger in after the operator of that same vehicle was arrested for drunk driving.  When the tow truck was dispatched to tow the vehicle, the client refused to allow the police to conduct an inventory search the vehicle.  The client had to be forcibly removed from the vehicle where it was noted that he was extremely intoxicated.  Once out of the vehicle the client began to yell at police in a highly emotional and agitated manner, complaining that police did not have a warrant to search the vehicle.  The client tried to stop the officer from completing an inventory search, which is normal procedure following an arrest in these circumstances,  and a struggle developed where the client was resistant and assaultive.  The client ended up pushing and fighting with the police, pushing one officer into a fence where the officer injured himself.  The struggle lasted several minutes requiring the officer to transmit an emergency distress call to other officers and to draw and activate his taser.  Several police unites responded and the client was subdued.  During the booking process, the client was combative and further threatened the officers.  The client was initially released on bail but was arrested less than one week later after he got drunk following a Celtics playoff victory and was captured on video sliding across the hood of a motor vehicle damaging it.  The client appeared in court and his bail was revoked on the first case for violating a bail warning which he received on the first case, and was held without bail, hired Attorney Topazio.  The client’s bail was revoked for 90 days.  Attorney Topazio explained to his new client that the Commonwealth may move to revoke bail when a defendant commits a new offense while released on bail or personal recognizance.  In order to revoke bail, the Court must find probable cause for the new offense while on release for another change and must find that the release of the person will seriously endanger any person of the community and detention of the person is necessary to reasonably assure the safety of the person or the community.  There is no right to Superior Court bail review if bail is revoked.  Attorney Topazio met his client in jail and explained his options and learned that the client would lose his employment if held for an extended period of time. In lieu of preparing the case for trial, Attorney Topazio made it his priority to get his client out of jail as soon as possible, avoid jail time and any felony convictions with the result of securing his client’s freedom and saving his job and career.  Attorney Topazio met with the prosecuting Attorney and negotiated a resolution which addressed his client’s substance abuse problems and fashioned a sentence that avoided committed time as well as convictions yet resulted in the release of his client from custody after two weeks; which would effectively terminate the 90 day bail revocation early.  Attorney Topazio explained to his client that resolving the new offense, which triggered the bail revocation, does not lead to expiration of the bail revocation order which was revoked on the first case.  Today, after petitioning the court to issue a habeas corpus to bring his client into court early, Attorney Topazio  persuaded the court to give his client CWOFs on all charges subject to conditions addressing his substance abuse problems and anger issues.  As such, Attorney Topazio resolved both cases on favorable conditions and secured his clients release from custody.

March 27, 2014

Chelsea District Court

Assault and Battery with Dangerous Weapon MGL c 265 § 15A(b)

The client, a 41 year old father of four, was arrested after allegedly getting into a fight with his cousin while in his house after striking his cousin in the head with a metal shovel injuring him.  According to the police report, the cousin arrived at the client’s apartment with an unknown individual and was drinking alcohol with the client and another individual.  According to the police, the parties were joking about scars they had received until the parties began arguing.  The cousin alleged that he was a peace keeper and went into the client’s kitchen so as to confiscate all the kitchen knives in the house before anyone stabbed anybody.  According to the police report, the cousin claimed the client thereafter hit him in the head with a shovel.  Attorney Topazio hired a private investigator and established that his client was not the aggressor but in fact acted in self defense.  According to the investigator, the Client was at home with a friend drinking when his cousin arrived in a highly agitated state.  The cousin then took 2 large kitchen knives from the client’s kitchen and hit one of the guests in the back with the side of the knife and threatened to kill that individual.  When the client protested the cousin threatened to harm the client and then chased the client out of his apartment.  When the client was confronted by the cousin with a knife in each hand, he struck him with the shovel to prevent him from stabbing him.   Attorney Topazio pushed the case to trial and argued his client acted in self-defense.

Result: Not Guilty verdict after trial.

May 10, 2013
Boston Municipal Court
Docket # 1201CR6070

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

The client, a 51 year old real estate agent, was arrested after she called police to report an accidental stabbing of her boyfriend. The police report stated that the police were dispatched for an accidental stabbing in the North End of Boston. The report indicated that when police arrived, the victim was in an ambulance. The report did not state or provide any evidence that the defendant committed an assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The officer opined that the stab wound appeared not to be self-inflicted and without any information to suggest the stabbing was other than accidental, arrested the client. The client then retained Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio. After obtaining voluminous medical records and a police interview of the victim, it was found that the client and her boyfriend were having an argument when the client picked up a knife. The victim then lunged at the client, inadvertently stabbing himself. The client then called 911 to report the accidental stabbing. Without probable cause or warrant, the police entered the client’s apartment by way of her landlord. Upon discovering blood and sign of a struggle within the apartment, the police then applied for a search warrant. Attorney Topazio challenged the case and filed a motion to dismiss. It is impossible to determine if the client intended to injure or strike the victim or that she foresaw the harm that resulted. Attorney Topazio argued that the arrest was not based on any factual analysis. Under the probable cause requirement, a complaint shall not issue “unless the information presented by the complainant establishes probable cause to believe that the person against whom the complaint is sought committed an offense.” Probable cause to arrest is conspicuously lacking in this case because before the client can be arrested, the police must know what conduct the client engaged in and whether she was not conscious of the serious danger that was inherent in such conduct, and under the circumstances as they were known to the client, would have recognized that such actions were so dangerous that it was likely that they would result in substantial injury. Attorney Topazio was able to convince the court to dismiss the charge.

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.

November 15, 2011

Fitchburg District Court
Docket # 1116CR1998; 1116CR1723
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)
Arrest Warrant

The client, an 18 year old High School student, was initially arrested on domestic violence charges involving his girlfriend with whom he lived, hired Attorney Topazio to represent him. Prior to the next scheduled court date, the client got into another altercation with his girlfriend after which she applied for a restraining order. Attorney Topazio immediately obtained a witness statement indicating that the girlfriend was the aggressor and shared this information with investigating police. So as to prevent a warrant from being issued by police against his client, Attorney Topazio negotiated a situation whereby he allowed his client to provide a statement to police and to accept service to the temporary restraining order, in exchange for the police agreeing not to issue warrant for the client’s arrest but rather agreeing to issue summons to both parties as mutual combatants. After this event, the girlfriend alleged yet again that there was a third incident between the parties wherein she alleged that the client violated the restraining order by trying to strangle her the day before his scheduled court appearance, and as a result the client was arrested on attempted murder charges. In preparation of the bail argument, Attorney Topazio obtained cell phone records between the parties suggesting no attack occurred and that the girlfriend was making false allegations. Attorney Topazio also presented alibi witnesses at his client’s arraignment which called into question the veracity of the girlfriend’s allegations that she was attacked. Despite the Commonwealth’s request to revoke his client’s bail and to hold him on $50,000.00 bail on the Attempted Murder case, Attorney Topazio was successful in getting the Court to deny the Commonwealth’s Motion to Revoke Bail and further to get his client released from custody on the condition of electronic monitoring through the Massachusetts Probation Electronic Monitoring Program, and the Court agreed.

Result:Warrant withdrawn and client released from custody on electronic monitoring “ELMO Program.” Case pending.

November 15, 2010
Malden District Court
1050CR0562
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.

November 01, 2010
Essex Superior Court
ESCR2009-000347
Habitual Offender M.G.L. c. 279 § 25
Assault and Battery by Means of a DW, Victim 60 or older M.G.L. c. 265 § 15A(a)
Larceny Under $250 M.G.L. c. 266 § 30
Attempt to Commit a Crime M.G.L. c. 274 § 6
BE daytime with intent to commit a felony M.G.L. c. 266 § 18

The defendant, who allegedly tried to steal tools from an elderly man’s pick-up truck parked at the Home Depot on Route 1 in Saugus, MA, was confronted by the owner of the truck, a 60-year-old male, who after coming outside tried to detain the defendant when he saw him trying to steal something from the toolbox on the side of his truck. The defendant, who was grabbed by the owner, jumped into his motor vehicle in an attempt to flee, and dragged the victim through the parking lot before the victim fell to the ground injuring himself. The defendant was arrested and charged with breaking and entering in the day time, larceny, attempt to commit a crime, assault and battery on a person 60 years or older, and being a career criminal, hired Attorney Topazio to defend him. A habitual criminal is a person who has a criminal record indicating a propensity to crime and is subject to harsher penalties. Being an habitual offender meant the defendant had been convicted and served at least two prior state prison sentences where he had received a sentence of at least 3-5 years committed to state prison. The habitual offender charge is an enhanced punishment statute which imposes mandatory prison time for the maximum term of imprisonment of the underlying felony. As a result, the defendant was facing a mandatory 10 year jail sentence for the crimes he committed if convicted. Despite the mandatory time, Attorney Topazio was successful in causing his client to be released on bail in lieu of being held in custody. Prior to resolving the case however, and while his client was out on bail, the defendant committed yet another offense originating out of the Boston Municipal Court when he was found in possession of multiple bags of heroin. The client was arrested and charged with possession of a class A substance with intent to distribute in a school zone. A school zone violation carries a two year mandatory jail sentence. Fearing a subsequent indictment, the defendant agreed to plea guilty in the Boston Municipal Court and was committed to the house of correction for two years. Today, just two weeks after receiving a 2 year mandatory house of corrections sentence, when the defendant appeared in Essex Superior Court where Attorney Topazio was successful in convincing the Assistant District Attorney and the Court to dismiss the habitual offender charge upon his client’s agreement to plea guilty on the remaining offenses to a 4-5 year state prison sentence, to be imposed forthwith. When a state prison sentence is imposed forthwith, the underlying house of corrections sentence is wiped out and the state prison sentence begins immediately.

Result: Defendant avoids a mandatory 10 year state prison sentence and accepts a 4-5 state prison sentence forthwith thus wiping out a mandatory 2 year house of corrections sentence after only serving two weeks of that sentence.

October 22, 2010
Boston Juvenile Court
Intentionally Omitted
Armed Assault with intent to Murder M.G.L. c. 265 §15
Aggravated Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon M.G.L. c. 265 §15A
Assault and Battery by means of a Dangerous Weapon M.G.L. c. 265 §13A
Assault and Battery M.G.L. c. 265 §13A

On or about February 19, 2007, the Transit Police Department began an investigation into the stabbing of an individual at the Back Bay T stop who had been stabbed 21 times. By speaking with witnesses and viewing MBTA video, Transit police were able to see a group of six to eight males run from MBTA inspectors. The defendant, a juvenile, who was identified as a member of the group, although not the stabber was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery on a joint venture theory, hired Attorney Topazio to defend him. Attorney Topazio was successful in procuring his client’s release following his arraignment on youthful offender charges.
Juvenile delinquency cases are criminal cases where the offender is under the age of seventeen at the time of the offense, and after trial or following a plea, could be found “delinquent” instead of being found “guilty”. Instead of going to prison a juvenile can be committed to a “secure facility” within the Department of Youth Services. On the other hand, juveniles who commit serious felonies involving serious harm or the threat of serious harm to others can be prosecuted as youthful offenders. Once the Juvenile Court determines that a juvenile is a youthful offender the court proceedings become public and the juvenile can be sentenced as if he were an adult which includes exposing the juvenile to the possibility of a full adult state prison sentence, as was the case here.
Attorney Topazio filed a motion to dismiss attacking the grand jury indictment against his client. Attorney Topazio argued that the grand jury did not have before it any evidence of criminality by the defendant to support the indictments against his client on a joint venture theory for Armed Assault with intent to Murder; Aggravated Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon; Assault and Battery by means of a Dangerous Weapon and Assault and Battery.
In order to sustain a conviction under a theory of joint venture, the Commonwealth must present sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) the defendant was present at the scene of the crime, (2) with knowledge that another person intended to commit a crime or with intent to commit a crime, and (3) by agreement was willing and available to help the other person if necessary.
Although unsuccessful in trying to convince the court to dismiss the entire case, today, Attorney Topazio was successful in getting the Armed Assault with intent to Murder; Aggravated Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon; Assault and Battery by means of a Dangerous Weapon counts dismissed and having his client found delinquent as a juvenile on the assault and battery count.
Result: Youthful Offender offenses dismissed and client avoids incarceration and an adult criminal record.

November 16, 2009
Chelsea District Court
0814CR1476
Probation Violation
Motion to Revise and Revoke
Aggravated A&B M.G.L. c. 265, § 13A(b)

The defendant who had pled guilty on October 5, 2009 to aggravated assault and battery as a result of causing a large laceration to his girlfriend’s head, received a suspended sentence with the condition, among other things, of attending Level III of the Office of Community Corrections. In the early 1990’s the Commonwealth commenced a systemic effort to provide for more effective and efficient criminal justice sentencing and specifically address prison overcrowding. As a result, the Office of Community Corrections was established in 1996 by virtue of Massachusetts General Law chapter 211F. The Office of Community Corrections is a division of the Office of the Commissioner of Probation. Community Corrections Centers are community based, intensive supervision sites, which deliver bundled sanctions and services, including treatment and education, to high risk offenders via Intermediate Sanction Levels. Intermediate Sanction Level III is an intense level of community-based, criminal justice supervision. Sanctions and services required at this level of supervision represent a daily imposition upon the liberty of the offender. Level III participants are required to report to the community corrections center for one to four hours per day, three to five days per week. Offenders placed at Intermediate Sanction Level III may be monitored via electronic device. Level III also requires random drug and alcohol testing, and attendance at one four hour community service shift per week. After refusing to attend Level III of the Office of Community Corrections, the defendant received a Notice of Probation Violation from his probation officer, sought assistance from Attorney Topazio. Attorney Topazio initially convinced the court not to hold his client on a probation detainer, arguing that a series of recent events rendered his client homeless and thus incapable of complying with the terms of his probation. Attorney Topazio met with the supervising probation officer and the chief probation officer and convinced them to modify the terms of the sentence if his client entered an inpatient residential program. Today, in order to avoid a final probation hearing, Attorney Topazio filed a Motion to Revise and Revoke the original sentence asking the Court to strike the requirement that his client complete OCC Level III and instead to complete an inpatient ½ way house program, and the court agreed.

Result: Probation Violation Withdrawn and sentence modified.

August 18, 2009
Malden District Court
0950CR0025
Assault with Dangerous Weapon MGL c. 265 § 15B (b)
Assault and Battery MGL c. 265 § 13A (a)

The defendant who was on probation was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and batter after swinging a chair at an employee of a local café, then arguing with him, and then grabbing him by the throat, hired Attorney Topazio. Whoever, by means of a dangerous weapon, commits an assault upon another shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment in jail for not more than two and one-half years. Attorney Topazio represented this client at the initial surrender proceeding an prevented his client’s probation from being revoked. Today at trial, Attorney Topazio was successful in getting the Commonwealth to file a Nolle Proseque or (Nol Pros) causing his client’s case to be dismissed.

Result: Case dismissed.