Boston Domestic Violence Charges - Attorney Steven Topazio
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Domestic Violence

Boston Domestic Violence Charges – Massachusetts Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

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Contact Boston Domestic Violence Attorney Steven J. Topazio, Protecting Your Rights in Domestic Violence Cases

Massachusetts domestic violence cases feature a major difference from other misdemeanor assault crimes: the police must make an arrest if they find any probable cause to believe that the crime was actually committed. If you have been arrested for domestic assault or any other family violence charge contact Boston Domestic Violence Attorney Steven J. Topazio for a free confidential consultation about your legal options.

What distinguishes domestic violence from other assault crimes is the relationship between the alleged perpetrator and the victim. While there is no doubt that spousal abuse and other instances of violence between family members and intimate partners is a serious social problem, it is equally clear that the laws that criminalize domestic violence can be misused to punish people who really don’t belong in the criminal justice system.

For example, people involved in divorce or child custody cases will often be tempted to accuse the other spouse or parent of domestic violence in order to get a tactical advantage in family court. A heated argument can be exaggerated into a violent one — a push can turn into a blow, a slap into a punch, or a misdemeanor shove into a wall can be charged as felony assault with a dangerous weapon.

At the Boston Criminal Defense office of Steven J. Topazio, we use our experience with a wide range of domestic violence situations to help return common sense to the process. We can use a little-known legal tool known as “accord and satisfaction” to help avoid criminal consequences in cases where the complaining witness had no idea that calling the police could generate so much trouble. We can also help people accused of violating domestic violence restraining orders or probation restrictions against contact with particular individuals.

Comprehensive Investigation and Case-Building

Just because you have been arrested by police doesn’t mean you are guilty of the crime charged.  You have the right to an attorney who will fight to defend your rights.  For more information about our experience with the defense of felony and misdemeanor domestic violence cases in the courts of Massachusetts, contact us today to schedule a free confidential consultation.

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RECENT CASE DECISIONS

Domestic Violence, Domestic Assault and Battery MGL c 265 § 13M(a), Malicious Destruction of Property MGL c 266 § 127, All charges dismissed after wife asserts marital privilege.

The client, a 37 year old asset manager, was arrested and charged with domestic A&B and Malicious Destruction of Property, hired Boston Criminal Lawyer Steven J. Topazio.  According to a Chelsea Police report, the client got into a fight with his wife after she broke his cell phone after finding inappropriate emails on it.  The client then struck his wife in the back of the head and pushed her down on the couch where they fought.  The client then threw the wife’ phone and broke it.  Attorney Topazio reported to the court that his client’s wife was going to invoke her marital privilege not to testify against her husband and as a result was successful in getting all charges against his client dismissed.  No person in a criminal case can refuse to be a witness unless that person can invoke a valid privilege which is an exception to the general duty of a witness to offer evidence.  Married couples have a privilege known as the spousal privilege which only the witness-spouse can claim which means that a witness-spouse cannot be compelled to testify in the criminal proceeding against the other spouse if she invokes the privilege.

August 06, 2014

Boston Municipal Court Roxbury Division

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

Domestic Violence

The client, a 31 year old professional with a master’s degree, working in the United States with an H-1B work Visa, hired Attorney Steven Topazio to represent him after being arrested for domestic assault and battery.  Domestic abuse or spousal abuse, under Federal law is considered a crime of moral turpitude.  Convictions for crimes of moral turpitude carry collateral consequences to non-citizens, and can have the consequence of deportation, denial of naturalization or exclusion from the United States.  Attorney Steven Topazio met with his client’s wife and the wife’s family, along with the prosecutor assigned to the case in an attempt to negotiate a resolution of the matter.  Today, on the day of trial, Attorney Topazio was successful in getting the domestic assault and battery charge dismissed.

Result: Dismissed and client avoids adverse immigration consequences. 

March 3, 2014

Chelsea District Court

Domestic Violence

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

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

Intimidating a Witness M.G.L. c. 268 § 13B

Violation of Restraining Order M.G.L. c. 209A § 7

The client was arrested for domestic assault and battery on his girlfriend hired Boston Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to defend him.  The girlfriend told police that her boyfriend had been abusive and aggressive towards her;  physically abusing her, ripping off her clothes, punching her repeatedly, slapping her face, pulling out clumps of hair, and kicking her.  Multiple photographs of the girlfriend’s injuries were taken by police and the client was arrested.  Attorney Topazio investigated the case and discovered information favorable to his client that included text messages and emails that indicated that the girlfriend was controlling and the primary aggressor on the night in question.  Attorney Topazio argued that the girlfriend misrepresented the facts to the police and made false allegations.  Attorney Topazio met with the prosecutor and shared many pieces of evidence which gave a different perspective to the Commonwealth.  Today at trial, as the result of intensive pretrial preparation, Attorney Topazio was able to persuade the court to give his client a 6 months of house arrest despite the district attorney’s request for a long committed sentence to the House of Correction.  The sentence Attorney Topazio obtained for his client allowed him to leave his home and to go to work thus preserving his job.

Result: House of Correction sentence avoided in lieu of house arrest.

 

December 23, 2013
Milford District Court
Docket # 1366CR0307
Restraining Order MGL c209A
Domestic Violence

The client, a 25-year old Army Veteran who recently returned from Afghanistan, was served with an application for a restraining order after getting into a verbal argument with his wife who alleged he threatened her and damaged furniture and walls in the marital home, hired Boston Restraining Order Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent him. Attorney Topazio learned that his client lost his job after returning from a tour in Afghanistan and was under great financial pressure of losing his home. Attorney Topazio documented that the collateral consequences of serving in the United States Army contributed to the irretrievable breakdown of his client’s marriage. Attorney Topazio advised his client to file for divorce and to schedule temporary motions in the probate court requesting among other things, that the parties be prohibited from imposing any restraint on the personal liberty of the other, provided that neither party intends that any alleged violation of such a provision shall be treated as a criminal matter. Attorney Topazio had the wife served with divorce papers on the date of the hearing on the extension of the restraining order at the Milford District Court. Attorney Topazio argued that the Probate Court should supersede the 209A restraining order in the Milford District Court, so that any violation would be a civil infraction instead of a criminal violation. Today, Attorney Topazio convinced the Milford District Court to continue the restraining order for three months instead of one year, so as to give the parties time to appear in the Probate and Family Court.
Result: Restraining Order extended for three months.

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 15, 2013
Chelsea District Court
Docket # 1214CR0129
Assault and Battery, MGL c. 265 § 13A(a)
Assault and Battery With Dangerous Weapon, MGL c. 265 § 15A(b)
Witness Intimidation, MGL c. 268 § 13B
Domestic Violence
False Allegations

The client, a 29 year old green card holder from Honduras, was arrested after police alleged she struck the victim and her son after being caught in an affair with the victim’s husband, was represented by Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio. According to the police report, the client was charged with an Assault and Battery on victim and her son, after pulling the victim’s hair and pushing the son when she got in between the victim and her husband who allegedly attacked the victim and kicked her. Attorney Topazio met with the supervising district attorney in an attempt to avoid a trial and represented not only did his client have an alibi to this crime but felt it was unfair to only prosecute the client in this situation and not the husband. Although the district attorney offered a continuance without a finding, Attorney Topazio requested pre-trial probation arguing that it is both arbitrary and unfair to only charge his client with a crime, and not the husband for his similar and arguably more egregious conduct. Attorney Topazio pointed out that this case primarily revolves around his client having an affair with the victim’s husband after the victim discovered a sex video. Attorney Topazio argued that the discovery of this sex tape is what is motiving the victim to fabricate the allegations against his client. Today, Attorney Topazio convinced the district attorney to grant his client pre-trial probation, thus avoiding a trial and any immigration consequences, and the court agreed.
Result: Case to be dismissed after period of pretrial 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.

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 10, 2013
Ipswich District Court
Docket # 1040CR0012
Abuse Prevention Order MGL c.209A
Domestic Violence
Restraining Order

The client, a 20 year old, had a confrontation with his aunt in 2010 following the death of his grandmother (and aunt’s mother) was unsuccessful in stopping the issuance of a restraining order. When the client was unsuccessful again in trying to stop an extension of the restraining order after the initial term, he hired Boston Restraining Order Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent him. Attorney Topazio discovered that his client’s father (aunt’s brother) was fighting with the aunt over the family’s estate. In preparation for the extension hearing, Attorney Topazio obtained the estate filings and discovered that a petition to partition was also filed in the land court, which indicated that the aunt and client’s father inherited the estate home. A Petition to Partition is a legal device filed in court to divide ownership of real estate. If the petition to partition is granted, the property will either be physically divided or sold with the proceeds distributed equally. Today, Attorney Topazio argued against the extension of the restraining order as well as the issuance of a permanent restraining order. Attorney Topazio told the judge that the aunt was using the restraining order as leverage in the petition to partition case, by abusing her nephew so as to negotiate a bigger inheritance share for herself from the client’s father. Although the restraining order was extended, the court denied a permanent order and acknowledged Attorney Topazio’s argument that the need for a restraining order should end once the family’s estate was settled.
Result: Permanent Restraining Order denied.

May 31, 2013
Boston Municipal Court
Docket # 1001CR5010
Threat to Commit a Crime MGL c.275 § 2
Domestic Violence

The client, a 38 year old father, was arrested after getting into an argument his girlfriend and threatening to shoot her, hired Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend him. According to the police report, the client and his girlfriend got into an argument and when the girlfriend demanded the keys to her apartment back from the client, and the client allegedly said he would get a gun and shoot his girlfriend. Attorney Topazio pushed the case to trial. According to an investigator’s report, the girlfriend stated that at no point did the client threaten to shoot her, or mention a gun. The investigator reported that the girlfriend only called the police because she wanted her keys back and the client refused. On the day of the trial, Attorney Topazio discussed the investigator’s report with the Commonwealth and persuaded the court to dismiss the case.
Result: Case Dismissed at 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.

April 02, 2013
Chelsea District Court
Docket # 1214CR1298
Threat to Commit Crime MGL c. 275 § 2
Witness Intimidation MGL c. 268 § 13B
Domestic Violence

The client, a 38 year old father of two, was arrested after his niece with whom he lived accused him of threatening her and engaging in witness intimidation, was represented by Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio. According to the Police Report, the niece, who sold her car to the client, demanded it back from the client then threatened to call the police on the client after she alleged the client stated that he would hurt her or possibly kill her if she called the police. Attorney Topazio discovered that his client, who lived in the same house as his niece, agreed to purchase his niece’s car after she moved out with a young man to have a baby. Attorney Topazio discovered that his client paid cash for the down payment on the car and took over the payments after his niece left. When the niece moved back in, she confronted the client and asked for the keys back. That when the client asked to be reimbursed for all the money he paid for the car, the niece accused her uncle of a crime, and obtained a restraining order against him effectively forcing him out of his house. Attorney Topazio moved the case to trial. During the course of a two day jury trial, Attorney Topazio established that his client did not threaten his niece, but rather was falsely accused of saying that if she called the police people would end up dead. The client was found not guilty on both counts.
Result: Not Guilty on all charges after Jury Trial.

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 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.

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.

February 01, 2012
Chelsea District Court
Docket # 1114CR2489
Domestic Violence
Indecent A&B on person 14 or over, M.G.L. c. 265 § 13H
A&B, M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A
Intimidation of a Witness, M.G.L. c. 268 § 13B

The client, a 32 year auto mechanic, was arrested after his wife complained to police that her husband came home high on marijuana and intoxicated and tried to forcibly have sexual relations with her, grabbing her body parts. When she refused his demands he grabbed her by the hair and dragged her across the room. Attorney Topazio hired an investigator to assist him on the case. Attorney Topazio learned that the Department of Children and Families, DCF, had filed a complaint against his client because the alleged assault occurred in the presence of his client’s children. Attorney Topazio instructed his client not to speak with investigators with DCU so as not to incriminate himself. With the help of his investigator, Attorney Topazio learned that his client’s wife wished not to prosecute his client so he scheduled the case for trial. Today on the eve of trial, Attorney Topazio provided a copy of his client’s marriage certificate to the District Attorney and informed them that his client’s wife was invoking her marital privilege not to testify. Without the wife’s testimony to go forward, the Court dismissed the case for want of prosecution.
Result: Case dismissed at trial.

December 6, 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.

November 09, 2011
Boston Municipal Court
Docket # 1001CR6424, 1001CR7562, 1001CR8232
Abuse Prevention Order M.G.L. c. 209A § 3B
Threat to Commit a Crime M.G.L. c. 275 § 2
Domestic Violence
The client, a 34 year old construction worker, was arrested multiple times for violating a restraining order and allegedly threatening his ex-girlfriend. Attorney Topazio challenged the Commonwealth’s evidence pointing out that several of the alleged restraining order violations consisted of unidentified third parties contacting the complainant. Attorney Topazio requested that tapes of the alleged calls be preserved and produced through discovery. Over the course of several months, Attorney Topazio prepared his case for trial. Today, after answering ready for jury trial in court, the Commonwealth answered not ready for trial, and moved for a continuance. Attorney Topazio objected to the Commonwealth’s request for a continuance and the Court agreed, dismissing all charges.
Result: All cases dismissed.

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
1152CR1316
Assault and Battery c 265 § 13A(a)
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.

March 03, 2011
Brockton District Court
1115CR0006
Accord and Satisfaction Mass. Gen. Laws ch 276, § 55
Domestic Assault and Battery Mass. Gen. Laws ch 265, § 13A

The defendant, a truck driver from Brockton, was arrested for domestic assault and battery against his girlfriend. According to the police report, after a verbal argument over household chores the defendant struck his girlfriend on the nose with his head causing a laceration and she bit his lip causing a cut. Upon police arrival the defendant was not on the scene. The defendant hired Attorney Topazio to defend him. Attorney Topazio met with both parties prior to the scheduled court date who wished to resolve their differences without court intervention. Attorney Topazio suggested that the parties enter into an accord and satisfaction which gives the court the power to take the case out of the hands of the District Attorney. An accord and satisfaction is a legal contract whereby two parties agree to discharge a tort claim, such as an assault and battery. Today, Attorney Topazio convinced the court to dismiss the charge against his client.
Result: Case Dismissed.

August 19, 2010
Milford District Court
1066CR0676; 1066CR0687; 1066CR0853
Abuse Prevention Order, Violate, M.G.L. c. 209A § 7
Threat to Commit Crime, M.G.L. c. 275 § 2
Intimidate a Witness, M.G.L. c. 268 § 13B
Stalking in violation of Restraining Order, M.G.L. c. 265 § 43(b)

The defendant, who was a recovering addict, suffered a drug relapse after he lost his job of several years; experienced the trauma of his substance abuse counselor dying two weeks prior to his arrest, then relapsed when his girlfriend left him with their infant daughter and obtained a restraining order against him. During the drug relapse, the defendant was arrested for violating the restraining order after threatening to kill his girlfriend. The defendant hired Attorney Topazio to represent him. Due to the strength of the Commonwealth’s cases, on June 17, 2010 the defendant plead guilty to dockets 1066CR0676 alleging, among other things, a violation of an abuse prevention order in violation of ch. 209A § 7 and 1066CR0687 alleging, among other things, a violation of an abuse prevention order in violation of ch. 209A § 7. Following the defendant’s plea, the Commonwealth brought an additional charge against him alleging stalking in violation of G.L. c. 265, §43(b), a violation of which carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year. “To establish the crime of stalking in violation of G.L. c. 265, §43(a), the Commonwealth must prove that the defendant ‘(1) willfully and maliciously engage[d] in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person which seriously alarm[ed] or annoy[ed] that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and (2) [made] a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury.’ To establish the aggravated form of stalking at issue in this case, §43(b) (stalking in violation of court order), the Commonwealth must prove both a pattern of conduct constituting stalking under §43(a) and that the conduct violated (in this case) a 209A order that was in effect.” Attorney Topazio filed a Motion to Dismiss the charge and submitted a memorandum of law in which Attorney Topazio alleged that his client cannot be tried on the new charge due to double jeopardy grounds. The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment provides that no person shall “be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy in life or limb. The constitutional prohibition of double jeopardy has been held to consist of three separate guarantees: (1) “It protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal; (2) it protects against a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction; and (3) it protects against multiple punishments for the same offense.” Attorney Topazio argued that to establish the aggravated form of stalking, §43(b) (stalking in violation of court order), the Commonwealth must prove both a pattern of conduct constituting stalking under §43(a) and that the conduct violated (in this case) a 209A order that was in effect. Attorney Topazio pointed out to the Court that the Commonwealth, however, is relying on the same conduct previously the subject of his client’s convictions of violating the 209A order under dockets 1066CR0676 and 1066CR0687, and could not be tried on the aggravated offense because it violates the Double Jeopardy Clause. Today Attorney Topazio convinced the court to allow his motion to dismiss the complaint against his client.
Result: Case dismissed by the court finding that a prosecution violated the Double Jeopardy Clause.

July 15, 2010
Brighten District Court
Magistrate’s Hearing
Application for Criminal Complaint
Domestic Assault and Battery

The defendant, a business professional with no prior criminal record, hired Attorney Topazio after being accused of punching his wife with a closed fist numerous times; throwing her into a bathtub injuring her; then choking her to prevent her from calling the police. Attorney Topazio reviewed hospital records and the evidence in the case then met with the investigating detective in an attempt to resolve the matter without his client being formerly charged. Today, after addressing the court’s and detective’s concerns during a magistrate’s hearing, Attorney Topazio convinced a clerk magistrate not to issue a criminal complaint against his client.
Result: Complaint dismissed and client maintains a clean record.

July 07, 2010
Boston Municipal Court
1001CR1211
Assault & Battery M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A
Possession of Class D M.G.L. c. 94C § 34

The defendant, who was at the Massachusetts General Hospital with his girlfriend and infant child, was arrested by police when nurses heard the victim yell she was being hit and observed the defendant pulling the victim by the hair as she was on the floor. When interviewed by police, the victim alleged that the defendant punched her in the face with a closed fist and then grabbed her by the neck and dragged her across the room by her hair as she was screaming for help. Attorney Topazio, who represented the defendant, pushed the case to trial arguing that his client was the real victim. Attorney Topazio obtained photos of his client’s leg where he was bitted by the alleged victim and challenged the victim’s motivation and credibility. Attorney Topazio met with the Assistant District Attorney and explained that his client, who had a child with the alleged victim, was attempting to leave the hospital when he was grabbed by the victim in an attempt to stop him from leaving. When the defendant refused and turned to walk out, she slid down to the ground and out of frustration, bit the defendant in the leg. After being bitten, Attorney Topazio pointed out that the defendant grabbed the alleged victim by the hair to get her off him, which is what the nurse observed, but misinterpreted. Today at trial, due to a development of the facts of the case by Attorney Topazio, the count for Assault and Battery against the defendant was dismissed and the charge for possession of class D, marijuana, was continued without a finding for six months, despite his client’s lengthy criminal record.
Result: Count for Assault and Battery dismissed at trial.

October 29, 2009
Lowell District Court
0811CR6509 0911CR4955
Probation Surrender
Disorderly Conduct MGL c. 272 § 53
Assault and Battery Dangerous Weapon M.G.L. c. 265, § 15A(b)

The defendant was on probation for allegedly striking his son in the face with his belt, causing one of his teeth to be knocked out, hired Attorney Topazio when he received a Notice of Probation Violation and Hearing after testing positive for cocaine and alcohol, and for being arrested for disorderly conduct. On a prior date (see entry for September 17, 2009) Attorney Topazio caused the disorderly charge to be dismissed but still had to deal with his client’s positive urine screens to avoid a violation of probation. Attorney Topazio met with the supervising probation officer and argued that the sentencing judge did not require that his client abstain from alcohol, but rather ordered that his client not engage in excessive drinking, which would not be a violation of his client’s probation. Attorney Topazio scheduled his client’s case before the sentencing judge for a clarification of the probation conditions and today, convinced the judge to vacate the testing requirement altogether. As a result, the Notice of Probation violation was withdrawn.
Result: Violation of probation withdrawn; probation renewed to its original date; and Defendant signs a new probation contract without the requirement for random urine testing.

October 09, 2009
Quincy District Court
200956RO0816
Restraining Order MGL c. 209A
The wife of the defendant recently filed for divorce and served the defendant with divorce papers, yet still lived with her husband. Prior to a hearing on temporary motions in the divorce case, the wife went to the Quincy District Court and obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order against her husband of 24 years. Ex parte means the wife appeared in court without giving notice to her husband when she obtained the temporary order. Prior to the hearing on the Permanent Order, the defendant hired Attorney Topazio. Today, after conducting a full hearing, Attorney Topazio, was successful through effective cross-examination in challenging the wife’s credibility and convinced the Court that the actions of the wife to file for a restraining order were most probably motivated by a desire to get leverage in the recently filed divorce case and not because she was in fear of her safety. Through cross examination Attorney Topazio elicited testimony that there was no history of abuse, prior restraining orders or police intervention between the parties. Today Attorney Topazio persuaded the Court not to issue the permanent 209A Order.
Result: Permanent 209A Order not granted.

March 31, 2009
Framingham District Court
0949 CR 0105
Assault & Battery M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A
The defendant while dropping off her children to their father was arrested for Domestic Assault and Battery after allegedly striking him in the head and then allegedly being struck in the head by the father while in his automobile. When the police arrived, the parties were separated and interviewed individually. The police arrested both the defendant and the father after concluding that a verbal argument escalated to the point where the defendant hit the father leaving a visible mark on his neck when the father then struck the defendant in the head twice. The defendant hired Attorney to represent her in this case. After investigating the facts of the case, Attorney Topazio argued that his client had acted in self-defense after the complainant jerked the automobile causing his client to lose her balance and fall backwards grabbing at him for balance when she scratched him in the neck area. Today, at a pre-trial conference, Attorney Topazio was successful in getting the Court to dismiss the charges against his client after each party entered into an Accord & Satisfaction.
Result: Case dismissed.

November 21, 2008
Newton District Court
0812CR0819
Assault and Battery, M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A
The defendant while at home got into a fight with her husband called the police for assistance. When the police arrived, the husband and wife were separated and interviewed individually. The police arrested the wife after concluding that a verbal argument escalated to the point where the wife bit the husband leaving a visible bite mark. The defendant hired Attorney to represent her in this case. After investigating the facts of the case, Attorney Topazio discovered that the wife had acted in self-defense and bit her husband who had grabbed her and over powered her. Despite calling 911, the defendant was arrested after denying that her husband had assaulted her in an attempt to prevent him from getting arrested. Today, at a pre-trial conference, Attorney Topazio was successful in getting the Court to dismiss the charges against his client after informing the court that the husband was asserting both his marital privilege and Fifth Amendment right not to testify against his wife.Result: Case dismissed.