Operating Without a License in Boston - Defense Attorney Topazio
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Operating Without a License

Operation Without a License in Boston – Boston Criminal Defense Attorney

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Massachusetts Operating Without a License lawyer

Contact Boston Operating Without a License Attorney Steven J. Topazio

Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio provides experienced legal representation on behalf of adults and juveniles facing criminal charges, including traffic offenses like driving without a valid license, driving on a suspended license, speeding or reckless driving. He handles a wide range of traffic charges on behalf of clients throughout Massachusetts.  If you have been charged with operating without a license or another traffic violation, schedule a free confidential consultation to see how we can help.

A conviction for driving without a license could prevent you from obtaining a license in the future and subject you to loss of driving privileges, fines and a possible prison sentence.

Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 90, Section 10, which pertains to operating a motor vehicle without license, provides that no person under sixteen years of age shall operate a motor vehicle upon any way, unless licensed by the registrar.  There are several exceptions to this law.

A) unless licensed in another state or country;

B) possesses a valid Massachusetts learner’s permit;

C) is the spouse of a member of the armed forces who is  accompanying such member and who has a valid operator’s license issued by another state;

D) is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States and has in his possession a license to operate motor vehicles issued by the state where he is domiciled;

E) is a member of the armed forces of the United States returning from active duty outside the United States, and has in his possession a license to operate motor vehicles issued by said armed forces in a foreign country.

F) The motor vehicle of a nonresident may be operated on the ways of the commonwealth if the nonresident operator is duly licensed under the laws of the state or country where such vehicle is registered;.

G) a nonresident who holds a license under the laws of the state or country in which he resides may operate any motor vehicle of a type which he is licensed to operate under said license, duly registered in this commonwealth or in any state or country; provided, that it is determined by the registrar, his state or country grants substantially similar privileges to residents of this commonwealth.

If you are convicted of this crime you could face a $500 fine and up to 10 days in jail for a first offense. Second and subsequent offenses are punishable by 60 days to 1 year in jail.

Make an Informed Decision: Consult an Attorney Before You Pay a Ticket

If you have been issued a traffic citation for driving without a license, operating after suspension or another traffic violation, you may be inclined to handle the matter by yourself, thinking it’s cheaper and easier to just plead guilty, pay the fine and move forward with your life.  Before you make a decision that could adversely affect your car insurance and driving privileges, contact us and speak with an attorney who can advise you of your rights.

Comprehensive Case-Building

Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Topazio is prepared to investigate every aspect of the allegations and circumstances of your case, in order to identify the right strategy and build an aggressive defense on your behalf. Contact him to schedule a free confidential consultation.

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RECENT CASE DECISIONS

Immediate Threat Suspension of Driver’s license lifted.

The client was driving her car after work and crossed over marked lanes and crashed into a tree on the other side of the road.  When police responded, the client could not explain how the accident happened.  The police suspended the client’s driver’s license without a hearing as an immediate threat.  Under the law, if the Registrar determines that you pose an immediate threat to public safety because you have a medical condition which hinders your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, the Registrar can suspend your learner’s permit, driver’s license, vehicle registration, or right to operate immediately for an indefinite period.  The officer determined that the client posed an immediate threat to public safety because she believed the client had a medical condition which hindered her ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.  Attorney Topazio petitioned the registrar to lift the immediate threat by establishing through medical documentation that his client was medically fit to drive and proved that continuing operation by his client would not constitute an immediate threat to public safety.  The Registrar agreed and terminated the immediate threat and immediately activated his client’s driver’s license.

Traffic Citation, College Student, Unregistered Motor Vehicle MGL c. 90 § 9; Operating with Suspended License MGL c. 90 § 23; All charges dismissed following Clerk Magistrate Hearing.

The client, a 22 year old college student, received a criminal citation after a State Trooper stopped the client’s motor vehicle in the Ted William’s Tunnel.  The Trooper ran the client’s license through his mobile data terminal in his cruiser and received information that the client’s registration and driver’s license was suspended and wrote her a criminal citation.  The client maintained that she had no knowledge of the suspension.  Wanting to challenge the charges, the client hired Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio.  Attorney Topazio told his client to appeal the citation and she would receive an application for criminal complaint in the mail.  The client received the traffic ticket after she went to the airport to pick up her sister.  Attorney Topazio contacted the registry of motor vehicles and discovered that unpaid excise taxes caused his client’s suspensions.  Attorney Topazio argued to the Magistrate that his client planed on traveling overseas and was anxious to resolve this matter and further corrected her license and registration issues with the RMV and paid all outstanding and required fees.  As a result of providing proof of payment of the outstanding excise tax bill which caused the suspension issue, Attorney Topazio was able to persuade the Magistrate to dismiss the complaint.

October 30, 2013
Malden District Court
Docket # 1350CR2139
Operating with Suspended License MGL c. 90 § 23
Traffic Citation

The client, a 36 year old Amtrak operator, received a traffic citation after running a red light in Malden, hired Boston Traffic Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to represent him. Attorney Topazio met with his client and learned that his license was suspended for unpaid tickets. Attorney Topazio worked with his client to restore his driving privileges. Today, Attorney Topazio persuaded the district attorney to grant his client pretrial probation in lieu of admitting to the charge and the court agreed.
Result: Case to be dismissed after period of pretrial probation.

September 25, 2013
Somerville District Court
Docket # 1310AC0970
Marked Lanes Violation c. 89 § 4A
Operating with Suspended License c. 90 § 23
Application for Criminal Complaint
Clerk Magistrate’s Hearing
College Student

The client, a 21 year old college senior, was stopped for speeding after being caught on Lidar traveling 52 mph in a 35 mph zone and thereafter was giving a citation for speeding and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license when it was discovered that the client’s driver’s license was suspended, hired Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to represent him. Attorney Topazio learned that his client’s license was suspended for three surchargeable events. Massachusetts has a bad driver point system which is called “surchargeable points” and is based on the state’s Safe Driver Insurance Program. Every time a motorist is found responsible for a moving violation?like a speeding ticket, for example?he gets a “surchargeable event” on his record. In Massachusetts if you are found responsible for three speeding violations within a 12 month period, your driver’s license will be suspended automatically for 30 days. Attorney Topazio instructed his client to request a Magistrate’s hearing and to take all steps necessary to reinstate his driver’s license. Today, Attorney Topazio convinced the Clerk Magistrate not to issue a criminal complaint against his client or to find him responsible for the speeding violation on the condition that if the case is continued for three months and his client return to court after three months without any further motor vehicle violations, then both charges would be dismissed.
Result: Case to be dismissed and client avoids a surcharge and increase in his insurance rates.

September 18, 2013
Chelsea District Court
Docket # 1314CR1719
Marked Lanes Violation c. 89 § 4A
Operating with Suspended License c. 90 § 23
Crosswalk violation c. 89 § 11
Magistrate Hearing
Warrant

The client, a 25 year real estate agent, received a motor vehicle citation for driving after her driver’s license was suspended hired Boston Criminal Lawyer Steven J. Topazio to defend her. Attorney Topazio instructed his client to appeal the citation within four (4) days so as to obtain a Clerk Magistrate’s hearing, otherwise a criminal complaint would issue for operating with a suspended license. The client did as instructed but failed to attend the scheduled Clerk’s hearing and a criminal complaint issued. The client was summonsed to court for an arraignment but when she failed to appear she was defaulted and a warrant issued for her arrest. The client learned of the default warrant when she called the court inquiring about the Clerk’s hearing she had requested and when she learned there was a warrant for her arrest claimed she was never notified of the Magistrate Hearing or subsequent arraignment. Attorney Topazio went to the court and learned that the court sent notice of the hearing to the wrong address which explained his client’s failure to appear for both the Clerk’s hearing and for the subsequent criminal arraignment. Attorney Topazio instructed his client to accompany him to court so as to recall the default warrant. Today, Attorney Topazio refused to allow his client to be arraigned on her case and convinced the court that the complaint against his client was issued without probable cause as she was denied her due process rights and the court agreed. The case was dismissed prior to arraignment. Having the criminal charge dismissed prior to arraignment prevents that charge from appearing on his client’s CORI.
Result: Warrant recalled and case dismissed prior to arraignment.

September 04, 2013
Chelsea District Court
Docket # 1214CR1384
Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle c. 266 § 28(a)
Unlicensed Operation of MV c. 90 § 10
Use Without Authority c. 90 § 24(2)(a)
Student

The client, a 20 year old High School student, was arrested after a foot pursuit by police who stopped him and arrested him at gunpoint for receiving stolen motor vehicle, a felony charge, was represented by Boston Criminal Lawyer Steven J. Topazio. According to the police report, the client who ran from police after fleeing the car he was in when he saw the police, then made a statement to the effect that he met a Spanish guy near the Home Depot in Chelsea about an hour earlier who had two cars and gave the client one of the cars and told him he didn’t need it any longer and that the client could keep it. The client further stated that he thought that was weird but took the car, despite not having a driver’s license. The prosecutor argued the fact that because the client ran from police he demonstrated consciousness of guilt. Whenever the prosecution argues that certain evidence indicates consciousness of guilt, the court is required at the defendant’s request to instruct the jury: (1) that they may, but need not, consider such evidence as a factor tending to prove the defendant’s guilt; (2) that they may not convict on the basis of such evidence alone; (3) that flight or similar conduct does not necessarily reflect feelings of guilt, since there are numerous reasons why an innocent person might flee; and (4) that even if flight or similar conduct demonstrates feelings of guilt, it does not necessarily mean that the defendant is guilty in fact because guilt feelings are sometimes present in innocent people. Today Attorney Topazio convinced the prosecutor to reduce the charges to the misdemeanor charge of use without authority, and the case was continued without a finding for six months and the charge of unlicensed operation was dismissed.
Result: Charge reduced to misdemeanor and case continued without a finding for six months.

June 04, 2013
Waltham District Court
Docket # 1351AC0265
Operating with a Suspended License MGL c. 90 § 23
Magistrate Hearing
Application for Criminal Complaint

A 25 year old real estate agent failed to notify the registry of her new address after she moved. The client then received a speeding ticket and appealed to the RMV. The RMV sent the notice of the hearing to the client’s old address, which was not forwarded to the client. The client as a result never received notice of the hearing date and failed to appear and was defaulted. Not knowing she defaulted, the client also did not pay the associated fines and the client’s driver’s license was revoked by the RMV. The client was then stopped for speeding again and was charged criminally for operating with a revoked license. The client hired Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend her. While waiting to be notified of her scheduled Magistrate Hearing, the client was stopped a third time and was charged with operating after suspension again when police noticed an expired inspection sticker on the client’s car. Attorney Topazio assisted his client in getting her licenses back before the scheduled Magistrate hearing. Attorney Topazio learned that the RMV required that his client successfully complete 3 driver’s reeducation courses before the reissuance of his client’s driver’s license. Today at the clerk magistrate’s hearing, Attorney Topazio was able to convince the Magistrate, despite a finding of probable cause, to hold the complaint for a period of 6 months with the agreement that if his client encounters no further trouble the complaint would be dismissed and not appear on his client’s CORI.
Result: Complaint not issued.

March 20, 2013
Boston Municipal Court – Central Division
Application for Criminal Complaint
Clerk’s Hearing
Operating After Suspension M.G.L. c. 90 § 10

The client, a 26 year old Boston College Graduate School student, with a New York driver’s license, received a traffic ticket in Boston indicating that the police were applying for a criminal complaint against him for operating after suspension in Massachusetts, hired Boston Traffic Ticket Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent him. Attorney Topazio instructed his client to request a Magistrate Hearing, by checking the box on the back of the ticket and to deliver the ticket to the court within four days of receipt of the ticket. Attorney Topazio obtained documentation that his client’s New York driver’s license was active, but that his right to operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts was suspended due to a previously unpaid Massachusetts traffic ticket. Today, Attorney Topazio presented evidence that the Notice to suspend his client’s right to operate in Massachusetts went to an old address and that his client never got notice of the intended actions from the Massachusetts RMV. After presenting documentation that his client was back in full compliance with the law, and that all fines and fees were paid, Attorney Topazio was able to persuade the Magistrate to dismiss all charges.

March 11, 2013
Boston Municipal Court – Charlestown Division
1304CR0068
Motor Vehicle Ticket
Unlicensed Operation M.G.L. c. 90 § 10
Speeding M.G.L. c. 90 § 18
Marked Lanes violation 730 CMR§7.08(8)

The client, a 41 year old business man from New York, was stopped in Boston for speeding, traveling 90mph in a 45mph zone. When stopped, the State Police Trooper discovered that the client was operating with a suspended New York driver’s license, and gave him a traffic ticket. The client hired Boston Traffic Ticket Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend him. Attorney Topazio advised his client to apply for a Massachusetts license since he established residency in Massachusetts. Attorney Topazio advised his client that since he decides to establish residency in Massachusetts, he must apply for a driver license immediately because under Massachusetts law there is no grace period. Today, Attorney Topazio argued that his client was now compliant with the law and shouldn’t be prosecuted, and the court agreed. The court, in order to protect his client’s record, dismissed all charges prior to arraignment on $500.00 court costs.
Result: Case dismissed prior to arraignment.

January 04, 2013
Dedham District Court
Docket # 1254CR2497
Motor Vehicle Violation
Unlicensed Operation M.G.L. c. 90 § 10
Number Plate Violation

The client, a 28 year old Marine Corps Veteran, received a summons to appear in court after receiving a citation for unlicensed operation, hired Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer Steven J. Topazio. Boston Criminal Attorney Topazio instructed his client to renew his motor vehicle license after it lapsed. Today, Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio met with the Assistant District Attorney and resolved the case by agreeing to dismiss the criminal charge on court costs and finding the client not responsible on the number plate violation, and the court agreed.
Result:Case dismissed on court costs.

August 20, 2012
Stoughton District Court
Application for Criminal Complaint
Clerk Magistrate Hearing
Fail to use caution when stopping 720CMR906
Unlicensed Operation M.G.L. c. 90 § 10
Negligent Operation M.G.L. c. 90 § 24

The client, a 39 year old professional, received an application for criminal complaint after getting into a multi-car crash on route 24 in Avon, Massachusetts, hired Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent him. A clerk-magistrate has discretion in determining whether probable cause exists to warrant the commencement of criminal proceedings. Such a determination is made on consideration of the application and the testimony of the complainant. Once the magistrate has satisfied himself that the complainant has presented such a statement of accusation, process must issue. According to the police report, the client struck the rear on a pickup truck pushing is approximately 75 feet. The client’s motor vehicle left skid marks of approximately 60 feet prior to the crash. Both the client and other operator of the other motor vehicle were transported via ambulance to local hospitals. Attorney Topazio obtained documentation form the Registry of Motor vehicles indicating that his client was properly licensed on the day of the accident, and proof that his client was properly insured. Today, the client testified that he was startled by the other vehicle which stopped unexpectedly on the other side of a small hill. Despite the client’s rate of speed and manner of operation which led to this rear end collision, Attorney Topazio was able to persuade the Magistrate to dismiss all charges against his client.
Result: Case dismissed.

June 28, 2012
BMC Brighton District Court
Application for Criminal Complaint
Magistrate Hearing
Operating Without a license M.G.L. c. 90 § 10

The client, a 29 year old Harvard graduate student, was involved in a two car motor vehicle crash involving personal injury. The Client received an Application for Criminal Complaint in the mail for operating without a license following her discharge from the hospital, hired Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio to defend her. Prior to the scheduled hearing, Attorney Topazio confirmed that his client renewed her driver’s license prior to the scheduled hearing and obtained documentation from his client’s motor vehicle liability carrier regarding the accident. Attorney Topazio is aware that under the certain circumstances the Magistrate may exercise her authority to resolve local conflicts short of authorizing a criminal complaint. Although the primary role of the magistrate is to determine whether probable cause exists to require the accused to answer to a criminal charge, magistrates may decline to authorize complaints where the law allows the conflict to be fairly resolved in a different manner. In Gordon v. Fay, 382 Mass. 64, 69-70, 413 N.E.2d 1094, 1097-1098 (1980), the Supreme Judicial Court noted that the “implicit purpose of the [G.L. c. 218, §] 35A hearings is to enable the court clerk to screen a variety of minor criminal or potentially criminal matters out of the criminal justice system through a combination of counseling, discussion, or threat of prosecution.” Today, Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Topazio was successful in convincing the Magistrate to resolve the matter without issuing the criminal complaint.
Result: Case Dismissed.

May 23, 2012
BMC Charlestown District Court
Docket # 9004CR1390
Motor Vehicle
Default Warrant
Operating without a license M.G.L. c. 90 § 10
Operating Negligently M.G.L. c. 90 § 24
Attaching Plates M.G.L. c. 90 § 23

The client, a 41 year old PGA golf instructor, hired Attorney Topazio to represent him after he was notified by the Department of Motor Vehicles in Washington State that his right to operate a motor vehicle was suspended in that state due a default warrant in Massachusetts. Attorney Topazio investigated the matter and discovered that the client had failed to appear on a straight warrant out of the Charlestown District Court. The Client tried to resolve the matter on his own without traveling to Massachusetts but was unsuccessful. The Court responded to the Client after it reviewed the matter with the probation department and the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Court, and informed the Client that it refused to resolve the criminal matter without the Client’s presence. Attorney Topazio acquired documentation of the client’s whereabouts and provided same to the court. Attorney Topazio filed a motion requesting that the court waive his client’s presence and to recall the warrant and to continue the case for arraignment. As a result of this initial court ruling, Attorney Topazio was provided with a Notice of Warrant Cancellation for his client. Attorney Topazio next met with the Assistant District Attorney and pointed out that the police department involved with the case was the Metropolitan District Commission, or MDC, which no longer existed. Today, Attorney Topazio argued that the case was not viable and persuaded the court to dismiss the case prior to arraignment on court costs, so as to avoid the costs his client would have to incur in returning to Massachusetts, and the court agreed. The case was continued pending payment of the court costs in lieu of the client having to return to Massachusetts and trial on this old case.
Result: Warrant recalled and case to be dismissed upon payment of court costs in lieu of client having to return to Massachusetts and facing trial.

May 18, 2012
Registry of Motor Vehicles
Operating Under the Influence
Three year License Suspension for Breathalyzer Refusal reduced to 180 days
CWOF ruled not a previous conviction for enhanced chemical test refusal suspension

The Client, a 37 year old restaurateur, who previously received a CWOF on a first offense OUI was arrested for a second offense OUI and refused to submit to a Breathalyzer. Pursuant to the Safe Roads Act or (Melanie’s Law amendments) in 2005 to Chapter 90, section 24D(1)(f)(1), the Registrar suspended the Client’s license for a period of three (3) years instead of 180 days, hired Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Steven J. Topazio to represent him. Attorney Topazio appealed the Registrar’s finding to the Board of Appeal on Motor Vehicles pursuant to Chapter 30A, section 11 arguing the suspension should be reduced to 180 days because the Registrar was without authority to calculate a three-year suspension for a chemical test refusal suspension by including the CWOF as a prior offense. Attorney Topazio argued that a prior OUI offense, that was continued without a finding (CWOF), should not be treated as a conviction for purposes of the enhanced penalty for the refusal of the chemical test pursuant to Chapter 90, section 24(1)(f)(1), but the Board of Appeals disagreed and affirmed the Registrar’s decision. On May 17, 2012, the Supreme Judicial Court, in the case of Souza v. Registrar of Motor Vehicles, SJC-11123, concluded that the Legislature did not intend an admission to sufficient facts to be treated as a conviction pursuant to G.L. c. 90, § 24(1)(f)(1) and ruled that the registrar was not authorized pursuant to statute to suspend the plaintiff’s driver’s license for more than 180 days on account of his refusal to take a breathalyzer test, because the plaintiff had not previously been convicted of a violation of G.L. c. 90, § 24. Today, Attorney Topazio returned his client to the Registry of Motor Vehicles and by arguing the Souza case convinced the Registrar to vacate the three year suspension and reduce it to 180 days.
Result: Three year suspension vacated and reduced to 180 days.

April 13, 2012
BMC Charlestown District Court
Docket # 9004CR1390
Motor Vehicle Crime
Straight Warrant
Operating MV without a License M.G.L. c. 90 § 10
Operating MV Negligently M.G.L. c. 90 § 24
Attaching Plates M.G.L. c. 90 § 23
Unregistered MV M.G.L. c. 90 § 9
Inspection Sticker M.G.L. c. 90 § 20

The client, an out of state 41 year old PGA golf teaching professional, hired Attorney Topazio to represent him after he was notified by the Department of Motor Vehicles in Washington State that his right to operate a motor vehicle was suspended in that state due to a default warrant in Massachusetts. Attorney Topazio investigated the matter and discovered that the client was issued a summons to appear in court but failed to do so and a straight warrant was issued for his arrest. Attorney Topazio was unable to obtain a police report for the incident after learning the officer involved worked for the MDC which is no longer in existence. The MDC or Metropolitan District Commission Police merged with the State Police in 1992 and no longer exist. The Massachusetts Metro Police was created in 1893. The Metro Police had the primary jurisdiction of law enforcement on all MDC controlled properties, roadways and all Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) facilities, Reservoirs and Watersheds. Today, Attorney Topazio filed a motion requesting that the court waive his client’s presence and to recall the warrant and to restore the case to the court’s calendar, which was granted. As a result of this initial court ruling, Attorney Topazio was provided with a Notice of Warrant Cancellation for his client. Attorney Topazio next caused the court to continue his client’s case for arraignment with the intention to have the case dismissed if the Commonwealth reports that the case is not viable.
Result: Warrant recalled and case to be dismissed prior to arraignment if Commonwealth reports that case is not viable in lieu of client having to return to Massachusetts and being arraigned on the charges.

October 24, 2011
Woburn District Court
Docket No: 1153CR1664
Operating with suspended registration c 90 § 23
Uninsured Motor Vehicle c 90 § 34J
Possession of Class E Drug c 94C § 34
Unregistered Motor Vehicle c 90C § 9

The Client, a 24 year old office supply delivery truck driver, was stopped by police when they randomly ran his license plate and discovered that his registration and insurance were suspended. The client’s registration was revoked due to the fact that the client was unaware that he allowed his insurance to lapse. After the police conducted a motor vehicle stop, the client was asked to get out of his car so the police could conduct an inventory search. During the inventory search 14 unused syringes and a liquid later identified as steroids for intramuscular injection were found. Any conviction for any possession charge in Massachusetts carries the collateral consequence of causing a one (1) year loss of driving privileges which the client could not afford. Attorney Topazio had his client cure the insurance problem and re-register his motor vehicle and to provide him with verification of same. Today in court, Attorney Topazio lobbied his client’s case with the judge and was successful in convincing the court and prosecutor to dismiss all charges and to give his client a three (3) month period of pre-trial probation on the possession of class E (steroid) charge, thus preserving his client’s record and driver’s license.

Result: Charges dismissed and client avoids loss of license by agreeing to pre-trial probation.

August 19, 2011
Chelsea District Court
1014CR2220
Possession of Class E (Suboxone) c 94C §34
Operating with suspended License, Subsequent offense c 90 §23

The client was arrested after being suspected of being involved in a low lever drug transaction, was represented by Boston Criminal Attorney Steven J. Topazio. According to the Police Report, the police observed two male parties hanging around a building when moments later, the defendant pulled up in his motor vehicle and the two male parties began to hang into the motor vehicle with their arms inside the motor vehicle. When one male entered the motor vehicle; the middle console light was turned on as if both parties were looking at something. After a few moments, the party who entered the motor vehicle exited it and was stopped by police who discovered he was in possession of a syringe. The defendant’s motor vehicle was stopped and the defendant indicated when asked that he did not have a driver’s license, and was arested. The defendant was arrested and following a search of the motor vehicle, suboxone was found in the center console. Attorney Topazio filed a Motion to Suppress alleging the search of the defendant and his motor vehicle was illegal and without consent and that all evidence obtained by the police was the fruit of this wrongful search. Despite recommending committed time, today Attorney Topazio convinced the Assistant District Attorney to dismiss the possession offense and to reduce operating after license suspension subsequent offense to a first offense, and fining his client $500.00 in lieu of incarceration, instead of arguing the motion to suppress, and the Judge agreed.
Result: Possession of suboxone offense dismissed and defendant avoids jail time after agreeing to pay a fine to a reduced charge of operating after suspension first offense.

August 11, 2010
Boston Municipal Court
0901CR7893
Leaving Scene of Property Damage M.G.L. c. 90 § 24
Number Plate Violation to Conceal M.G.L. c. 90 § 23
Uninsured Motor Vehicle M.G.L. c. 90 § 34J
Operating a Motor Vehicle with License Revoked as HTO M.G.L. c. 90 § 23

The defendant, had his right to operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts revoked as a Habitual Traffic Offender, was represented by Attorney Topazio after being arrested for various motor vehicle offenses following the crash of his motor vehicle on 93S in Boston which, after questioning by police, it was learned he abandoned. Upon investigation of the case Attorney Topazio learned his client was called to the State Police Tunnels Barracks to answer questions about my motor vehicle which was abandoned on Route 93S. Images of the crash were captured on tunnel surveillance cameras. The client was told to bring proof of ownership to clear up the situation to avoid being charged. The client arrived at State Police Tunnels Barracks with the requested documents but while there was told that he had to answer several questions before he could get his car back. The answers to those questions resulted in the defendant being arrested. Attorney Topazio filed motions to suppress his client’s statements and motions to dismiss because his client was questioned without being informed of his Miranda rights, and made incriminating statements. The procedural safeguards of Miranda are required not where a suspect is merely in police custody, but rather where a suspect is subjected to custodial interrogation. Interrogation must reflect a measure of compulsion above and beyond that inherent in custody itself, and therefore Miranda warnings are only required when a person in custody is subjected to either express questioning or its functional equivalent. The term ‘functional equivalent’ includes any words or actions on the part of the police (other than those normally attendant to arrest and custody) that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the suspect. In this context, an ‘incriminating response’ includes any response inculpatory or exculpatory, which the prosecution might seek to use against the suspect at trial. Today at a hearing on the motion to suppress, Attorney Topazio was successful in getting all but the Number Plate violation against his client dismissed.
Result: At Motion to Suppress hearing, illegal statements obtained by police resulted in charges being dismissed

July 20, 2010
Registry of Motor Vehicles
Suspended License
The defendant, a resident of Connecticut, had his right to operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts suspended after receiving moving violations out of state and missing a scheduled court hearing in Concord District Court, hired Attorney Topazio. Attorney discovered several irregularities in the Registry of Motor Vehicles records on his client and corrected same, including purging his client of the court default in the Concord District Court. Today after hearing Attorney Topazio convinced the RMV to reinstate his client’s driving privileges, and the RMV agreed.
Result: Driving privileges restored.

January 15, 2010
Newburyport District Court
0922CR0164
Operating with a Suspended License MGL c. 90 § 23
Possession of Heroin, Class A MGL c. 94C c. 34
The defendant was arrested when a Registry of Motor Vehicle check of his registration conducted by the police indicated that his license was suspended. A search of his motor vehicle revealed a bottle cap with residue that the arresting officer suspected to be heroin residue. The defendant hired Attorney Topazio to represent him. Attorney Topazio pushed his client’s case to trial and relying on the recent case of Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 129 S. Ct. 2527 (2009), Attorney Topazio on August 31, 2009 was effective in getting the case against his client dismissed at trial because the Commonwealth could not prove the residue found in the bottle cap in the defendant’s motor vehicle was a controlled substance without the testimony of a chemist. Prior to Melendez-Diaz, it was standard practice in drug cases for the Commonwealth to rely only upon a certified copy of a drug certificate to prove that a substance was a controlled substance. Melendez-Diaz is a Supreme Court decision which now requires that a chemist must testify in cases where a drug certificate is to be introduced at trial. In the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts ruling on June 25, 2009, Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for a 5-4 majority, held that the introduction of a drug certificate without the testimony of a chemist violated the defendant’s confrontation rights under the Sixth Amendment. Despite the dismissal, the Commonwealth brought new charges against his client, reactivating the dismissed case and seeking incarceration upon a conviction. Today, in lieu of trying the case for fear of a conviction should the Commonwealth have a Chemist testify and certain incarceration, Attorney Topazio persuaded the court to give his client probation with level III OCC upon a change of plea, and the court agreed. 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.
Result: Case resolved and defendant avoids incarceration

December 02, 2009
East Boston District Court
0905 CR 1936
Unlicensed Operation M.G.L. c. 90, § 10
Logan-Speeding over posted limit 740 CMR § 21.51
Seat Belt, Fail Wear M.G.L. c. 90, § 13A
The defendant, who resides in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, was visiting Massachusetts for a convention and received a criminal citation after getting lost at Logan International Airport trying to find the Ted Williams Tunnel, hired Attorney Topazio after receiving a summons to appear in court. The client informed Attorney Topazio that due to extenuating circumstances, she preferred not to return to Massachusetts and wanted him to waive her presence in court and to resolve her case in her absence. According to the Criminal Rules of Procedure, Rule 7(b), Attorney Topazio filed his appearance in court, advanced his client’s case and waived her appearance at her arraignment. Attorney Topazio represented to the court that he had his client’s authority to resolve her case in her absence, provided the court would allow; which it did. After conferencing the case with the District Attorney and the judge, Attorney Topazio caused his client to be found not responsible on both the civil infractions and represented to court, that if the remaining criminal charge were dismissed, that his client would pay $150.00 in court costs in lieu of returning to Massachusetts to fight the charge; and the court agreed. Today, Attorney Topazio convinced the court, with the District Attorney’s consent, to give his client until December 30, 2009 to pay $150.00 before dismissing the case.
Result: Defendant found not responsible on civil infractions and criminal charge to be dismissed upon payment of court costs

August 31, 2009
Newburyport District Court
0922CR0164
Operating with a Suspended License MGL c. 90 § 23
Possession of Heroin, Class A MGL c. 94C c. 34
The defendant was arrested when a Registry of Motor Vehicle check of his registration conducted by the police indicated that his license was suspended. A search of his motor vehicle revealed a bottle cap with residue that the arresting officer suspected to be heroin residue. The defendant hired Attorney Topazio to represent him. Attorney Topazio pushed his client’s case to trial. Today, relying on the recent case of Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 129 S. Ct. 2527 (2009), Attorney Topazio was effective in getting the case against his client dismissed at trial because the Commonwealth could not prove the residue found in the bottle cap in the defendant’s motor vehicle was a controlled substance without the testimony of a chemist. Prior to Melendez-Diaz, it was standard practice in drug cases for the Commonwealth to rely only upon a certified copy of a drug certificate to prove that a substance was a controlled substance. Melendez-Diaz is a Supreme Court decision which now requires that a chemist must testify in cases where a drug certificate is to be introduced at trial. In the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts ruling on June 25, 2009, Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for a 5-4 majority, held that the introduction of a drug certificate without the testimony of a chemist violated the defendant’s confrontation rights under the Sixth Amendment. Attorney Topazio reliance on this decision was effective in getting his client’s case dismissed.
Result: Case dismissed

March 05, 2009
Boston Municipal Court
0901 CR 0930
Operating after Suspension M.G.L. c.90, § 23
Unsafe Operation M.G.L. c.90 § 13
The defendant was arrested by State Police when observed driving around a rotary 5-7 times while on a cell phone at a high rate of speed, without stopping or using caution in a dangerous manner. A check with the Registry of Motor Vehicles indicated the defendant’s license was suspended. The defendant hired Attorney Topazio. Attorney Topazio reviewed his client’s driving record and learned that any further violation would result in a further suspension of his client’s license. Attorney Topazio presented to the District Attorney that the reason for his client’s license being suspended was as the result of failing to pay a reinstatement fee which was now paid and the reason for driving around a rotary several times was because his client was lost and he was calling for directions. Today, Attorney Topazio convinced the District Attorney and the Court to dismiss the criminal charge and to find his client not responsible on the civil violation.
Result: Case dismissed and Defendant avoids a potential suspension of his driving privileges.