Blog Archives - Attorney Steven J. Topazio

The effects of decriminalizing marijuana on the law

Under current law, it is a criminal offense to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute it. G. L. c. 94C, § 32C (a) states (“Any person who knowingly or intentionally . . . distributes . . . or possesses with intent to . . . distribute . . . [marijuana] shall be imprisoned . . .”). The act of simple possession of marijuana (over one ounce) is also a crime and is listed separately read More

Sealing Criminal Records that Resulted in Dismissal

Sealing Criminal Records that Resulted in Dismissal The court recently announced a new standard in sealing criminal records. It concluded that the records of closed criminal cases that resulted in the entry of a nolle prosequi or a dismissal are subject not to a presumption of access under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution but, rather, to a common-law presumption of public access and, therefore, that the sealing of such records under G. read More

Case Study: Attorney Steven Topazio’s Successful Defense in a Medicare Fraud and Larceny Case

Introduction Attorney Steven Topazio is a renowned legal expert known for his exceptional advocacy skills and dedication to protecting his clients’ rights. In this case study, we explore a complex legal matter where Attorney Topazio represented a client charged with Medicare fraud and larceny over $1200. The client faced allegations of allowing his name to be used by a close friend who was paralyzed and genuinely needed Personal Care Attendants (PCAs). Attorney Topazio’s strategic approach read More

The odor of burnt Marijuana alone cannot justify an exit order from a motor vehicle

The odor of burnt Marijuana alone cannot justify an exit order from a motor vehicle. Due to the decriminalization of possessing one ounce or less of marijuana, the odor of burnt marijuana will no longer provide the police with probable cause, or even reasonable suspicion that a crime is occurring, which justifies the exit order of a defendant from a motor vehicle. In a recent case, a Boston Municipal Court judge did not err in read More

What is a Terry Stop

In general, a “Terry stop” refers to a stop and frisk encounter between a law enforcement officer and an individual, based on the U.S. Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio (1968). In this case, the Court established that police officers can stop and briefly detain a person if they have reasonable suspicion that the person may be involved in criminal activity, even if they don’t have probable cause for an arrest. This allows officers to read More

Applying for a Hardship/Cinderella Driver’s License

The process and requirements for obtaining a Cinderella driver’s license (also known as a hardship or restricted license) after a drunk driving arrest and license suspension can vary by state and jurisdiction. In Massachusetts, hardship licenses are only granted to Massachusetts driver’s license holders. If you are approved, the RMV may only grant an identical 12-hour, 7 day license. Hardship License Application Process: The application process for a hardship license can involve several steps, including read More

When selecting an attorney to represent you in your car accident case, consider these 10 points

10 Points to consider when selecting an attorney for a Boston car accident case: 1) Expertise and Knowledge: Car accident cases can be complex, involving various legal and insurance issues. A skilled attorney with experience in handling Boston car accident cases will have the necessary expertise and knowledge to navigate through the complexities of the legal system, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the best possible outcome. 2) Assessment of Damages: read More

Possession of a Firearm Without a License

In Firearms cases, the prosecution must now prove an added element that you did not have a firearms license or valid firearm ID card and can no longer force you to prove that you had such a license at trial. Presenting evidence of possession of a firearm without a license is now the Commonwealth’s burden. The Case: COMMONWEALTH vs. CARLOS GUARDADO, 491 Mass. 666 (2023)Following a jury trial, Guardado was convicted of unlawfully carrying a read More

OUI and DWI Breathalyzer Cases

If you were found guilty of drunk driving because of a failed Breathalyzer test you can still fight thecase to get your OUI Conviction Overturned. OUI and DWI Breathalyzer Cases:In the case of Commonwealth v. Hallinan, 491 Mass. 730 (2023), the court determined that all defendants who pleaded guilty or went to trial in an OUI or DWI case and submitted to a breathalyzer test with a Draeger Alcotest 9510 from June 1, 2011 to read More

Magistrate Hearing – Shoplifting Groceries – The Power of Restitution

In the realm of law, attorneys are often perceived as fierce advocates who fight tooth and nail to protect their clients. However, there are instances where the true power of legal representation lies not only in winning cases but also in finding compassionate solutions that address the underlying issues faced by their clients. Attorney Topazio recently managed to secure a favorable outcome for a client who had shoplifted groceries due to dire circumstances. The Case:In read More