Blog Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Attorney Steven J. Topazio

A defendant whose case was dismissed on account of the misconduct of the chemist who analyzed the substances seized in Defendant’s case, is entitled to refund of the drug analysis fee.

In Commonwealth v. Jermaine Watt (August 20, 2019), the Supreme Judicial Court held that due process principles required a refund of a drug analysis fee but did not require a refund of other fees claimed by the defendant after the indictments against him were dismissed.  In this case, the defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of cocaine and was sent to jail.  Watt later sought a new trial when he learned of the read More

Bump Stocks and Trigger Cranks

Bump stocks came under scrutiny by the Department of Justice after the October 2017 massacre in Las Vegas. That is following the tragic event where Stephen Paddock opened fire from his hotel suite onto outdoor concertgoers with rifles fitted with bump stocks, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds of others. Only two states had banned bump stocks prior to the Las Vegas shooting. Bump stocks or bump fire stocks are gun stocks that can be used to assist in bump firing. Bump read More

Sex Offender Obligation Waived

The client, an immigrant from Columbia who became a United States citizen, was charged with Indecent Assault and Battery on a person over the age of 14 in violation of MGL c. 265 § 13H.  Indecent Assault and Battery is a sex offense crime which carries a potential jail or state prison sentence plus an obligation to be monitored with a GPS monitoring device and requirement to register as a sex offender.  The Sex Offender read More

Bail advocacy after Brangan v. Commonwealth

On August 25, 2017, the Supreme Judicial Court modified the considerations for the imposition of bail in the case of Brangan v. Commonwealth, 477 Mass. 691 (2017). A judge must now consider a defendant’s financial resources and economic standing prior to setting a bail. The case also contributed to the procedures that must be taken if and when a judge grants a bail that is beyond what the defendant can financially pay. The practice of read More

In a partial victory for defendants charged with a Drunk Driving Offense, a judge rules that all breathalyzer tests results in Massachusetts obtained between June of 2012 and September 14, 2014 using the Alcotest 9510 have been excluded from evidence, yet rules breathalyzer devices scientifically reliable.

On February 16, 2017, Robert A. Brennan, Justice of the District Court, issued a Memorandum of Decision in a consolidated litigation matter which affects cases involving breath test results produced by the Alcotest 9510, a breathalyzer instrument developed by Draeger Safety Diagnostics, Inc. The court ruled that the state’s Office of Alcohol Testing lacked “scientifically reliable” protocols for calibrating breath test devices between June of 2012 and September 14, 2014 and without the written standards, read More

Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr. Murdered

According to the Boston globe, the Auburn police allege that the .45-caliber handgun used by Jorge A. Zambrano to murder Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr. during a routine traffic stop had been stolen. Tarentino was shot in the back by Zambrano.  Zambrano was eventually tracked to Oxford where he was killed by State Police in a shootout. Why did this have to happen? Could it have been prevented?  Good questions with not so easy read More


A Boston Municipal Court judge imposed an additional $150,000 bail on a former English High School dean for firearms and drug charges.  Shaun O. Harrison Sr., onetime dean of students at English High School in Boston, was arrested and accused of attempted murder in the shooting a 17-year-old student who was allegedly selling drugs for him now faces additional charges. Harrison was initially held on $250,000 on March 4, 2015 on charges connected with the read More


On March 4, 2015, opening statements were made to the jury in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Boston marathon bombing trial.  Although media coverage of the trial in Federal court is not allowed the drama was nevertheless high.  ABC News and the Associated Press reported that Tsarnaev’s attorney made a dramatic move in her opening statement and stated her client did the act. Defense attorney Judy Clarke told jurors “It was him”. She told the jury that read More


It was reported today in the Boston Herald that a 5-year-old boy tumbled out of a moving SUV in Falmouth Massachusetts when his mother fled from a Wal-Mart parking lot with a stolen flat-screen television hanging out of her vehicle. “As the vehicle was fleeing the scene, a small child was ejected from the vehicle due to an unsecured door that was left ajar due to the size of the television,” the police statement said read More


Prosecutors today sought to use testimony of former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez’s housekeeper in his murder trial to bolster their assertion that Hernandez’s fiancée Shayanna Jenkins, took steps to hide the missing murder weapon.   Hernandez’s fiancée has been charged as an accessory to murder for her suspected involvement in assisting Hernandez after he allegedly killed Lloyd. Carla Barbosa, a housekeeper who cleaned Aaron Hernandez’s North Attleboro home three times, testified that she saw Hernandez’s read More