Frequently Asked Questions
If you are looking for a criminal attorney or have questions about potential charges, view some of our most frequently asked questions below. Looking for more information, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Elliot Savitz & Scott Bradley will gladly assist you with additional questions and listen to your circumstances.
At NO COST TO YOU, we will quickly assess your situation and let you know whether you need a criminal defense attorney or not. We will then explain all of your options, discuss the likely consequences and explain how we can help you get the best result possible.
Is it the case that you forgot to make a payment on your car insurance and now your insurance and registration have been cancelled? You are stopped by the police and could be charged with driving uninsured or unregistered. Your car is being towed, and you are left standing on the side of the road. You have never been in trouble with the law and can’t afford to have a criminal record. On top of that, there’s the potential for you to lose your job, and you just don’t know what to do. You need legal advice.
In all of these cases, and in thousands more, you are panicked and just don’t know where to start. Well, the best place to start is to call The Law Offices of Elliot Savitz, Scott Bradley & Kenneth Diesenhof, at (781) 974-3429. At NO COST TO YOU, we will quickly assess your situation, explain the likely consequences, and describe how we can help you.
Let our highly respected criminal defense attorneys put your mind at ease.
You may have gone shopping and written a personal check for the merchandise. You didn’t know you had insufficient funds in your account. Perhaps you had deposited a check that bounced or some service charge has put you in the negative, or perhaps you thought you could cover it in time, but an emergency arose. Now the store is threatening to bring you to court for larceny by check, which is a criminal offense. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t delay; get legal advice immediately. The longer you leave it, the worse it gets.
Perhaps you are in college or high school, and the school is threatening you with a suspension, or even worse, an expulsion. Not only may the suspension or expulsion appear on your school record, but you may not be able to enroll in another school. Perhaps you did nothing wrong or got into an argument with a roommate or friend and there was a little pushing or shoving. Perhaps you had a small amount of marijuana with you at school, but the school has a zero tolerance policy. There may not be any criminal charges, but the consequences are devastating. If you don’t know what to do, get legal advice.
» Learn more on School Suspension, Expulsion & Academic Probation
It could be that your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or roommate is taking out a restraining order against you, and you didn’t do anything wrong. Perhaps your spouse has found someone else and wants you out of the picture. Maybe you married someone who is not an American, and he/she wants to stay in the country, but without you. What if you met someone with children, they moved into your house, and now they want to force you out? That person may have fabricated a story, such as you were physically abusive or they were concerned by the threat of immediate physical harm, and now you find a restraining order has been filed against you. The restraining order is not a criminal prosecution; it is civil. However, once it is in place, it will be on your probation record, and if you violate it in any way, he/she can take out criminal charges on you for violation of an abuse order. That is a criminal offense and can put you in jail. If you are in a panic and don’t know what to do, get legal advice.
Sometimes you or a loved one may get in trouble with the law. You don’t know what to do. Perhaps you are not being charged with a new crime, but you find that you have an outstanding warrant from a case many years ago. You may not even remember what the case was about, or you could have thought it was resolved. Perhaps you didn’t pay some outstanding fine or restitution or probation fee. The only thing you know for sure is that you cannot renew your license or you are about to lose your social security benefits. What do you do? The answer is simple: get legal advice.
A misdemeanor is usually handled in District Court. The maximum penalty cannot exceed 2 ½ years in a house of correction. A felony can carry more than 2 ½ years and can be served in state prison. Examples of misdemeanors are: assault & battery, driving on a suspended license, oui, trespass, disturbing the peace, and indecent exposure. Examples of felonies are: assault & battery with a dangerous weapon, rape, robbery, and murder.
No. There must be a reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime or you are under arrest, or an inventory search is being carried out prior to a car being towed to allow a police officer search. If the search is illegal, any evidence may be suppressed. However, you could still be convicted on other evidence.
No. If you are in custody and answer an officer’s questions without being read your Miranda rights or told you have a right to an attorney or to be silent, then any incriminating statements you make might be suppressed, which means those statements cannot be used against you at trial. However, you can still be convicted on other evidence.
» Contact us today to review a violation of your Miranda Rights
Depending on the charge, some sentences are mandatory (e.g., oui 3rd, driving while your license is suspended because of an oui, and certain gun charges), but most are not.
At an arraignment, first, you will be interviewed by an officer of the court to determine if you are indigent (you cannot afford a lawyer). Then, you will appear in court, where you will be arraigned (or formally charged) by the court. You will be prosecuted by a police prosecutor or an ADA (Assistant District Attorney). If the ADA wants bail, your lawyer will generally argue against it. You will then be given a date for a (PTC) pre-trial conference, at which time the ADA and your lawyer (unless you waive your right to a lawyer) will discuss discovery of evidence. After your PTC, you will be given other dates for motions, compliance & election, and trial. At anytime, your lawyer and the ADA can work out a plea. Any plea must be approved by the judge.
If you are summoned for an arraignment, contact us immediately to represent you and protect your rights.
You are always entitled to a lawyer in court and you can hire your own lawyer. However, if you could go to jail on your charge(s) and you are indigent (you cannot afford a lawyer), the court will appoint a lawyer for you for $150 to $300.
At a Clerk’s Hearing, a clerk, who is not a judge and generally not a lawyer, will decide if there is probable cause that you committed a crime. If so, he/she can issue a complaint. In that case, you will appear (sometime in the future, not then) before a judge and be arraigned on the charge(s). However, just because the clerk finds probable cause, he/she does not have to issue a complaint. If you have a lawyer, he/she will do most (or all) of the talking and help ensure that a complaint does not issue.
If the charge is a misdemeanor and you have not been arrested, you are entitled to a Clerk’s Hearing. If you are not given this opportunity, your lawyer can ask that the case be dismissed. Sometimes, you will still be offered a hearing even though the charge is a felony.
As a rule, the more serious cases are handled in Superior Court. Sometimes there is jurisdiction in both courts. The case will always begin in District Court. If the District Attorney wants to move your case to Superior Court, he/she will bring your case before the grand jury, and they will decide if they want to indict you.
No. Generally speaking, you should not plead guilty. As a matter of fact, the court will automatically put in a plea of not guilty for you. Even if you are guilty, the court may dismiss the case for court costs. The prosecutor may offer pre-trial probation. Also, the court may offer you a CWOF (continuation without a finding), which is not a conviction. Remember, guilty or not guilty, the burden is on the state to prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If not, you should be found not guilty.
» Contact an attorney at The Law Offices of Elliot Savitz, Scott Bradley & Kenneth Diesenhof for a free consultation.
Generally, if you can afford a lawyer, you should have a lawyer represent you throughout a criminal case, including clerk’s hearings, arraignments, pre-trial conferences, motions and probation surrenders. A lawyer can best protect your rights and help ensure a favorable outcome. Contact one of our attorneys at The Law Offices of Elliot Savitz, Scott Bradley & Kenneth Diesenhof and learn more.