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Experience with Criminal Charges

Contact FitzGerald Law Company for legal representation on criminal charges in Boston, Mass.

The following is a list of criminal charges we have experience with and their definitions:

Drug Trafficking

Our Boston criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience defending the two major categories of narcotics or drug violations: possession and distribution.

Possession
It is illegal to possess a substance defined under federal and state law as a “controlled substance” without authorization. Possession includes having a “substance” physically on your person (jacket, bag, pocket, …) or in an area which you control (your house, car, apartment, yard…) 


Distribution
It is illegal under federal and state law to possess a substance defined as a “controlled substance” with the intent to distribute, sell, or transfer to another, without proper government authorization.

The classification of the defense as distribution is determined by the person’s conduct, including but not limited to selling or attempting to sell the substance, or by the amount or weight of the substance that is possessed or controlled (meaning that the narcotic need not necessarily be in your possession, if you control its sale or distribution).

Money Laundering

It is against state and federal law to disguise illegally gained proceeds from illegal activities such as: drug trade, counterfeiting, fraud including international securities and credit card fraud, and similar activities that harm individuals as well as financial systems and institutions.

The penalties for such offenses include civil forfeiture of money and property as well as prison sentences.

The FitzGerald Law Company Criminal Defense Attorneys in Boston, MA can help vacate a conviction and negotiate the best disposition for any criminal charge.

Theft

It is illegal to take, steal or embezzle with intent to convert, the property of another.

There is a wide array of penalties for theft depending upon the nature of the item stolen, its value, whether force or violence was employed, and the characteristics of the victim from whom the item was taken (penalties tend to be higher if the victim is a “weaker” person, i.e. child, elderly person, mentally disabled,…).

Sexual Assault

It is illegal pursuant to state law to physically touch another person on their “private” body parts with intent and without their consent.

Criminal charges resulting in a conviction pursuant to this law generally can result in a prison sentence or a period of probation, depending upon two factors: the criminal history of the defendant, and the age and susceptibility of the victim.

These laws often require a person who is convicted to register with state authorities as a “sexual offender”.

Rape

It is against state law to engage in sex with another person without their consent.

Sex for the purposes of “rape” statutes generally means the unprivileged entry of any bodily orifice.

Children under the age of majority (varies for each state, for example the age of majority for sexual relations in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is 16) cannot consent to engaging in sexual conduct. This is strictly prohibited even if the defendant is not aware that the other person is under the age of majority.

Criminal charges pursuant to this law generally can result in a prison sentence or a period of probation, depending upon several factors, including the criminal history of the defendant, whether force or violence was used, and the age and susceptibility of the victim.

These laws often require a person who is convicted to register with state authorities as a “sexual offender”.

Domestic Violence

State law prohibits physical violence or threats of physical violence between individuals who share a “domestic” relationship (attempting to cause or causing physical harm or placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm).

A domestic relationship is generally defined as a relationship between spouses and former spouses, persons who are or were living together, persons who are or were related by blood or marriage, parents of a minor child (regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together), and persons “who are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship.”

Recently the penalties for a conviction of Domestic Violence have become more severe. The courts and the prosecutors generally require that an individual undergo therapy or join an “anger management” program.

Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Boston, Massachusetts understand what type of programs can help a defendant obtain the best disposition of the criminal case.

Assault & Battery

An assault is either an attempted battery or an unlawful offer of harm that places another person in reasonable fear or apprehension of an immediate battery. Battery is the harmful or offensive touching of another person, without justification or excuse.

This type of conduct includes most acts of violence or attempted violence. The incidents become more serious if dangerous weapons are used or severe injury is caused.

The penalties for this type of crime range from a prison sentence to a period of probation, depending upon several factors, including the criminal history of the defendant, the nature of the force or violence, the type of injury that resulted and the characteristics of the victim (child, elderly person, mentally disabled, sick or infirm…).

Kidnapping

Presently there are two forms of kidnapping: general or traditional kidnapping and parental kidnapping.

General Kidnapping


A person may be accused of kidnapping if he/she unlawfully and without consent, removes a person from a location, or if he/she unlawfully confines another for a substantial period of time in a place of isolation.

Parental Kidnapping

Anyone who is a relative of a child less than eighteen years old, who without lawful authority, holds or intends to hold such a child permanently or for a protracted period of time, or takes or entices a child from his lawful custodian, can be accused of “parental kidnapping”.

Felonies and aggravated Felonies

Alien Smuggling

According to Section 273 of the Immigration & Nationality Act it is unlawful for any person to bring an alien who does not have a valid passport and an un-expired visa, to the United States from any foreign location.

According to Section 274 of the Immigration & Nationality Act, it is unlawful for any person to bring to, or to attempt to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever, an alien at a place other than a designated port of entry, regardless of whether such alien has received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States and regardless of any future official action which may be taken with respect to such alien.

Illegal Re-Entry After Deportation

It is against the law for any person who has been ordered deported or removed from the United States by the Immigration & Naturalization Service to re-enter the United States without the expressed consent of the U.S. Attorney General for a prescribed period of time (generally five to twenty years)

Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol

In general it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle on a public road or way while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants, or stimulant substances.

The penalties for these criminal charges include probation or a jail sentence depending upon the number of times that a person has been convicted previously, and whether there was serious damage to persons or property. The courts and prosecutor will routinely require completion of an alcohol or substance abuse education program as part of any sentence.

Attempted Murder

In order for someone to be found guilty of first degree murder the government must prove that the person killed another person, with malice aforethought and that the killing was premeditated.

Involuntary manslaughter is “an unlawful homicide, unintentionally caused in the commission of an unlawful act, malum in se, not amounting to a felony nor likely to endanger life or by an act which constitutes such a disregard of probable harmful consequences to another as to constitute wanton or reckless conduct.”

Voluntary manslaughter is an unlawful homicide arising not from malice, but in sudden passion induced by reasonable provocation, sudden combat, or excessive force in self-defense.

If you are facing criminal charges in Massachusetts, it’s critical that you contact an experienced Boston criminal defense lawyer early in the process to establish the best strategy in your case and to protect your rights. Call FitzGerald Law Company today.

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