We are open during COVID-19 and available to speak about your case by video conference, over the phone or in person.

Articles Posted in gun offenses

As a Boston criminal defense lawyer, defending drug cases, often the initial police seizure will be based on the defendant being in a high crime area. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has stated numerous times that being present in a high crime area or flight from the police is insufficient to justify a stop under the 4th Amendment or Article 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed this issue in the case of

United States v. Bumpers. A police officer was conducting a routine patrol. While he was driving by a local convenience store in a high-crime area, the officer noticed two men standing by dumpsters located. The officer observed the two men for five or ten seconds and then pulled into the parking lot. At that time the men began walking away from the dumpsters. The officer exited his car and told the two men that they were not free to go. One of the men, defendant Irvin Bumpers, obeyed the officer’s orders.

A police sergeant for the Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Department was arrested recently for domestic violence and weapon charges, after an altercation with a female.

Massachusetts criminal defense attorneys understand that when officers in Beverly responded to a domestic violence and shots fired call, they reportedly discovered a cache of weapons, including 11 rifles, 16 handguns, eight shotguns, four samurai swords and a large stash of ammunition.

As a police officer, he would have almost certainly had a state license to carry a firearm. However, the gun charges (aside from the discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling and assault with a dangerous weapon) are specifically related to his storage of those weapons.

Massachusetts General Law, Part 1, Title XX, Chapter 140, Section 131L, it’s against the law to keep or store any firearm, shotgun, rifle or machine gun in any place unless it’s secured in a locked container or equipped with some form of tamper-resistant mechanical lock or safety device. It has to be locked in such a way that the weapon will be inoperable except by the owner or other authorized user.

The law doesn’t apply if you are physically carrying it, in which case it’s not deemed “stored” or “kept.” It also doesn’t apply to any weapon with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or some similar type of ignition system made in or prior to 1899 or any replica of such a gun.

Penalties for violating this statute vary, depending on the type of weapon. For guns that aren’t considered large-capacity weapons, you face a year in jail and a $500 fine. For large capacity weapon, the maximum fine is increased to $10,000 and you face imprisonment of up to 10 years.

This officer is facing three such charges.

According to The Salem News, officers responding to a domestic disturbance call found the sergeant for a nearby department on the sidewalk, shouting to a woman who was inside a home. Officers indicated that upon investigation, they learned that the pair had been fighting. At one point, the sergeant left the room and returned with a handgun. The alleged victim would later say that the sergeant first pointed the gun at her, and then to the dog, which he threatened to kill.

The woman made her way out of the room, out the front door and walked to the neighbor’s home. As she was walking, she said she heard a gunshot behind her. The sergeant later explained to the responding officers that the gun had accidentally discharged when he was attempting to put it away.

He was nonetheless arrested, and in addition to the weapons charges, he is facing charges of assault and battery and witness intimidation.

It’s likely that the officer will also be placed on leave from work, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation, as well as the likely internal investigation. In both cases, he will require legal services from an experienced criminal defense attorney with proven results.
Continue Reading ›

A 23-year-old Framingham man faces major Massachusetts gun charges and drug charges after a SWAT team raided his apartment recently, The MetroWest Daily News reports.

Gun crimes in Framingham are often attached to other charges, such as drug crimes, as it were in this case. This allows prosecutors to seek more penalties against defendants.

It also gives them an advantage during plea negotiations. The more charges that a defendant faces, the higher the possible penalties, especially if charges can be sentenced consecutively. So, when prosecutors approach the defense about a plea offer, they often start with the highest possible sentence and work their way down.

While every Framingham criminal defense attorney is going to use their time to prepare for trial, the fact is that in most areas, 95 percent of cases end in a plea deal. As a defense attorney prepares to go to trial, though, he can discover evidence, contradictions in police statements and unreliable witnesses that can make plea negotiations more beneficial for the defense. So, despite the charges being stacked against the defendant, good defense work can sometimes lead to a good plea offer. Negotiating from a position of strength never hurt anyone.

In this case, 23-year-old Tyrone Fleurimont recently appeared in Framingham District Court on charges of trafficking drugs and possessing drugs within a school zone. His 21-year-old girlfriend, Kaleen Hardison, was also charged.

Police say they obtained a search warrant to search the couple’s apartment and broke in looking for jewelry and a gun that they believed the man stole. During the search, officers also allegedly found heroin valued at $9,000 as well as $7,000 in cash.

The man allegedly has a warrant out of Dorchester charging him with gun charges and three prior drug charges, having a gun or ammunition without an FID card, carrying a loaded gun without a license, carrying a dangerous weapon and driving after a license suspension. Boston Police also have warrants out for the man on two counts of possession of a gun without an FID card, two counts of possession of a large capacity firearm, possession of a Class B substance with intent to distribute, trafficking in heroin, possession of heroin and possession of marijuana.

Fleurimont’s Framingham criminal defense attorney brought up a great point — that the search may have been flawed in the first place. The article makes no mention of the allegedly stolen jewelry and gun that the initial search warrant was for. If officers found nothing, yet knew that he had prior charges, they may have made a bad faith effort just to get into his apartment.

As for the man’s girlfriend, her Framingham criminal defense attorney said there’s no indication she knew there were drugs in the apartment, which is nearby a school.

The issue of search warrants is critical because in some cases, if police officers provided incorrect or inaccurate facts to a judge in order to get a warrant signed, the evidence that follows can be suppressed. If officers knew ahead of time that the defendant had a criminal history record and used that as motivation to try to get into his apartment, that could be a problem for the prosecution’s case.
Continue Reading ›

The Taunton Daily Gazette reports that two brothers are facing guns and drug charges after a police raid.

Drug charges and gun charges in Taunton often go hand-in-hand.

Massachusetts criminal defense lawyers have defended many clients charged with both crimes. In the Commonwealth, drug charges can range from possession of a small amount of marijuana to being caught with larger amounts that can lead to trafficking charges.

In gun cases, possession of a gun without a firearm identification card can lead to mandatory jail time. Possession by a convicted felon or using a weapon while committing another crime are also serious offenses.

But there are many defenses to these two charges. Your defense lawyer must carefully review the facts and circumstances that led police to believe they were justified in filing such charges. If they relied on a search warrant to gain entry to a home, car or business to seek evidence, what was written in an affidavit must be scrutinized.

In many cases, a group of people can be riding in a car that gets pulled over by law enforcement. If there’s an illegal gun or drugs in the car, police will sometimes attempt to charge everyone. That’s simply not right and cases like that have been overturned and charged dropped because police don’t have the facts to back up such charges.

In this case, 19-year-old Adilson DaGraca-Teixeira and 21-year-old Jason DaGraca-Teixeira are charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card and possession of a firearm without a firearms identification card. They are both being held without bond while they await a February 2 trial date.

On November 3, police raided their apartment at 56 Wales St. after they got a search warrant signed by a judge. Officers said they found heroine, oxycodone as well as a hidden compartment in the ceiling that contained ammunition and two handguns. The defendants’ sister, Melinda Teixeira, 18, was arrested as well as three other people. She is being charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute, being present where heroin is kept and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Three other 19-year-olds — Alexander Torres Jr., of Brockton, Jeschalie Jimenez, of Providence and Darius Jones of Taunton face various drug possession charges.

These young people now face very serious drug charges that can have a profound effect on their future. But remember, it is the prosecution’s job to prove the charges, not the other way around. A defendant doesn’t have to say anything before a jury because the charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, not disproven.

There are defenses that must be considered for a person facing charges that are this serious. When the defendants are young and have a future ahead of them, the responsibility is even greater. Putting your faith in an experienced and aggressive Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer is the best course of action at the earliest possible stage in such cases.
Continue Reading ›

Police have accused two women of a conspiracy during which they faked a housebreak to steal guns and trade them for heroin, The Sun Chronicle reports.

Charges of theft in Attelboro as well as drug and gun offenses can add up to jail time, possible probation and fines and fees.

But whether a shoplifting or a serious theft crime such as a burglary or robbery, it can sometimes be difficult to prove for police. Without credible eye witnesses or some type of caught-in-the-act moment, police sometimes have a hard time fingering who committed a crime.

Even if they make an arrest, Massachusetts criminal attorneys will challenge the case put together by prosecutors and work toward the best outcome possible in a client’s case. When evidence is scarce, there is plenty of reasonable doubt to show the accused isn’t the criminal. And even if it appears there is an abundance of evidence, some can be thrown out with an experienced lawyer.

In this case, 38-year-old Shannon E. Wilson called authorities to tell them that her house on 87 Smith St. had been broken into. Police quickly turned against her and began considering that there was no break-in at all.

The Sun Chronicle reports that the woman then allegedly confessed that she made up the incident so that she and longtime friend Robert Delaney of Franklin could sell her husband’s .22-caliber and .45-caliber pistols for heroin.

Both have been arrested, but there is a wrinkle in the case. Police haven’t recovered the weapons. The suspects allegedly told police that the .22-caliber gun was sold to a drug dealer in Taunton and the .45-caliber gun was taken to Providence and sold to a drug dealer there.

Both defendants are allegedly blaming each other, with neither admitting to who committed the break-in or who took them from the storage locker and completed the drug deals.

Because both have pending cases in Wrentham District Court, a judge in Attleboro District Court held them without bond.

Wilson is charged with armed robbery and larceny in Wrentham, while Delaney has a prior drug case that is pending.

In this case, both face charges of larceny of a firearm, conspiracy, conspiracy to violate narcotics laws and unlawful possession of firearms with large capacity feeding devices. In addition, Wilson faces a charge of filing a false police report and Delaney is charged with breaking and entering.

Without an eyewitness to say who broke into the house, it may be difficult for the state to prove. And the fact that police don’t have any evidence of where the weapons are or that they were actually traded for heroin casts doubt on some of the charges.

Delaney is charged with breaking and entering, but do the police really know he did that? If each defendant is blaming each other, it could be difficult for investigators and prosecutors to sort through what they have and ensure that they can prove beyond all reasonable doubt each of these charges. That’s another reason why simply remaining silent is so often to a client’s advantage.
Continue Reading ›

The Massachusetts Appeal Courts addressed the issue of when police may make an investigatory stop based on 911 tips. The case of Commonwealth v. Alfredo Perez arose from an appeal of the defendant’s conviction in the Brockton District court of possession of a firearm without an FID card in violation of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 Section 10. As a Brockton gun crime lawyer, charges of unlawful possession of a firearm often raise Constitutional defenses.

In the case, Brockton police received a report of guns shots fired. A police officer responded within minutes to the call. The police then received a second dispatch claiming to seeing a car leave the area where the shots were heard. The police were able to identify the vehicle and made a motor vehicle stop.

In assessing whether the police had reasonable suspicion for the stop, the Massachusetts Appeals Court applied the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Florida v. J.L., 529 U.S. 266 (2000), which addressed the issue of what type of evidence the police need to make an investigatory stop based on an anonymous tip. The Perez Court held that the Commonwealth had to establish both the indicia of reliability of the transmitted information and the particular description of the motor vehicle.

To establish particularity the Court held that the Commonwealth must show that the description provided sufficient detail to allow a police officer relying on the dispatch reasonably to suspect that the motor vehicle matched the description and was occupied by the person under investigation. To establish reliability the Commonwealth must show the basis of knowledge of the source of the information and the underlying circumstances demonstrating the source of the information was credible or the information reliable, which is known as the veracity test.

The Court found that the basis of knowledge test was satisfied with regard to both calls based on first hand observation. The Appeals Court next addressed the issue of whether the veracity component was satisfied. The Court noted greater reliability is assigned to those whose identity is known. The Court held that both calls were anonymous, with one callers identity never being known while the other caller’s identity was only known after the motor vehicle stop. The Court stated that the fact that the officers went back to the scene to speak to the first caller supports a reasonable inference that they were able to do so because the caller either identified herself or could be traced by reasonable means.

The Court found that there was no additional evidence of police investigation to corroborate the veracity of the caller. However, the court noted that it could consider the imminent nature of the threat in assessing whether there was reasonable suspicion as well as the proximity between the call, the location of the incident and place of the stop. Accordingly, the Court found that the stop was permissible under Article 14 and the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Continue Reading ›

Contact Information