Questions to Ask A Lawyer Before Hiring Them

Hiring a lawyer to help you with your legal troubles is an important step in any criminal case. Lawyers are everywhere, so finding a good one is not always easy. Most lawyers offer free consultation services so that you can get to know them and they can briefly review your case. This is a great time to ask some hard-hitting questions to ensure you hire the best lawyer for your particular case. 

How Long Have Your Been Practicing Law? 

In general, most people facing criminal conviction feel more comfortable with an established attorney who has plenty of experience. Ask about how many years the lawyer has been practicing, and roughly how many cases they’ve handled during that time. 

What Cases Do You Handle Most Often? 

Just because a lawyer is established doesn’t mean they’re established in your area of need. Some lawyers specialize in car accidents, while others are more familiar with violent offenses like armed robbery. The types of cases they typically handle and what you’re comfortable with is up to your discretion. 

What’s Your Success Rate in Similar Cases? 

If the lawyer does have experience in similar cases, ask what their success rate for their clients is. Success typically means getting their client acquitted of the charges, but it my also include getting a plea deal or lesser sentencing. 

What Outcome Should I Expect from My Case? 

Based on the information you provide; the lawyer should be able to tell you what outcome to expect from your case. This expected outcome won’t be 100% accurate since they don’t know everything the prosecution has against you yet, but it will give you a rough idea of what to expect in the coming weeks and months. They can also tell you if you would benefit from a plea deal, or even an out of court settlement option that is potentially cheaper and less time consuming. 

Attorney Benjamin UrbelisHiring a lawyer to defend you is a serious decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Look for a lawyer that you feel comfortable talking to, and one that you’re confident in their ability to defend you. When it’s your turn to ask questions, don’t be afraid to ask hard-hitting questions to put your mind at ease. Any good lawyer understands how serious the process is and how important it is for each client to find a lawyer they’re comfortable with, so they’ll gladly answer any question you have! 

Why Was My Bail Denied?

During a criminal arraignment, it is the judge’s responsibility to consider the unique circumstances of each case and set a bail amount based on that information to ensure thee suspect appears for their trial. The defendant (or a family member) will be required to pay the bail in full or post a bond and if the individual does not appear in court, that bail or bond is forfeited.

In some cases, bail can be denied, and the individual will be held in jail until their trial.

Commons Reasons for Bail to be Denied

If bail is denied, it may be due to one of these factors:

You Are Considered a Flight Risk

During the arraignment, the prosecution will present evidence that supports the probability of the individual showing up for their trial date. If an individual has a history of not appearing to court or has excessive funds, a passport, and the means to leave the state or country easily, the judge will deny bail.

You Are Accused of a Serious and/or Violent Crime

Bail is not only put in place to ensure an individual appears to court, but they are also a way to protect the community. If an individual is accused of a serious and/or violent crime, such as murder, the judge will either set a very high bail amount or deny bail altogether. If the prosecution is seeking life in prison, bail is unlikely.

You Are Not a United States Citizen

When a crime is committed, their immigration status is also considered. If the individual is not a citizen of the United States, they are more likely to flee the country and the judge might deny bail and put an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold placed against you.

You Pose a Threat to the Public

If there is potential that an individual will commit other crimes will out on bail or if the individual is dangerous to the public, bail will be denied.

You Are Already on Parole or Probation

If an individual is already on parole or probation during the time of the crime, the judge is less likely to grant bail as that individual is considered a repeat offender and will likely break the law again.

Before your bail arraignment, contact our team at Urbelis Law at (617) 830-2188 to ensure your best chance for receiving bail.

The Hidden Costs of an OUI Conviction

While going out for a few drinks with friends isn’t very expensive, the costs of driving while intoxicated are often much higher than people realize. Not only are you putting your life and the lives around you at risk, but there are also high fees associated with legal fees, fines, license suspension and reinstation, drug and alcohol treatment classes, and more.

A blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher can result in an OUI charge and will cost you thousands more than the $30 you just spent on drinks at the bar.

What Are the Costs Associated with an OUI Conviction?

Most first and second offenses for OUI charges are charged as misdemeanors and carry lower fees and fines, but third, fourth, and fifth offenses can be charged as a felony and result in jail time.

  • Fines – The fines of an OUI depend on the severity of the charge but there is a minimum of $50 with some fines as high as $50,000.
  • Jail Time and/or Bail – There is a daily fee that adds up over time when an individual is incarcerated, and the individual is required to pay these fines. If the individual is released on bail, which the individual or family member will have to pay the entire bail or post a bond. If the individual does not appear for court, the bail or bond is forfeited.
  • Attorney Fees – When facing an OUI charge, you will need an attorney, even if it’s the first offense. These fees will vary depending on the attorney and the logistics of the case.
  • License Suspension and Reissue Fees – When charged with an OUI, there is an automatic license suspension ranging from 30 days to 10 years, depending on the charge. Once the individual’s driver’s license can be instated, they will have to pay a reinstatement fee which can range from $100 to $1,200.
  • Drug and Alcohol Treatment Classes – In some cases, the court will require the individual facing the OUI charge to complete drug and alcohol treatment classes, which will be part of the sentence or probation requirements. All fees associated with these classes will be paid by the defendant.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) – An OUI offender might be required to use an Ignition Interlock Device, especially if it is their second offense. These devices have an installation fee and monthly monitoring fee.
  • Higher Insurance Premiums – Once the driver’s license is reinstated, insurance companies will increase premium rates for those convicted of an OUI. These increases will depend on the circumstances of the OUI, the number of offenses, and the existing driving record.
  • Loss of Job/Income – After being convicted of an OUI, some employers will refuse to continue employment for that individual. In this case, there would be a loss of income and the conviction could make it difficult to obtain future employment.

If you are facing an OUI conviction, contact our team at Urbelis Law at (617) 830-2188.

 

The Difference Between Assault and Battery

There can be a lot of confusion around the difference between a crime of assault and battery and in the state of Massachusetts, you can either be charged with the crime of assault or the crime of assault and battery. It’s very common for individuals to use the two terms interchangeably, but there are a lot of differences between the two.

The Difference Between Crimes of Assault and Assault and Battery

According to Massachusetts state law, a battery is “harmful or unpermitted touching of another person” and is when someone hits another person or touches them with the intent of harm. Assault is the events leading up to a battery, but a battery does not have to occur for an assault to be present.

There are two types of assault:

  1. Attempted Battery – An attempt to use physical force against another
  2. Immediate Threatened Battery – Demonstrating the intent to physically harm an individual

When a prosecutor is establishing an attempted battery, they must prove the defendant:

  • Intended to commit a battery
  • Took a step towards accomplishing the battery
  • Came close to committing the battery on an individual

When a prosecutor is establishing an immediate threatened battery, they must prove the defendant:

  • Intended to frighten the victim into believing they would be harmed; and
  • Made a step towards the individual that caused the victim to be fearful of harm

Elements of the Crime of Assault and Battery

There are several elements under Massachusetts state law the combine together to form a crime of assault and battery. These include:

  1. The defendant touched another individual without the right or a valid reason to do so;
  2. The defendant intended to touch the individual;
  3. The touch was to cause bodily harm or without the individual’s consent.

The element of touch must be proved by the prosecutor, but the intent of bodily harm is not required to prove a crime of assault and battery.

Penalties for Assault and Assault and Battery

Under Massachusetts state law, if you are convicted of a crime of assault or a crime of assault and battery, you may be facing:

  • Up to 2 ½ years in a house of corrections; or
  • A fine up to $1,000

Attorney Benjamin Urbelis

With more complex cases, additional penalties might be added.

If you are facing a conviction of the crime of assault or the crime of assault and battery, contact our criminal defense team at Urbelis Law at (617) 830-2188.