Boston Attorneys for First Time Offenders
Have you recently been charged with a criminal offense for the first time? If so, call Kelly & Soto Law for a free consultation and learn how our team of highly effective criminal defense attorneys can guide you through this stressful experience.
At Kelly & Soto Law, we understand the stress that accompanies a criminal charge, especially if it is your first experience with the criminal justice system. Often people who are arrested for the first time have many questions about the journey: How will a criminal charge effect my ability to get a job? Am I going to go to prison? Will I be on probation? How much will this affect me financially?
At Kelly & Soto Law, not only will we defend your criminal charge, but we will advise you about the consequences associated with the specific crime for which you are charged and the most beneficial way to proceed.
What Happens When Someone is Charged with a Crime?
An official criminal action against a defendant starts with the police either effectuating a formal arrest or issuing a criminal citation. Following the arrest or citation, the Commonwealth will file a criminal complaint against the individual accused of committing the offense. An arraignment will be held, typically the morning following and arrest, or within one to two weeks when a citation is concerned.
At the arraignment, the defendant pleads guilty or not guilty. The case will then proceed into the discovery phase, during which time evidence will be exchanged, discovery motions will be filed and argued, and it is during this phase that the defense attorneys as and Commonwealth will prepare for trial.
What are my Options Other than Going to Trial?
It may come as a surprise, but over ninety percent of criminal cases DO NOT go to trial. Depending on the specific facts of a case, the defendant’s criminal record, and the Commonwealth’s recommendation for a plea, a criminal defendant may choose not to go to trial. There are many avenues a defendant may want to explore in order to resolve a case before trial. The benefits of a pre-trial resolution may include: not having to attend court appearances, a reduced sentence, probation followed by dismissal, and paying a fine.
As your attorneys, Kelly & Soto Law will sit down with you and discuss in detail, the elements of your criminal charge, the possible penalties for being convicted, and possible pretrial resolutions to your criminal matter. As your advisers we will assist you in deciding the best avenue for your case.
In What Other Ways, Besides Trial, May a Case be Resolved?
Below is a list of pretrial resolutions available to criminal defendants in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Each pre-trial resolution has different implications and some may require a defendant to admit to alleged facts recorded in the police report associated with his or her matter.
Magistrate Continuance/General Continuance: Pre-arraignment, a criminal case may be continued through the magistrate’s/clerk’s office. After a specified time, if the accused keeps a clean record and does not get arrested, the case will be not be prosecuted. This type of resolution is offered when a criminal summons is issued. The benefit to this type of resolution is that a formal criminal complaint is never issued and therefore does not appear on an individual’s record.
Pre-Trial Probation: Pretrial probation is a resolution that is typically offered to younger defendants and first time offenders, if the alleged crime is a misdemeanor. After a complaint is issued, a defendant may be offered a pretrial probation, which is similar to a Magistrate Continuance, in that the defendant does not admit to any facts and the case is continued. The period of continuance is typically one year, after which time the case will be dismissed if the defendant does not pick up any new cases.
Continuance Without a Finding (CWOF): This type of resolution is similar to the Pretrial Probation, with some distinction. Generally speaking the case is continued for one year, after which time it is dismissed if the defendant does not pick up any new charges. The distinction is that the defendant must admit that a jury or judge could render a verdict of guilty if the allegations in the police reports are held to be true. In addition, the defendant will be on probation and be subject to any conditions imposed by the court. Furthermore, CWOFs could have immigration consequences for any defendant that is not a citizen of the United States.
So if you have been arrested for the first time, you should not panic. What you should do is call Kelly & Soto Law’s team of highly skilled and aggressive criminal defense attorneys. We understand the stress associated with a first-time criminal charges and will help guide you through the process with patience and professionalism.
Our attorneys are available 24/7 and WILL TRAVEL TO YOU! We would also be pleased to offer you a free case consultation and price quote.
Call us at 617.807.0840. Our office is located in the heart of Boston’s Government Center and we serve all of Massachusetts. Give us a call today and ask to speak with one of our criminal defense attorneys.
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