Criminal Justice Reform: Drug Offenses

On April 13, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a new bill that made a number of important changes to the Massachusetts Criminal Justice System. Some of the most significant changes for criminal defendants relate to the re-organization of certain drug laws. Fentanyl and other opioids Given the national opioid crisis in the country, the Massachusetts Legislature used this bill to address some of the laws related to certain synthetic opioids. First, multiple varieties of fentanyl and carfentanil have been re-defined as “Class A” drugs. Possession or distribution charges for Class…Read more

Criminal Justice Reform: Good Samaritan Law

On April 13, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a new bill that made a number of important changes to the Massachusetts Criminal Justice System. One part of the law that was amended was the “Good Samaritan Law.” The “Good Samaritan Law” (M.G.L. c. 94C § 34A), protects from criminal prosecution people who experience drug overdoses, and people who call for emergency medical help for another person experiencing a drug overdose. The law was put in place in order to encourage people to seek medical assistance for drug overdoses, without fear…Read more

Natick: Criminal Motor Vehicle Violations (DISMISSED BY CLERK MAGISTRATE)

Summary of Facts: Our client was pulled over by a Massachusetts State Trooper for travelling 90 M.P.H. in 65 M.P.H. zone. After a brief encounter between our client and the trooper, it was discovered that our client had inadvertently let her driver’s license expire. The officer issued a citation. Subsequently, our client was given a notice to appear for a Magistrate’s hearing, on charges of speeding and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Action: Attorney Christopher Coughlin was hired to represent our client for the Magistrate’s hearing. He advised our client to renew…Read more

Concord: Domestic Assault (DISMISSED)

Summary of Facts: Officers responded to our client’s home for reports of a domestic disturbance. Our client’s spouse informed the officers who responded that our client had made a violent threat with a chair. Our client was also interviewed, and denied having done this. Nonetheless, our client was arrested and charged with assault. Action: Coughlin Law Group was hired to defend to our client against this charge, as well as in a restraining order filed by our client’s spouse. Prior to the first hearing, and after tempers had calmed down, Attorney Christopher Coughlin…Read more

Brockton: Carrying a Firearm (DISMISSED – VALOR ACT)

Summary of Facts: Our client’s sibling called 911 to report that our client was making threats while brandishing a firearm. Police officers quickly arrived on the scene, and allegedly seized a firearm and ammunition from our client. The seized firearm was an old family heirloom. Our client was arrested and charged with carrying a firearm without a license and possession of ammunition without an FID card. Action: Coughlin Law Group, through Senior Counsel Jon Ciraulo, was hired to represent our client. Upon learning that our client had previously served in the United States…Read more

Roxbury: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (DISMISSED)

Summary of Facts: Our client was reported by a 911 caller to have been threatening his father-in-law with a knife, while in their shared building. When the police arrived, our client was found in his room, sitting on his couch. He was then arrested and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon. Action: Attorney Christopher Coughlin represented our client. Attorney Coughlin filed various pre-trial motions including a motion to suppress the knife discovered at the scene. At the trial date, the Commonwealth failed to bring all the witnesses necessary to prove the charge…Read more

Newton: Domestic Assault (DISMISSED – VALOR ACT)

Summary of Facts: Our client was observed by a civilian witness striking an alleged victim on the side of the street, and then returning to their vehicle. The police were called and given the vehicle's plate number. Police Officers interviewed the witnesses, and located our client’s vehicle as it was in the driveway of our client’s house. Both our client and the alleged victim were interviewed. Both our client and the alleged victim indicated that there had been a verbal, and then physical, altercation between them. Our client was arrested and charged with…Read more

Gloucester: Criminal Motor Vehicle Violation (DISMISSED PRIOR TO ARRAIGNMENT)

Summary of Facts: Our client’s motor vehicle was found parked illegally by an Officer of the Gloucester Police Department. When the officer queried the vehicle’s license plates, it was discovered that the vehicle’s insurance had lapsed and that our client’s license had been suspended as a result. The officer mailed our client a citation, charging her with an uninsured motor vehicle and a suspended license. The citation was delivered almost two weeks later, on the day before Thanksgiving. When our client attempted to exercise her right to a magistrate’s hearing after the holiday,…Read more

Manchester, NH: Assault (DISMISSED)

Summary of Facts: Our client was charged with Assault, after a third party witnessed what he believed to be our client slapping and pushing our client’s significant other. Our client and the alleged victim both made statements to the police, acknowledging the push, but denying the slap. Action: Attorney Christopher Coughlin was hired to represent our client a just few weeks prior to the trial date. At the trial date, Attorney Coughlin presented our side of the story to the prosecutor and convinced them to drop all charges. Result: The Prosecutor dismissed the case against…Read more

Dorchester: Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute (DISMISSED)

Summary of Facts: Our client was suspected of possessing firearms, leading to a search warrant being granted for our client’s home. Police stopped our client, took the keys to our client’s home, and entered. Inside they discovered a bag filled with marijuana. Our client was then charged with possession with intent to distribute a Class D Drug (marijuana). Action: Attorney Christopher Coughlin represented our client. Attorney Coughlin filed a motion to suppress the evidence seized at our client’s home, arguing the invalidity of the search warrant. On the date of trial, months after…Read more