Expungement comes to Massachusetts!

In late 2018 Massachusetts began accepting petitions to expunge certain offenses which occurred prior to a person’s 21st birthday (juvenile offenses), offenses that appear on a person’s record due to fraud and offenses that are no longer criminalized.

The new expungement process requires the petitioner to meet certain strict guidelines, overcome an eligibility review by the Office of the Commissioner of Probation and be granted relief by the Court after a hearing.

Our office is now handling expungement petitions for qualified clients.  Please complete our Expungement Eligibility Questionnaire to see if you qualify.

Criminal Charges Dismissed After Lawful Self-Defense

On a recent summer afternoon my client, a valid LTC holder, and his wife went to a shopping mall in a South Shore community.  When they pulled into the parking lot they observed a large male arguing with a female and noticed that a crowd was gathering near the disturbance.  As my client exited his vehicle, he observed the male shove the female into the passenger seat of a nearby car and jump on top of her.

Concerned that he was witnessing an abduction or perhaps something worse, my client ran quickly towards the parked vehicle.  As he approached, the male assailant aggressively sprung from the driver’s side door and took a fighting stance.  My client jumped back, removed his firearm from his pocket holster in a low ready position and put his left hand up, yelling “Stop, Stop!”  The assailant retreated and my client re-holstered his weapon.  The police arrived a short time later and the male assailant was arrested for domestic assault and battery.  My client was interviewed, his firearm was seized and he was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.

In Court, it was essential to prove that my client used no more force than was reasonably necessary to protect himself.  Our evidence showed that my client wisely disengaged and called the police once it became clear that his assailant was no longer a threat.  After a hearing, the Court agreed that my client drew his weapon in lawful self-defense and dismissed the charges.

The use of a firearm in self-defense should always be a last resort.  If you are ever involved in a self-defense situation, please call my office as soon after the incident as possible.

LTC Rights Restored by the Firearms Licensing Review Board

Old criminal matters can often interfere with individual career goals. My client, a military veteran and federal employee, recently discovered that he was ineligible for an LTC due to two OUI convictions in the early 2000’s. As a result, despite his impeccable resume, high test scores and glowing references, his candidacy for a position as a police officer was put on hold indefinitely.

One option to address an old conviction is to petition the Firearms Licensing Review Board. The Board holds ajudicatory hearings and has the power to restore a person’s LTC rights in certain specific situations.

Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that simply showing up for a Board hearing is enough to restore their firearms rights. Those people soon discover that they were woefully unprepared and have ruined their only shot at Board approval.

My client initially considered representing himself. Luckily, he spoke with me before filing his petition. We soon discovered that significant work was necessary before my client could appear before the Board. After some tricky litigation, we were able to prepare a successful petition, restore my client’s LTC rights and release the hold on his police officer position.

The key to success in a hearing before the Board is preparation.  Only an attorney who has extensive experience with the Board can properly prepare you for your hearing. Hiring an attorney who has served as Counsel to the Board and has successfully litigated before the Board is a smart move if you want to restore your LTC rights.

Charges Dismissed Against Client with Expired LTC

My client was an out-of-state resident who had previously held an LTC in Massachusetts.  He was visiting some friends in the North Shore area and they decided to travel to a local gun range for an afternoon of target shooting.  He brought his own firearms with him for use at the range.

On the way to the range he was stopped by a police officer for an alleged minor civil motor vehicle infraction.  During the stop, officers observed firearms in the car and determined that my client’s LTC was expired.  He was placed under arrest for unlawful possession of a firearm and his weapons were seized.

After his arrest he hired a local general practice attorney.  His case dragged on for a year and involved several long, expensive court dates.  He knew that he was facing a minimum 18-month jail sentence and he became frustrated and scared.  He contacted me on the recommendation of a local firearms instructor and we immediately got to work.  In two quick court dates, the charges were dismissed.

The Massachusetts firearms laws are complicated and full of exceptions and defenses that a general practice attorney would not know.  It is essential to hire an experienced firearms attorney when facing serious criminal charges.

LTC rights successfully restored after a difficult divorce

My client, a South Shore resident, obtained his first FID as a teenager and was an avid hunter and target shooter all of his life.  Several years ago he went through an acrimonious divorce marked by a restraining order and the revocation of his LTC.  He spent years putting his life back together before he finally attempted to reapply for an LTC at his local police department.  He was surprised when he received a denial letter in the mail from his police chief claiming that he was “unsuitable”.

After working with another attorney and not getting results, he contacted me.  We filed a timely petition for judicial review of the police chief’s denial and soon discovered that the denial rested largely upon false statements made by his ex-wife.  The police chief was unwilling to negotiate a settlement so we went to trial.

At trial, my client’s ex-wife took the stand.  The Court found that his ex-wife “lacked credibility” after she made several contradictory statements during cross-examination.  The police department had no other evidence against my client and they soon folded.  The Court ordered the police chief to issue an LTC to my client.

While every case is different, this successful result shows that your firearms rights can be restored by an experienced firearms attorney.