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Drunk Driving
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Massachusetts Criminal Defense Guides

Not all cases are either guilty or not guilty. There are many dispositions in a Massachusetts criminal cases. I have put together a short guide for all the ways a case can end.


Probationin Massachusetts has many rules and regulations. I wrote a short report to help anyone understand probation more in Massachusetts.


How trials are conducted is a question I get asked often. So often I created a short outline of Criminal Trials in Massachusetts.



Do I need a lawyer?

Any time you go to court you should have a lawyer with you. Even if you think it is a small case there are consequences that you may not be aware. For instance a guilty fine will have permanent consequences on someone's record, or their loss of their driver’s license, potential loss of employment. An experienced lawyer can help you avoid the collateral consequences of criminal cases.

Which courts do you practice in?

I practice in all Massachusetts courts and US District Court in Boston. I have appeared in over fifty courts in Massachusetts and appear in court almost daily.

Can the victim drop the charges?

No. If you've been arrested is a police department that is charging you. The only person to decide to drop the charges is the District Attorney. Even if the victim does not want to go forward you may still be prosecuted by the District Attorney?

Does your firm need the payment in full?

In most cases the payment plan may be worked out. Visa and MasterCard are accepted for your convenience.

Should I fight this Massachusetts criminal charge?

Unless you are serving a prison sentence you should fight every criminal charge. A criminal conviction may affect driving privileges, employment prospects, government benefits just to name a few.

How long will this stay on my record?

In Massachusetts once you are arraigned on a charge it will be on your record. Massachusetts does not remove anything from your record.

Do I have to go to trial?

No. Only a small percentage of criminal case in Massachusetts go to trial. In most case a disposition can be worked out prior to trial. If you want to go to trial you certainly have that right.

What is a CWOF?

Continuance Without a Finding, it is a criminal case disposition in Massachusetts where someone can avoid a conviction by admitting that they could be found guilty. They are placed on probation and if successful can avoid conviction. See the guide to criminal dispositions.

What is the "worst case"?

Most likely JAIL. However only a small percentage of people will go to jail.

Will I have to speak in Court?

No. The only time you will speak is if you decide to go to trial and your attorney have prepared your testimony.

How long does this take?

A typical criminal case can be as short as one month and may go one for 15 months.

Do I have to answer questions from the police?


I got a summons to appear in the mail?

Plan to go to court that day and hire an attorney immediately.

Do I have to testify at trial?

It is your decision whether you want to testify at trial.

What happens if I am convicted?

The judge will decide what an appropriate sentence. A lawyer can argue for an appropriate sentence.

How much do you charge?

Each case is different, however every initial consultation is free and we will never take a case without first agreeing to a price.

What types of cases do you handle?

I handle all types of criminal matters including taffic appeals, felonies and misdemeanors in district and superior courts.

Boston Criminal Attorney

Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer

Patrick T. Donovan, is a dedicated Boston Criminal Attorney that has successfully represented many people who have been charged with felonies or misdemeanors in Boston and in Massachusetts. At the Law Office of Patrick T. Donovan, we are committed to aggressively pursuing the best possible outcome for each and every one of our clients.

A former Assistant District Attorney, Patrick Donovan is well aware of the many legal strategies both law enforcement and district attorneys will use when trying to obtain a conviction. Donovan uses his prior knowledge as a prosecutor to his clients' advantage by challenging evidence submitted by state lawyers, investigating faulty law enforcement procedures, and ultimately building the strongest case possible for every single one of his clients.

Call Patrick T. Donovan today for your free initial consultation at 617-479-1800.

Boston Criminal Attorney Patrick T. Donovan handles cases for clients located in: Boston, Dorchester, West Roxbury, South Boston, East Boston, Quincy, Brighton, Milton, Weymouth, Randolph, Braintree, Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, Rockland, Amherst, Dedham, Norwood, Cambridge, Somerville, Westwood, Needham, Wellesley, Stoughton, Brockton, Canton, Sharon, Avon, Revere, Cape Cod. Plymouth, Duxbury, Hanover and throughout Massachusetts