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    • POSSESSION:

    Nearly every drug charge requires proof of simple possession. In order to prove the defendant guilty of this offense, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:
    First: That the substance in question is a particular controlled substance;
    Second: That the defendant possessed some perceptible amount of that substance; and
    Third: That the defendant did so knowingly or intentionally.
    NOTES:

    • What constitutes a controlled substance is defined by statute. G.L. c. 94C, § 1.
    • To show possession, there must be evidence justifying a conclusion that the defendant had knowledge of the substance, coupled with the ability and the intent to exercise control over it.  Actual physical possession is not required.
    • A controlled substance can be in the possession of more than one person.
    • A person knowingly or intentionally possesses the substance if he (she) did so consciously, voluntarily and purposely, and not because of ignorance, mistake or accident.
    • WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE:

    In order to prove the defendant guilty of Possession with Intent to Distribute, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:
    First: That the substance in question is a particular controlled substance;
    Second: That the defendant (distributed some perceptible amount of that substance to another person or persons or possessed some perceptible amount of that substance with the intent to distribute it to another person or persons; and
    Third: That the defendant did so knowingly or intentionally.
    NOTES:

    • Distribute means to actually deliver a controlled substance to another person. It is irrelevant whether any money or other compensation was involved.
    • A number of factors are considered to establish intent to distribute, including: the amount, purity and value of the drugs; how they were packaged; whether they were found with other items, such as scales, packaging materials, cutting powder and large amounts of cash; and whether there is evidence of a sale in progress.
    • TRAFFICKING:
    • Possession with Intent to Distribute becomes Trafficking if a certain weight of the controlled substance is found and sentences increase depending on the type and weight seized.
    • G.L. c. 94C sets forth an extensive classification of controlled substances. There are five classes, from Class A (what have been deemed the most harmful controlled substances), to E (the least). The drug sentencing laws which apply depend on the class in which a subtance is listed, the intent attributable to the possessor of the substance, and the amount of the substance recovered.

    • CLASS A
      The most commonly charged Class A drug is Heroin, although it also includes other opiates such as Morphine as well as the designer drugs GHB and Ketamine (Special K).
    • CLASS B
      Class B substances include Cocaine; prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, Oxycodone (Percodan/Percocet), and Codiene, Methadone; LSD; MDMA (Molly); Ecstasy (XTC); PCP; Amphetamines (speed) ; & Methamphetamine (Meth).
    • CLASS C
      Class C substances include many prescription tranquilizers and narcotics such as diazepam (Valium), Librium, Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lorcet, Dolacet, Hydrocet, Lortab, Codiclear DH, Tussionex, Cogesic, Anexia), mescaline, psilocybin/mushrooms, peyote, STP and other hallucinogenic substances, as well as higher potency prescription narcotics.
    • CLASS D
      Class D substances include marijuana, chloryl hydrate, phenobarbital, and some less potent prescription narcotics.
    • CLASS E
      Class E substances are typically relatively minor prescription narcotics containing codeine (Tylonol #3), morphine, or opium.
    • PENALTIES FOR CONVICTION
    • FIRST OFFENSE POSSESSION: Knowing or intentional possession of heroin or any other Class A substance is a crime under G.L. c. 94C, §34.
    • Sentencing: Sentence of up to 2 years in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 1 year
    • Fines: Up to $2,000
    • SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE POSSESSION:
    • Incarceration: 2.5 years in the House of Corrections, or 2.5 to 5 years in State Prison
    • License Suspension:1 year
    • Fines: Up to $5,000
    • FIRST OFFENSE DISTRIBUTION: Anyone person who “knowingly or intentionally manufactures, distributes, dispenses, or possesses with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense” heroin is in violation of G.L. c. 94C, § 32.
    • Incarceration: Up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections, or 10 years in State Prison
    • License Suspension: 3 years
    • Fines: $1,000 to $10,000
    • SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE DISTRIBUTION:
    • Incarceration: 3.5 to 15 years in State Prison (3.5 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 4 years
    • Fines: $2,500 to $25,000
    • TRAFFICKING: The offense of trafficking is committed “by knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, distributing or dispensing or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense or by bringing into the commonwealth a net weight of 18 grams or more” of heroin, morphine or opium. The penalties increase depending on the weight seized. G.L. c. 94C, § 32E(c).
    • 18 to less than 36 grams
    • Incarceration: 3.5 to 20 years in State Prison (3.5 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $5,000 to $50,000
    • 36 to less than 100 grams
    • Incarceration: 5.0 to 20 years in State Prison (3.5 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $5,000 to $50,000
    • 100 to less than 200 grams
    • Incarceration: 8 to 20 years in State Prison (8 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $10,000 to $100,000
    • 200 grams or more
    • Incarceration: 12 to 20 years in State Prison (12 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $50,000 to $500,000

    NOTES:

    • After an individual has completed 50% of the driver’s license suspension period for a drug offense, the Registry may entertain a request for early reinstatement under certain conditions.
    • A defendant serving a minimum mandatory sentence in the House of Corrections is eligible for parole after serving one-half of the maximum sentence imposed, if no aggravating factors exist.
    • A defendant serving a minimum mandatory sentence in State Prison is eligible for parole after serving the minimum mandatory, regardless of the maximum sentence imposed.
    • PENALTIES FOR CONVICTION
    • FIRST OFFENSE POSSESSION: Knowing or intentional possession of cocaine or any other Class B controlled substance is a crime under G.L. c. 94C, §34.
    • Incarceration: Sentence of up to 1.0 year in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 1 year
    • Fines: Up to $1000
    • SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE POSSESSION:
    • Incarceration: Up to 2 years in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 1 year
    • Fines: Up to $2,000, plus $65/month probation fee
    • FIRST OFFENSE DISTRIBUTION: Any person who “knowingly or intentionally manufactures, distributes, dispenses, or possesses with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense” cocaine or any other Class B substances is in violation of G.L. c. 94C, §32A(a).
    • Incarceration: Up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections, or 10 years in State Prison
    • License Suspension: 3 years
    • Fines: $1,000 to $10,000

    NOTES:

    •  If you are arrested for Intent to Distribute PCP, cocaine or methamphetamines, you can be charged under §32A(c), which carries the following enhanced penalties:
    • Incarceration: 1.0 to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections, or 2.5 to 10 years in State Prison (1 year is mandatory)
    • SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE DISTRIBUTION:
    • Incarceration: 3.5 to 15 years in State Prison (3.5 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 4 years
    • Fines: $2,500 to $25,000
    • TRAFFICKING: The offense of trafficking is committed “by knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, distributing or dispensing or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense or by bringing into the commonwealth a net weight of 18 grams or more” of cocaine, methamphetamine or phenmetrazine. The penalties increase depending on the weight seized. G.L. c. 94C, § 32E(b).
    • 18 to less than 36 grams
    • Incarceration: 2 to 15 years in State Prison (2 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $2,500 to $25,000
    • More than 36 to less than 100 grams
    • Incarceration: 3.5 to 20 years in State Prison (3.5 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $5,000 to $50,000
    • More than 100 to less than 200 grams
    • Incarceration: 8 to 20 years in State Prison (8 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $10,000 to $100,000
    • 200 grams or more
    • Incarceration: 12 to 20 years in State Prison (12 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $50,000 to $500,000

    NOTES:

    • After an individual has completed 50% of the driver’s license suspension period for a drug offense, the Registry may entertain a request for early reinstatement under certain conditions.
    • A defendant serving a minimum mandatory sentence in the House of Corrections is eligible for parole after serving one-half of the maximum sentence imposed, if no aggravating factors exist
    • A defendant serving a minimum mandatory sentence in State Prison is eligible for parole after serving the minimum mandatory, regardless of the maximum sentence imposed
    • PENALTIES FOR CONVICTION
    • FIRST OFFENSE POSSESSION: Knowing or intentional possession any Class C controlled substance is a crime under G.L. c. 94C, §34.
    • Incarceration: Sentence of up to 1.0 year in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 1 year
    • Fines: Up to $1,000
    • SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE POSSESSION:
    • Incarceration: Up to 2 years in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 1 year
    • Fines: Up to $2,000
    • FIRST OFFENSE DISTRIBUTION: Anyone who “knowingly or intentionally manufactures, distributes, dispenses, or possesses with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense” any Class C substance is in violation of G.L. c. 94C, §32B.
    • Incarceration: Up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections, or 5 years in State Prison
    • License Suspension: 3 years
    • Fines: $500 to $5,000
    • SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE DISTRIBUTION:
    • Incarceration: 1.5 to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections, or 2.5 to 10 years in State Prison (1.5 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 4 years
    • Fines: $,000 to $10,000
    • PENALTIES FOR CONVICTION
    • FIRST OFFENSE POSSESSION: Knowing or intentional possession of any Class D controlled substance (other than marijuana) is a violation of (G.L. c. 94C, §34).
    • Incarceration: Sentence of up to 1.0 year in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 1 year
    • Fines: Up to $1,000

    NOTE:  

    • If you are arrested for a first offense possession of more than one ounce of marijuana, which is dealt with differently under the statute, it carries the following, lesser, penalties:
    • Incarceration: Sentence of up to 6 months in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 1 year
    • Fines: Up to $500

    NOTE:

    • If you have not previously been convicted of a drug offense, and if you complete without violation a period of probation (or a continuation without a finding) under this section, the court may dismiss and order sealed all records relating to the charge.
    • SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE POSSESSION:
    • Incarceration: Up to 2 years in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 3 years
    • Fines: Up to $2,000
    • FIRST OFFENSE DISTRIBUTION: Anyone who “knowingly or intentionally manufactures, distributes, dispenses, or possesses with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense” marijuana or other Class D substance is in violation of G.L. c. 94C, §32C.
    • Incarceration: Sentence of up to 2 years in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 2 years
    • Fines: $500 to $5000
    • SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE DISTRIBUTION:
    • Incarceration: Sentence of 1 to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections (1 year is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 4 years
    • Fines: $,1000 to $10,000
    • TRAFFICKING: The offense of trafficking is committed “by knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, distributing or dispensing or, or cultivating or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense or cultivate, or by bringing into the commonwealth a net weight of 50 pounds or more or more” of marijuana. The penalties increase depending on the weight seized. G.L. c. 94C, § 32E(a).
    • 50 to less than 100 pounds
    • Incarceration: 1 to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections, or 2.5 to 15 years in State Prison (1 year minimum mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $500 to $10,000
    • 100 or more to less than 2000 pounds
    • Incarceration: 2 to 15 years in State Prison (2 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $2,500 to $25,000
    • 2,000 or more to less than 10,000 pounds
    • Incarceration: 3.5 to 15 years in State Prison (3.5 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $5,000 to $50,000
    • 10,000 pounds or more
    • Incarceration: 8 to 15 years in State Prison (8 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $20,000 to $200,000

    NOTES:

    • After an individual has completed 50% of the driver’s license suspension period for a drug offense, the Registry may entertain a request for early reinstatement under certain conditions.
    • A defendant serving a minimum mandatory sentence in the House of Corrections is eligible for parole after serving one-half of the maximum sentence imposed, if no aggravating factors exist.
    • A defendant serving a minimum mandatory sentence in State Prison is eligible for parole after serving the minimum mandatory, regardless of the maximum sentence imposed.
    • PENALTIES FOR CONVICTION
    • FIRST OFFENSE POSSESSION: Knowing or intentional possession of any Class E controlled substance is a violation of G.L. c. 94C, §34).
    • Incarceration: Sentence of up to 6 months in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 1 year
    • Fines: Up to $500

    NOTES:

    • If you have not previously been convicted of a drug offense, and if you complete without violation a period of probation (or a continuation without a finding) under this section, the court may dismiss and order sealed all records relating to the charge.
    • SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE POSSESSION:
    • Incarceration: Up to 2 years in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 3 years
    • Fines: Up to $2,000
    • FIRST OFFENSE DISTRIBUTION: Anyone who “knowingly or intentionally manufactures, distributes, dispenses, or possesses with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense” any Class E substance is in violation of G.L. c. 94C, §32D.
    • Incarceration: Sentence of up to 9 months in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 2 years
    • Fines: $200 to $2500
    • SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE DISTRIBUTION:
    • Incarceration: Sentence of up to 1.5 years in the House of Corrections
    • License Suspension: 4 years
    • Fines: $500 to $5,000
    • PENALTIES FOR CONVICTION

    Any person who “knowingly or intentionally manufactures, distributes, dispenses, or possesses with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance” in Class A, B or C to a person under the age of eighteen years is in violation of G.L. c. 94C, §32F.

    • CLASS A:
    • Incarceration: Sentence of 5 to 15 years in State Prison (5 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $1,000 to $25,000
    • CLASS B:
    • Incarceration: Sentence of 3 to 15 years in State Prison (3 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $1,000 to $25,000
    • CLASS C:
    • Incarceration: Sentence of 2.5 to 15 years in State Prison (2 years is mandatory)
    • License Suspension: 5 years
    • Fines: $1,000 to $25,000

    NOTES:

    • If you are arrested under this provision for Intent to Distribute cocaine to a person under the age of eighteen years, you can be charged under §32F(d), which carries the following enhanced penalties:
    • Incarceration: 5 to 15 years in State Prison (5 years is mandatory)
  • G.L. c. 94C, §32J provides for an additional 2 year minimum mandatory sentence for all Distribution and Trafficking offenses which occur within 300 feet of a school (unless the offense occurred between midnight and 5:00 a.m.) or within 100 feet of a park. This sentence must be served from and after the sentence for the underlying offense. It also carries an additional license suspension of 5 years and fine of $1,000 – $10,000. Note that lack of knowledge of school boundaries is no defense to this charge.
  • G.L. c. 94C, §35 provides that “Any person who is knowingly present at a place where heroin is kept or deposited in violation of the provisions of this chapter, or any person who is in the company of a person, knowing that said person is in possession of heroin in violation of the provisions of this chapter, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both”. Under §34, a defendant is entitled to a continuation without a finding on a first offense and to have the records sealed after successful completion of the probationary period.

AGGRESSIVE MASSACHUSETTS DRUG CHARGES LAWYER

If you are facing possession of drugs, distribution of drugs or drug trafficking charges, you know that the stakes are high. The penalties for conviction can result in serious and often life-long consequences that can -depending on whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony- impact your wallet, your personal and professional reputation, your future employment, your driving privileges and fundamental rights including your freedom. Every case is unique, but in every case – at every stage of the proceedings- both the facts and law must be scoured to identify issues that will maximize your chances of success both prior to and during a trial.

Attack the Elements

A crime is, by definition, “any act or omission (of an act) in violation of a local, state or federal law forbidding or commanding it.”  The “elements” of these crimes are defined by statute and the government needs to have had ‘probable cause’ to arrest, and produce evidence ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ to convict, as to each individual element of the offense. So, for example, while a Possession of Cocaine charge can be won for lack of evidence of ‘possession’, it can also be won if the government can’t prove any of the other two elements: That the substance in question is, in fact, cocaine and that the defendant possessed it ‘knowingly or intentionally’.  This principle applies equally to any criminal charge, from possession of marijuana to trafficking in cocaine.  It is crucial to identify and request all of the evidence to which a defendant is entitled, and work to exclude as much of it as possible with well-crafted motions specific to your case.  It is also not sufficient to accept the government’s evidence at face value, as an independent investigation may develop additional evidence that can undermine the government’s case against you. Often, experts can be used to further your cause. Everything that is done during the case is with the singular purpose of attacking the elements of the offense to obtain either an outright dismissal or a “Not Guilty” verdict at trial. If the decision is made to accept a plea bargain, it is always better to negotiate from a position of strength.

Constitutional Issues

Criminal cases have constitutional dimensions, in particular the Bill of Rights. The Constitution, and the case law interpreting it, limits what the government can do and requires them – the police, the prosecution and the court- to do it in a certain way. A motion to dismiss for lack of probable cause is based on the 4th Amendment, as are motions to suppress evidence seized without a warrant (or with a defective one). A motion to suppress statements a defendant may have given to the police can be based on the 5th Amendment right against Self-Incrimination or the 6th Amendment right to an attorney. You have the right to cross-examine witnesses at trial because of the 6th Amendment’s Confrontation Clause and the right to bail before trial because of the 8th Amendment … and so on. The Bill of Rights was, by design, broadly written and a creative attorney can use the law interpreting it to challenge the probable cause to arrest you or to exclude key pieces of evidence against you, both prior to and during trial. The Massachusetts Constitution, which often provides more protection than the Bill of Rights, must be considered as well. If constitutional issues are not preserved during the course of your case – either because your attorney didn’t identify the issue or didn’t assert it properly- they are, with some exception, waived for the purposes of appeal.

Trial

If your case does go to trial, you want an experienced trial attorney who has worked from the outset to know the law and facts of your case better than anyone else in the courtroom. It is a matter of preparation, communication, experience and an ability to think on your feet in the midst of a fluid, stressful and often acrimonious setting. Evidence that may have passed constitutional muster can still be excluded under the Rules of Evidence, Criminal Procedure or statutes applicable to its admissibility and it is crucial for your attorney to have an intimate knowledge of the appropriate objections, which often need to be formulated and asserted in a split second. The failure to object will result in evidence being used against you that could have been excluded, and the failure to preserve the issue will destroy your chances of a successful appeal. To the extent evidence can’t be excluded, it must be attacked at every opportunity. An experienced trial attorney will often be able to decimate the credibility of government witnesses on cross-examination and, if appropriate and necessary, offer counter-evidence in support of your innocence. All of this must be done in a way that lends credibility to you and your defense in front of the jury that will ultimately decide your fate.

Contact a Massachusetts Drug Charge Attorney

If you are under investigation or have been charged with drug possession, drug distribution or drug trafficking charges, or any other drug related offense, the attorney you choose is the single most important decision you will make. I have been dealing with criminal cases at both the trial and appellate level for 18 years, as a Prosecutor, a Criminal Defense attorney and as a Special Prosecutor. I am happy to meet with you and discuss your case at no cost to you. Please call at 617.723.4163 or fill out the Contact Form to schedule an appointment at your convenience.

Please contact the office to schedule a free consultation.

  • Andrew is a former Assistant District Attorney who has also been appointed as a Special Prosecutor in serious criminal matters involving Police Corruption, Sexual Assault and Attempted Murder. He is an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense trial and appellate attorney who represents individuals in all criminal matters, including…

    • Federal & State Crimes
    • Felonies & Misdemeanors
    • District Court
    • Superior Court
    • Appeals Court
    • Murder
    • Attempted Murder
    • White Collar Crime
    • Sexual Assault
    • Domestic Violence
    • Conspiracy
    • MoneyLaundering
    • Manslaughter
    • Motion to Seal Record
    • Kidnapping
    • Identity Theft
    • Possession Controlled Substances
    • Counterfeiting
    • drug charge lawyers
    • Illegal Gambling
    • drug possession lawyer
    • drug charge lawyer
    • Obstruction of Law Enforcement
    • Domestic Violence
    • Illegal Wiretapping
    • Harassment
    • Bookmaking
    • Motion for a New Trial
    • Clerk Magistrate Hearings
    • marijuana lawyer

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    Andrew is a former insurance defense attorney who represents people and businesses -plaintiffs and defendants- in both state and federal court. In addition to individuals, he has represented businesses ranging from one-person operations to the biggest retail establishments in the country, facing exposure from the thousands of dollars to the millions, and handles civil cases from pre-suit investigation through trial and, if necessary, to the appeals court. He is an experienced civil litigation trial and appellate attorney who represents individuals and businesses in all civil matters, including…

    • Personal Injury
    • Product Liability
    • Premises Liability
    • Social Host Liability
    • Automobile Accidents
    • Attorney Malpractice
    • Business Disputes
    • Contract Actions
    • Fiduciary Trustee Litigation
    • Estate Litigation
    • Commercial Lease Disputes
    • Property Damage Claims
    • Construction Site Injuries
    • Dram Shop Liability
    • Wrongful Death
    • Victims of Sexual Assault
    • Victims of Assault and Battery
    • Commercial Vehicle Accidents
    • G.L. c. 93A
    • Negligent Security
    • Contractor/Homeowner Construction Disputes

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    • Prospective Client Calls

      Individuals considering retaining Attorney Berman can contact the firm through the Contact form or by calling 617.723.4163. Please include in your message a short statement of the reason for contacting the office, as well as the best method and time to contact you.  Attorney Berman will return your message promptly to learn more about your case and, if appropriate, schedule an initial consultation.

      IF YOUR MATTER REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ATTENTION, PLEASE CALL OR PUT “URGENT’ IN THE SUBJECT BOX OF THE CONTACT FORM.  You will be contacted immediately.

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    • The Initial Consultation

      The goal of the first meeting is for Attorney Berman to gain a clear understanding of the situation and for both attorney and client to determine whether to enter into a longer, more substantial attorney-client relationship. You should bring with you any documents and paperwork relevant to your case or, if possible, provide them beforehand. During this session, Andrew will gather relevant information, ascertain your objectives and provide you with a preliminary assessment of your situation, including possible strategies and tactics. If the decision is made to move forward, future fee arrangements and a retainer agreement (if applicable) should then be discussed.

      The initial consultation will generally last 30 to 60 minutes and is free of charge.

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    • Fee Agreements

      Below is a general description of the various types of fee agreements considered by Attorney Berman. Ultimately, the type of agreement entered into, and the amount charged, depends on the nature of your case.

      Flat Fee

      A flat fee is a set amount of money that is decided upon at the beginning of the representation, before any work is done on the case. This type of agreement is generally used for certain criminal offenses or in situations that require a limited number of court appearances.

      Hourly Rate

      To state the obvious, in an hourly case, the fee you pay is calculated by multiplying the hourly rate by the number of hours the attorney spends working on your case. Hourly rate agreements are generally used in serious criminal matters, civil defense (representation of an individual or company being sued in Civil court) and certain plaintiff cases (representation of an individual or business suing someone else in Civil Court). The hourly rate and the required retainer will vary depending on type and complexity of the case.

      Contingency Fee 

      A contingency fee agreement is standard in personal injury matters (where an individual brings claims in Civil court for his or her personal injuries) and may also be used in certain other types of plaintiff cases.  The fee your attorney earns is, as the name suggests, contingent upon there being a monetary recovery in your case and there is no fee due unless we win your case.   A fairly standard percentage for a contingent fees is one-third of the total recovery.   These types of agreements are not ethically permitted in criminal cases.

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    • Client Bill of Rights

      1. You are entitled to be treated with courtesy and consideration at all times by Attorney Berman and the other lawyers and non-lawyer personnel in the office.

      2. You are entitled to have Attorney Berman and any other attorney handle your legal matter competently and diligently, in accordance with the highest standards of the profession.  If you are not satisfied with how your matter is being handled, you have the right to discharge your attorney and terminate the attorney-client relationship at any time.

      3. You are entitled to Attorney Berman’s independent professional judgment and undivided loyalty uncompromised by conflicts of interest.

      4. You are entitled to be charged reasonable fees and expenses and to have Attorney Berman explain before or within a reasonable time after commencement of the representation how the fees and expenses will be computed and the manner and frequency of billing. You may refuse to enter into any arrangement for fees and expenses that you find unsatisfactory.  In hourly cases, you are entitled to request and receive a written itemized bill at reasonable intervals.

      5.  You are entitled to have your questions and concerns addressed promptly and to receive a prompt reply to your letters, telephone calls, emails, faxes, and other communications.

      6.  You are entitled to be kept reasonably informed as to the status of your matter and are entitled to have Attorney Berman promptly comply with your reasonable requests for information, including your requests for copies of papers relevant to the matter.  You are entitled to sufficient information to allow you to participate meaningfully in the development of your matter and make informed decisions regarding representation.

      7.  You are entitled to have your legitimate objectives respected.  In particular, the decision of whether to settle your matter in a civil case, or enter into a plea agreement in a criminal case, is yours alone.

      8.  You have the right to privacy in your communications with Attorney Berman, and anyone working for him or on his behalf, and to have your confidential information preserved to the extent permitted by law.

      9. You are entitled to have Attorney Berman, and anyone working for him or on his behalf, conduct himself or herself ethically in accordance with the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Responsibility.

      10.  You may not be refused representation on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.

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  • Please include in your message a short statement of the reason for contacting the office, as well as the best method and time to contact you. Attorney Berman will return your message promptly to learn more about your case and, if appropriate, schedule an initial consultation.
  • Andrew is a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer who represents clients facing both felonies and misdemeanors throughout Massachusetts, including the following counties, cities and towns…

    • BARNSTABLE
    • Bourne
    • Brewster
    • Chatham
    • Dennis
    • Eastham
    • Falmouth
    • Harwich
    • Mashpee
    • Orleans
    • Provincetown
    • Sandwich
    • Truro
    • Wellfleet
    • Yarmouth

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    • Adams
    • Alford
    • Becket
    • Cheshire
    • Clarksburg
    • Dalton
    • Egremont
    • Florida
    • Great Barrington
    • Hancock
    • Hinsdale
    • Lanesborough
    • Lee
    • Lenox
    • Monterey
    • Mt. Washington
    • New Ashford
    • New Marlborough
    • NORTH ADAMS
    • Otis
    • Peru
    • PITTSFIELD*
    • Richmond
    • Sandisfield
    • Savoy
    • Sheffield
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