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    • ELEMENTS

    The offense found in G.L. c. 269, § 10(a) is commonly referred to as “carrying” a firearm, to distinguish it from the offense of “possession” of a firearm without a firearm ID card, found in § 10(h). In order to prove the defendant guilty of Possession of a Firearm Without a License Outside Home or Business, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:
    First: That the defendant possessed a firearm (or) (that he [she] had a firearm under his [her] control in a vehicle);
    Second: That what the defendant (possessed) (or) (had under his [her] control in a vehicle) met the legal definition of a “firearm”; and
    Third: That the defendant knew that he (she) (possessed a firearm) (or) (had a firearm under his [her] control in a vehicle).
    If there is sufficient evidence, the Commonwealth may have to prove any one of the following as a
    Fourth element as well:

    • that the defendant possessed the firearm outside of his (her) residence or place of business;
    • that the defendant did not have a valid license to possess a firearm outside his (her) home or office; or
    • that the defendant did not qualify for one of the exemptions in the law that are a substitute for having a license to possess a firearm outside his (her) home or business.
    • PENALTIES FOR CONVICTION
    • Sentencing: 1.5 to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections or up to 2.5 to 5 years in State Prison (1.5 years is minimum mandatory)
    • NOTES:
    • For the purposes of this section, a firearm is defined as a pistol, revolver or other weapon of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which a shot or bullet can be discharged and of which the length of the barrel or barrels is less than 16 inches
    • One’s residence includes “all areas in and around a defendant’s property, including outside areas, over which a defendant retains exclusive control,” but not including “public streets, sidewalks, and common areas to which occupants of multiple dwellings have access.”
    • ELEMENTS

    In order to prove the defendant guilty of Possession of a Rifle or Shotgun Outside Home or Business, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

    First: That the defendant possessed a rifle or shotgun or that he (she) had a rifle or shotgun under his (her) control in a vehicle;

    Second: That what the defendant (possessed) (or) (had under his [her] control in a vehicle) met the legal definition of a “rifle” or a “shotgun”; and

    Third: That the defendant knew that he (she) possessed a rifle or a shotgun or had a rifle or a shotgun under his (her) control in a vehicle.

    If there is sufficient evidence, the Commonwealth may have to prove any one of the following as a

    Fourth element as well:

    • that the defendant possessed the rifle or a shotgun outside of his (her) residence or place of business;
    • that the defendant did not have a valid license to possess a rifle or a shotgun outside his (her) home or office; or
    • that the defendant did not qualify for one of the exemptions in the law that are a substitute for having a license to possess a rifle or a shotgun outside his (her) home or business.
    • PENALTIES FOR CONVICTION
    • Sentencing: 1.5 to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections or up to 2.5 to 5 years in State Prison (1.5 years is minimum mandatory)
    • NOTES:
    • A rifle is defined in our law as “a weapon having a rifled bore with a barrel length equal to or greater than sixteen inches, capable of discharging a shot or bullet for each pull of the trigger.”
    • A shotgun is defined as: “a weapon having a smooth bore with a barrel length equal to or greater than eighteen inches with an overall length equal to or greater than twenty-six inches, capable of discharging a shot or bullet for each pull of the trigger.”
    • ELEMENTS

    The offense found in G.L. c. 269, § 10(h) is commonly referred to as “possession” of a firearm without a firearm ID card, to distinguish it from the offense of “carrying” a firearm found in § 10(a).  In order to prove the defendant guilty of Possession of a Firearm, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

    First: That the defendant possessed an item;

    Second: That the item meets the legal definition of a “firearm”; and

    Third: That the defendant knew that he (she) possessed that firearm.

    If there is sufficient evidence, the Commonwealth may have to prove any one of the following as a Fourth element as well:

    • that the defendant possessed the firearm outside of his (her) residence or place of business;
    • that the defendant did not have a valid firearm ID card.
    • that the defendant did not qualify for one of the exemptions in the law that are a substitute for having a valid firearm ID card.
    • PENALTIES FOR CONVICTION
    • Sentencing: Up to 2 years in the House of Corrections
    • Fines: Up to $500
    • NOTES:
    • General Laws c. 269, § 10(h) punishes “owning” or “transferring possession” as well as possession, and is applicable to a “rifle, shotgun or ammunition” as well as a firearm.
    • A defendant in possession of a loaded firearm manufactured before 1900 may not be guilty of the unlawful carrying of a loaded firearm, but may still be guilty of the unlawful possession of ammunition.
    • ELEMENTS

    The offense of Carrying Certain Dangerous Weapons encompasses a wide variety of weapons, including:

    • Any stiletto;
    • Any dagger;
    • Any dirk knife;
    • Any ballistic knife;
    • A slung shot;
    • A blowgun;
    • A blackjack;
    • A switch knife;
    • Any knife having a double-edged blade;
    • Any device or case which enables a knife with a locking blade to be drawn at a locked position;
    • Any knife with a detachable blade capable of being propelled by any mechanism;
    • A manrikigusari or similar length of chain having weighted ends;
    • Metallic knuckles or knuckles of any substance which could be put to the same use with the same or similar effect as metallic knuckles;
    • A shuriken or any similar pointed starlike object intended to injure a person when thrown;
    • A cestus or similar material weighted with metal or other substance and worn on the hand;
    • Any armband, made with leather which has metallic spikes, points or studs or any similar device made from any other substance;
    • Any knife having an automatic spring release device by which the blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches; and
    • Nunchaku, zoobow, also known as klackers or kung fu sticks, or any similar weapon consisting of two sticks of wood, plastic or metal connected at one end by a length of rope, chain, wire or leather.

    In order to prove the defendant guilty of Carrying Certain Dangerous Weapons, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

    First: That the defendant possessed a dangerous weapon or that he (she) had a dangerous weapon under his (her) control in a vehicle;

    Second: That what the defendant possessed or had under his (her) control in a vehicle met the legal definition of a dangerous weapon; and

    Third: That the defendant knew that he (she) possessed a dangerous weapon or had a dangerous weapon under his (her) control in a vehicle.

    • PENALTIES FOR CONVICTION
    • Sentencing: 6 months to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections or to 2.5 to 5 years in State Prison
    • NOTES:
    • This section also applies if the defendant is arrested (on a warrant or for disturbing the peace) and has in his possession a “billy club” or any other dangerous weapon.
    • If the defendant has not previously been convicted of a felony, the offense becomes a misdemeanor carrying a $50 fine and up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections.
    • ELEMENTS

    Our law provides that every firearm shall bear a serial number permanently inscribed on a visible metal area of the firearm. It is a violation of §11C for a defendant to remove, deface, alter, obliterate or mutilate a serial or identification number on a firearm, or to knowingly receive such a firearm. In order to prove the defendant guilty of Defacing Firearm Serial Number, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

    First: That the item in question was a firearm;

    Second: That defendant knew that it was a firearm; and

    Third: That the defendant intentionally removed, defaced, altered, obliterated or mutilated in some manner a serial or identification number on the firearm.

    In order to prove the defendant guilty of Receiving a Firearm with a Defaced or Obliterated Serial or Identification Number, the Commonwealth must prove five things beyond a reasonable doubt:

    First: That the item in question was a firearm;

    Second: That the defendant received the firearm;

    Third: That the defendant knew that the item was a firearm;

    Fourth: That the serial number or identification number on the firearm was removed, defaced, altered, obliterated, or mutilated in some manner; and

    Fifth: That the defendant knew that the serial or identification number had been removed, defaced, altered, obliterated, or mutilated in some manner at the time when he (she) received it.

    • PENALTIES FOR CONVICTION
    • Sentencing: 1 month to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections
    • Fines: Up to $200
    • NOTES:
    • The mere fact that a defendant received a firearm with a serial or identification number on that had been removed, defaced, altered, obliterated or mutilated is prima facia evidence that the defedndant knew it was in that condition.
    • To prove that the defendant “received” the firearm, the Commonwealth must prove that he (she) knowingly took custody or control of it.  It is not necessary that the defendant personally possessed the firearm, as long as it is proved that he (she) knowingly exerted control over it in some way.

Massachusetts Weapons Charges Lawyer

  • 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
    • Illegal Gambling
    • Obstruction of Law Enforcement
    • Domestic Violence
    • Illegal Wiretapping
    • Harassment
    • Bookmaking
    • Motion for a New Trial
    • Clerk Magistrate Hearings

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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.
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