Criminal Defense Attorneys in Springfield
Fighting to Defend Our Clients’ Rights
It is easy to feel alone if you have been charged with a crime. Life can throw us curveballs, and not everyone will understand every decision you make in moments of crisis. It is important, however, that you are granted your due process and have your day in court. It is crucial that you have an experienced, capable attorney representing you in a serious case in which you face serving time in jail.
You are not alone: our criminal defense lawyers in Springfield are prepared to fight for your rights and defend you against criminal charges. The Constitution of the United States enshrines your right to counsel in a criminal prosecution, and you deserve the best possible legal advocate in your corner, no matter the severity of your case. Our legal team has over 100 years of collective experience and includes fierce litigators who are passionate about defending our clients. Whether you are facing an OUI, traffic infraction, a felony, or other criminal charges, our attorneys at Hare, Stamm, Harris & O’Connor are prepared to fight for you.
Facing a Felony or Misdemeanor in Massachusetts
A felony is a crime which carries a possible state prison sentence, including crimes that are violent in nature. A felony charge is gravely serious, as punishment in the state of Massachusetts can extend to life in prison or even the death penalty, in addition to court-ordered restitution and other fines.
A misdemeanor generally includes everything else. These charges are fundamentally less serious than felonies, but a conviction can still lead to jail time and costly fines.
A criminal record of either misdemeanors or felonies can have dramatic, sometimes unexpected impacts on other areas of life beyond any punitive consequences ordered by the court. Depending on the nature of the offense, it may be harder to enroll in school, apply for an apartment, or obtain meaningful employment.
While the U.S. Constitution guarantees you a public defender in a criminal trial, you deserve the exceptional services of our legal team at Hare, Stamm, Harris & O’Connor, LLC. Together, we have decades of trial experience and will work vigorously to defend you and your rights in court, no matter the offense. Hiring a qualified, experienced attorney to advocate for you could mean the difference in the outcome of your case.
Understanding a Massachusetts OUI Charge
“Operating under the influence” (or “OUI”), also called driving under the influence (“DUI”), is a serious offense in the state of Massachusetts that carries severe penalties. An OUI charge can occur if a law enforcement officer suspects you are illicitly operating your vehicle while under the influences of alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances.
The main factor in determining if you are charged is your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. In Massachusetts, you cannot operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.8% or higher or if you are otherwise under the influence of mind-altering substances. There are some variances in acceptable BAC limits depending on your age and occupation.
Keep in mind you do not necessarily need to be driving your vehicle to be considered “operating” it. You can still potentially be charged with an OUI if you are, for example, idling in your vehicle with the engine on while under the influence.
Many do not realize the extent of penalties that can face those charged with an OUI. A conviction can mean fines, license revocation, and even jail time; repeated OUI offenses lead to even harsher punishment.
Some of the consequences of an OUI charge include:
- 1st Offense: up to 2.5 years of jail time, fines of up to $5,000, license revocation of 1 year
- 2nd Offense: guaranteed 30 days and potentially up to 2.5 years of jail time, fines of up to $10,000, license revocation of 2 years
- 3rd Offense: guaranteed 150 days and potentially up to 5 years of jail time, fines of up to $15,000, license revocation of 8 years
As you can see, the maximum penalties of an OUI charge can be steep. However, lighter sentences are possible with the right legal advocacy. That is why it is critical you retain the services of an experienced lawyer if facing an OUI charge.
If this is your first or second OUI charge, our Springfield criminal defense attorney can help argue for an alternate disposition through probation. For a first offense, this can help you avoid jail time and even result in a dismissal of charges in exchange for community service and the completion of educational courses. A second offense can still avoid harsher punitive measures by agreeing to inpatient and outpatient care. No matter your circumstances, our legal team is committed to helping you overcome the hardships an OUI can bring and getting your life back on track.
Understanding Massachusetts Traffic Tickets
Discovering a traffic ticket on your windshield or receiving one in the course of a traffic stop can be one of the most aggravating elements of driving. That irritation can quickly get worse if you realize your ticket includes a civil or criminal charge – or both! The state keeps a record of your incidents and, should you accrue too many, may attempt to revoke your driver’s license.
Getting a civil infraction generally means you have made some form of minor violation to a driving or traffic rule. Civil violations can include:
- Disobeying a Traffic Sign
- Failing to Execute a Turn Signal
These types of tickets can typically be resolved through paying the prescribed fee within 20 days of receipt. However, it is possible to lose your license in the state of Massachusetts if you accumulate 3 civil infraction tickets for speeding within a 30-day period.
Criminal violations are given for more serious infractions, including:
- Operating or driving under the influence (OUI or DUI)
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
- Leaving the scene of an accident in which you were involved
Depending on the severity of the incident and the discretion of the law enforcement officer, you can receive a misdemeanor or felony charge for a criminal infraction ticket. If convicted, you can face jail time, hefty fines, and extended or permanent license suspensions.
That is why you need the services of a qualified lawyer to assist you in fighting your Massachusetts traffic ticket. You will be most likely required to appear in court if you have been charged with a criminal infraction, but even if you are only facing a relatively minor civil infraction, tickets can add up and lead to more significant consequences down the line. If you are convinced you were unfairly given a ticket or need someone to advocate for you in a criminal hearing, our team at Hare, Stamm, Harris & O’Connor, LLC is prepared to help.
Having a criminal charge hanging over your head can be terrifying, embarrassing, and stressful. You may be concerned about your future and what could happen to your loved ones if you lose your driver’s license, are slapped with enormous fines, or even face jail time. It is easy for relationships to suffer in the fallout, and, on top of everything else, you can even lose your job.
Few situations in life are more frightening than being charged with a serious criminal offense. Such offenses can carry mandatory penalties, or years in prison. From the moment you become a suspect, you need an experienced, qualified lawyer on your side to combat the incredible resources which the government will bring to bear on you. Everything you say to law enforcement can and will be used against you. At Hare, Stamm, Harris & O’Connor, LLC we know how to guide you through the entire criminal process. We know that your life and your freedom are on the line and we are prepared to go the distance to defend you.
It is crucial to remember that you deserve the best legal representation possible when considering who should defend you in your criminal case. Our Springfield criminal defense attorneys at Hare, Stamm, Harris & O’Connor, LLC are equipped to handle all kinds of cases, from DUIs and OUIs to traffic ticket violations to felonies including homicide. Our years of litigation experience and outstanding track record in defending our clients can be put to work for your case. We pledge to leave no stone unturned as we work every possible to angle to achieve a favorable outcome to your situation.