Boston Criminal Defense LawyerTenaciously Fighting for Your Rights
I'm attorney William D. Kickham; Welcome to our website. You're visiting us because you need accurate information in an area of Massachusetts criminal law. You're in the right place, because I have more than 25 years of very successful experience winning cases as a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney. Consider this fact: You're at our website because you conducted an internet search for Massachusetts criminal defense law firms. Smart move. Your search engine (Google, Bing or whoever,) probably delivered several thousand results (at least) - and you clicked on our website: That should tell you something, because Google and other search engines stake their names on delivering the best, most highly-rated results for any given search. So utilize our website to inform yourself on the particular criminal law subject that you're facing in Massachusetts. Access the important links provided on this website to learn more about how we can protect you legally better than most law firms.
The Stakes are High
If you've become a subject of a criminal investigation, or if you have been arrested, you may feel frightened, confused, and frustrated. You have good reason to be concerned, since your future is at stake. If you end up with a criminal record, you may face difficulties in getting a job, pursuing a professional degree, or preserving your reputation. However, you should not feel that the situation is hopeless. Instead, you should promptly consult an expert Massachusetts criminal defense attorney who can carefully investigate the situation and aggressively fight the charges. Attorney William D. Kickham has more than two decades of experience representing people in situations like yours, whether they are facing charges of drug offenses, DUI, theft, sex crimes, assault and battery, domestic violence, homicide, or a wide range of other charges. As the leader of a small firm, Attorney Kickham meets personally with each client at every step of the legal process. He makes himself available to discuss each of their concerns as they arise and will even visit a client in their home in many situations.
My firm brings to our clients what they need, when they need it most: An expert lawyer committed to representing them - essentially, a legal bodyguard: Clients seek us out because they find that they suddenly need the last thing in the world, that they thought they'd ever need - an aggressive criminal defense attorney. And that's what's we deliver - regardless of the type of charge involved. We also partner with a network of criminal attorneys throughout Massachusetts, which gives us the benefit of their specialized knowledge when it proves useful. Clients come to us in tough situations, because they know that they are in the best of legal hands.
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Massachusetts OUI/DUI Charges
Massachusetts takes drunk driving very seriously, and you should take an OUI (or DUI) charge just as seriously - but not everyone who is arrested or charged with drunk driving, is legally guilty of that charge. The state makes it illegal for an ordinary adult to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, while lower limits apply to commercial drivers and drivers who are below the legal drinking age of 21. In 2005, Massachusetts passed Melanie's Law, which further enhanced the penalties for drunk drivers and people who refuse to take BAC (breathalyzer) tests when requested by law enforcement. It also created additional drunk driving offenses, meaning that drivers may now face a broader range of charges. Very importantly, there have been some very significant legal developments recently in 2017 and 2018 related to breathalyzer testing, and we know how to successfully challenge this breath testing.
While OUI/DUI cases are prosecuted aggressively, not every DUI case leads to a conviction. Depending on your situation, we may be able to argue that the police lacked a reasonable suspicion to pull over your car, which means that evidence resulting from the ensuing stop could not be considered by a judge or jury. There also may be issues with how chemical or field sobriety tests were conducted, such as when a driver has a certain medical condition that affects their performance. Even if you are convicted, moreover, Attorney William D. Kickham can help you try to secure a hardship license, which can allow a driver to go to important commitments like work, school, or doctor's appointments while their license is suspended based on the DUI conviction.
Massachusetts Domestic Violence Charges
Nobody in an intimate or family relationship deserves to be abused by the other person in the relationship. Everyone can agree on that. But not every accusation of domestic violence is well-founded. Sometimes an alleged victim simply wants to get revenge when a relationship goes downhill, or one parent may try to take advantage of the criminal justice system to get a more favorable outcome in a divorce or child custody proceeding. Under all circumstances, you should without question not submit to any police request for an interview, and you should immediately consult an attorney before discussing your case with anyone in law enforcement or elsewhere. If you speak to anyone concerning the incident other than a very experienced Massachusetts domestic violence lawyer, you run the risk of harming your case. As the police will inform you when providing you with Miranda warnings, you have a constitutional right to an attorney, and any statements that you voluntarily make may ultimately be used against you. Massachusetts domestic violence charges are responded to by both police and prosecutors very, very aggressively. Almost all Massachusetts District Attorneys offices have instituted standing orders that these cases are to be prosecuted very aggressively - these cases are typically very serious, and can become very much "dragged out," often taking a considerable amount of time to resolve. As an experienced Massachusetts domestic violence defense lawyer, attorney William D. Kickham regularly and successfully defends people accused of domestic violence, fighting not only the underlying charge but also any petition for a restraining order (abuse prevention order) sought by the alleged victim.
Massachusetts Assault and Battery Crimes
This is one of the most frequent Massachusetts criminal offenses brought before the courts. Alcohol can often be a precipitating factor. What can at first seem like an ordinary altercation can often lead to criminal charges if it turns physical - and "physical" doesn't necessarily have to be very violent. Very technically, an "assault" is merely unwanted to or unconsented to physical contact. Massachusetts defines the crime of assault and battery relatively broadly. It consists of a deliberate touching without the victim's consent that is meant to cause bodily harm. In some circumstances, the crime of aggravated assault & battery may be charged, such as when the defendant's actions created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury. Situations in which prosecutors often bring assault charges include when the assault was perpetrated against a child, when it was perpetrated with the intent to commit a felony, or when the defendant used a gun or another dangerous weapon.
As an experienced Boston area criminal defense lawyer, attorney Kickham can determine which defenses you may be able to raise. One common strategy is arguing self-defense if you were not the person who started the fight. You are allowed to use a level of force that is reasonably necessary to defend yourself if you reasonably believe that your safety is at risk or about to be at risk. In some circumstances, you may also be able to raise the defense that you were protecting the safety of someone else, such as a family member.
Massachusetts Gun & Firearms Applications & Violations
This is one of the fastest-growing areas of many criminal law practices. In today's environment of road rage incidents, mass shootings, and violence in general, many people understandably want to own a gun to protect themselves and their loved ones. The longstanding debate about gun laws, the right to own a gun and the Second Amendment are all appropriate, but at the end of the day, many people are scared for their and their families safety, and they want to be able to protect themselves if attacked. I find that to be very understandable.
In order to own or carry a "firearm" in Massachusetts, a person must first possess a valid Firearms License (a Firearms ID Card, or "FID"), or possess a License to Carry (LTC.) FID's and LTC's are issued by local Police Department Chiefs, which conduct required background checks on anyone applying for these permits. Applications can be denied by the local Police Chief for a variety of reasons, or even if the Chief determines that the applicant is not "suitable person" to be given such a license. Applicants who are denied can appeal the Police Chief's decision to a District Court judge. Seeking a firearms or gun license is a big decision. When someone comes to us because they want or need to carry a gun or firearm, we know that they're probably very scared, and most all such clients have a good reason to want a license to carry. We're very familiar with this process and can sit down and discuss what your best legal options are. Contact us and we'd be glad to speak with you.
Massachusetts Traffic Tickets/Motor Vehicle Violations
While a speeding ticket or another motor vehicle violation may not seem like a reason to consult an attorney, a traffic violation can have significant legal and financial consequences, including costly auto insurance surcharges. Also, some of these offenses are more serious than what we normally associate with the idea of a "ticket," and they may even lead to jail time. One of these crimes is known as operating to endanger, which involves negligently operating a motor vehicle on a public way in a manner that endangers the safety of the general public. These elements may seem relatively straightforward, but an investigation often reveals more complicated facts. For instance, the fact that an accident occurred does not necessarily mean that the defendant is guilty if another driver's careless or reckless actions contributed to the crash.
Other motor vehicle violations can include: Operating after license suspension or license revocation, operating an uninsured vehicle, as well as several other violations. If you rack up an excessive number of traffic or motor vehicle violations in a given time period (usually 12 months,) you can be deemed an " Immediate Threat," and have your license suspended by the Massachusetts RMV. For anyone that needs their car every day to get to work, this presents serious consequences. Aside from civil fines, some of these offenses can carry criminal penalties, which can leave you with a criminal record that will follow you for years to come. So, you can see that "getting a traffic ticket" is not so simple as some people think. Each traffic violation carries different penalties and consequences for your driving privileges in Massachusetts. We're very experienced at successfully avoiding these consequences for our clients. Contact us for a free initial consultation.
Massachusetts Sex Charges
Some of the most serious felonies charged in Massachusetts are sex crimes, which can lead to lifelong consequences. This is especially true, given the current "#MeToo" social and political climate surrounding this subject. People convicted of these types of crimes often are required to register as sex offenders. This makes their status available to the general public, including neighbors, potential employers, and romantic partners. As a result, it is critical to fight these charges head-on - and aggressively - from the outset. In many instances, we have been able to defeat allegations of rape or other forms of sexual assault by showing that the alleged victim may have consented to the conduct in question. In situations involving statutory rape or other sex crimes committed against children, consent does not offer a valid defense, but other arguments may be available, especially in view of recent Massachusetts statutory reforms in this area. Sometimes children do not fully understand what is happening, or a child's parent may make an accusation against another parent to gain an advantage in a family law dispute. In all cases, we investigate the events in detail to determine a strategy that best fits your particular situation.
Massachusetts Clerk-Magistrate Hearings
Aside from being arrested, the other way that a person can be charged with a Massachusetts misdemeanor crime, such as assault & battery, shoplifting, firearms violations and motor vehicle violations, is via a Clerk-Magistrate's hearing - also referred to as a "Massachusetts Show-Cause Hearing," or a "Massachusetts Probable Cause Hearing." In most cases, a person will receive a notice in the mail from a Massachusetts District Court, and ordered to appear at a scheduled Clerk's hearing. Because these notices arrive in the mail, some people mistakenly think that the hearing is "no big deal." Not true. These hearings present substantial legal risks to the accused, and they require the counsel of an experienced Massachusetts Clerk-Magistrate hearings attorney.
The hearing is scheduled because someone - usually but not always a police department - has filed an "Application for Criminal Complaint," accusing another person of committing a crime(s). Importantly, at this stage, the accused has not yet been formally charged with anything. That's where things get very risky, due to the standard of evidence that is applied by the Magistrate, called "probable cause." This standard requires only that the Clerk-Magistrate believe that it is "more probable than not" that the accused committed the crime alleged - an easy standard to reach. If the Magistrate issues the complaint, you will be formally charged and prosecuted as a criminal defendant.
Because of these stakes, we recommend that anyone facing a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing, hire an experienced Massachusetts Clerk-Magistrate Hearings attorney. It takes special expertise to make sure that such a complaint does not issue forth, and that's why people summoned to these hearings, call Attorney William D. Kickham.
Massachusetts Drug Crimes
The Controlled Substances Act in Massachusetts provides the range of drug offenses that may be charged within the state. The type of charge and the severity of the penalties usually depend on the type and amount of the substance at issue. While drug possession often is charged as a misdemeanor, drug trafficking is a serious felony. There also may be aggravating factors in certain cases, such as when a drug crime is committed in a school zone, which can enhance the potential sentence.
Fortunately, there are often many defenses in drug cases. Some of these are based on the constitutional rights provided to defendants under the U.S. Constitution. For example, the Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures of their person or property. The police generally need to make sure that they obtain a warrant to search your home, unless they can show that an exception applies. The warrant needs to be supported by probable cause, and the search cannot extend beyond its limits. If the police fail to comply with constitutional requirements, we are experienced in various legal methods to prevent that evidence from being used against you in your case. This can drastically undermine the prosecution's ability to prove its case.
Massachusetts Theft Crimes
Broadly speaking, theft crimes allege that the defendant took someone else's property without their consent and with no intent to return it. The most common expression of theft crimes is "larceny", but several different sub-categories include shoplifting, robbery, burglary, and embezzlement. These charges often require several legal elements, each of which the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. They usually involve not only the actions that the defendant took but also the defendant's state of mind. One possible defense may be that the defendant lacked the requisite intent to take and keep the alleged victim's property. In some cases, there may exist alibi evidence that the defendant was in a different place at the time of the crime, or we may be able to show that a witness identifying the victim was mistaken.
Massachusetts College Student Arrests and School Disciplinary Hearings
Given that Boston has always been known as "The College Capital of the Nation," it's not surprising that we hear from a lot of Massachusetts college students who have been either arrested by police due to some alleged crime, or are the subject of disciplinary hearings by the school they attend due to some alleged school misconduct.
The reality is that colleges and universities are simply a microcosm of society in general: Everything that can happen on the outside of a college campus, can happen inside one. Throw in several contributing factors such as youthful indiscretion, alcohol, drugs, young people living away from home for the first time and a current sexual landscape (including the current "#MeToo" environment, which is producing so many unfounded accusations) and all these factors can contribute to accusations of unfounded crimes. The end result: all kinds of legal trouble can develop. Some examples of these include accusations of student Drug Possession/Drug Distribution Offenses, student sex assaults and rape or date rape charges, campus drinking or Massachusetts OUI/DUI charges, accusations of theft crimes in the dorms, even stalking and harassment charges. These offenses can cause a college student serious life consequences: A conviction can impede job and career prospects, as well as graduate school applications. And court prosecutions aren't the only risk that college students face when accused of some kind of wrongdoing. Colleges and universities have their own disciplinary hearings procedures, which are often more severe than the courts and can impose penalties including expulsion from the university or suspension, loss of campus housing, revocation of scholarships or financial aid, and worse.
We've represented many Massachusetts college and graduate students who are good individuals and who come from good families, yet find themselves accused of a crime or violating a school conduct policy. If these accusations and charges aren't successfully defeated, a young person who is otherwise a solid individual with good moral character can have his or her future derailed. That's where my firm steps in: We won't let that happen on our watch. Call us or email us by clicking here. We'll help you understand how we can protect you.
Discuss Your Options with a Knowledgeable Boston Area Criminal Defense Lawyer
Whatever the charge, a criminal conviction can dramatically and very negatively change your life if you don't swiftly take steps to protect your rights to the full extent of the law. One of the most important steps that you can take is to find an attorney whom you trust with your future. Attorney William D. Kickham can put more than 25 years of honed criminal defense skills and successful results to work for you, protecting you in the process. He offers free, confidential consultations and can be reached 24/7 at (781) 320-0062 or (617) 285-3600. You can also contact us online to set up an appointment at which we can explain the consequences that you may be facing and the ways in which we can help you.