Massachusetts Criminal Process

Criminal defense attorney guiding clients in the Eastern Massachusetts area

Few experiences are as confusing as the criminal process. Whether the charges are serious or relatively minor-and even if you are innocent of all charges-you need an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

The criminal process involves many steps

A specific process occurs from the moment you are approached by police through to the final outcome of your case. This process can include all or some of the following steps:

  • Police stops. While the advice of Quincy criminal defense attorneys would certainly be helpful prior to an arrest, it is important to understand how to deal with the police effectively. Whether stopped in your car or approached at your home, learn how to respond to questions-and whether you need to agree to searches.
  • Arrest and booking. As of the moment of arrest, you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Quincy criminal defense attorney John E. DeVito remains at your side throughout the process to ensure all questioning is conducted in a legal manner and to advise you on how to avoid harming your case.
  • Arraignment. This is a court appearance in which you are informed of the crimes with which you are charged. A plea of not guilty is initially entered. Quincy criminal law attorney John E. DeVito makes sure you understand the ramifications of the charges and accompanies you in the arraignment process.
  • Bail. You may be released on your own recognizance without bail, or the court may require payment of bail to secure your release and ensure that you are present at all future court dates.
  • Plea bargaining. While not legally required, your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to secure reduced charges or a shorter sentence, typically if you agree to plead guilty or nolo contendere.
  • Trial. If your case goes to trial, you can choose between a bench trial (before a judge) and a jury trial. You have a right to confront your witnesses, and you and your attorney can decide whether or not you should testify.
  • Sentencing. If you plead guilty or are found guilty at trial, the judge determines your punishment, which can include fines, jail or prison time, paying restitution, probation, or other alternative sentences as permitted by law.
  • Appeals. Contrary to common belief, appealing a case does not necessarily result in a retrial, but it can change the outcome. This is done by examining the trial record to identify if the proceedings were fair. If it is determined that there were errors-such as inadmissible evidence used against you or the discovery of new evidence or jury misconduct-the initial trial outcome can be changed.

Contact John E. DeVito, Esq. today

If you have been charged with a crime, you need qualified criminal defense attorneys working on your behalf. Mr. DeVito represents clients in Boston, Dedham, Wrentham, Stoughton, Quincy, Waltham, Woburn, Newton, Framingham, Natick and other cities in Middlesex & Norfolk County, MA. For immediate assistance, contact Quincy criminal defense lawyer John E. DeVito, Esq. at 508-517-1800 today.