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Joseph M. Pacella
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Joseph Pacella’s Answers

71 total


  • I caused a hit and run I'm totally scared and don't wanna get arrested

    I did leave the scene but next day I gave the lady all my information I can't afford an arty. And don't know what to do. I know police came and took pictures of my car. I didn't answer the door. I really don't know what to do. But marks don't add...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Chicopee PD likes to bring charges so you need to consult with a local attorney who will know your rights. This may be something that results in a Show-cause hearing being issued. There is a lot that an attorney can do for you, even if there is probable cause, to try to keep the charge from going to complaint. Even if you own the car, the police need to prove who the operator was in order to bring a complaint, so I would not call them nor give a statement. They may already have this from your interation with the other party. The police also need to issue a citation in short order and there are defenses to delays that occur after the police knew who the operator was, so again talk to an attorney.

    Joseph M. Pacella, Esq.
    1380 Main Street, Suite 202
    Springfield, MA 01103
    413-374-6746

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  • I live in NYC, in a prewar building. There is no vent in my bathroom at all ( no window). Is the LL required to install one?

    This is an interior bathroom in a one bedroom apartment.

    Joseph’s Answer

    Not sure how it works in NY, however in Massachusetts our State Building Code takes into account whether or not a significant portion of the building has been renovated. If it has, then the whole thing needs to be to code. Also, we have state sanitary codes. For instance if this was causing mold or unsafe conditions within the apt., then the landlord may need to address it. You might check with your version of the Board of Health.

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  • Can I get arrested for taking a "buy here pay here" vehicle out of state?

    I had to move to Massachusetts in August of 2012. I had bought a vehicle from a "buy here pay here" joint due to credit issues. I was able to pay the note until now. I notified the dealer to pick up the vehicle. The message I received was that I h...

    Joseph’s Answer

    You might ask them for a copy of the contract to have an attorney review it. However with that said, contracts cannot alter or create new criminal law. So, it really depends upon who has title to the vehicle. You can breach a contract for taking the vehicle out of state but you cannot steal a vehicle that you technically own.

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  • I was charged with 90/24 Leaving The Scene Of Property Damage in Massachusetts.

    My car hit an object in the road. Both tires on the driver side went flat. Control was lost of the car when this happened. To avoid hitting a car, I maneuvered the vehicle onto the curb. The once on the curb the car was stopped when a tree stump w...

    Joseph’s Answer

    I agree that you should hire an experienced attorney. It is also good that you did not make any admissions as the police may be able to locate the correct vehicle through the fluid trail, but they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were the operator and not someone else using your car. This is very difficult. This should be scheduled for a show-cause hearing if possible and your best chance of getting rid of it is to retain and bring counsel. A lawyer can speak on your behalf and ask the officer questions about this deficiency.

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  • Do you get your license back if you take the cwoff

    I got my first dui on christmas eve and have no criminal or previous record

    Joseph’s Answer

    Consult with an attorney who is privy to the actual evidence in the case. But sometimes you can get two bites at the apple in a first offense OUI case unlike any other statute in our state. I have had success doing this in several counties in western mass. Under chapter 90, section 24D, a defendant is supposed to plead guilty and then move the Court for a CWOF after they have completed the requisite program and all the fine and fees. The statutory scheme was supposed to provide an incentive to get people to complete the program sooner than later during their probation which would make them a safer driver, as the defendant would have a criminal conviction on their record until this happened. Judges and lawyers hated this as people like yourself would rather try the case if they could not get a CWOF, so in all Courts that I am aware, the Commonwealth and judges agree to cut to the chase and do an illegal sentence to a CWOF up front. It also was bad because the Court was burdened by having to have theses cases brought back to court just for such a motion.

    My point is that the OUI statute technically provides for a situation where you take the case to trial; lose; and still get a CWOF. If you win great. If you lose, after completing the program and paying fines, etc, your counsel can move the Court to convert it to a CWOF. When you have no record, it is highly unlikely that a Court will not allow it. Some judges/lawyers may not even be aware of this and technically it is discretionary, which means you are putting yourself at the mercy of the judge ruling on it, but with no record and no aggravating circumstances (accident, reckless driving, person or property harmed, etc) then you might seriously consider going to trial.

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  • How can I get a witness on the stand prior to trial?

    I'm currently charged with deriving support from a prostitute in superior court . There is only one witness / informant who may testify against me who is a known heroin addict. The DA is trying to get me to plead out but I would like to know wha...

    Joseph’s Answer

    There is an old method of seeking special permission from the Court to take a deposition in a criminal case. It is highly unlikely that the Court would allow this since it is largely not used and the Courts do not want to see these motions filed regularly. The threshold may not be met by claiming that the alleged victim is an important part of the case but is unwilling to speak to your defense team. Your attorney could also hire an investigator to speak to this witness if she is willing to talk, but I am assuming that that was already done and not fruitful.

    You could always plead out after she testifies at trial. Just because the trial starts does not mean that you cannot pull the plug and offer a plea if you believe that the testimony will result in your conviction. However, this is dangerous as the prosecutor's recommendation may change and the sentencing judge will have more information from the alleged victim that may increase the sentence.

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  • I was stopped while in the store after paying for my stuff about shoplifting. I have left yet but he said i was stealing.

    I went into the store and got a couple of items and then went to the baby isle. I needed to get my wic book out of my bag to see what i could get. I lifted my coat and scarf and got my bag. Then putting them back in the cart unaware that some item...

    Joseph’s Answer

    The advice that you were already given is correct. Also, an important part of this is whether or not there is video surveillance (make sure you tell your lawyer at arraignment if this goes to court to file a motion to order the store to preserve it) and the substance of the papers that you signed, which may or may not contain your written admission to shoplifting.

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  • Summoned to court for receiving, aid in or embezzling property -250

    I received a letter from court today stating i have to appear for arraignment for receiving aid in or embezzling -250 property... It was from a business. I don't know what this is all about. I haven't bought anything from anyone?? Can I be charged?

    Joseph’s Answer

    If the change is Larceny of Property

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  • First time violating pribation

    i have court next week for violating probation for not being able to pay restution due to work. however im back working and just paud 500 last week and i get paid a day after my couet date. im three months behind. im scared. will thet lock me up. ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    The new judge in Palmer is a compassionate individual and is likely to give you a little more time to stay on top of it. Pay as much as you can prior to court. Ask for probation to be extended to a reasonable period of time but make sure that you ask that the monthly supervision fee is waived so that the extension does not put you more behind the 8 ball. Good luck!

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  • Should I bother contesting this speeding ticket?

    I got a ticket traveling on the highway at 88mph in a 65 mph zone. I would like to contest the citation but am afraid to due to the excessive speed at which I was going. The officer checked Lidar and estimate for my mph... He said he clocked m...

    Joseph’s Answer

    In the Springfield area, there are no alternate punishments. You can always contest the ticket and hope that the clerk is sympathetic or that the police officer does not show to the appeal. Also, it may delay the impact on your insurance.

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