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Steven John Topazio
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Steven Topazio’s Answers

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  • Questions about license reinstatement hearing after OUI arrest and suspension for refusal, following dismissal of OUI charge.

    Charge of OUI in Mass. in 7/2012, dismissed 9/2013 after motion to suppress was allowed. RMV suspended license for 3 years for refusal. It's been only 1½ years since date of arrest and suspension. CT resident w/ CT license. Regarding hear...

    Steven’s Answer

    In order for Massachusetts to suspend you right to operate for 3 years for a chemical test refusal following a second DUI offense the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles must have evidence that your were assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program in Connecticut for a prior DUI offense. I am assuming that the diversionary program you received for your Connecticut DUI constitutes a conviction under Connecticut law for this purpose and thus the 3 suspension you received in Massachusetts when you refused the breath test here in Massachusetts on your second drunk driving offense is appropriate.

    Under Massachusetts law however, no license or right to operate can be restored and no restricted or hardship permits can be issued under any circumstances for any reason for a breath test suspension unless you are found not guilty at trial or your DUI case is dismissed. Since your Massachusetts DUI case was in fact dismissed, the 3 year administrative suspension for refusing the Breathalyzer test will nevertheless continue unless you request a hearing in the Massachusetts court which dismissed your case and convince the judge to issue an order to immediately restore your driving privileges. It is not always easy however to convince a judge to order your license or driving privileges to be restored without the assistance of an experienced lawyer. A skilled lawyer knows what evidence to present and what arguments to make. Massachusetts law indicates that there is a rebuttable presumption at the hearing to restore your license unless the Commonwealth establishes by a fair preponderance of the evidence, that restoration of your license would likely endanger the public safety. It is my experience that many judges take the position that despite the dismissal of your case, you may still be a danger to the motoring public because your case may have been dismissed for technical reasons that had nothing to do with public safety issues.

    Attorney Steven J. Topazio
    10 Winthrop Square, Suite 4100
    Boston, MA 02110
    617-422-5803
    Email: stopazio@topaziolaw.com
    Web: www.topaziolaw.com

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  • I was convicted in 2008 for reckless driving. Is there anything I can do about this conviction?

    I was outside of the country for several months after I was pulled over and called in to pay the ticket from outside of the country. I had no idea how serious this was and was not in a position while outside of the country to learn about the situa...

    Steven’s Answer

    Any ticket you receive can be serious business as a responsible finding can affect your driving privileges as well as your insurance premiums. Paying a ticket instead of fighting it results in a responsible finding being entered on your driving record and is reported by the RMV to the Merit Rating Board. The only chance of challenging this ticket and reversing the responsible finding is to argue your case to the Registry of Motor Vehicles that you have valid reasons to be granted a hearing late.

    Attorney Steven J. Topazio
    10 Winthrop Square, Suite 4100
    Boston, MA 02110
    617-422-5803
    Email: stopazio@topaziolaw.com
    Web: www.topaziolaw.com

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  • Supervison-Release

    What are the chances of getting off supervised release early ? What are the steps ? Do you contact an attorney, is it a formal court date.. Or do you just ask your PO ?

    Steven’s Answer

    Terminating probation early or reducing supervised probation to administrative probation, must be accomplished by way of a motion to modify your probation filed with the court. The court will consider many factors in considering your motion, including whether your probation was imposed as a result of a plea bargain or the result of a conviction following a trial; your criminal record or lack thereof; whether you completed all special conditions of your probation; whether you have the support of your probation officer; how long you have been on probation; and any unique circumstances surrounding your case that might have developed after probation was imposed which would support your request for a modification of probation now. These types of requests are discretionary with the court so it helps to know the court’s practices and the judge who will hear the motion. Consult with an attorney who will know how to evaluate your case and advocate on your behalf.

    Attorney Steven J. Topazio
    10 Winthrop Square, Suite 4100
    Boston, MA 02110
    617-422-5803
    Email: stopazio@topaziolaw.com
    Web: www.topaziolaw.com
    www.1bostoncriminallawyer.com

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  • Is jail time mandatory for a second offense driving after suspension of license? The license wasn't suspended for a DUI.

    I was arrested for driving after suspension in 2003. I was recently arrested for a DUI and driving after suspension (subsequent offense).

    Steven’s Answer

    Jail is not mandatory for operating after suspension subsequent offense. Although the statute states that the punishment for any subsequent offence shall be by imprisonment for not less than sixty days nor more than one year, that sentence can be suspended or you can receive a continuance without a finding.

    Attorney Steven J. Topazio
    10 Winthrop Square, Suite 4100
    Boston, MA 02110
    617-422-5803
    Email: stopazio@topaziolaw.com
    Web: www.topaziolaw.com
    www.1bostoncriminallawyer.com

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  • What is the difference between sealing or expunging a harassment order?

    I am wondering the difference between sealing or expunging an harassment order. A old friend of mine claimed harassment, that I had been texting and calling her, but I wasn't. Nor could she prove I was. She told the judge that she wasn't scared of...

    Steven’s Answer

    Massachusetts law has changed over the years regarding the possibilities and procedures of the expungements (erasing) and sealing of criminal records. A motion to expunge a criminal record is a motion to essentially erase the fact that criminal charges were ever even brought in the matter. Its specific purpose is to redress a glaring injustice done to a defendant, when it appears from all the evidence introduced, that the defendant never should have been charged by the Commonwealth in the first place. Expungements or totally erasing any sign of a criminal matter is not generally possible in the Commonwealth due to a recent Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Commonwealth v. Boe, 456 Mass. 337, (March 25, 2010) which held judges cannot expunge criminal records but rather can seal records in conformity with G. L. c. 276, § 100C.

    Attorney Steven J. Topazio
    10 Winthrop Square, Suite 4100
    Boston, MA 02110
    617-422-5803
    Email: stopazio@topaziolaw.com
    Web: www.topaziolaw.com
    www.1bostoncriminallawyer.com

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  • My husband is being charged with grand larceny. What are his options as a first time offender in Massachusetts?

    He was not arrested. He was forced to write a statement of what he did by intimidation. No evidence was shown to him. He has not received a no trespass order from the company. He was followed for six months. He was told that someone ratted him out...

    Steven’s Answer

    Your husband should immediately consult with an attorney before he makes any further mistakes. He was lucky that he was not arrested but since he is being charged with a felony he will be summonsed to court for an arraignment. Felony charges are issued directly by the court thus denying him the opportunity to challenge the charges at a clerk’s hearing. Grand Larceny or Larceny over $250 is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years, or by a fine of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail for not more than two years. Depending whether the theft occurred from an institution that receives federal funds he could also be facing Federal charges. The best advice is for your husband to consult with an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney before he does anything else.

    Attorney Steven J. Topazio
    10 Winthrop Square, Suite 4100
    Boston, MA 02110
    617-422-5803
    Email: stopazio@topaziolaw.com
    Web: www.topaziolaw.com
    www.1bostoncriminallawyer.com

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  • What is the maximum charge you can file against someone slashing your car's tires

    this has happened 3 times to all four tires in the matter of 2 weeks

    Steven’s Answer

    Whoever destroys or injures the personal property commits the crime of Malicious Destruction of Property - Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 127 s, is a felony charge with a punishment of imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years or by a fine of three thousand dollars or three times the value of the property so destroyed or injured, whichever is greater and imprisonment in jail for not more than two and one-half years; or if such destruction or injury is wanton, punishment of a fine of fifteen hundred dollars or three times the value of the property so destroyed or injured, whichever is greater, or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years.

    Attorney Steven J. Topazio
    10 Winthrop Square, Suite 4100
    Boston, MA 02110
    617-422-5803
    Email: stopazio@topaziolaw.com
    Web: www.topaziolaw.com
    www.1bostoncriminallawyer.com

    See question 
  • I have suspended driver license for the speeding ticket I got 2.5 years ago. Can I appeal for the ticket or suspension?

    I have a NY license and I received a speeding ticket in MA in Dec'2010. I appealed but never got a court letter. I called the court April'2011 and asked about the ticket. They said I dont have a date and check back later. Next month I sold my car ...

    Steven’s Answer

    It is too late to appeal the ticket to court but I would contact the RMV and see if they will re-schedule the hearing on your ticket because you never received notice for the Magistrate appeal. Consult with an attorney to see if it is feasible to have the RMV vacate the default judgment entered against you and grant you your requested Magistrate hearing. If you are granted a hearing then any license suspension in MA will be lifted, which will also restore your driving privileges in NY. Be advised that your NY suspension will not be lifted until you receive a clearance letter from MA.

    Attorney Steven J. Topazio
    10 Winthrop Square, Suite 4100
    Boston, MA 02110
    617-422-5803
    Email: stopazio@topaziolaw.com
    Web: www.topaziolaw.com
    www.1bostoncriminallawyer.com

    See question 
  • Dismissed with community service hours

    My friend was involved in a shop lifting case. A few bucks. His lawyer called ADA (before the real court date)and reached an agreement that the case can be dismissed with 20 community service hours. Will the case be completely dismissed without a...

    Steven’s Answer

    The answer will depend on whether your friend was arrested or not. If your friend was arrested and fingerprinted then he must also be aware of the fact that information regarding the arrest will be reported to the FBI and maintained in a separate database referred to as the Triple I (III). The Interstate Identification Index (III) is part of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) network. The NCIC is the United States' central database for tracking crime-related information. The NCIC database is electronically collected from the computer systems of law enforcement agencies nationwide in a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and participating law enforcement agencies. A Criminal History Summary—often referred to as a criminal history record or a “rap sheet”—is a listing of certain information taken from fingerprint submissions retained by the FBI in connection with arrests. If the fingerprints are related to an arrest, the Criminal History Summary includes name of the agency that submitted the fingerprints to the FBI, the date of the arrest, the arrest charge, and the disposition of the arrest, if known to the FBI. If your friend's case was disposed of prior to arraignment, then it will not appear on his state CORI but if he were arrested and fingerprinted, he should be aware of the fact that evidence of the arrest will be reported to the FBI.

    Attorney Steven J. Topazio
    10 Winthrop Square, Suite 4100
    Boston, MA 02110
    617-422-5803
    Email: stopazio@topaziolaw.com
    Web: www.topaziolaw.com
    www.1bostoncriminallawyer.com

    See question 
  • MA driver : Should I choose to plead not guilty for Cell Phone Ticket 14-296aa(b1st in Connecticut?

    I am a resident of MA, and it is legal to drive while speaking on phone in MA if you are 18 years and above. I was not aware that it is a violation in CT. This my first traffic ticket ever.  This afternoon I was pulled over on Exit 93 fro...

    Steven’s Answer

    Talking on a handheld cellphone is prohibited in Connecticut but that fact according to statute is rebuttable by evidence tending to show that the operator was not engaged in a call. Contact a Connecticut Lawyer who will know how to fight the ticket.

    Attorney Steven J. Topazio
    10 Winthrop Square, Suite 4100
    Boston, MA 02110
    617-422-5803
    Email: stopazio@topaziolaw.com
    Web: www.topaziolaw.com

    See question