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Steven John Topazio
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Steven Topazio’s Answers

93 total


  • Do I have a case in court to beat this speeding ticket?

    I was going down interstate 91 next to Holyoke, and a car was in front of me going less than the speed limit. We were both in the middle lane out of 3 lanes. I increased my speed and moved to the left of the car, when i noticed a police car parked...

    Steven’s Answer

    Fight the ticket. The cop who wrote you the ticket will not be at the initial Magistrate's hearing. The citation itself is prima facie evidence of the violation and all that needs to be presented at this level to establish that you were speeding. Nevertheless, the Magistrate will listen to your argument. and may even agree with you as he has the discretion to give you the benefit of the doubt. If you need help contact an attorney.

    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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  • If i was given a second chance first offense disposition how can i obtain a hardship license..

    I am trying to find out what it is that im going to have to do to get my hardship license at the registry i already am on probation and enrolling in a Dae class and have updated pay stubs showing that i am working..

    Steven’s Answer

    In order to obtain a hardship license if you receive “2nd chance” chapter 90 § 24D disposition, an Ignition Interlock will be required. When you go to the RMV you must also document a legitimate hardship. A hardship can be established with a letter from your employer on his letterhead which cannot be more than 30 days old. The letter must state your need for a hardship license and your work hours. If you are self-employed you must bring proof of self-employment, (tax return, business certificate, etc.) and then you must present a letter on your own letterhead outlining your need for a hardship license.

    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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  • Question about dispositions on juvenile record.

    10 years ago I was arrested and charged with possess to distrib class E & C and on the court docket it says drug violation near school/park placed on file both possess and distribute charges were c.w.o.f then dismissed final disposition says Dismi...

    Steven’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    A court may file a case, either before a change of plea or after a guilty verdict or finding without imposing a sentence if the defendant and the Commonwealth both consent. Explicit events might trigger the removal of a case from the file during the specified time frame. Filing a charge provides flexibility to judges, prosecutors and defendants. The practice of filing charges was reviewed by the Supreme Judicial Court in 2007 in the case of Commonwealth v. Simmons, 448 Mass. 687, which upheld the practice, provided a defendant consents and the filing is for a definite period of time.

    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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  • This is reguarding a speeding ticket cop saying he clocked me at 51-54mph and wasnt radar was by pacing my car on hill and cuves

    i want to know if i should get a lawwer to fight it i wasnt doing 50 i was doing under 40 tho in 30 so i was going faster than i should of but not what he is sayin i was going ive got pics of road to show all the cuves and hills he had no way to k...

    Steven’s Answer

    You should fight the ticket. Getting a speeding ticket stinks. If you pay it you are admitting that you are responsible and you not only will have to pay the associated fines that go along with the ticket but will also receive a “surchargeable event” on your driving record that will do two things. First it will result in your insurance premiums going up by 30 percent because you will be assessed 2 surcharge points and second it will serve as a moving violation which could be the basis for the RMV to suspend your driver’s license. If you are unsure how to proceed, contact me.

    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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  • Any updates on Annie Dookhan cases

    well i heard in the news on Annie Dookhan that they opening all cases is it all evidence that pass by the lab cause my husband evidence did pass true the lab.

    Steven’s Answer

    Annie Dookhan is the disgraced chemist at the center of the state drug lab scandal at the Hinton Lab and accused of deliberately faking test results on drug samples in criminal cases, and currently is awaiting trial herself. Annie Dookhan was also accused of falsely claiming that she holds a master’s degree in chemistry while testifying as an expert witness on several criminal cases. The Hinton Drug Lab had a practice of having two chemists sign the drug certifications. There was a primary chemist who handled the drugs and a confirmatory chemist. If Annie Dookhan is on the drug certificate courts will grant motions for new trial. It is impossible to say whether you husband can reopen his case without reviewing the drug certification. Your husband should consult with a criminal defense lawyer who can obtain the drug certificate and can properly evaluate your case.

    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 
  • My friend was stopped for speeding in NH and the officer said he smelled pot. I was arrested for possesion of 3 grams.

    They didn't issue my friend a speeding violation. Would this have any bearing on the validity of the search of the car if there was no speeding ticket or warning issued.

    Steven’s Answer

    Stopping a motor vehicle for speeding by itself doesn’t create probable cause to search that vehicle. The fact that the officer didn’t cite the driver for speeding is an issue to be raised at any motion hearing to suppress evidence. If the motion judge can be persuaded that there was no speeding violation, he may invalidate the subsequent search. With regards to the search based on the smell of marijuana, it is important to note that in Massachusetts prior to the passage of the law decriminalizing the possession of one ounce of marijuana or less, police could search your motor vehicle it they detected an odor of burnt marijuana coming from the motor vehicle. Following the passage of MGL c. 94C § 32L, Massachusetts reversed itself and now no longer allows the odor of burnt marijuana by itself, to be the sole basis for a police officer to legally search a motor vehicle for drugs. Laws however vary from state to state. I suggest you consult with an attorney form New Hampshire where you were arrested to assess your case. Good luck.

    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 license was suspended indefinitely in 1989 for excise tax. cant prove cars were an ex's. i cannot even begin to pay this?

    Is the worse they can do is not let me get another license? I cant make payments. they want the whole amount?

    Steven’s Answer

    Under MGL Chapter 60A, all Massachusetts residents who own and register a motor vehicle must annually pay a motor vehicle excise. If the vehicle was in your name, the excise taxes will be levied by your city or town against you. You cannot escape your obligation to pay excise taxes. If you believe you are entitled to an adjustment of your excise bill, I recommend that you pay your bill in full, and then contact your Board of Assessors for an application for abatement. Under M.G.L. c.60A §2, abatement applications must be received by the assessors within three years after the excise bill was due, or one year after it was paid, whichever was later. You must apply on time for an abatement to avoid losing your appeal rights.

    Since your excise taxes have not been paid, your town notified the Registrar of Motor Vehicles of this fact so as to prevent you from renewing your driver’s license until it receives notice from your town that the excise bill has been paid. The only way to get the RMV to renew your driver’s license is to pay your excise taxes. Once you pay the town, your town will give you a receipt to show the RMV as proof of payment.

    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 
  • Being a first time offender of speeding in 5 years of driving, what are my chances to getting my first speeding ticket quashed?

    I am a first time offender with a speeding infraction that was incurred on 11/21/2011, I received notice today 3/12/2013. I currently have no income, and the police officer was coming down the hill while i was driving up it. the zone was 30mph and...

    Steven’s Answer

    Being that this is your first speeding ticket in 5 years, my advice to you is to appeal the ticket. The appeal process allows a clerk to screen cases and to find operators not responsible if you can demonstrate that you are an otherwise responsible driver and deserving of the court’s consideration. In your presentation, present mitigating facts to the clerk and do not become hostile towards the officer who gave you the ticket. The Magistrate doesn't want to hear that the officer is a liar. The officer who wrote the ticket is not required to be present at this hearing and cannot respond to such accusations. If you impugn the officer’s integrity at this level the Magistrate will most certainly find you responsible and give the officer an opportunity to respond to your accusations if you appeal again to a Judge for a full hearing.

    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 a hearing coming up for a revise and revoke ...

    6 months ago as part of a plea agreement I lled guilty to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. As a result my license was suspended for a yr. I've asked the court to change the guilty to something else so that the I can have a license. I have kids...

    Steven’s Answer

    According to the Criminal Rules of Procedure, a motion to Revise and Revoke must be filed within sixty days after the imposition of your sentence so as to give the court authority to rule on your motion. A court is limited to considering only then existing facts that were not brought to its attention when you were sentenced when ruling on a Motion to Revise and Revoke. If your motion was timely flied, a Judge may revise or revoke your sentence if it appears that justice may not have been done when you entered your plea.

    By way of example, if you prevail on your motion and you guilty plea is vacated, (which triggered the license suspension) and the Judge sentences you to a continuance without a finding, the clerk’s office will then send a corrected abstract to the RMV notifying it of the sentence change which in turn will end your license suspension. Considering the legal issues that you presented, I suggest that you consult with an attorney who can properly advise you.

    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 
  • My son was expelled from school after a possession and distribution of marijuana charge. The charge was considered a felony

    The police report indicated 2 charges. The first was 94C/34/L and the second was 94C/32C/A. Both charges were written as felonies in the report and he was subsequently expelled from school. I thought they were misdemenors in Massachusetts and sh...

    Steven’s Answer

    Possession of Marijuana and Distribution of Marijuana are misdemeanor offenses. What makes a charge a felony is whether there is a possibility of a state prison sentence, and not what a police officer calls it. Since both of these offenses only carry the possibility of a House of Correction sentence, they are misdemeanors. Most schools have a zero tolerance when it comes to offenses like this happening on their property. You should consult with an attorney regarding the expulsion of your son form school.

    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