Criminal Defense



Talk to a lawyer before the police talk to you!  Rule No. 1.

Norwood, Massachusetts Thomas A. Karp criminal law trial attorney has more than 38 years experience representing clients at all phases  of criminal law cases, in the District and the Superior Courts.  If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, it is important that you seek the advice of an experienced criminal law trial attorney who can evaluate your case, make trial decisions, advise you about your constitutional rights and help you decide the best course of action.  Attorney Karp will represent you understanding the complicated criminal justice system.  Attorney Karp handles arrests, bail, trials, pretrial conferences, misdemeanors, felonies, domestic violence, harassment, restraining orders, magistrate or clerk’s hearings, and probation violations.  You have a  right to call and retain a lawyer when you discover the police are  interested in you or you have been arrested.  Your representation by Attorney Karp may stop the police from arresting you.

When should you telephone a lawyer?

The police, both local and state investigate crimes.  Actions and conduct defined as criminal conduct, felonies and misdemeanors  are established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts  as a class of prohibitions, and codified in the Massachusetts General Laws. Have you been arrested?  Have you received a telephone call from the police asking to speak with you or your family members?  Contacting and hiring a lawyer first before speaking with the police often can be helpful to intercept the police investigation of you and may stop you from being arrested, convicted or jailed. If you have a domestic dispute you should call and retain a lawyer.  A 911 call to the police by your spouse or significant other summons the police.  When the police arrive its almost certain you will be arrested especially if an assault and battery has occurred.  Calling and retaining a lawyer at the initial stages of prosecution will help you and ultimately protect your rights.  A domestic dispute is defined as causing or threatening harm between married persons, or unrelated persons who live together.  A 209a restraining order, protection order may be applied for in the local county District Court or in the Probate and Family Court.  A lawyer may effectively stop these orders from issuing or lessen there  impact.  If you are  a  victim of violence retaining a criminal law attorney is sound advice.

You say your innocent and I did not do it?

Being charged with a complaint or indictment is not proof that you committed a wrong or a crime.  The complaint is merely an accusation against you.  Innocent men and women do get accused and sometimes convicted.  If you are arrested for a crime in Norwood, Massachusetts the police and the District Attorney may amend or add additional charges or complaints.  Having a lawyer on your side will give you a person who can effectively help and advocate for you.  Do not forget Rule No. 1.,  Talk to a lawyer before the police talk to you.

You have been arrested so  what happens next?

Booking at the police station.   You are taken by the police to the police station.  The Booking process is series of identification questions, name, and address… (you should provide this information).  The police are then required to take your fingerprints and photograph you. (“mug” shot front and side image).  You will be given a phone call, use it and call a lawyer or friend who can arrange for a lawyer to represent you.  Try not to discuss details on phone in presence of police as they may  be listening.    A Clerk Magistrate (Bail Commissioner) will come to see you at the station.  He or she will determine your fitness for release from custody also know as recognizance.  His fee is $40.00 and he may assess you an additional amount of cash bail to insure you come to court on the next business day at the local county District Court or you will be released on personal recognizance.  You or anyone can put up the bail money.  It is a promise or surety that you will attend court when required.  The bail money will be returned at the end of the case no matter the outcome so long as you attend court as required.

You have not been arrested and received a summons from Court to attend a “clerks hearing” before a Clerk Magistrate?

In this situation the police applied to the Clerk Magistrate of the Court  for a criminal complaint.  The Clerk shall conduct a show cause hearing.  This is a very important  procedural stage before a complaint issues charging you with a crime.  Attending a Clerk’s hearing with a lawyer is most important.  The lawyer may be able to intercept  the complaint and thereby avoid your arraignment and the court appearances.

I have been stopped for operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs?

The police may suggest you perform field sobriety tests.  If you do not perform such tests, then at your trial the “refusal” cannot be used as evidence against you.  The police will offer you a breath test.  If you refuse to take the test, by law you will lose the right to drive for a period of time (180 days).  The breath test is a form of evidence the police will attempt to use in court.  The breath test machine accuracy is subject to challenge on accuracy.  If your reading is .08 or above it will be offered as evidence to convict you and possibly send you to jail.  Be careful and consult a lawyer before deciding to take a breath test.

When is a gun a firearm?

Being arrested for possession of a firearm without a permit is a crime and if convicted requires a mandatory sentence of incarceration for 18 months with no possibility of parole.   In order to prove the offense, the weapon must be capable of discharging a bullet.  A successful defense may require working closely with ballistics and gunsmith experts who can provide valuable  evidence and trial testimony on your behalf.

What can I do, I have been charged with possession of illegal drugs?

Do not forget Rule No. 1.   Possession of drugs within 300 feet of a school if convicted requires a mandatory sentence of 2 years incarceration.  Talk to a lawyer before the police talk to you.   Your lawyer will examine the alleged evidence and represent you.  The forensic laboratory in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is in disarray because the “chemists” used  short cuts analyzing alleged drug substances.  What sometimes appears to be drugs may prove to be counterfeit and not real.

Your future depends on the legal representation you obtain and all may depend on a single phone call to an attorney.

Retain Attorney Thomas A. Karp, for advice, advocacy, counsel, guidance and help.   Be assured that Attorney Karp will work only for you.

Please call should you have questions or you need to speak to Attorney Thomas A.  Karp about his representation of you as your personal lawyer.

Telephone 781-762-7875