Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

225 W. Squantum St., Suite 100, Quincy, MA 02171

Free Consultations Available

617.300.0212

Frequently Asked Questions

It is normal to have many questions about your legal matter. At the law firm of Sweeney & Associates, LLC, we are in the business of solving serious problems for our clients. We help clients in Quincy, Canton, Dedham, and Westwood. Contact us to get your specific questions answered.

  • How do you know who to hire as your lawyer?

    What you need the lawyer for will strongly affect what kind of attorney you should retain. In a criminal case, it is important to find out what type of experience the attorney has had with the specific type of crime you are charged with. Fancy advertising is no substitute for great experience and legal talent. There are many very good lawyers - and some not so good - in any given field. It is important to know what type of trial experience that lawyer has had.

    • Do not be afraid to ask if the lawyer has ever tried certain types of cases and how many cases he or she has tried.
    • Do not be fooled by anyone claiming that he or she has never lost a case; that often suggests that he or she has not tried many.

    In many cases it is also beneficial if the attorney has experience in the court and county that your case is brought in. This experience often comes in handy in evaluating the factors affecting the outcome of your case, such as prosecutors, police, judges etc. Finally meet with the attorney and make sure that you are comfortable with the attorney and have confidence in his or her abilities and advice.

  • I was just arrested. Now what?

    First, invoke your right to remain silent. Shut up. Do not give any confessions. Do not give any statements. Do not sign anything that even remotely smells like a statement or admission. You have a constitutional right not to make a statement to the police.

    Second, demand to speak to your lawyer, immediately. You have a constitutional right to speak to your lawyer before questioning by the police, but only if you request one. Once you have demanded to speak to your attorney do not speak to the police until your lawyer speaks to you.

    Third, do not talk to your cellmates regarding your case. They may inform on you to get leniency in their cases. You may have to talk to them but you do not have to discuss the specifics of your case.

    Fourth, if you are arrested for Driving While Intoxicated you should refuse to give a breath sample if you have had anything at all to drink. You should refuse to participate in any field sobriety tests. If you have been drinking you should refuse to admit anything at all. If you have "an odor of alcohol on your breath" you will most likely be arrested anyway as almost every police officer will not gamble his or her future on letting you go with the possibility that you may end up in an accident or cause an accident. Any admission is likely to result in your arrest anyway. Giving a breath test that shows a blood alcohol over .08 is going to be admissible as evidence and may be the basis for a conviction alone. Failing a field sobriety test is admissible and may result in conviction. You have the right to remain silent and to refuse to give evidence about yourself, so USE THAT RIGHT!

    Fifth, even if you cannot afford to hire an attorney you can have one appointed to you. If you are appointed an attorney, you will be assigned the next attorney in line on the day you appear in court. You do not have a right to choose which attorney is appointed to you. Most of these attorneys are excellent but you need an expert in drunk driving, so you should plead "not guilty", tell the judge you will hire your own attorney and ask for copies of all of your reports from the court so that you may give them to the attorney of your choice. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court has documents for you to fill out to see if you are eligible for a court-appointed attorney. Ask for these when you report to probation the very first day in court.

  • What will happen in my drunk driving (referred to as OUI or DUI) case?

  • The police called my house and want to talk to me. Should I call back?

    Absolutely not!!!! Police officers are trained and skilled interrogators. You need to contact an attorney and speak to an attorney BEFORE you speak to the police. You will NOT help yourself by talking to the police and, more than likely, will only hurt your case by speaking with police.
  • How much will an attorney cost me?

    Call an attorney and ask him or her. Most attorneys know what a case will cost but will need the specifics of your case. Without details no competent attorney will be able to tell you how much a case will cost. Would an auto body shop give you an estimate without looking at the damage? Don't be lured by price. Your freedom, your record, your ability to get, or keep, a job may depend on the skill of your attorney.

Contact Sweeney & Associates, LLC

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