Can two people involved in a fight both just drop the assault and battery charges?

Additional Information: My husband and his friend got into a bar brawl in Lunenberg and were arrested for assault and battery. The case is going to trial.   I saw the altercation but I don’t know if my husband is guilty or not.  If I get subpoenaed to testify am I going to have to testify or can I assert some kind of marital privilege?  Also, can my husband and his friend both decide to drop the charges so we can get on with our lives? ATTORNEY ANSWER: I am assuming your husband got into a fight with his friend at the bar and they were each charged with assault and battery against each other.  You do have a marital privilege, which if asserted, would allow you to legally refuse to testify against your husband even if you receive a summons to appear in Court.  You would still have to appear
Continue Reading

Already on probation and then I got involved in a fight in Fitchburg.

Additional Information: I plead no contest to an assault charge and was placed on probation by the judge. Then last week I was involved in a fight outside a Fitchburg bar.  It wasn’t my fault at all but I was charged with another assault case. What’s going to happen now? ATTORNEY ANSWER: The probation department will summons you to Court simply due to your new charge of assault.  Two hearings will be scheduled.  Generally these hearings are scheduled very quickly and will go forward well before your new charge can be resolved.  Therefore, you will need to fight the new assault case first at the violation of probation stage.   At the first hearing the probation department will serve you with a notice of violation of probation, which will state that you are alleged to have violated your probation due to you being charged with a new offense of assault.  The
Continue Reading

My neighbor threatened me. Is that an assault?

Additional  Information: On the weekends, I usually work on my yard but never start up the lawn mower or leaf blower until after 10 AM.  Last Saturday my neighbor charged out of his house after I started the lawn mower and started screaming at me (on my land) about how I always wake him up and threatened to break the lawn mower over my head.  I asked him to get off my property but he didn’t.  My wife saw this exchange and called the police. When they arrived, they talked to him but as far as I know didn’t really do anything.  Now I’m worried that this guy will harm me or my wife or do something to our property because he is clearly unstable.  So isn’t that an assault and why did the cops do nothing?  Besides this crazy neighbor, we really like our Leominster home and neighborhood.  What
Continue Reading

Do we need a divorce lawyer or can we write up agreement ourselves?

Additional Information: What is the best way to handle the financial aspects of a divorce? I have been separated (not legally) from my husband for over a year and half. We are on good terms with one another and he lives nearby in an apartment in  Fitchburg which helps with the logistics of sharing custody and other parenting responsibilities for our 2 children.  He currently pays for daycare for our son and I’d like to ask him to help with half of the children’s medical/dental expenses.  Can we write up an agreement or do we need a lawyer for this? ATTORNEY ANSWER: In my opinion you are better off seeking the advice of an experienced divorce attorney regarding the financial aspects of your divorce and for drafting a clear, unequivocal, binding divorce agreement.  Depending on your respective incomes and assets the financial aspects of your divorce could be relatively simple
Continue Reading

Do I have any rights to my wife’s house in Leominster?

Additional  Information: When I got married, I moved into my wife’s house in Leominster. We are now getting divorced and I’d like to keep the house. Do I have any rights to it?  How are assets divided? ATTORNEY ANSWER: Judges in MA are given wide discretion to divide all of the martial estate of the parties.  The applicable statute is M.G.L. C. 208 s. 34, which sets forth all of the factors the Court must consider in dividing marital estate.  It is difficult to say what your interest in the home may be without having more information.  It would be helpful to know how long your wife owned the home prior to the marriage and what the value of the home was on the date of the marriage versus today.  It would also be helpful to know the length of your marriage.  It will also depend on the amount of
Continue Reading

My wife and I are divorcing – will she have any claim on monies from my new business?

Additional Information: My wife and I have been separated for over a year. I am living with a new partner in the Fitchburg area and considering starting my own business. Will she have any claim on the monies when we go through the divorce? ATTORNEY ANSWER: Yes.  As long as you are still married your wife could seek an equitable share of any interest that may exist in the new business as well as seek spousal support and or child support from any income made from the business.  The fact that you are separated does not mean that your wife cannot still seek and potentially obtain a portion of the business or the income from it.  You are generally better off not creating a new asset or source of income during the pendency of a divorce.  My advice to you would be to consult with an attorney experienced in divorce
Continue Reading

I am divorced, can I put it in my will that my brother will be gaurdian if I die?

Additional Information: My wife and I got divorced in Worcester two years ago and I got sole custody of our 5 year-old son. My question is if I put it in my will that my brother will take care of my son if I die, will that happen or can my wife get custody if she wants? ATTORNEY ANSWER: Your wife could still get custody of your son even if you put it in your will.  Despite the fact that you got sole custody of your son, if you die, your wife will still have a right to petition the court for custody of your son.  Your brother could also file a petition for guardianship upon your death and try to establish that your ex wife is unfit as a parent and that it would be in the best interests of your son to live with your brother.  Unless your
Continue Reading

How do I get my ex-wife removed from my Leominster house deed?

Additional Information: I have been divorced for 9 years and as part of the separation agreement, I got the house in Leominster, MA. How do I get my ex-wife removed from my house deed? One of our lawyers was supposed to take care of this but it never happened. I have contacted my lawyer numerous times over the years to no avail. What do I need to do to get this taken care of? ATTORNEY ANSWER: A new deed needs to be drafted stating that you and your ex wife deed the property over to you individually.  If you are unable to get in contact with your former attorney then most attorneys are capable of drafting a new deed.  We charge a nominal fee of $100.00 to draft a new deed.  Once the deed is drafted your ex wife will need to sign it and then it will need to
Continue Reading

Our son, a student at a Fitchburg MA college, was recently arrested.

Additional Information: Our son, a freshman at a Fitchburg MA college, was recently arrested while carrying a small amount of cocaine. My wife and I are wondering if we should spend our money (which we can afford) to hire an attorney to defend him in this charge.  Is it going to make any difference or will he end up with the same type of plea bargain? Thanks. ATTORNEY ANSWER: At the very least you should consult with an experienced attorney to discuss your sons rights and available options.  We charge a very reasonable consultation fee to review your case, including analyzing the complaint, any police reports, witness statements and all available evidence in the case.  Upon review of all evidence we will advise you on your sons rights and all available remedies, including what you can expect to happen with the case. Most of the time I am able to
Continue Reading

What is the new law in Massachusetts regarding marijuana?

Additional Information: What is the new law in Massachusetts regarding marijuana?  Is it being enforced? ATTORNEY ANSWER: The new law in MA makes it a civil infraction, no longer punishable as a criminal offense, to possess an ounce or less of marijuana.  The police must issue a citation, similar to a speeding ticket, and it carries a $100 fine.  This citation is appealable in Court similar to a speeding ticket.  The statistics I have read show that most police departments are issuing very few citations for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. I have handled several cases where an individual has possessed less than an ounce of marijuana, but has packaging material, a scale, some cash and other circumstances which may or may not indicate distribution of marijuana, and the police will charge the person with possession with intent to distribute.  The police have a very difficult burden
Continue Reading