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Practice Areas

Areas of Practice

If you've been arrested or charged with a criminal offense, having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is essential to obtaining a favorable resolution to your case. At Greater Boston Law, we provide sound legal advice and effective representation in the following areas:

Traffic Violations

There are a number of different types of traffic violations which, depending on the offense and whether you have had past convictions, can sometimes carry very serious consequences, including a rise in your insurance rates, suspension of your license, a negative impact on your record, new limits to which types of jobs you are allowed to take, and even jail time. Such offenses could include:

  • Speeding tickets
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving without insurance
  • Driving without a license (or a revoked, suspended, or expired license)
  • Failure to obey a police officer

Arrest Warrants and Bench Warrants

In general, arrest warrants are issued by a court where there is probable cause to believe a crime occurred, and bench warrants are issued where a person failed to follow a court order, such as to appear in court. All warrants command the arresting officer to bring the accused before the court without unnecessary delay.

Warrants can be incredibly stressful and seem highly out of proportion to the offense you've been charged with, such as unpaid traffic tickets. They can also follow you for years and across state lines, cropping up to obstruct your life and rights at times when you may have forgotten or when you have never known that you had allegedly committed an offense. Such obstructions can include access to certain employment opportunities or government benefits. While a warrant is clearly a serious concern for your life and your record, the implications can be unnecessarily harsh and the process of clearing the warrant without further consequences can be needlessly complicated.

The easiest way to overcome a warrant is to contact a qualified attorney who can inform you of what action to take and represent you in having the warrant removed.

Clerk Magistrate's Hearings

In some cases, if you are charged by the police with a misdemeanor offense that has not actually been witnessed by police officers, you may be entitled to a clerk magistrate's hearing prior to being officially charged. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether there is sufficient probable cause to charge you with a crime and bring the matter to court. A clerk magistrate's hearing gives you a chance to prevent further action against you before there has been a risk of permanent damage to your criminal record or other consequences. While being called to a clerk magistrate's hearing does not indicate that you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is still highly advantageous to retain a criminal defense attorney's representation in order to avoid being charged at all. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf before and during the hearing to attempt to prevent charges from being brought against you.

Drunk Driving


  • You DON'T have to get out of your motor vehicle.

  • You DON'T have to do field sobriety tests.

  • You DON'T have to take a chemical breath test.

  • You have the right to remain silent!

Refusing field sobriety and/or chemical breath tests will lead to a license suspension of 180 days and may get you arrested, after which you or someone else will need to pay your bail or be brought to court on the next business day. The result is nearly the same if you fail the test(s). Maximum legal blood alcohol content is 0.08% for adult drivers and 0.02% for minors. Sentences for a guilty verdict to a charge of operating under the influence (OUI) can be serious, including combinations of jail time, fines, license suspensions, probation, drug and/or alcohol counseling and/or classes and/or inpatient programs, and increases in your insurances rates. The length of jail time, amount of fines, and seriousness of substance abuse recovery programs increase with each offense.

Felonies and Misdemeanors

Felonies are crimes punishable in Massachusetts by significant time in prison, often five years or more. Felonies include a variety of offenses, such as aggravated assault and battery, weapons charges, and sex crimes, and a guilty charge can have a serious and permanent impact on your record and your rights.

Misdemeanors are classified as less serious crimes than felonies, punishable by up to two and-a-half years of jail time, though most often misdemeanors are a threat to your record, possibly a serious one, along with possible fines or other consequences. Common misdemeanors include shoplifting, many types of drug possession, disorderly conduct, and operating under the influence (OUI).

Disorderly Conduct/Assault and Battery

Disorderly conduct is an extremely common charge typically indicating nothing more than that a police officer found your behavior irritating or unhelpful. Such an arbitrary charge can often be successfully overturned, at the very least mitigating the consequences for you and your record and possibly keeping the charge from going to court. Declining to defend yourself with the help of attorney could cause a potentially minor charge to become a serious threat to your record, finances, rights, and/or liberty. With the help of an attorney, many disorderly conduct charges on their own will not necessarily have a serious impact on the rest of your life.

Drug Offenses

Convictions for drug offenses, while extremely common in Massachusetts, can carry serious short-term and long-term consequences. Drug convictions not only jeopardize your freedom, but may also impact your driver's license and your ability to receive student aid if you are a student. A conviction for trafficking can carry high mandatory minimum sentences, often dependent not only on how much of a drug was allegedly in your possession, but also which types of drugs, whether you were in a school zone, or whether firearms were involved, making a proper legal defense absolutely essential if you are facing such accusations. Such sentences often include significant prison time, heavy fines, probation, and/or mandatory drug treatment programs.

Theft and Fraud Crimes

Attorney Inna Rifman at Greater Boston Law defends clients against all types of theft-related charges, including:

  •     Shoplifting
  •     Larceny
  •     Robbery and armed robbery
  •     Receiving stolen property
  •     Burglary
  •     Embezzlement

Theft and fraud crimes range from shoplifting and petty larceny, charges which include variations on simple, unauthorized taking, to armed robbery - taking property from someone's person using violence or the threat of violence. The major factors in potential consequences of a theft or fraud charge include the monetary value of the items allegedly stolen and whether the theft involved use of violence, a threat of violence, or weapons, specifically firearms. Charges can also become more serious if you have been accused of using a disguise while committing theft or, of course, if you have a poor criminal record or prior convictions for theft and/or fraud.

Restraining Order Violations

Once given conditions of a restraining order, it can be extremely easy to violate those conditions. It can also be easy to be placed under a restraining order without prior knowledge of the accusation or the proceedings - this can even mean that you end up evicted in the long- or short-term from your own home on extremely short notice. Because of the delicate nature and implied guilt that comes with the application of restraining orders, it is essential that you retain the services of an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to explain the conditions of your restraining order and make as certain as possible that you do not inadvertently violate the terms. This could be as easy as making a phone call, asking someone to speak with the plaintiff, or accidentally walking into a building or within a certain distance where the plaintiff is present.
If you do violate a restraining order, it is even more critical that you have an attorney on your side to help you avoid serious consequences such as jail time or fines. As explained above, it can be very easy to inadvertently violate a restraining order, but it is highly preferable to have an attorney review the specific case, the conditions of the order, and the overall context in order to best explain the circumstances.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence includes violence between intimates such as family members, spouses, or domestic partners. Due in large part to the nature of most relationships in which domestic violence occurs, it can be difficult to prove either innocence or guilt of domestic violence charges. One significant element of domestic violence charges is that they cannot be dropped by the original alleged victim. If someone is suspected of committing domestic violence, prosecutors will often bring charges regardless of a victim's declaration. Likewise, when responding to reports of domestic violence, many police departments in Massachusetts are required to arrest whichever party appears guilty of the charges at the time and remove them from the home. As a result of these measures, it is easy for the involved parties to quickly lose control of the legal situation surrounding a domestic violence complaint. The high risk involved and committed investment of a criminal prosecutor make it essential to retain a criminal defense attorney to protect yourself from the potential damage of domestic violence charges.

Police Misconduct

Occasionally, you may find yourself in an encounter with police officers that leads to police misconduct. This can include an unwarranted search conducted without probable cause or your explicit permission, police brutality (unjustified violence leading to injury or death), false arrest/wrongful imprisonment, racial profiling, or perhaps other violations of civil rights. Provided sufficient evidence of police misconduct, charges against you may be dropped and/or you may be entitled to some measure of compensation.

Federal Crimes

Federal crimes often come with a level of seriousness and complexity not present in state charges. Federal crimes can include such major offenses as kidnapping, drug smuggling across state lines, arms trafficking, tax evasion, money laundering, or mail fraud. They are distinguished by the fact that they violate federal as opposed to state legislation, often meaning they occur on federal property, involve a federal agency, or occur across state lines.

If you suspect you are under investigation for committing a federal crime, it is crucial to secure legal representation as soon as possible. Federal investigations can occur for years without your knowledge. Any visits or questioning by the FBI or other federal enforcement agencies may be a sign you should speak with an attorney. Federal investigators will often gather evidence for a case against you while intentionally concealing their purpose. If you do face explicit charges, you will need an attorney who understands the distinction between federal criminal court and state courts. Federal investigations and charges are often daunting, frightening affairs, but with an experienced, knowledgeable attorney, they are not insurmountable.


Government agents often seize an individual's personal property, such as businesses, houses, or automobiles, in relation to a criminal investigation. Even if you are not convicted of any criminal charge, the government may institute civil forfeiture proceedings against you in an attempt to keep your property. Their rationale is often that they must confiscate property connected to criminal activity, even before or in the total absence of criminal charges. This means that all a prosecutor needs is probable cause to confiscate your property, and that you have the burden of proof that your property has had no connection to criminal activity. Even if the prosecutor has no intention of charging you with a crime, property can be confiscated simply because its owners failed to stop crime from happening. In this situation, an attorney's help is indispensable, but past outcomes show that success is by no means out of reach. If this has happened to you,

Juvenile Crimes

If you are under 17 and charged with a crime in Massachusetts, it is likely you will be charged as a minor and called to juvenile proceedings before a judge. You will not be tried by a jury and will face different potential sentencing guidelines than an adult defendant. Thus, there are advantages and disadvantages to being tried in a juvenile court. Besides the difference in your sentencing arrangements, the other critical distinction of juvenile proceedings is the fair likelihood that the court will give you a shot at a clear record once you reach adulthood. Often, this will come with certain conditions.

Juvenile crimes can represent particularly confusing territory in the Massachusetts court system. Policies on how to charge juveniles and whether they ought to be treated as adults under the law remain inconsistent and changing. Sometimes it can depend on the charge. Common charges such as underage drinking, transportation of alcohol, and shoplifting often do not result in time in court or an altered criminal record provided you are able to retain the services of a good criminal defense attorney. Other charges for violent crimes, theft, or sex crimes can have wide-ranging consequences heavily dependent on how a court and prosecutor decides to view the crime and the offender. Charged as an adult, a juvenile can face drastic consequences for their immediate and long-term future, making it difficult to complete an education, acquire a decent job, find a home, and so on.

With proper legal representation, a judge will usually recognize that juveniles may make mistakes but carry a high chance of reform. In the best case, your charges can be dropped and/or your innocence proven, according to the circumstances of your alleged offense. Often, even if you are found guilty, you may be eligible for reduced sentences based on your status as a minor. At the very least, we will do all we can to minimize your sentence and ensure a clean record to allow you the best possible opportunities in the future.

Probation Violations

Often, when convicted of a crime, you will be released but given probation conditions which you must agree to and faithfully observe. These can include a wide variety of requirements, tailored to your individual case and usually in some way related to the crime of which you have been convicted.
You can be arrested for violating your probation in the following ways:

  • Failure to complete any condition of original probation
  • Changing your address without permission,
  • Failure to pay court costs or fines
  • Missing a meeting with a probation officer
  • Not completing court-ordered classes and or treatment programs
  • Commission of another crime

If you are found guilty of violating your probation, more conditions may be added to your probation terms. Your probation period may be lengthened or revoked, and you may even face time in jail or prison.

Probation is a delicate position to be in. It can be easy to violate probation, even to do so accidentally, but the result can have dire consequences for your future and for the ultimate recovery from your original conviction. It is best to have an experienced attorney at your disposal while on probation, or at least once you have been accused of committing a violation.

Contact info

(781) 436-0316

(781) 459-1075

220 Commercial Street #9
Boston, MA 02109

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