Attorney Christopher Affsa has been a criminal defense attorney the last 20 plus years. He has practiced in District Court, Superior Court and Federal Courts throughout the United States. In that time he has refined a trial strategy that takes in to account factors specific to each defendant, crime, court and penalty. Whatever the charge may be we will always direct the case towards a Jury Trial. Our firm is preparing for Trial the instant we are retained. A “Not Guilty” is our only goal. Every motion filed, piece of evidence excluded, statement suppressed, witness investigated and juror chosen is in furtherance of that. A plea agreement may eventually be your best or only option but we’ve learned that it’s better to negotiate from a position of strength than weakness. The United States is currently in the throes of deadly opiate epidemic that has no end in sight. The drugs are getting more lethal and less expensive and that combination is wreaking havoc in our communities. Locally in Norfolk, Plymouth, Bristol and Suffolk Counties of Massachusetts we are seeing a whole generation being wiped out. They are leaving behind the next generation who will grow up in a single parent home or worse, parentless. The path of destruction an addict leaves in his wake is astounding to the uniformed. I have practiced the majority of my career during this epidemic. I’ve learned, adjusted and applied myself to be not only a person’s defense lawyer, but at times to wear the hat of drug counsellor, therapist, educational advisor, health monitor, rehabilitation coordinator, housing facilitator, tailor, parenting educator and others to be able to navigate through the interwoven issues with addiction and the accompanying crimes that most often result. The roles of judge, prosecutor, probation officer and defense attorney have evolved to where knowledge of drugs, addiction, treatment options and facilities, communicating with court clinicians, rehab staff, Sober House Managers, AA sponsors and finding candidates for the Massachusetts opioid driven and recently created Drug Court Programs.
“How much did you drink tonight?”
“I’d like you to step out of the vehicle and take some tests for me.”
“If you blow and fail you only lose your license for 30 days. If you refuse to blow you lose it for 6 months.”
These are common questions/statements made to operators by law enforcement during a roadside stop where the Officer suspects alcohol may be involved. Unfortunately, citizens rarely understand their Constitutional Rights when it comes to these questions/statements designed to elicit testimonial responses which ultimately drive the direction of your subsequent defense.
-You don’t have to answer questions during a roadside stop.
-You don’t have to perform physical tests (roadside Olympics) on the side of a darkened highway.
-You don’t have to blow into a machine no matter how persuasive/coercive the police officer sounds.
If you’re reading this now it’s probably too late to change your answers to those requests. When you LawyerUp we work to try to suppress those statements that may be damaging, mitigate those physical tests and attack the effectiveness of that breath test machine which has been shown time and again to be faulty, error prone and unreliable. In fact the B.T. results have not been admitted into evidence by any Massachusetts county outside of Suffolk for some time now. That has or will change soon but the fact remains that the Draeger B.T. machines are faulty and deserve an inspection of the maintenance logs, error codes, calibration levels and solution dates. The penalties for O.U.I. are ever changing and increasing with mandatory minimum sentences for a 3rd Offense of Higher with lifetime lookbacks.
There are hundreds of Chapters each with dozens of Statutes/laws in Massachusetts Courts. Thousands of Criminal Codes/laws in Federal Court. The rules of evidence and procedure are different in each venue. In fact, local US District Courts even have their own specific rules which differ from District to District. No matter the crime: assault, larceny, fraud, possession, conspiracy, motor vehicle offenses or others and no matter the jurisdiction or venue; District, Superior or Federal when you LawyerUp you can feel confident our experience will guide your defense.
*I strongly advise my clients to be polite, cooperative and courteous with all law enforcement encounters. During an arrest on the side of the road or even your home is not the time or the place to try the issue. In fact, being polite, cooperative and courteous only can bolster your ultimate defense in a Jury Trial.
“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”
– Thomas Jefferson (1788)
“It’s not what you know. It’s what you can prove”
– Denzel Washington as Alonzo Harris, Training Day 2001
“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.