Legal Service in Worcester, MA
We have worked diligently to earn favorable outcomes on behalf of our clients. Below is a small sample of the successful outcomes from our legal services in Worcester, MA:
Attorney Darren Griffis Secures Release for Client Wrongfully Held in Jail for Seven Months
August 2, 2019, Worcester Superior Court, Worcester, Massachusetts
The family of a 31-year-old resident of Lowell, Massachusetts contacted Attorney Darren Griffis for assistance on behalf of a family member who had been held in jail since January 2019, a total of approximately seven months. After being contacted by the family, Attorney Griffis and Glickman Sugarman Kneeland & Gribouski Attorney Alex Mooradian met with the client at the Worcester County jail. The client explained that he was being held for serious felony drug charges out of the Worcester Superior Court but that he believed he was in jail based on allegations related to another individual who was using his name and identifying information.
Attorney Griffis decided to act immediately to determine why the client was being held and whether this was a case in which he was being held for offenses allegedly committed by another individual. During the course of this investigation, Attorney Griffis learned that the client had indeed been locked up based on a warrant that had been issued for a different person entirely and that the individual who had the pending charges in Worcester Superior Court had been released on bail months ago.
Attorney Griffis brought this error to the attention of the court and the District Attorney's Office, who agreed that the client was being held erroneously. As a result, a Worcester Superior Court judge ordered that the client be released immediately, and the client was able to return to his family.
Case Dismissed for Client Facing Gun Charges
July 19, 2019, Milford District Court, Milford, Massachusetts
A twenty-two-year-old man from Milford, Massachusetts was charged in July 2019 with a number of felony offenses related to the theft of a gun that was allegedly taken from a house in Woonsocket, Rhode Island and transported to Milford. The client faced three felony counts, including possession of a gun without an FID card, carrying a firearm without a license, and being an alien in possession of a firearm. He was also charged with the misdemeanor offense of receiving stolen property valued less than $1,200. Unfortunately, after the client was arrested and arraigned on these charges, he was ordered held on a substantial cash bail. After the bail was set, the client's family retained Attorney Darren Griffis to represent him.
Attorney Griffis investigated the factual allegations made by two indviduals named in the police report, who accused the client of taking the gun from Woonsocket. After speaking to the relevant witnesses, Attorney Griffis learned that there were a number of issues with the government's case and raised those concerns with the District Attorney's Office. The District Attorney's Office subsequently agreed with Attorney Griffis's assessment of the factual shortcomings with the case and dismissed all of the charges against the client, citing a lack of reliable evidence that could be introduced at trial. As a result of the dismissal, the client was released from custody.
Client Found Not Guilty of Indecent Assault and Battery
May 10, 2019, Leominster District Court, Leominster, Massachusetts
Attorneys Darren Griffis and James Gribouski represented a fifty-three-year-old man from Centerville, Massachusetts who had been charged with multiple counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. These charges were the result of allegations made by the client's nephew, who claimed that the client repeatedly subjected him to sexual abuse when he was between the ages of six and nine years old. According to the alleged victim, he had no memories of this abuse until he reached the age of 22 years old because he had "repressed" those memories. The alleged victim reported the alleged abuse to the police when he was 23, and the police filed a criminal complaint against the client.
Attorneys Griffis and Gribouski hired a leading expert in the field of memory, who testified that there is no scientific support for the idea or theory that traumatic memories of abuse can be "repressed" or forgotten and then suddenly "remembered." Through their cross-examination of the complaining witness and by introducing evidence of the complainant's past medical history and testimony from the client's family, Attorneys Griffis and Gribouski were also able to demonstrate that the allegations made by the alleged victim were likely false. After hearing all of the evidence, the judge ruled that the government could not meet its burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. As a result, the judge entered a finding of not guilty on all of the charges against the client.
Gun Charges Against Client Dismissed
March 6, 2019, Worcester Central District Court, Worcester, Massachusetts
Attorney Darren Griffis's client, a 47-year-old woman from Southbridge, Massachusetts, was a backseat passenger in a car that was pulled over as it traveled on Route 290 near Worcester. After a state trooper determined that the car's registration was expired, he decided to order all of the passengers out to conduct an "inventory" search of the vehicle's contents prior to having it towed. During the search, the trooper opened a closed backpack that he found in the backseat of the car and discovered a loaded .22 caliber gun and some ammunition. As a result, Attorney Griffis's client was charged with carrying a firearm without a license, possession of a firearm without an FID card, and improper storage of a firearm. If she had been convicted of these offenses, the client was facing a mimimum mandatory 18-month jail sentence.
Attorney Griffis carefully reviewed the police report and the application for criminal complaint and -- after extensive research regarding what the Commonwealth was required to prove in order to convict the client of either possessing or carrying the gun -- noticed that the facts that had been presented to the magistrate were not sufficient to support a finding of probable cause that the client had committed any of the alleged offenses. As a result, Attorney Griffis filed a motion to dismiss the charge. During oral argument on the motion to dismiss, the prosecutor largely conceded that he did not have sufficient facts to proceed based on the case law cited in Attorney Griffis's motion and memorandum of law. At the conclusion of the hearing on the motion to dismiss, a district court judge dismissed all three counts against the client.
Client Found Not Guilty for Operating Under the Influence
February 14, 2019, Worcester Central District Court, Worcester, Massachusetts
In September 2018, Attorney Darren Griffis's client, a 38-year-old resident of Leominster, was driving in Worcester after attending a concert with a group of friends. A state trooper claimed that the client ran a red light at approximately 2:00 a.m. and pulled the client's car over. The trooper alleged that he detected signs that the client was under the influence of alcohol and asked him to perform a series of field sobriety tests at the side of the road. After the client did not perform those tests to the trooper's satisfaction, the client was arrested and changed with OUI and negligent operation, along with two civil motor vehicle infractions.
After an in-depth meeting with his client, Attorney Griffis successfully located a number of witnesses who had attended the concert and were aware that the client had not been drinking alcohol that evening. Based on that evidence, as well as his analysis of the facts alleged in the trooper's report, Attorney Griffis advised his client to take the case to trial. At trial, the trooper conceded during cross examination that a number of the observations he made did not necessarily lead to a conclusion that the client was under the influence of alcohol and admitted that the client was not operating his car in an erratic manner. Attorney Griffis also elicited a number of facts that indicated that the client was not impaired. Both the client and another witness testified as well, supplying the jury with important information about how the client had spent his evening prior to being pulled over and providing a very different account of how the field sobriety testing was administered.
After hearing all of the evidence, the client was found not guilty on both criminal counts and not responsible for the civil motor vehicle violations.
Not Guilty Verdict for Third Offense OUI Charge
January 31, 2019, Worcester Central District Court, Worcester, Massachusetts
Attorney Darren Griffis's client, a 41-year-old Auburn resident, was driving on Route 290 near Shrewsbury, Massachusetts when he was pulled over for a number of alleged traffic violations, including driving with a license that was suspended for previously refusing to take a breathalyzer test. After the state trooper made observations that he felt were consistent with the client being under the influence of alcohol, the client was arrested for Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol (OUI). Because he had two prior convictions for OUI, the client was subsequently charged with a third offense and was also charged with Operating Under the Influence while his license was suspended for a prior OUI offense, and operating a vehicle after his license was suspended (subsequent offense). If he was convicted on all of those charges, the client was facing up to four-and-a-half years in jail.
After carefully reviewing all of the evidence, Attorney Griffis negotiated a favorable resolution of the operating with a suspended license charge to a lesser offense. He advised his client to take the remaining charges to trial. Prior to trial, Attorney Griffis litigated a number of motions, including a motion to split the trial into two phases, as well as several motions to exclude potentially damaging evidence against the client. This strategy allowed the client to obtain a fair trial and prevented the jury from hearing harmful testimony regarding the client's prior OUI convictions. At trial, Attorney Griffis managed to elicit a number of favorable facts from the trooper regarding the client's safe operation of his car prior to the traffic stop. The trooper also admitted that the client was not unsteady on his feet when he got out of his car. After all of the evidence was presented and closing arguments made, the jury quickly returned a verdict of not guilty.
Following that first phase of the trial, Attorney Griffis also convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the remaining charge, and the client was able to walk out of the courtroom with his liberty intact.
Successful Motion to Suppress Evidence in OUI Case
November 1, 2018, Worcester Central District Court, Worcester, Massachusetts
Attorney Darren Griffis's client, a 40-year-old man, who is a native of Puerto Rico, was pulled over by a Massachusetts State Trooper on Cambridge Street in Worcester for allegedly crossing a double yellow line as he was driving his car. The trooper claimed that when he attempted to speak to the client after pulling him over, the client did not respond immediately to the trooper's questions and that the client's responses were "unintelligible." According to the trooper, the client said that he understood English. The trooper asked the client to get out of his car and attempt to perform a series of field sobriety tests. Based on the client's allegedly poor performance on those tests, the client was arrested for Operating Under the Influence of alcohol.
After assessing the case, Attorney Griffis decided to challenge the admissibility of the trooper's observations of the client during the field sobriety tests based on the fact that the client is a Spanish speaker with limited knowledge of English and received instructions for the tests in English. Attorney Griffis filed a motion to suppress any evidence or testimony from the trooper regarding the client's performance on the field sobriety tests given this language barrier.
At the hearing, the trooper claimed for the first time that he gave the client the instructions for the field sobriety tests in English and then attempted to provide some instructions in Spanish as well. According to the trooper, he knew a little bit of Spanish from classes he took in junior high and high school. However, during cross-examination, the trooper had to concede that he did not fully translate the complete set of instructions for the field sobriety tests from English into Spanish. Additionally, Attorney Griffis called an expert in the field of language studies to testify that the client's English comprehension was very limited and that he could not have understood the field sobriety test instructions that were provided in English.
After the hearing and argument on the motion, a District Court judge agreed that any evidence or testimony regarding the field sobriety tests would be unreliable and not trustworthy and that admitting the evidence would violate the client's right to due process under the U.S. Constitution and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. As a result, the judge ruled any testimony regarding the field sobriety tests must be excluded from the client's trial.
New Trial Ordered for Client
New Bedford District Court, New Bedford, Massachusetts
In 2017, the client went to trial on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon following an incident that occurred in his mother's apartment on Christmas Eve in 2016. Two witnesses, who were neighbors, testified that the client threatened the alleged victim with a knife during an altercation. The client's trial attorney presented no witnesses of his own and attempted to rely on a flawed legal theory based on the alleged victim's failure to testify at trial. The jury found the client guilty, and the judge sentenced him to two-and-a-half years in the Bristol House of Corrections.
After receiving the case, Attorney Griffis spent considerable time speaking with his client and reviewing the trial transcript and the applicable law. He learned that there were two witnesses — the client's mother and sister — who could have provided testimony that directly contradicted the neighbors' accounts of what happened that evening. Attorney Griffis's research also showed that the trial attorney should have known that he could not rely on the alleged victim's failure to testify at trial. Based on this information, Attorney Griffis filed a motion for new trial for the client, arguing that his client received ineffective assistance of counsel at his first trial.
The judge who presided at the client's original trial held a hearing on Attorney Griffis's motion for new trial. At that hearing, Attorney Griffis presented the testimony of the two exculpatory witnesses, along with legal argument. After the hearing, the judge allowed the motion for new trial, and the client was released from jail.