The Importance of Filing a Motion to Dismiss Criminal Charges in Massachusetts
If you could get your criminal case dismissed by filing a legal document called a Motion to Dismiss, why wouldn’t you have your lawyer do it? The clerk will set up a hearing date and your lawyer can then make a persuasive argument to a receptive judge that some or all of the charges against you should be dismissed because the facts alleged in the police report or application for criminal complaint don’t support probable cause that a crime was even committed. If the judge agrees, you will not have to face a trial and you avoid having to resolve the case in another manner prior to trial. The dismissal motion is often referred to as a DiBennadetto Motion. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy is intimately familiar with the motion to suppress process in Massachusetts as Attorney Murphy was the lawyer in the DiBennadetto watershed case pertaining to clerk magistrate hearings and motions to dismiss.
In Commonwealth v. DiBennadetto, 436 Mass. 310 (2002) motion to dismiss practice in the Massachusetts district and municipal courts was greatly expanded. In that case, the defendant alleged that his former landlord hit him one evening, which caused him to lose consciousness There was a show case hearing after a police officer filed an application in the BMC for the issuance of a complaint, followed by the defendant’s arraignment where the judge ordered the case to be reheard by a different clerk magistrate. The case was then heard second clerk magistrate who found there had been probable cause and the defendant appealed, sending the parties to appear before the same BMC judge who eventually found that no probable cause existed. The Supreme Judicial Court held that someone who is complained against who believes there was no probable cause to charge him with a crime is allowed to move to dismiss the complaint in court. The court further reasoned that a motion to dismiss is the only way to challenge a finding of probable cause, because a motion to dismiss will represent a failure to present sufficient evidence to the magistrate or judge.
The importance of filing such a motion if you have been charged with a crime that is not factually supported cannot be understated. It is important that your criminal defense attorney argue the motion to dismiss and therefore help you to avoid a trial altogether and potential damage to your reputation and future if there is a conviction. You will need an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer to help you with your case and pursue the dismissal of some or all of your charges. For decades, the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy has successfully helped dismiss their client’s criminal charges. Attorney Patrick Murphy is a zealous motion to dismiss advocate and will work very hard to dismiss frivolous or unsupported criminal charges. Call 617-367-0450 to contact the Law Office of Attorney Patrick J. Murphy today for a confidential and free assessment of your case, or fill out the contact form on our website to provide us with information on your case.