Representative Cases

Assault & Battery – Jury Trial

Attorney Michael Franklin represented a client who hosted a late night party. When a friend brought 2 uninvited guests, a fight broke out between one of them and an invited guest. The uninvited guest was bruised, received stitches in his lip and was knocked unconscious. My client held one of the uninvited guests back in order to prevent the fight from escalating. My client was charged with assault and battery on the person who was injured and on the person who was held back. I successfully argued to keep medical records out of evidence because they were not properly introduced. Photographs of the injuries were allowed into evidence.  Witnesses for both the prosecution and the defense testified as to what they witnessed.  Attorney Franklin argued that my client’s actions were justified based on the defense of others and the defense of his property. The Jury agreed and found my client not guilty on all charges.

Reduction of Alimony

Attorney Michael Franklin represented a client who is a salesman and was required to pay $742.00 per week plus 20% of all gross income earned over $180,000.00 per year as alimony to his ex-wife. His base pay was $180,000.00 per year. He lost his employment and obtained new employment with a base pay of $130,000.00 per year. The client sought to reduce his alimony obligation based on his reduction in his base pay.  A Complaint to modify his alimony obligation was filed and thereafter, the recipient of the alimony, his ex-wife lost her employment and her income in the amount of $55,000.00 per year. The defense argued there was no change in circumstances that justified a reduction in my client’s alimony obligation because although my client’s base pay was reduced, he actually earned more annually than when the Judgment was originally issued. This was true. Further, since the ex-wife lost her income, there was certainly no basis to reduce his alimony obligation. Wife obtained new employment earning $600.00 per week. Attorney Franklin argued that more income should be attributed to the wife based on her skills and experience. The Court agreed and reduced the client’s weekly alimony obligation by $118.25 per week to $623.75 per week. The Court still required my client to pay 20%  of any gross income he earned over $180,000.00 per year as additional alimony to his ex-wife.

Reduction of Child Support

Attorney Michael Franklin represented a father of 4 year old child born out of wedlock who resided here in Massachusetts who was previously ordered to pay child support in the amount of $398.00 per week retroactive to the child’s birth. He was a salesman with an annual income of $125,000 at the time of The Order. The child support arrearage totaled over $70,000.00 with interest and penalties accruing. The client also fathered two older children from a previous marriage who resided out of state. He was required to pay $406.00 per week in child support for those children. In addition, the client fathered a younger child in another state for which he had to pay $232.00 per week in child support. The client lost his employment and obtained new employment with a reduced amount of compensation at $80,000 per year. The mother of the 4 year old child was not employed and was previously allowed to utilize the dependency exemption because she was married. The mother’s husband was getting the tax benefit of the dependency exemption for the child. After trial, The Court reduced my client’s child support obligation to $258.00 per week, terminated interest and penalties from accruing on the child support arrearage and permitted my client to pay it off at $50.00 per week. The client was also permitted to utilize the dependency exemption for the child for income tax purposes. The mother unsuccessfully argued there was no change in circumstances that justified a reduction in child support.

Worcester Police Charge Client With Assault and Battery. Jury Finds Not Guilty.

Worcester criminal defense attorney Michael Franklin represented a man for a jury trial at Worcester District Court. He was charged with Assault & Battery stemming from an incident on January 3, 2016.

My client and another man got into an argument while they were residents of a boarding house. The men admittedly didn’t get along during their residency there and argued and insulted each other frequently. A fight broke out between the two after an argument and the police were called. The Worcester police charged my client with assault and battery after listening to both men’s versions of events. I determined that my client had a right to self-defense and the other man was the aggressor. The jury listened to both men’s versions of events during direct and cross examination. The alleged victim claimed my client was the aggressor and he was defending himself. Photos were shown of the alleged victim’s injuries, scratches on his heads and hands. Photos were also shown of the living area where the incident took place.

Result: After deliberating for a short time, the jury found my client not guilty of the charges.

Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol

I recently represented a 60 year old man in Worcester District Court who had 2 knee replacements and was taking medications for diabetes at the time he was stopped by a state police trooper. The trooper pulled my client’s vehicle over after he went through a red light. The trooper noticed my client was slurring his speech , smelled of liquor and had bloodshot and glassy eyes. The trooper had my client step from the vehicle and my client needed to support himself against the vehicle to stand. The trooper asked my client if he had any injury or condition that would prevent him from performing field sobriety tests. My client informed the trooper about his knee replacements and that he was on medication for diabetes. Nevertheless, the trooper proceeded with the field sobriety tests and my client consequently failed the tests and was arrested and criminally charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of liquor. My client’s medical records were reviewed by a medical expert, a nurse consultant, who explained to the court about the side effects of the medication he was taking. The side effects of these medications were dizziness, confusion and slurred speech. She also explained that my client could have been suffering from fluctuating blood sugar levels from his diabetic condition (hypoglycemia) which explained why my client appeared confused and dizzy. The court found my client not guilty for operating his motor vehicle under the influence of liquor because there were other possible causes of my client’s impairment besides liquor and the Commonwealth could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that liquor was the sole cause of my client’s impairment. Specifically, the medical conditions he suffered from and the side effects of the medications he was taking for them gave the Court a reasonable doubt about liquor being the sole cause of the impairment.

 

Worcester District Court Jury Verdict

In a recent case at Worcester District Court, I represented a Hispanic man who was charged with 2 counts of Assault and Battery on a Police Officer, a  civil rights violation, resisting arrest as well as Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace. He was in his parked car  outside of his children’s residence in a Worcester neighborhood. A police officer was dispatched there as a result of a report of a Hispanic man operating a vehicle that was blasting music, operating erratically and it hit a pole or another car. The officer who was black approached my client’s vehicle because it seemed to match the description of the reported vehicle. My client’s vehicle had no damage or signs of damage. The officer asked my client what he was doing and received no response. He requested if my client had his license. My client said yes. My client provided the license. The officer requested my client’s registration. My client didn’t respond. The officer requested my client step from the vehicle because he feared my client could have a weapon and he wanted to check. [Read more…]

Violating a Harassment Protection Order

In a recent jury case in Worcester District Court, I represented a man who was charged with violating a harassment protection order by allegedly making 3 telephone calls to the alleged victim. The telephone calls registered as an “unknown caller” on the alleged victim’s cellular telephone and she testified that she recognized my client’s voice. She reported the violation to the police. On cross examination, she didn’t know whether the police performed an investigation to determine whether the calls came from my client’s cellular telephone or his home telephone. The jury took less than 15 minutes to find my client not guilty of the charge.

Assault with a Dangerous Weapon

I represent a woman whose husband filed criminal charges of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon against her in District Court after my client threatened to leave the marriage with the child. The husband alleged that my client attempted to strike both him and their 18 month old child with an automobile after an argument. He obtained an Abuse Prevention Order (Restraining Order) against my client based on these allegations. My client was the primary caretaker of the child. Prior to my representation, the Court ordered that she stay away from the husband and ordered that the husband have custody of the minor child through the Abuse Prevention Order. Thereafter, he alleged that she violated the Abuse Prevention Order when he received a post of “I love you” from a mutually shared Google Calendar Application both parties shared through their mobile devices. Moreover, the husband also filed a Complaint for Divorce against the wife soon afterwards. I also represent the wife in divorce proceedings. It was our position that the charges were false and only filed so he could gain an advantage in custody proceedings in the Divorce. After the extension hearing for the Abuse Prevention Order in District Court, the Court dismissed the Abuse Prevention Order. In addition, after a hearing on a Motion For Temporary Orders in The Probate and Family Court, my client was awarded shared physical custody of the minor child. The husband was also ordered to pay my client child support. My client was thrilled because the husband had kept the child from her for the previous 78 days. The criminal charges and the Divorce are still pending and my client intends to vigorously defend these allegations at trial in both the District Court and the Probate & Family Court. To be continued.

Update: The woman I represented who was alleged to have assaulted her husband with a dangerous weapon (a car) in Fitchburg District Court was found not guilty by a jury after a a day long trial. The jury took less than 20 minutes to reach their verdict.

 

 

Fraudulently Filed An Abuse Prevention Order

I REPRESENTED THE HUSBAND AND FATHER OF 2 DAUGHTERS, 8 AND 12 YEARS OLD IN A RECENT DIVORCE CASE IN WORCESTER PROBATE AND FAMILY COURT. THE WIFE FRAUDULENTLY FILED AN ABUSE PREVENTION ORDER AGAINST FATHER BASED ON FALSE ALLEGATIONS AND FATHER WAS NOT PERMITTED TO HAVE CONTACT WITH HIS CHILDREN WHOM HE WAS VERY CLOSE WITH AND WAS ORDERED TO STAY AWAY FROM MOTHER AND THE MARITAL REAL ESTATE. CONSEQUENTLY, MOTHER OBTAINED TEMPORARY SOLE PHYSICAL CUSTODY OF THE CHILDREN AND USE AND OCCUPANCY OF THE MARITAL REAL ESTATE. FATHER MOVED INTO AN APARTMENT 30 MILES AWAY FROM THE MARITAL REAL ESTATE. THE ABUSE PREVENTION ORDER WAS EVENTUALLY DISMISSED. THE FATHER SOUGHT AND OBTAINED JOINT OR SHARED PHYSICAL CUSTODY OF HIS CHILDREN AFTER TRIAL. AS A RESULT, HIS CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATION WAS REDUCED. ( FATHER EARNED SIGNIFICANTLY MORE THAN THE MOTHER) THE COURT FOUND THAT MOTHER WAS UNDEREMPLOYED AND ATTRIBUTED INCOME TO HER. THE COURT ALSO ORDERED THAT IF MOTHER MOVED FROM THE TOWN WHERE THE CHILDREN ATTENDED SCHOOL, THEY ARE TO ATTEND SCHOOL IN THE TOWN WHERE FATHER RESIDES. ANOTHER ISSUE IN THE CASE WAS THAT MOTHER KEPT STALLING TO PUT THE MARITAL REAL ESTATE ON THE MARKET BECAUSE FATHER WAS ORDERED TO PAY THE MORTGAGE WHILE SHE OCCUPIED THE MARITAL REAL ESTATE. THE COURT ORDERED THE MARITAL REAL ESTATE TO BE SOLD AND THE PARTIES TO EQUALLY DIVIDE THE PROCEEDS AFTER REASONABLE CLOSING COSTS.THE CLIENT WAS EXTREMELY SATISFIED.

Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Drugs

I represented a client in District Court who was charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Drugs. The case was tried before a Judge and the client was found not guilty. I was able to get the Massachusetts State Trooper who arrested the client to admit that he did not know whether my client consumed drugs prior to operating his motor vehicle during cross examination.