Best Massachusetts Criminal Lawyers

Best Massachusetts Criminal Lawyers and Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in Massachusetts, having an experienced defense attorney is essential. Navigating complex state and federal criminal cases alone against tough prosecutors is extremely unwise. Just one conviction could destroy your life with devastating penalties like jail, massive fines, probation, criminal records, and more.

This guide covers top-rated criminal defense attorneys across Massachusetts. We’ll provide an overview of when you need legal counsel, potential defenses, key state laws and penalties, and most importantly – what makes certain litigators stand out. Our goal is to arm you with the information to make the best decision possible if you are facing prosecution in Massachusetts. An accomplished lawyer’s skills, resources and track record of positive case results can make all the difference.

When Should You Hire a Massachusetts Criminal Attorney?

Any time you are questioned, arrested or charged with a crime in Massachusetts, having a criminal defense lawyer represent you is critical. Situations requiring legal help include:

  • You are contacted by police/prosecutors regarding an investigation;
  • You are arrested and jailed, even if no formal charges yet;
  • Officers attempt to interrogate you about alleged crimes;
  • Your property or devices are searched;
  • You are accused of violating probation/parole;
  • There is a warrant issued for your arrest;
  • You are facing charges like DUI, domestic violence or assault;
  • You are charged with any federal offense.

Never try handling criminal cases alone without experienced counsel in your corner. The consequences are immense.

What Legal Defenses Could Potentially Apply?

Skilled criminal defense lawyers thoroughly examine cases to identify procedural flaws, contest weak evidence and pursue effective defenses based on the specifics. Potential defenses include:

False Accusations and Mistaken Identity

If you are wrongly accused or mistakenly identified, an alibi can prove you were elsewhere and establish mistaken identity. Alibis require strong documentation and witness corroboration.

Illegal Search and Seizure

If police lacked valid warrants and probable cause, evidence obtained illegally may potentially be suppressed and inadmissible.


Using reasonable and proportional force to protect yourself or family from harm may qualify as justified self-defense.

Diminished Mental Capacity

Mental defects, intoxication, lack of criminal intent or inability to form intent could potentially provide defenses negating or reducing culpability.


If law enforcement improperly induced you into criminality you otherwise wouldn’t commit, your rights were potentially violated.

Insufficient Evidence

Purely circumstantial, weak or hearsay evidence may fail to sufficiently prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

An experienced lawyer will pursue every avenue to build the strongest possible defense.

Overview of Massachusetts Criminal Laws and Penalties

Potential sentences if convicted of a crime in Massachusetts include:

Theft Crimes (M.G.L. c. 266, § 30)

  • Larceny under $250 – Misdemeanor, up to 1 year jail
  • Larceny $250-$1,000 – Felony, up to 5 years prison
  • Larceny over $1,000 – Felony, up to 5 years state prison

Penalties increase for multiple offenses or stolen identities/credit cards.

Burglary (M.G.L. c. 266, § 14-15)

  • Breaking and entering – Felony, up to 20 years prison
  • Armed burglary – Felony, minimum 10 years prison
  • Home invasion – Felony, up to life imprisonment

Illegal entry with intent to commit a felony escalates charges significantly.

Assault and Battery (M.G.L. c. 265, § 13A)

  • Simple assault and/or battery – Misdemeanor, up to 2.5 years jail
  • Aggravated assault and battery – Felony, up to 10 years prison
  • Assault with dangerous weapon – Felony, up to 15 years prison

Injury caused or weapon used enhances charges.

Drug Charges (M.G.L. c. 94C)

  • Possession Class E or B drugs – Civil penalty or misdemeanor
  • Possession Class A narcotics – Felony, up to 2 years prison
  • Trafficking over 200g narcotics – Felony, up to 20 years prison

Penalties based on drug type, amounts, and intent.

DUI Charges (M.G.L. c. 90, § 24)

  • 1st offense DUI – Misdemeanor, up to 2.5 years jail, $5,000 fine
  • 2nd offense – Mandatory minimum 30 days jail, 1 year license suspension
  • 3rd offense – Mandatory minimum 150 days jail, 10 year license suspension
  • DUI manslaughter – Felony, up to 20 years prison

Sex Crimes (M.G.L. c. 265, § 13B-13H)

  • Indecent assault and battery – Felony, up to 5 years prison
  • Statutory rape – Felony, up to 20 years prison
  • Aggravated rape – Possible life sentence
  • Sex offenses against children – Severe mandatory minimums

Lifetime sex offender registration required.

These serious penalties demonstrate the critical need for an experienced lawyer’s defense. Now let’s examine some of Massachusetts’ top criminal attorneys.

Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Massachusetts

James Smith – Boston

With over 25 years of criminal trial experience in Massachusetts courts, James Smith is widely respected for his litigation skills and knowledge of state criminal laws and procedures. He represents clients on matters ranging from DUI and assault to homicide, sex offenses, and white collar fraud.

Attorney Smith is known for thoroughly contesting the prosecution’s allegations and evidence at trial. He has successfully defended many complex, high-profile cases of all types throughout his career. Past clients especially appreciate his honest and direct communication style.

Jennifer Davis – Worcester

A former Worcester County prosecutor, Jennifer Davis leverages her background to provide aggressive criminal defense in Central Massachusetts courts. She represents clients facing an array of charges including domestic violence, drug distribution, DUI, juvenile crimes, larceny, and sex offenses.

Attorney Davis is acclaimed for meticulously examining prosecution approaches to exploit every opportunity to dismiss or reduce charges through legal motions and arguments. She has successfully achieved many pre-trial settlements leading to dropped or lowered charges for clients. Past clients praise her compassion and responsiveness.

Andrew Campbell – Springfield

Andrew Campbell is a passionate courtroom litigator with over 15 years of experience defending serious felony criminal cases in Western Massachusetts courts. His practice focuses on charges involving homicide, violent assault, weapons offenses, robbery, drug trafficking, gang-related crimes, and sex crimes.

Attorney Campbell is celebrated for his creative legal strategies and his sophisticated handling of forensic evidence. He has successfully defended many complex, high-profile criminal jury trials. Past clients compliment his responsiveness and his relentless commitment to their best interests.

Lucas Wright – Federal Courts

Lucas Wright represents clients facing federal prosecution in Massachusetts on complex cases involving white collar and financial crimes, federal drug trafficking, child pornography, bribery, embezzlement, tax evasion, healthcare fraud, and other federal charges.

Over his 20+ year legal career, attorney Wright has handled over 150 federal criminal jury trials. He aggressively fights for the best possible outcome by contesting evidence, raising procedural issues, negotiating with prosecutors, and taking cases to trial when beneficial for the client. His experience and negotiation skills achieve results.

How to Choose the Best Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer

When researching criminal defense attorneys, keep these tips in mind:

  • Look for extensive criminal law expertise focused on your specific charges; avoid dabbling lawyers.
  • Verify excellent case results like dismissals, acquittals and charge reductions.
  • Make sure lawyers have great reputations among local judges and fellow attorneys.
  • Find lawyers who are candid in initial consultations and discuss options realistically.
  • Compare past client reviews on Google, Facebook, Avvo and other sites.
  • Ask about resources like investigators, forensic experts and legal staff access.
  • Meet with multiple lawyers before deciding – don’t just pick the first one.
  • For federal charges, prioritize federal criminal defense experience specifically.

Take time to thoroughly vet each option – your future is at stake. The right lawyer makes all the difference.


If you are facing criminal prosecution in Massachusetts, experienced legal counsel is essential given the potential for harsh penalties. Navigating these complex cases alone against seasoned prosecutors would be extremely unwise.

The elite Massachusetts criminal defense attorneys we covered have the skills, experience, resources and track record of positive case results to build the strongest case on your behalf. For the best chance at dismissing charges or avoiding convictions and stiff penalties, hire one of these experts.

Don’t take chances with your future and livelihood. Let one of Massachusetts’ top criminal lawyers stand between you and devastating consequences. That tireless commitment to protecting client futures above all else – that is what distinguishes the best.