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Criminal Defense Attorney in Springfield, Massachusetts

If you’ve been accused of a crime in Massachusetts, it’s natural to feel frustrated—or even completely overwhelmed.  After all, a criminal conviction could subject you to devastating penalties, including lengthy imprisonment, substantial fines, a criminal record, loss of driving privileges, and other consequences. However, despite what you might feel right now, you must remember: you have options
Have you been arrested and charged with theft, weapon crimes, domestic violence, drug possession, or anything else? Reach out to a skilled Massachusetts criminal defense attorney right away. At the Law Office of Joseph M Pacella, I am ready to represent clients in their criminal cases. Using my extensive knowledge, I can fight vigorously for your rights and strive to keep your record clean.  

My firm proudly represents clients across Springfield, Massachusetts, and throughout Western and Central Massachusetts, including Palmer, Westfield, Northampton, and Amherst. Set up a consultation today. 

Criminal Charges in Massachusetts

A criminal charge can be described as a formal allegation made by a police officer, public prosecutor, or governmental authority against a person for committing a crime or violating the law. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, criminal charges may be categorized into misdemeanors and felonies. 


A misdemeanor is a lesser form of crime that a person may be charged with in Massachusetts. Misdemeanor charges are heard in District Court in the state. Some common misdemeanor offenses in Massachusetts include: 

  • Assault and battery 

  • Petty larceny 

  • Reckless driving 

  • Unlawful discharge of a firearm 

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) 

  • Domestic assault 

  • Shoplifting 

  • Indecent exposure 

  • Disorderly conduct 

  • Trespassing 


Felonies are more serious offenses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and usually carry severe punishments. The charges may be heard in the district or superior courts. Some common examples of felony offenses in Massachusetts include: 

  • Murder 

  • Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon 

  • Child pornography 

  • Vehicular homicide 

  • Gun charges 

  • Kidnapping 

  • Burglary 

  • Drug possession with intent to sell or distribute 

  • 3rd or subsequent DUI offense 

  • Child endangerment 

  • Felony sexual assault or rape 

If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, you should get in touch with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your legal representative can educate you about the state’s criminal court process and help outline your defense strategy.

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Massachusetts Criminal Court Process

Here are the different stages involved in the Massachusetts criminal court process: 

Arrest: Upon witnessing a crime or receiving a report, the police will investigate and arrest the culprit. After the arrest, the police will bring you in for booking. 

Arraignment: This is your first appearance in court. At the arraignment, the judge will read your charges to you and advise you of your constitutional rights. In addition, you may plead “not guilty,”  “guilty,” or “nolo contendere (no contest).” A pretrial conference date will be set. 

Pretrial: The pretrial state comprises all court hearings, appearances, and processes that occur prior to a formal trial. The pretrial conference may include discovery, court appearances, interrogatories, motions, exchanging evidence, and negotiating plea bargains. If your case isn’t resolved during the pretrial conference, it will typically proceed to trial. 

Trial:  The case may be tried by a judge or jury to determine whether you’re innocent or guilty of the charges. During the court trial, both defense counsel and prosecutor will present evidence, make arguments, and interview witnesses. At the end of the trial, the judge or jury will make a final decision. 

Verdict: If the judge or jury finds you not guilty, you will be discharged and acquitted.  If you’re found guilty, you will be sentenced at a sentencing hearing. 

Appeal: If you’re not satisfied with the trial proceedings or the verdict or if you believe you were sentenced unjustly, you may be able to appeal the judgment. You must file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the verdict. 

Don’t try to go through this process alone. An experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney can represent you in your case and help you achieve the best available outcome for your unique circumstances. 

How Legal Counsel Can Help

A criminal conviction can jeopardize your personal reputation, freedom, career, and future opportunities. When arrested and charged with a crime, retaining a highly-skilled criminal defense attorney is imperative. 

At the Law Office of Joseph M Pacella, I’m dedicated to offering reliable counsel to clients throughout Massachusetts. As your attorney, I can investigate the details of your case and strategize a strong defense to fight your charges. Ultimately, I believe that you deserve a path forward. 

Criminal Defense Attorney in Springfield, Massachusetts

If you’re facing criminal charges, don’t face them alone. Contact me at the Law Office of Joseph M Pacella today to schedule a case evaluation. My firm proudly represents clients across Springfield, Massachusetts, and throughout Western and Central Massachusetts, including Palmer, Westfield, Northampton, and Amherst.