Common questions potential clients frequently ask Attorney Sandell
Q. How long have you been representing defendants in criminal matters in Massachusetts?
A. I am currently in my 18th continuous year of representing criminal defendants in Massachusetts.
Q. What percentage of you law firm is dedicated to the practice of criminal defense ?
Q. How many criminal matters have you resolved in district courts across Massachusetts?
A. Well over 2,000 matters.
Q. On average how many criminal cases do you resolve a year?
A. On average I would say about 200. Some years it is closer to 250 or 300.
Q. What types of criminal cases to you handle?
A. I generally accept any criminal matter that will remain in District Court. However I generally will not voluntarily represent anyone charged with rape, murder, or a violent sexual assault on a child. Other attorneys choose to represent individuals charged with those crimes, I do not.
Q. Have you ever been sanctioned or disciplined by the Board of Bar Overseers (the agency in Massachusetts that governs professional misconduct complaints, commonly referred to as the BBO).
A. No I have not. My BBO# is 658104 and you are more than welcome to go to Massbbo.org and verify that yourself.
Q. Where is the fee agreement and will you go over it with me?
A. Massachusetts REQUIRES that all criminal fee agreements regarding representing criminal defendants be in writing. I will review thoroughly each paragraph of my fee agreement with you and answer each and every question you have about it before you sign it. If you had a quick conversation with an attorney that ended with no mention of signing a fee agreement and just an "I'll see you at the courthouse and bring the cash" then you may want to consider the fact that if the attorney cannot form the initial stages of an attorney client relationship properly, than why would you trust that person to competently represent you during the course of your legal matter. Again you choose your attorney at you peril.
Q. Can you promise me my case will be dismissed or I’ll be found not guilty at trial?
A. No, it is a clear ethical violation for any Massachusetts criminal defense attorney to promise a client a result in the future. An attorney can explain possible outcomes that could happen, review the strengths and weaknesses of your legal matter and suggest courses of action based on that information. You as the client ultimately decide how your legal matter will ultimately be resolved.
Q. Do you offer free consultations about my criminal matter ?
A. Yes, in general Attorney Sandell does offer free consultations that will generally last about a half hour. These free consultations are geared for people whom represent that they have the funds to hire an attorney and are interested in doing so. If it becomes clear that a person is just fishing for free legal advice that the meeting will be terminated early.
Q. Do you accept payment plans or credit cards?
A. No, any client intending to retain Attorney Sandell is expected to make the agreed upon payment in full prior to representing them in a courtroom.
Q. In what courts and counties do you regularly and occasionally practice?
A. Attorney Sandell regularly practices in Hampden and Hampshire Counties, mainly representing individuals and students who have matters in the E. Hampshire [Belchertown], Northampton, and Palmer District Courts. Attorney Sandell occasionally will represent individuals in Hampden, Franklin and Worcester Counties when a client would like to have an experienced trial attorney by their side. Attorney Sandell is familiar with most of the Judges and Assistant District Attorneys who regularly sit and practice in those courts
Q. How often are you in court representing your defendants in District Courts?
A. Attorney Sandell is regularly in court four to five days a week representing individuals on a variety of criminal matters.
Q. What types of OUI cases have you tried before?
A. Attorney Sandell has tried first, second, third, and fourth offense OUI cases, he has also used forensic toxicologists (Breath test experts), as well as cross examining the Commonwealth’s expert in OUI cases where there was a Breathalyzer test admitted into evidence.
Q. Have you ever argued a Motion to Suppress evidence?
A. Yes, attorney Sandell has successfully argued motions to suppress evidence obtained from a warrantless search that has resulted in all the evidence that was gathered after the stop from being admitted into evidence during trial. This often leads to the prosecution deciding not the prosecute the matter further.
Q. Have you ever argued a motion to exclude a Breathalyzer test?
A. Yes, attorney Sandell has successfully argued a motion to exclude a Breathalyzer test that forbid the Commonwealth from being able to enter the result of the test into evidence.
Q. Are you familiar with the police officer’s field sobriety testing procedures?
A. Yes, Attorney Sandell and thoroughly reviewed numerous police officer’s field sobriety testing manuals and has impeached arresting officers during trial when they deviate from their training.
Q. Are you familiar with the Breathalyzer testing device and the procedures for administering a test?
A. Yes, attorney Sandell has reviewed the Breathalyzer testing manual for police officers as well as being familiar with all of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations that pertain to the proper administration of a Breathalyzer test by a law enforcement official. Attorney Sandell has taught a brief class to other attorneys on how to attack a Breathalyzer test at trial.