To win a motion to suppress, a Woburn, Massachusetts drug trafficking lawyer must be able to identify the legal issues, research the relevant case law, and draft an airtight memorandum of law in support of the motion to suppress. Legal “issues” may be best described as the specific constitutional transgressions of law enforcement in searching or seizing an individual, a motor vehicle, a residence or a business. Unless a Boston drug trafficking attorney can identify legal issues, cite applicable case law, and articulate the constitutional shortcomings of law enforcement’s search, he has no realistic chance of winning a motion to suppress.
Effective Cross-Examination at the Hearing
Motions to suppress are resolved by an evidentiary hearing before the Court. At these hearings, the Assistant District Attorney or Assistant United States Attorney calls law enforcement officers (i.e., narcotics detectives, D.E.A. agents) to testify to the “facts” that provided them with the requisite “probable cause” justifying the search or the arrest. “Probable cause” requires law enforcement to identify the articulable facts from which they reasonably inferred the presence of drugs on the person, motor vehicle, or residence they searched. It is not uncommon for testifying law enforcement officers to “bend” or fabricate “facts.” Defense attorneys can discredit these detectives and agents with aggressive, methodical and savvy cross-examination based on a painstaking review of the police reports, lengthy meetings with the client, an inspection of the “scene of the crime,” a grasp of the unsavory investigatory techniques police employ to circumvent the constitution and, if obtainable, transcripts of the officers’ testimony in other cases. Attorney Kevin J. Mahoney has devoted an entire chapter of his best-selling book, Relentless Criminal Cross-Examination, to teaching criminal defense lawyers how to successfully cross-examine narcotics detectives, D.E.A. agents, confidential informants, and snitches.
Winning the Motion to Suppress
Attorney Mahoney crafts effective cross-examination strategy to complement the relevant case law to compel the judge to appreciate the unconstitutionality the search and to suppress the evidence. Because many judges are reluctant to suppress evidence, they will seek to identify any exception, legal loophole, or interpretation of the “facts” that will allow them to uphold the search. To restrain these judges from evading their duty to enforce the constitution, Mahoney strives to cut off every avenue of escape – tying the judge up like a rodeo steer. For experienced Massachusetts lawyers defending those accused of drug crimes, there is no more important societal obligation than persuading judges to force law enforcement to comply with the Constitution.
Using the Hearing to Prepare for Trial
Although winning the motion to suppress is almost always the top priority, cross-examination of the officers and the detectives at the hearing offers a Boston criminal attorney and Boston drug trafficking attorney the opportunity to “marry” these officers to a set of “facts,” and to develop both external and internal inconsistencies that he can use to discredit them at trial. A criminal defense attorney must always be looking ahead.
Winning the Trial
Should the court deny the motion to suppress, obviously the defense lawyer and his client must meet to discuss trial strategies and available defenses. Those defenses may include:
- The government failed to prove that the “drug” was a controlled substance;
- The government possesses inadequate proof that the illicit drugs belonged to the client;
- The drugs belonged to the client, but the government failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the amount of the confiscated drugs is inconsistent with personal use;
- The government failed to prove that the client was arrested or the drugs were seized within 1000 feet of a school zone.
Attorney Mahoney is a Woburn drug trafficking lawyer who has won every drug possession and drug distribution case he has brought to trial with a well-researched, compellingly written Motion for a Required Finding of Not Guilty. In short, each one of these cases he persuaded the trial judge to dismiss the charges outright, rather than submit the case to the jury for deliberation.