Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer
Attorney Steven Ballard currently limits his criminal defense practice to criminal cases in the district and superior courts of Massachusetts in the following areas:
- DRUG AND ALCOHOL CHARGES, INCLUDING DRIVING/OPERATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, DRUG POSSESSION AND DISTRIBUTION CHARGES
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND OTHER CRIMES OF VIOLENCE
- VIOLATIONS OF RESTRAINING ORDERS
- DEFENSE AGAINST RESTRAINING ORDERS (CIVIL CASES IN DISTRICT AND PROBATE COURTS)
Attorney Steven Ballard has an enviable record representing individuals charged with crimes. In the recent past he has taken on numerous Massachusetts criminal cases of indigent defendants on a court-appointed basis. He has also held an appointment by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, the highest federal court in New England, based upon his superior scholarly credentials and his advocacy skills, to argue criminal appeals before that court, where he won an appeal that established limitations on the power of the probation officer to test the defendant for drugs during a lengthy probation following a prison sentence for drug distribution. Although he no longer takes court-appointed cases, Attorney Steven Ballard continues to build on his past experience as a criminal lawyer by taking on a select number of private criminal defense cases to complement his large family law caseload, and to keep his trial experience broad and interesting in a way that gives him an advantage in both areas of practice. His experience in his divorce and family law practice often informs his criminal law practice and vice versa, as in both he is frequently dealing with issues involving domestic violence, and also often with alcohol and drugs, alcohol and drug testing and probationary conditions.
His criminal cases have included many domestic violence cases, including misdemeanor and felony assault and battery charges, but also other violent crimes, sex crimes, crimes of drug possession and distribution, operating/driving under the influence (OUI), crimes of theft, and probation violation charges. As a necessary adjunct to his divorce and family law practice, Attorney Steven Ballard has been called upon on numerous occasions to defend clients in restraining order cases (Ch. 209A orders of protection from abuse), both in district courts and in the probate and family courts, and has been unusually successful in challenging and vacating a great many of those orders. He has also represented clients in seeking, obtaining and/or extending restraining orders as well, and in such cases, his clients have always succeeded in having such orders issued or extended when needed.
Most criminal cases he has resolved without the need for trial, and a large number of these cases have resulted in outright dismissals which left no stain on his clients' records. He has extensive experience handling domestic violence cases, many of which were ultimately dismissed because the complaining witness could not or would not testify, frequently by virtue of his/her exercise of the marital privilege or the 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, or by virtue of having reached an "accord and satisfaction" agreement with the defendant client, thus sparing his client any criminal sanction. Many of his other criminal cases have been resolved through plea bargains which significantly reduced the punishments faced by his clients. But sometimes it is necessary to go to trial, or to work up the case to the point at which it will be dismissed or it will lead to the most favorable disposition possible. Attorney Steven Ballard has taken several criminal cases to trial in Massachusetts in recent years, all involving either charges of felony assault and battery or operating under the influence of alcohol, and in each and every trial he has handled in Massachusetts to date, whether before judge or jury, his clients have been found not guilty.
Attorney Steven Ballard's record is especially good in large part because of the nature of his practice, and the kinds of criminal cases he typically faces as such cases are more likely to lead to dismissals or not-guilty verdicts at trial than are other types of criminal cases. All his clients know, however, that Attorney Steven Ballard never takes anything for granted, and works hard to win each case through thorough preparation. He vigorously seeks the perfect result - a dismissal or a not-guilty verdict - even though that can not always be accomplished and can never be guaranteed. One of the reasons Attorney Steven Ballard often does in fact achieve that perfect result is that he fights zealously, intelligently and aggressively and he fights to win.
Massachusetts Criminal Code
Massachusetts Laws About Criminal Law/Procedure
Massachusetts Abuse Prevention Law (Restraining Orders)
Massachusetts General Laws
Massachusetts Government General Website