Criminal Defense, Family, and Immigration Lawyer in Boston

Criminal Defense Attorney in Boston

Having an experienced criminal attorney can make the difference between ending up in jail, getting probation, or getting your case dismissed.

The Criminal Process in Massachusetts

  It's intimidating to be charged with a crime. The odds are stacked against you, it’s stressful, and the outcome can have devastating consequences on your life. 


    Whether you have a traffic ticket or are charged with something more serious, you need a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.  Massachusett’s criminal laws are complicated, so a good criminal lawyer can mean the difference between prison and probation, a felony record or having no criminal record at all.


    I went to law school to become a criminal defense lawyer and have focused on it ever since.  This means I have worked to learn the ins and outs of Massachusett’s criminal laws to make sure we consider all your options and secure the best possible outcome.

    I have experience getting not guilty verdicts, getting criminal cases dismissed, and getting felonies reduced to misdemeanors.  If you've been arrested, call me today so we can get started on your defense.  See my criminal defense results here.

   A criminal case can begin one of three ways - either an arrest, a summons, or a clerk magistrate's hearing


    If the police arrest you, you will be heard by a bail commissioner at the police station, who will decide what amount of money is necessary to deposit for your release (bail).  If you cannot make the bail, you will be kept in jail and sent to court on the next business day for your arraignment.  If you can make the bail, you will be given a date to come back to court for your arraignment that could be several weeks away.  

    At your arraignment, the District Court judge will decide again what bail to set.  It's crucial to hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to help secure your release and get started on your defense.

    If the police were not involved in the incident at all, you could be summoned for a clerk magistrate's hearing.  This is an informal hearing in front of a clerk to decide whether there's probable cause for the case to go forward against you.  It's critical to hire a criminal defense lawyer to defend you at this hearing. 


    A clerk magistrate's hearing is an important part of your defense - winning the hearing means there is no record of the charge, while losing a clerk magistrate's hearing means your case goes through the regular criminal process starting with arraignment.

   After the arraignment, there are several pretrial hearings concentrated on making sure the Commonwealth has turned over all discovery to you, then there is a trial, whether that's a jury trial or bench trial.

   I went to law school to be a criminal defense attorney, and I will take your case personally!

    My office is in Boston, Massachusetts, but I handle criminal cases in all Massachusetts courts.  Schedule a free consultation at Matthew W. Peterson, Attorney at Law today by calling (617) 356-8217.  You can also set up a consultation by text at the above number or e-mail at 

Hiring the right criminal defense lawyer is one of the most important decisions you can make.  You need a criminal defense lawyer you can trust, who will communicate with you, and fight to protect your rights.  I commit to doing that for every client who hires me.  

Choosing the Best Criminal Defense Attorney

   Choosing the right criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal, probation and jail. 


    I commit to fighting for all of my clients as hard as I can, but if you hire me, you're the boss.  You decide the course of your criminal case - whether to try for the best deal or take your case "to the box" in a jury trial.  My job is to give you all the information to make your decision, keep in contact with you, and give you the benefit of my expertise.

    If you're arrested in Massachusetts, contact me today so we can get started on your defense.  617-356-8217.

The Right Strategy to Win Your Criminal Case

    Pleading guilty is not a strategy but the last resort.  You deserve an attorney who will fight for the best possible resolution to your case. 


    I will look at your case and formulate the best strategy to put you in the best position.


    This could mean investigating your case - knocking on doors, finding witnesses, and marshaling all the evidence in your favor. Other technology such as social media and telephone records can be just as crucial as simply talking to the witnesses as well.

    It could also mean arguing the law to the judge.  Filing the right motion to exclude evidence against you, a motion to suppress, or a motion to dismiss can make the difference between winning your case and getting convicted.  Fighting to reduce your bond, including getting a signature bond, or remove restrictive bond conditions can be vital parts of the strategy as well.


   It can also mean negotiating with the prosecution to get you the best possible deal if you plead guilty.  It's important to get a lawyer who has good relationships with the prosecutors for that reason. 


   I'm also not scared to take your case to trial if that's the best choice for you.  Having a lawyer who knows what objections to make and when can make the difference between winning or losing your case or even getting it overturned on appeal.

   I also have extensive experience representing people at clerk's magistrate hearings and have had success getting no probable cause found in many Massachusetts courts.

If you are arrested or charged with a crime, hiring a criminal defense lawyer you can trust is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself.  A criminal defense attorney can help secure your release, gather evidence for your defense, protect your rights, and eventually vindicate you in court.  

A Criminal Defense Attorney Who Isn't Afraid of a Jury Trial

    A jury trial is the most crucial part of your defense.  A group of people from the community, called the jury, decides whether you're guilty or not guilty. 

   If you're in District Court in Massachusetts, the jury is composed of six people.  In Massachusetts Superior Court, a jury is twelve people.

   The jury trial begins with jury selection or voir dire.  Generally, a judge will ask questions of the entire group of potential jurors, and the Commonwealth and defense attorney will choose who to eliminate or strike.  After the jury selection is over, the jury will be seated and sworn.

    The jury trial then begins with opening statements by both sides, then witnesses.  The Commonwealth begins by calling their witnesses, and your criminal defense attorney has the right to cross-examine them.  After the Commonwealth finishes calling witnesses, or "rests," the defense now calls witnesses.

    After all the witnesses are called and both sides rest, each side makes closing arguments, the judge instructs the jury on the law, and then the jury makes a decision - either guilty or not guilty.

   If you lose your jury trial, you have the right to appeal.  An appeal challenges the legal decisions the judge made and goes to an appeals court.  A criminal appeals attorney writes briefs and makes oral argument in front of an appeals court to try to overturn your conviction.

    I went to law school to try criminal cases.  I started in college with mock trial, where I learned trial skills from experienced attorneys.  I also attended the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop, a world-renowned program for trial lawyers where I learned from experienced attorneys from all around the country.

   After I graduated law school, I continued to fight for my clients in jury trials.  I have tried a wide range of cases - from attempted murder to domestic violence to OUI. 


I have had success getting my clients acquitted, even with multiple eyewitnesses testifying against my client.  Find out more about my experience and my results here


    If you want a criminal defense attorney who's not afraid to try a case in front of a Massachusetts jury, call me today at 617-356-8217.  My office is in Boston, but I practice criminal defense in all Massachusetts courts.  I will take your case personally!

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My Philosophy

My office is located in Downtown Boston 45 Bromfield Street in Downtown Crossing (see above).  I practice criminal defense, family law, and immigration law in all Massachusetts courts.

    The court system is stressful, whether you’re being charged with a crime, being sued, suing someone, or fighting for your ability to stay and work in this country.  You need someone who appreciates this and can dedicate the time not only to represent you effectively in court but to guide you through the process.


    I believe in doing this for every person I represent.  If I don’t have time to represent you right, then I don’t have time to represent you.  I don’t believe in representing someone half way – if I agree to take your case, I will do it right, no matter how much time it takes, no matter how big or how small the case is.


    More than anything, I will take your case personally.  I believe representing you is not just a business transaction – it’s something that will affect you for the rest of your life, and I will treat it that way.  This means I'll fight for you, explain the process to you, and communicate with you along the way.  I believe in constant communication with my clients - that's why I'm available by phone, text, e-mail, and even Facebook.


   I'm not scared of going to court - practically every day, I go to court to fight for my clients.  I proudly fight for my clients whether they have a DUI, domestic violence charge, a divorce, a drug charge, or any other sort of case that requires a court appearance.

    If you need a lawyer who will fight for you in the courtroom and take the time to guide you through the process, call me and let’s get to work.

    My practice is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.  I practice criminal defense, immigration, and domestic relations law in all Massachusetts courts.  I also handle criminal appeals in Alabama.  Call or text me today at 617-356-8217.

Make an Appointment Now!


45 Bromfield Street

Suite 500

Boston, MA 02108

Downtown Crossing near Granary Burying Ground between Nine Bar and Bromfield Jewelers










Weekdays: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Other times by Appointment.


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DISCLAIMER: You may not use this website to provide confidential information about a legal matter of yours to me. Your use of this website does not make you my client or even my prospective client. If you have confidential information that you would like to give me, please communicate with me in person or by telephone–not by filling in any form on this website or by sending an unsolicited email to me.

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©2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 by Law Office of Matthew W. Peterson

No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

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