Criminal Defense

When Everything is on the Line

If you have been accused of a crime, you need a strong ally and advocate. That’s where Zalkind can help. Our renowned team of Massachusetts criminal defense lawyers brings passion and purpose to protect your rights. In your darkest hour, you can count on us to meet the challenge.

As longtime advocates for the rights of defendants, we represent individuals accused of misdemeanors and felonies in state and federal court, both at trial and on appeal. We will fearlessly advocate for you to protect your rights and hold the prosecution to its burden to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

We promise to investigate your case thoroughly to uncover any applicable substantive or procedural defenses, identify relevant evidence and witnesses, and present the most favorable case possible to the prosecution, the judge, and the jury. We work to obtain the most favorable outcome for you, and are always prepared to try your case.

A Founding Mission

Criminal defense is at the heart of our firm. Founding partner Norman Zalkind started the firm’s criminal defense practice in Boston in the 1960s, representing individuals subjected to mass arrests in the civil rights and anti-war movements, and progressed to successfully try murder cases, drug crimes, white-collar cases, and other serious felonies in Massachusetts and nationally. As more lawyers joined the firm, we expanded our ability to successfully tackle large and complex criminal matters, both at trial and on appeal. Today, the firm takes on criminal defense cases, ranging from misdemeanors in the state district courts to major federal conspiracy, drug, and white-collar prosecutions.

Fearlessly Winning Cases for Over 50 Years

Our Massachusetts criminal defense attorneys offer a unique combination of practical expertise, academic excellence, and sincere dedication to the rights of the accused. We do not complacently accept the deficiencies of the criminal justice system, and we are not intimidated by the government. Instead, we fight zealously for our clients and are always prepared to take their cases before juries of their peers. We are committed to defending your rights because we know that when we are successful, it not only protects our clients, but protects all of us.

Our team has a proven record of protecting the rights of the accused.

  • In a first-degree murder case, which included charges of armed assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm, our team won an acquittal on all charges after a three-week trial.
  • In a federal tax fraud case, our lawyers won a judgment of acquittal for the CEO of a large corporation.
  • In a sexual assault and domestic violence case against a university student, our lawyers secured an acquittal after trying the case in state court.

Read more about our client successes here.

A Powerhouse Legal Defense Team

For over five decades, we have built a winning team of attorneys dedicated to defending individuals accused of crimes in Massachusetts and nationally.

Clients benefit from our:

  • Intellect: Our lawyers attended the best law schools in the country.
  • Training: We count within our team nine former law clerks, including eight who clerked for federal judges and one for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. This training exposed us to the highest levels of effective advocacy. Several of our lawyers serve on the federal Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panels for Massachusetts and the First Circuit, as well as on the state post-conviction panel, providing trial court and appellate representation to indigent defendants. 
  • Perspective: Our lawyers are not former prosecutors, but attorneys committed, many from the time they first sought to become lawyers, to criminal defense.
  • Reputation: We have been recognized by peers and clients as one of the best law firms in Boston for non-white-collar and white-collar criminal cases.
Ready to Defend You

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, it is important to seek legal advice immediately. Call our Boston criminal defense lawyers at 617-742-6020 or complete our contact form to get in touch with us.

Justia Lawyer Rating
Super Lawyers
Martindale-Hubbell - AV Preeminent - Peer Rated For Highest Level Of Professional Excellence 2020
Recognized by Best Lawyers
Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms
Client Reviews
I hired Mr. Duncan to deal with a very sensitive issue that my daughter had. Since the first contact, I had a very good impression of him. He transmitted confidence and appeared to know exactly what to do. I called and emailed him many times, he was polite and comprehensible with the anxiety of a father and appeared to know every step to solve the case. I strongly recommend Mr. Duncan. Flavio Lajoia
If you are reading this review, it means either you or a family member is in trouble and needs immediate legal counsel. Please know your search can end right now because Zalkind, Duncan & Bernstein is the law firm to hire. They are honest, responsive, compassionate and have the experience and expertise to bring... Client
I contacted Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein to assist with a Title IX case. From our initial conversation, Naomi Shatz had a strong understanding of Title IX policies and conducted each step of the process with professionalism, honesty and a responsiveness that did not disappoint. Ms. Shatz displayed confidence and just as important, compassion when needed. Client
I worked with Emma Quinn-Judge and Monica Shah. And from my first contact on the phone, on to my first meeting in their office and during the trial, I found them and the firm's entire team to be a group of consummate legal professionals who are very knowledgeable, patient, dedicated, fair, honest and caring... Chantal C.
I am forever grateful to all the staff at this firm, but in particular, Ms. Shah, Mr. Zalkind and Mr. Silverglate. They represented my son who was being sought for extradition to Scotland. The case took years to fight, covering new legal ground, setting precedence. But each one of these legal eagles went above and beyond the duty of office... Suzanne D.