Case Results

The following is a list of recent case results from cases handled by the attorneys at The Law Office of John E. MacDonald, Inc. For confidentiality purposes, client names are withheld.

Please scroll down to see some cases on video.

Criminal Defense

  • First Degree Arson case resolved – No Jail. Client was charged with first degree arson for intentionally starting a fire that caused substantial damaged his home. Client was arrested by police, arraigned and held without bail pending a bail hearing. Attorney MacDonald was retained and represented client at the bail hearing. Attorney MacDonald successfully argued for bail which was set over the State’s objection. Attorney MacDonald then arranged for a waiver of indictment and client pled to the reduced charge of fourth degree arson for a 3 year suspended sentence.
  • Sex Assault Charge – Dismissed within 30 Days. Client was charged with the First Degree Sex Assault of an acquaintance. Despite his credible claim that sexual activity was consensual and his lack of criminal history, client was held without bail for a bail hearing. A family member found Attorney John E. MacDonald from an on-line search and retained his services. Attorney MacDonald arranged for the setting of bail and the client was released on his bail hearing date. Attorney MacDonald then obtained follow-up statements from the complainant that were exculpatory and requested an immediate Attorney General Review. Within thirty days of being retained, all charges were dropped by the Attorney General.
  • First and Second Degree Sexual Assault – Not Guilty. Client was charged with sexually assaulting his 15-year-old niece.  Client retained the services of attorneys John MacDonald and John Grasso.  An extensive review of the state’s evidence led to the discovery of text messages that directly contradicted the state’s chief witness.  After a 5-day jury trial in Washington County Superior Court, client was found not guilty of all counts. 

  • Indecent Dissemination Dismissed/Child Pornography – Charges Amended . Client was charged with disseminating indecent materials and possessing nude photographs of a former girlfriend. An investigation of the case revealed that both parties had willingly shared and transferred images back and forth and the case was not worthy of a sex offense. Attorney MacDonald worked with members from the Attorney General’s office to drop all sex offender charges so that the client is not required to register as a sex offender.
  • 2nd Degree Sex Assault charges dismissed. After investigation and pre-trial negotiations, a multiple count 2nd degree sexual assault indictment was amended down to misdemeanor simple assaults for no jail and no sex offense registration. Client now has his life back without the stigma of a felony sex conviction.
  • Marijuana Grow Case: No jail imposed in federal court marijuana grow case. The client was facing a mandatory 60-month jail sentence after he was found working at an illegal marijuana grow operation in Providence. The client had no prior criminal history and was, therefore, safety valve eligible. Despite the United States Attorney’s request for 30 months to serve, Attorney MacDonald successfully advocated for no jail. Client received a time-served sentence for 12 days previously served along with 3 years of supervised release. The client is now able to stay fully employed and continue his college courses.
  • First Degree Sexual Assault – NOT GUILTY The client was charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault arising out of a complaint made to the police in 1999. After a DNA hit identified client as the alleged perpetrator, the client retained the services of Attorney John E. MacDonald and John Calcagni for representation. After a six-day jury trial in Newport Superior Court, client was found not guilty of all charges. – read article here.
  • First Degree Sex Assault Charge Dismissed – Client was charged with First Degree Sex Assault by the Lincoln Police for a sexual encounter which took place outside the Twin River Casino. Investigation revealed that the video evidence backed up client’s version of events of a consensual encounter and contradicted the complaining witness’ account of force and coercion. Attorney MacDonald requested that his client testify before the Providence County Grand Jury to give his version of events. After his testimony, the Grand Jury declined to indict him and the Attorney General dismissed the charge. The criminal case was then sealed from his client’s criminal history.
  • Gambling Forfeiture – Case resolved: Client’s assets, totaling nearly $300,000 were seized by state officials as part of a state-wide gambling investigation. After conducting initial forfeiture hearings in District Court, a settlement with the Attorney General was achieved allowing client to recover nearly $300,000 seized from his bank accounts.
  • Second Degree Child Molestation – Amended to a non-sex offense.: After extensive investigation and pre-trial negotiations with the Attorney General, a compromise charge was reached wherein the client would not have to register as a sex offender.
  • Second Degree Child Molestation- Dismissed by Attorney General.: Attorney MacDonald was retained just prior to his client’s arrest on the charge of second degree child molestation. After conducting an extensive investigation, exculpatory evidence was uncovered and given to the Attorney General which helped in their decision to dismiss all charges prior to a trial. Case is now sealed from client’s record and he is free and clear of potential of jail or sex offender registration.
  • Second Degree Sexual Assault- Not Guilty: After a five day jury trial in Providence Superior Court, client was found not guilty of second degree sexual assault. Attorney John MacDonald was retained by lead counsel Jason Knight to lend his expertise in trying these very difficult cases. From jury selection through closing argument, Attorneys MacDonald and Knight worked together to produce the result that the client deserved – Not Guilty.
  • First Degree Sexual Assault- Not Guilty: Client was charged with two capital counts of First Degree Sexual Assault in Providence Superior Court. After a six-day jury trial in which the state called 9 prosecution witnesses, including a DNA expert, client was found Not Guilty on all counts.
  • Post-Conviction Granted: Client was ordered removed based upon a 1997 possession of cocaine conviction. Client was denied the ability to apply for cancellation on this conviction due to a 1982 breaking and entering charge that constituted an aggravated felony. Attorney MacDonald filed post-conviction relief in the 1997 matter. After a full hearing, the trial judge did not render a decision for over a year. Not willing to wait, Attorney MacDonald filed post-conviction in the 1982 matter and successfully amended the sentence so that it no longer constituted an aggravated felony. Client is now eligible to re-open the removal case and apply for cancellation.
  • First Degree Sexual Assault-Not Guilty: Client charged with first degree sexual assault by Warwick Police. Complainant told police she never consented to sexual intercourse with client after a house party because she was passed out. The attorney general’s office pursued an indictment based upon the complainant being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated and therefore could not consent. After a 6-day jury trial and three days of deliberation, the jury voted Not Guilty.
  • Post-Conviction Granted, Removal Order Terminated: Client was detained by ICE authorities based upon a 2002 misdemeanor conviction for domestic assault. Despite being a long-term permanent resident of the United States who was eligible for cancellation of removal, he was detained by the Boston Immigration Court. Attorney MacDonald was retained to file post-conviction relief and vacate this conviction. Post-conviction relief was filed in July of 2012 and granted in September. Client was subsequently released by ICE and his case terminated.
  • Conviction Vacated: Client was already ordered removed based upon a Rhode Island conviction for felony assault when he hired the services of John MacDonald. His prior attorney made no effort to vacate this conviction which constituted an aggravated felony under federal immigration law. A petition for post-conviction relief was filed and granted by a Providence Superior Court judge four weeks later. A motion to say deportation was granted and the case was remanded to the Boston Immigration Court. Client was released after nearly nine months of custody.
  • Drug Conviction Re-open and Dismissed: Client detained by immigration authorities after they discovered a Massachusetts 2006 drug conviction. Since the client was subject to mandatory detention at the Boston Immigration Courts, all efforts were focused on vacating the conviction. Motion for New Trial was granted by the trial court based upon Padilla v. Kentucky violations and client was released from immigration custody.
  • Drug Charges – DISMISSED: Attorney MacDonald’s Motion to Suppress all evidence seized by Providence Police during a car stop was granted by a Superior Court Judge. Client’s charges of possession of cocaine are now subject to dismissal. The basis of the motion was the lack of probable cause to stop the vehicle and search the passengers. The Superior Court judge agreed and all evidence seized is no longer admissible at trial.
  • Domestic Assault – DISMISSED: Client’s charges of domestic assault dismissed by the City Solicitor at trial.
  • First Degree Sexual Assault- Not Guilty: Client charged with two counts of First Degree Sexual Assault arising out of a house party in Pawtucket. Client represented at trial by Attorneys Rui Alves and John MacDonald. After a jury trial in Providence Superior Court, client is found not guilty of both counts.
  • Federal Mann Act Charge Dismissed: Client was charged with the federal crime of interstate transportation of a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity, a serious felony charge with a mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison. Investigation revealed that the complainant lied about her age and background, both in the online forum where the parties met as well as in person. Investigation also showed that the complainant had engaged in similar behavior with other adults. Charges dismissed by United States Attorney’s Office.
  • Post Conviction Granted – Deportation Case Dismissed: Client is a lawful permanent resident from Cape Verde. He was placed in removal proceedings as a result of three separate crimes of domestic violence occurring ten years ago. ICE authorities detained him without bond at the Bristol House of Correction. Post-conviction relief was filed in all three cases and granted. Client was released from detention and his removal case terminated.
  • Indecent Assault and Battery Charge Dismissed: Client charged in Massachusetts with indecent assault and battery on his tenant and his tenant’s daughter. Case was prepared for trial and ultimately dismissed by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office for lack of evidence.
  • Sex Charge Investigations Closed: Client’s girlfriend made allegations of first degree sexual assault to Police. Working with the Police and Attorney General’s office and after investigation, the decision was made not to charge client based upon the factual inconsistencies and contradictions in the complaint.

In a similar case, a Client’s sister-in-law’s made accusations to the Police of first and second degree sexual assault. Attorney MacDonald and client met with the police and disclosed video evidence that clearly contradicted the complaint. As a result, no charges were filed by Police.

  • First-degree sexual assault charges dismissed: Client’s charge of first degree sexual assault involving his girlfriend dismissed by the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office after investigation and pre-grand jury negotiations. Case is expunged from his criminal history.
  • Client is charged with assaulting her son and is arrested for domestic assault and disorderly conduct. All charges dismissed by the Town at the second pre-trial conference. Case expunged from her criminal history.
  • Charge for vandalism dismissed by a local Police Department after pre-trial negotiations.
  • Charge for possession of marijuana dismissed by a local Police Department after pre-trial investigation.
  • Kent County District Court, client was charged with striking her boyfriend in the face during an argument. Police arrive and see injuries to the boyfriend’s face and charge her with domestic assault. Case dismissed at the first pre-trial conference.
  • Successfully negotiated the dismissal of client’s domestic assault charge in Newport County District Court.
  • Successfully negotiated the dismissal of client’s possession of marijuana charge in Providence County District Court.
  • Elementary school principal cleared of all child molestation charges as a result of a pre-trial investigation that uncovered exonerating evidence. All charges dismissed by the Attorney General and case expunged.
  • Grand Jury issues a no true bill on multiple first and second degree child molestation charges after client’s credible testimony before the grand jury. All charges dismissed by the Attorney General and case expunged.
  • First Degree Child Molestation (4 counts): All charges dismissed by Attorney General.
  • First Degree Sexual Assault: Client charged with committing a sexual assault of a hitchhiker he picked up. After a five day jury trial in Providence Superior Court he was found not guilty of all charges. Case was later sealed from his criminal history.
  • First Degree Sexual Assault: Not guilty after jury trial.
  • Possession of a handgun: Not guilty after jury trial.
  • Possession of a handgun: Not guilty after bench trial.
  • Domestic Assault: Not guilty after jury trial.
  • Assault with a Dangerous Weapon: Not guilty after jury trial.
  • Possession of a handgun without a license: Charges dismissed after handgun suppressed by Judge.
  • Second Degree Child Molestation: Not guilty after trial.
  • Patient Abuse: Not guilty after jury trial.
  • Larceny of a handgun & a safe from the home of deputy police chief: Not guilty after jury trial.
  • Drunk Driving, Death Resulting: No jail sentence.
  • Drunk Driving, Death Resulting: Sentenced to Work Release; released after only one year.
  • Drunk Driving and Refusal charges: not guilty after trial or charges reduced and/or dismissed with no loss of license every year since 1997.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident, serious bodily injury resulting: No jail.
  • Reversed First Degree Child molestation conviction and freed client from a ten year prison sentence he had begun to serve. Charges later resolved for no jail time.

Video Clips

Sanchez-Collins Murder Trial Closing Arguments

Alonzo Shelton Murder Trial Defense by Atty John MacDonald

RI Defense Attorney John MacDonald CNN Interview on Hatch