Peter Elikann

Top rated criminal defense attorney in Charlestown, Massachusetts

Peter Elikann, Criminal Defense Attorney
Peter Elikann
Peter Elikann, Criminal Defense Attorney

Practice Areas: Criminal defense; view more

Licensed in Massachusetts since: 1981

Education: Western New England University School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2022
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Peter Elikann, Criminal Defense Attorney

50 Terminal Street
Bldg. 2, Suite 722
Charlestown, MA 02129 Visit website


Peter Elikann is a renowned Boston, Massachusetts, based criminal defense attorney with over 40 years of legal experience. Mr. Elikann represents clients throughout Massachusetts in cases involving drug violations, DWI, federal offenses, sex offenses and other misdemeanors and felonies.

In addition to his work as a criminal defense attorney, Mr. Elikann is the author of more than 80 articles and several books on criminal law. He speaks throughout the country on criminal justice topics and at continuing legal education seminars. He often appears on local news media to provide legal analysis.

Active in the Massachusetts Bar Association, Mr. Elikann serves on many committees for the association and is on the MBA's Executive Management Board and the House of Delegates. He is a former chairman of the Criminal Justice Section Council and the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division Council. He serves on several working groups and commissions, as well as on the editorial board of the Massachusetts Law Review. 

Over the years, Mr. Elikann has served in numerous other leadership positions and on various boards, councils and commissions. He teaches criminal law at Bridgewater State University and is a commissioner of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s Special Commission on Operating Under the Influence and Impaired Driving. 

In 1975, Mr. Elikann graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He earned his law degree from Western New England University School of Law in 1980. He is qualified to appear before all Massachusetts state courts, several federal courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.

Practice areas

Criminal defense

Focus areas

Arrest & arraignment, Assault & battery, Criminal fraud, Criminal law, Debt, Drug & alcohol violations, Expungement, Failure to pay child support, False accusations, Felony, Juvenile delinquency, Misdemeanor, Motor vehicle offenses, Overdrawn bank account, Parole, Probation, Sex offenses, Tax evasion, Theft, Criminal domestic violence

  • 100% Criminal defense

First Admitted: 1981, Massachusetts

Professional Webpage:

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Book: Superpredators: The Demonization of Our Children By the Law New York: Perseus Books, 1999.  Book:  The Tough on Crime Myth: Real Solutions to Cut Crime New York: Plenum Publishing, 1996.   Book:   Automobile Torts“The Intoxicated Driver” (140p. chapter) in 4 vol. set published by Matthew Bender Legal Publishers, 1988.  Book: Boston Tenant’s Guide to Housing, Boston University Publications, 1975. More than 85 articles in legal publications including:  “Uncounted: The Crisis of Voter Suppression in America” by Gilda R. Daniels (New York University Press, 2020) (book review) Massachusetts Law Review (publication pending) “Voter Suppression through the Mailbox,” (Legal Commentary) Jurist online legal news service (August 25, 2020) “Probable Cause or Reasonable Suspicion: Commonwealth v. Pridgett” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review (November 2019, Vol. 101, No. 1) p. 10. “Should Massachusetts Jails and Prisons Follow the Danish Model,” Massachusetts Bar Association Section Review (November/December 2019) p. 2. “Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration” by Emily Bazelon (Random House, 2019) (book review) Massachusetts Law Review (August 2019, Vol. 100, No. 4) p. 111. “Flight Alone No Indicia of Probable Cause: Commonwealth v.  Warren” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review (August 2018, Vol. 99, No. 4) p. 101. “A primer on the criminal justice reform bill,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (April 9, 2018) p. 25. “Early termination of probation,” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (Jan/Feb 2018, Vol. 25, No. 3), p. 23. “Eyewitness Identifications Questioned: Commonwealth v. Johnson” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review (November 2017, Vol. 99, No. 1) p. 12. “Mandatory minimum sentences endanger public safety,” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (Sept/Oct 2017, Vol. 25, No. 1), p. 30. “For now, new marijuana law filled with gray areas,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (December 22, 2016) p. 38. “Prosecuting the losing candidate: the end of democracy?” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (July 17, 2016) p. “A guide to the new rules on contacting juror’s post-verdict,” Massachusetts Law Journal (July/August 2016, Vol. 23, No. 8) p. 20. “Stalking Through Social Media: Commonwealth v. Walters” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review (October 2016, Vol. 98, No. 1) p. 9. “Criminal Law: New Parole Procedural Protections for Juvenile Homicide Offenders: Diatchenko v. District Attorney for the Suffolk District & others” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review (December 2015, Vol. 97, No.2) p. 41. “The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind and Changed the History of Free Speech in America” by Professor Thomas Healy (Henry Holt and Co., 2013) (book review) Massachusetts Law Review (December 2015, Vol. 97, No.2) p. 45. “Massachusetts Practice Series, Volume 30, 30A and 30B, Criminal Practice and Procedure (Fourth Edition)” by Elspeth B. Cypher (book review) Lawyer’s Journal (June 2015, Vol. 22, No. 10), p. 12. “Viewpoint: Mandatory minimum sentences endanger public safety,” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal (May 2015, Vol. 22, No. 9), p. 12. “Understanding the New Eyewitness I.D. Jury Instruction” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (March 2015, Vol. 22, No. 7), p. 1. “The Fourth Amendment and Drug-Sniffing Dogs: Florida v. Jardine’s” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review (January 2015, Vol. 96, No. 2) p. 50. “Getting Ready for the New Voir Dire Law” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (January 2015 Vol. 22, No. 5), p. 1. “When the War Came Home,” by Bill Newman, Levellers Press Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (December 22, 2014) p. 20. “’Wrong-headed idea in otherwise thoughtful I.G. report’,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (March 17, 2014) P. 39. “U.S. Supreme Court strikes down DOMA: Impact on criminal law” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (August 2013 Vol. 20, No. 12), p. 14. “Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial” by Janet Malcolm (Yale University Press, 2011) (book review) Massachusetts Law Review (June 2013, Vol. 95, No. 1) p. 185. “Bill on juvenile life sentences will boost public safety,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (February 18, 2013) P. 39. book review “Life of this small-town lawyer far from dull” review of “Jake Dellahunt Vineyard Lawyer with an office on the Cape” by A.J. Cushner, Martin Sisters Publishing LLC Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (November 19, 2012) p. 15. “Practical steps for representing a crime lab defendant,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (October 29, 2012) P. 39. “The new ‘three-strikes’ law: a practical guide,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (August 12, 2012) p. 39. “A Fundamental Reconsideration of Juvenile Offenders: Supreme Court Rules Mandatory Life Sentences Without Parole for Juveniles Violates 8th Amendment” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (August 2012, Vol. 19, No. 12) p. 16. “Odor of Marijuana Alone Doesn’t Justify an Automobile Search: Commonwealth v. Benjamin Cruz” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review (March 2012, Vol. 94, No. 2) p. 65. “In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate” by Nancy Gertner (Beacon Press, 2011) (book review) Massachusetts Law Review (March 2012, Vol. 94, No. 2) p. 77. “A Primer on Sealing Criminal Records” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (April 2012, Vol. 19, No. 8), p. 21. “William P. Homans, Jr.: A Life in Court” by Mark S. Brodin (Vandeplas Publishing, 2010) (book review) Massachusetts Law Review (April 2011 issue, Vol. 93, No. 4) p. 407. “Count Them One by One: Black Mississippians Fighting for the Right to Vote” by Gordon A. Martin, Jr. (book review) Lawyer’s Journal (February 2011) p. 15. book review “’ Try to Remember’ proves hard to forget” review of “Try to Remember” by Iris Gomez, Grand Central Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (August 9, 2010) p. 14. op-ed commentary “Attacks on detainees’ lawyers show lack of understanding” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (March 22, 2010) p. 39. “A Half Dozen Hot Tips for Starting a Solo Practice” MBA Section Review, (2010, Vol. 12, No. 1), p. 12. book review “From start to finish, hard to let go of ‘Permanent Bond’ review of “A Permanent Bond,” by former Judge Gerald D. McLellan, I Universe, Inc. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (October 19, 2009) p. 12. “Lizzie Borden” by Karen Elizabeth Chaney, Commonwealth Editions 2006 (book review) Massachusetts Law Review (August 2009 issue, Vol. 92, No.2) p. 120.   book review “Dark chapter in Boston police history makes good reading years later” review of “The Fence: A Police Cover-Up Along Boston’s Racial Divide,” by Dick Lehr, HarperCollins Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (July 17, 2009) p. 8. “Governor Patrick introduces wide-ranging crime bills,” Lawyer’s Journal June 2009), p. 1. book review “Crime Novel Probes the Dark Side of Public Defender Work” review of “A Cure for Night,” by Justin Peacock, Doubleday Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (February 16, 2009) p. 9. book review “Ex-DA Shows True Grit as Prosecutor and Author” review of “The Paradiso Files: Boston’s Unknown Serial Killer,” by Timothy M. Burke, Steer forth Press, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (September 29, 2008) p. 4. Editor “The Evolution of the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry” by Daniel A. Less Massachusetts Law Review (July 2008 Issue, Vol. 91, No. 2). p. 66. “Storming the Court: How A Band of Law Students Fought the President and Won” by Brandt Goldstein, Scribner, 2006 (book review) Massachusetts Law Review (Winter 2007 Issue, Vol. 91. No. 1) book review “The Appeal,” by John Grisham, Doubleday Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (April 7, 2008) p. 12. book review “Old City Hall,” by Gerald D. McLellan, Author House Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (December 3, 2007). book review “Beyond A Reasonable Doubt” edited by Larry King, Phoenix Books Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (August 27, 2007), p. 6. “Inspecting Victim Treatment Records,” MBA Section Review (Summer, 2007, Vol. 9, No. 2), p. 8. op-ed commentary “Mandatory-minimum sentences are endangering public safety” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (April 23, 2007) p.46. book review “The Birthday Party: A Memoir of Survival” by Stanley N. Alpert, G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (April 9, 2007) p. 6. “Dwyer establishes new protocol for inspecting victim’s treatment records,” Lawyer’s Journal (February 2007), p. 15. op-ed commentary “Lawyer Bashing: The Big Picture” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (October 23, 2006) p.63. article in M.B.A. Section Review Vol. 8, No. 3, 2006, “No Spousal Privilege Against Grand Jury Testimony” p. 18. “What is Life Worth?” by Kenneth R. Feinberg, Public Affairs, 2005 Massachusetts Law Review (Spring 2006 Issue, Vol. 90, No.1) P.4. “Anti-Gang/Witness Protection Legislation” MBA Section Review (Vol. 8, No. 2, 2006) p. 19. book review “A Death in Belmont” by Sebastian Junger, W.W. Norton & Co. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (June 5, 2006) “Understanding the New Drunk Driving Statute,” MBA Section Review (Winter, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 1), p. 17. “Warrantless Searches of Dwellings Without Exigent Circumstances: Commonwealth v. DeJesus” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review (Winter, 2005, Vol. 89, No. 3) p. 132. “Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated By DNA,” by Tim Junkin (book review) Massachusetts Law Review, (Winter, 2005, Vol, 89, No. 3) p. 145. “Reinventing Justice: The American Drug Court Movement” by James L. Nolan, Jr. (book review) Massachusetts Law Review (Fall/2003, Vol. 88, No. 2) p. 112. “Making a Case for an ‘Innocence Commission’ in Massachusetts” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (March 1, 2004), p. 11 “A Defense for the Dead” by Michael Fredrickson (book review) Lawyer’s Journal (July 2004) p. 8. “The Price of Terror” by Allan Gerson and Jerry Adler (book review) Massachusetts Law Review (Fall, 2002, Vol. 87, No. 2) p. 101. “The End of Private Conversations Between Lawyers and Their Clients” MBA Section Review (Winter, 2002), p. 56. “The Problem with Releasing Prisoners Unprepared” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (July 16, 2001), p. 11. “Black Mass: The Irish Mob, the FBI and a Devil’s Deal” (book review Massachusetts Law Review (Summer, 2001, Vol. 86, No. 1), p. 32. “Witness for the Dead” (book review) Lawyer’s Journal (June 2001), p. B 1. “Releasing Prisoners Unprepared,” Lawyer’s Journal (May 2001), p. 9. “Just ‘lockin’ ‘em up’ Is Costly Folly” National Law Journal (April 23, 2001) p. A 16. “Attorney-Conducted Voir Dire” MBA Section Review (Spring, 2001), p. 22. “Don’t Credit Prisons with Crime Drop” Lawyers Journal (November 2000), p. 10. “Do More Jails Equal Less Crime?” National Law Journal (September 25, 2000), p. A 20. “The Solution to Youth Crime in America” Champion Magazine (publication of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (April 2000), p. 18. “A House in Gross Disorder: Sex, Law and the 2nd Earl of Castlehaven” (book review) Massachusetts Law Review (Spring, 2000, Vol. 84, No. 4), p. 201. “A Look at the New Sex Offender Registry Law” Lawyer’s Journal (publication of the Massachusetts Bar Association) (January 2000), p. 3. “The Argument Against Chain Gangs,” MBA Section Review (December 1999), p. 19. “Juvenile Records” MBA Section Review (July 1999), p. 19. “A Cinderella Affidavit,” Lawyer’s Journal (May 1999), p. 22. “Politics, Punishment and Populism,” (book review) Lawyer’s Journal (April 1999), p. 6. “Jobs in Prison,” MBA Criminal Justice Section Review (December 1997), p. 3. “Time to Bring Back Education in Prison” Lawyer’s Journal (September 1997), p. 6. “Multiple Identities and False Memories,” (book review) Lawyer’s Journal (February 1997), p. 17. “Mandatory Minimums” MBA Criminal Justice Section News (April 1996), p. 4. “Committee Explores Alternative Sentencing” MBA Criminal Justice Section News (June 1993), p. 2. “Focus on Prevention, Not Punishment,” Boston Herald op ed (along with Governor William Weld) (March 21, 1993) p. 28.
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • House of Delegates and member of the Executive Management Board of the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) and was chairman of both the MBA’s Criminal Justice Section Council and the General Practice Solo and Small Firm Section Council
  • Commissioner, Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s Special Commission on Operating Under the Influence and Impaired Driving
  • Commissioner, Massachusetts Criminal Justice Commission 2011-present; Massachusetts Forensic Sciences Advisory Board (Appointed by Governor Charles Baker on December 23, 2015); Member, Massachusetts Superior Court 2014-2016 Sentencing Working Group (instituted by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants); Commissioner, Permanent Legislative Civil Infractions Commission (to study and analyze the imposition of civil penalties on certain offenses within the Massachusetts) 2010-present; Member, Massachusetts Legislative Working Group tasked with determining new law after Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional the state law of mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles 2012-2013; Massachusetts Bar Association House of Delegates, 2001-2014; Massachusetts Bar Association Executive Management Board, 2004-2005, 2006-2007, 2013-2014; Massachusetts Bar Association, Standing Court Management Advisory Committee, 2008; Chairman, Massachusetts Bar Association General Practice Solo and Small Firm Section Council, Chairman, 2009-2011; Massachusetts Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Council, 1997-1999 (member 2002-2008); Massachusetts Bar Association Judicial Administration Section Council, 2003-2004; Criminal Justice Advisory Council, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, Massachusetts 2004-present; Board of Directors, Lionheart Foundation, 2004-2006; Vice Chair, Massachusetts Bar Association Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section Council, 2001-2003; Chairman, Massachusetts Bar Association Corrections and Sentencing Practice Group, 1996-1997; Chairman, Subcommittee on alternative sentencing (drafted alternative sentencing bill for Massachusetts General Assembly); Member, Board of Directors, Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services 1996-2004; Vice Chairman, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Juvenile Justice Committee, 2001-2002; Editorial Board, Massachusetts Law Review 1999-present; Who’s Who in American Law, 1986- present; Who’s Who in America, 2000-present; Commissioner, Special Commission of the Massachusetts State Legislature appointed to study and make recommendations on whether the state should participate in the federal Prison Industries Program, 1997-1998;  A.B.A. Criminal Justice Section Corrections and Sentencing Committee; Member, Boot Camp Working Group (judges, prosecutors, attorneys and crime professionals working on improving Massachusetts Boot Camp) 1995;  Faculty, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education(Trial Techniques for bar advocates), 1995-1998; Member, Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council (sets criteria for law enforcement training in state), 1998-1999; chaired Massachusetts  Bar Association legal education seminars on the Sex Offender Registry Board, Drunk Driving laws and Small Legal Practices, 1997-present; Moot Court Judge, Harvard Law School, 1989-2009; Member, American Bar Association, 1982-present; Member, Massachusetts Bar Association, 1987-present; Member, Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 1991-present; Member, Boston Bar Association, 1988-2011
  • Massachusetts Forensic Sciences Advisory Board (Appointed by Governor Charles Baker on December 23, 2015); Member, Massachusetts Superior Court 2014-2016 Sentencing Working Group (instituted by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants);
Educational Background:
  • Boston University, College of Communication Boston, MA B.S. in Journalism, Magna Cum Laude, May 1975 -President of Student Government -Assistant Editor of the school newspaper -Semester abroad teaching in Fiji Islands
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Board of Directors, Martha's Vineyard Playhouse
  • The Massachusetts Bar Association Volunteer Recognition Award, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2015

Office location for Peter Elikann

50 Terminal Street
Bldg. 2, Suite 722
Charlestown, MA 02129

Phone: 866-968-5753


15 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2022

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