Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog
Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn is sounding an all-too-familier cry.

Simply put, “The gangs are coming! The gangs are coming!”

After all, this is a time where there is a great deal of violent crime, usually gun-related, throughout the Commonwealth. Attention of late has also shifted to the alleged criminals upon who’s word the Commonwealth has depended in putting other accused individuals away. That can’t bring too much comfort to law enforcement.

But I digress.

Of course, the Chief is actually saying that the gangs are not only “coming”, but are actually here.  In fact, he has announced that this is an opinion he has held for many years, although, for some unannounced reason, he says that the department did not talk about it.

Watch the video!  I did not make it up!

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One of the major subjects today is the problem of “distracted driving”. It is the latest motor vehicle crime which is nearly over-taking drunk driving (OUI) in the headlines.

Just ask a certain police officer in Reading who, according to the CBS, may have been texting while driving. Apparently, a woman took a photo of the officer which shows a him with one hand on the wheel and the other holding a mobile device. The officer is looking down at the device which raises questions about whether the officer was texting.

The photographer claims that he was.

This is a case in which, it would appear, there has been no arrest…yet. The criminal investigation is continuing. I would suggest that the question is what the charges will be as opposed to whether there will be any charges.

It is a story that brings an important reminder home to roost.


The incident took place in Dorchester this past Sunday at approximately 1:15 a.m.

According to the Boston Herald , a fight began. It really does not matter why.

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Granted, it was longer ago than I had expected, but when we left off, we were discussing Cell Site Simulators – often referred to as “Stingrays”, one of the newer investigative tools of law enforcement. The Stingray is used to gather sensitive information about cell phone users by essentially tricking their phones into thinking they are communicating with cell phone company towers, when in fact they are communicating with law enforcement.

The Stingray not only gathers data about the intended target, but can also sweep up information from countless bystanders who end up monitored just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Since the days after September 11, 2001, law enforcement, on varying levels, has been given extra powers to eat away at our various rights, particularly those regarding privacy. The process, whether it is a murder case, a drug case or any other case has almost become predictable

Step One: “No, we could not spy on someone like that. It is not allowed”;

Step Two: “We cannot spy on folks like that in regular criminal cases. We only get o use those extra powers when dealing with terrorism”;

Step Three: Ok, we figure we ARE allowed to use those powers in normal criminal cases…but we don’t have the funding to do so; and, finally,

Step Four: Yes, of course we used it to fight regular crime. Doesn’t ALL criminal behavior endanger our way of life?

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Today is April Fool’s Day.

It seems fitting then, to begin this story today. No, the story is not a joke. Not the funny kind, anyway.

It is a subject that makes fools of many of us.

In the days, weeks, months and years after September 11 2001, our law enforcement leaders, both prosecutors and politicians, explained that they needed more powers in order to fight the scourged of terrorism.

Folks like me, the stick-in-the-mud liberal “zealots” in favor of actually respecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution had a problem with giving all those powers carte blanche.
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If the allegations against a certain 28-year-old Boston woman, hereinafter The “Defendant”, are true, she has demonstrated quite an example on what not to do.

According to the Boston Herald, law enforcement says that the Defendant was driving while intoxicated. This, in itself, is against the law and very unwise. But that’s not all.

The police also allege that the Defendant was driving at a very high rate of speed. Certainly, the speed was well over the speed limit. Also not a great idea. Still not all.

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When we left off in my last blog, I told you that there were various issues worth discussing in the case of Timothy Cyckowski, the, now, 19-year-old male from Saugus who has been charged and convicted for activities involving recording, displaying and encouraging a sexual assault of a drunk minor.

Certain aspects of the case will come as no surprise to any regular reader of this blog.

As you no doubt remember, creating any photograph or video depicting sexual acts, or nudity, involving someone under the age of 18 (even if the activity depicted does not involve an assault) is illegal. It is the creation of child pornography. Possessing the material is possession of child pornography and disseminating it is the dissemination of child pornography.

All very serious charges in their own right.
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We all know that participating in a sexual assault is illegal. In fact, if you are a joint venturer with someone who is involved with sexual assault, you may be held to be as guilty as the actual assailant, even if you never touch the victim.

In Lynn, we just had a fairly interesting case that takes it to a step further. It also combines sexual assault with crimes involving child pornography.

Timothy Cyckowski is a 19-year-old young man from Saugus. He is also hereinafter, the, “Defendant”. On Monday, he pleaded guilty to sharing on the social network Snapchat a video which depicted what is described as the sexual assault of an intoxicated 16-year-old girl.

At the hearing in Lynn Juvenile Court, the Essex County District Attorney’s office explains, the Defendant has admitted his role in sharing the video. He had been accused of recording the attack. He pleaded guilty to posing a child in the nude, dissemination of obscene material, and kidnapping.

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We take a break now from stories where those on the fringe of society commit atrocious crimes like assault and battery, rape and murder. Let’s leave the realm of the guilty and look at a scene of innocence. And what could be more innocent than children? In fact, in so many cases, I have had prosecutors and DCF workers tell me that a child’s accusations must be true because kids do not lie.

They just soak in the truths they see.

The scene is the local Junior High School. For the past month, there have been campaigns for the office of Student Representatives. By now, though, many candidates have dropped out. Now, it is down to the last two contenders…clearly the most gifted of the bunch.

It is time for the final debate. Donny Monk and Hilly Uptown stand before the school in their last opportunity to convince the student body to vote their way.
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One thing about prostitution-related prosecutions. It doesn’t matter what state it is in (except Las Vegas I guess). Law enforcement loves to celebrate its “genius” and “hard work” after success from a “sting” on the matter.

Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo and Cherry Hill Police Chief William Monaghan announced on its website the fact that 30-year-old Javann Hall (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) of Massachusetts pleaded guilty in his Cherry Hill human trafficking case.

We began this discussion on Friday. As you will recall, the Defendant faces a recommended sentence of seven years in state to one count of second-degree human trafficking.

Law Enforcement says it discovered the Defendant’s crimes during an undercover prostitution detail at a hotel last year. 2015. His criminal acts include dropping the unnamed woman at the hotel. She had solicited what turned out to be an undercover officer after she had been advertised online.
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