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.

In 1984, the United States passed the Uniform Drinking Age Act to mandate that all states raise the drinking age from 18 to 21. In compliance, the state of Massachusetts raised the legal drinking age in 1985. Since the change, and with rising awareness regarding underage drinking, the state of Massachusetts has adopted a serious zero-tolerance policy. These policies mandate a number of minimum penalties that can include minimum fines, jail time, operator’s license suspensions, and mandatory classes. Contact a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer.

A number of Massachusetts laws cover alcohol related offenses in relation to minors. The most common being minor in possession or transporting alcohol, both criminalized under Massachusetts code chapter 138, section 34c. While the initial penalty of this charge is a maximum $50.00 fine, the other implications are very serious. An alcohol related charge on your permanent record, revocation of driving privileges for 90 days, and increased insurance costs are a few examples of additional repercussions. Even a seemingly minor offense can create a burden for years into the future. Employment background checks, having to claim an offense on applications, difficulty obtaining affordable auto insurance, and even public housing and assistance programs can be affected by a criminal record.

Operating Under the Influence

More serious charges include operating a motor vehicle under the influence (OUI). An OUI, for a minor only requires a very nominal blood alcohol content (BAC). A BAC greater than 0.02% may result in OUI charges. This is compared to the much higher threshold of 0.08% for an adult over the age of 21. A very small amount of alcohol ingested prior to operation of a motor vehicle is all that it takes to charge a minor with OUI. Without proper defense, these cases often result in major penalties. First time offenses can include fines from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $5000, a 1 year revocation of driving privileges, and up to two and a half years jail time.

False or Fake ID in Massachusetts 

Using false identification to obtain/purchase alcohol is another very serious charge. Any person using or attempting to impersonate another person to obtain false identification documents is subject to severe penalties even for first time offenses. These may include fines up to $500, a maximum of five years in state prison, or a maximum of two years in jail.

No matter the circumstances, underage drinking charges and related charges can be extremely detrimental to a young person; any alcohol related offense for a minor under 21 requires a thoughtful criminal defense. Our attorneys are well versed in alcohol related defenses, and will be at your side throughout the process to ensure all options are explored. Continue reading

Television has now long been used by law enforcement to try to clear up so-called “Cold Cases”.

The aim of putting such programs on the air is, from the Network point of view, I suppose to make money because folks are interested in these programs. For law enforcement, however, the aim is to solve outstanding mysteries. These mysteries usually involve homicide cases because there is no statute of limitations that would terminate the ability to bring charges in murder cases.
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16-year-old Philip Chism (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) is having all sorts of trouble in Salem Superior Court, according to the

As if being charged with rape and murder were not enough, the judge overseeing his trial has found that he is competent to stand trial. He apparently tried to find a way out of the trial earlier this week, by refusing to enter the courtroom.

That did not prevent the continuing of the trial either.
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In my last blog, I laid out the facts for a case, which was recently dismissed because we were able to uncover exculpatory evidence from the Department of Children and Families. Our client was charged with Assault and Battery on a minor (his 7 year old step-son). The child made the initial disclosure of the abuse 2 years after the abuse was alleged to have occurred at a time when the Department of Children and Families were already involved. We motioned the court, pursuant to Massachusetts Criminal Procedure Rule 17; to issue a summons to DCF for their records regarding the child at the time abuse was alleged to have occurred.
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A basic rule of criminal procedure is that the Commonwealth must turnover any and all exculpatory evidence (evidence which can lead the fact finder to believe the defendant is innocent) within their possession to the defense. In most cases there is rarely much exculpatory evidence, because if there were, the defendant would probably not have been charged in the first place. A problem arises when there is exculpatory evidence but it is not in the Commonwealth’s possession (even if commonsense says it should be).
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We usually encourage teachers who take a personal interest in students. Not always, though. Sometimes, we figure it is going too far.

This case involves such allegations.

28-year-old Elizabeth Backler (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) was a North Shore educator and swim coach at north Andover High School. While she is no longer so employed, that is where the facts at issue are alleged to have taken place.
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As I write this the website for his Cannabis Consulting is still up and, seemingly, ready for business.

However, 41-year-old Ezra Parzybok (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) may have a fight on his hands to keep said business going.

You see, the Defendant has been caught up in one of the biggest hypocritical snafus that the Commonwealth has to offer these days.

You guessed it. We are talking about the semi-legalization of marijuana. Weed. Pot.

That substance that most experts say is not harmful but seems to be causing so much confusion and trouble that trying to figure it all out could lead one to heroin.
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This case brings back memories that we have discussed with you not so long ago.

The case is pending in Attleboro. The criminal allegation? Vehicular Homicide.

26-year-old Arman Chaudhary (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) from Lynn is the driver in question.

The Boston Herald tells us that the Defendant is accused of driving more than 100 miles per hour, ending his trip by way of a tragic collision. A fatal collision.

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A Stoughton gent, I think we will soon hear, had a wacky sense of humor Unfortunately, it was not shared by those around him. In fact, what he apparently found clever was something that most of us find rather disturbing.

As a result, Mr. Anthony Rae, 24 and hereinafter, the “Defendant”, is a current involuntary guest of the United States Government. He has been arrested for sending bizarre bomb threats to various locations. According to the United States Attorney’s office, these included various academic institutions.

The Defendant was not exactly the picture of stealth according to the prosecution. They say that he hacked into his mother’s email and sent some of them from there.

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In my last blog, I told you that I would address a second issue which came to light (again) from a recent SJC decision. The decision involved a murder case and the issue of exculpatory/informant evidence that had not been disclosed to the defense.

Of course, I had also indicated that this second part of the posting would be presented on Monday. Today is Wednesday.

Hey, look…I’ve got clients to defend…!

Well that’s my perspective on that subject.

In terms of the accused in the criminal justice system, one might be surprised that the prosecution would not give all possible evidence to the defense immediately. After all, it is the defendant who is facing the loss of liberty. We have been brought up to believe that the prosecution is the good guy in the trenches. Surely, the good guys would not play dirty or try to hide evidence…right?
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