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.

You have probably heard the notion that being broke is not a crime in the United States. After all, they can’t prosecute you simply for being poor, can they?

Well, kinda- sorta.

Try not being able to pay restitution, probation fees or other court costs when you are on probation…!

A particular case covered by the Boston Herald , the Supreme Judicial Court seems to have noticed a case in which our legal theories do not coincide with reality.

David Magadini (hereinafter, the “Defendant”), now 67, was arrested in the Berkshieres . The man was then tried and convicted of criminal trespass. After all, he took shelter in a privately owned building during the harsh winter weather.

Oh, did I mention that he was homeless at the time?

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We have a couple of stories here which relate to each other in terms of a very serious lesson for the readers of this blog. They will take us into next week.

First, let’s look at proposed changes in the laws surrounding assault and battery…when the complainant is law enforcement.

Governor Charlie Baker is proposing new legislation. Should it pass, suspects who allegedly seriously injure a police officer would face up to 10 years in prison.  They would also be disqualified from receiving  a probation-only sentence. This is the apparent new political response to the murder of an Auburn­ police officer at the hands of a criminal with a history of attacking officers. That case, along with a variety of attacks on law enforcement, has sponsored the new concern for our police officer’s safety,

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Alexander Nguyen (hereinafter, the Defendant) has been arrested. Monday was his entry date to the criminal justice system.

The Defendant faces charges charges of assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, threats to kill, disorderly conduct, and disturbing the peace.

It was a “road rage” event.

According to, the Sharon Police Department reports that the Defendant, 21, engaged in the actions at issue on June 12th. They say he got out of his black Acura MDX and “assaulted the victim while the victim’s children watched from the back seat.”

The Defendant is said to have left the scene and Sharon police posted a description of the suspect on its Facebook page on Friday. On Saturday, Nguyen showed up at the police station, where he was arrested, according to police.

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You have undoubtedly heard about the horrifyingly tragic and monstrous mass murder which took place at Pulse in Orlando, Florida. Omar Mateen, now deceased, committed the deed, leaving behind 49 people dead and 53 injured.

There seems to be no doubt as to either the despicable act or the identity of the shooter.

Mr. Mateen, however is dead and so beyond the government’s ability to punish him further.

And so eyes turn to his wife, 30-year-old Noor Zahi Salmon.
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Yesterday, we discussed a gent who is looking at criminal charges for allegedly participating in a heroin trafficking ring. We began listing items that one normally finds being offered into evidence in such cases.

We now continue.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Additional Pieces Of Evidence In A High Level Drug Trafficking Prosecution

  1. A Stash

This refers to other drugs that are waiting to be sold in or around the location.

An important part of a high-level drug trafficking investigation is finding the sources of drugs. Drug operations tend to be multi-level. Generally, law enforcement is more interested in getting the “bigger fish” than the “little minnows”. The prosecutorial hope is that the more drugs that are found, the higher the level of the dealers. In terms of the individual prosecution, the finding of a stash is good evidence that the people present are involved in the drug trade.

It is especially helpful when the type and packaging of the drugs found match the packaging of that which was sold in a pre-warrant buy (discussed yesterday).

Big stashes of illegal narcotics tend to be worth a great deal of money. Therefore, the more the stash is worth, the less likely it is that folks not involved with the business will be present at what is suspected to be a drug location.

At least, that’s how the theory goes.

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Allen Delisle, 29, hereinafter, the “Defendant” learned about law enforcement and allegations about the drug trade yesterday according to the Salem Daily News.

The Defendant was held on $100,000 cash bail at Salem District Court. The next date is scheduled to be for a probable cause hearing. Translation? The Commonwealth is going to indict him

According to the Commonwealth, after two pre-warrant buys from the Defendant, A search warrant was executed Friday afternoon. The Defendant was allegedly found with more than 2 ounces of heroin in his rooming house . As a result, he stands charged with heroin trafficking and distribution of drugs near a school or park.

The Commonwealth claims that it recovered thousands of dollars in cash in the pockets of the Defendant  as well as thousands of dollars worth of heroin. Packaging materials were also apparently discovered

The Defendant faces a mandatory minimum of seven years in state prison if convicted.

The issue of coming up with the bail might turn out to be moot. Apparently, he is also currently on probation. Very likely, the Department of Probation will seek to bring a surrender hearing and send him into the not so warm arms of involuntary housing

Attorney Sam’sTake On The Typical Evidence Of A Drug Trafficking Case

It seems I have been surrounded by drug cases ever since I graduated out of law school.

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Technically, resisting arrest is defined as the crime of using physical power to avoid arrest, handcuffing, or transporting the accused to jail.  In reality, any action to prevent one’s arrest or being taken into custody can leads to the charge.

Like the charge of disorderly conduct,  determining the bounds of resisting arrest is largely up to the officer’s discretion, keeping in mind state guidelines and laws.

In most states, including Massachusetts,  if the arresting officer exercises excessive force that result in “great bodily harm”, the accused has the right to defend him or herself.  Usually, the circumstances are considered from the standpoint of a “reasonable person”, meaning if someone reasonable would consider the officer to be using excessive force then it is considered just that. Of course, this is eventually for a judge or jury at trial to decide.


There are still folks out there who believe that if they ignore the fact that they never returned to court when they were supposed to, the Commonwealth will kindly do the same.

These people are wrong..

When you did not go to court, a default warrant, a warrant for your arrest, went into the system. Regardless of how aggressive law enforcement looked for you, there it remained.

There is no agency or department that, periodically, reviews old outstanding default warrants to determine whether they want to bother keeping the arrest warrant active.

It’s really no bother and they assume the will get you sooner or later.

And they probably will.

Attorney Sam’s Take On The Sting Of The Outstanding Default Warrant

These days, almost all state and federal agencies are connected through computers, the internet and the like. Thus, when a warrant hits the system, the information is available to all other agencies.

Further, especially with the recent concerns about terrorism, those records are watched very carefully whenever possible.

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Some time has gone by since your altercation with Righteous Ricky. The fight was short, alcohol driven, and he looked the worse for wear afterwards. The last contact you had with Ricky was when the fight ended and he said he was going to “sue you for assault and battery”.

That was a couple of  weeks ago.

Today, you came home to find a summons in the mail from your local district court. It is saying that there is a “Clerk Magistrate Hearing” scheduled against you because of the fight and your “assault and battery” on Ricky.

You raced over to your computer and googled the subject at “Mass.Gov.”  and you read the following;

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I know that I had said that my very next blog was going to be Part Two of our discussion on sexual crimes.  Apparently, an interloper posted a non-Attorney Sam’s Take blog in between.  However, as promised, it is a new day and we now continue our discussion.

At 18 years of age, James Murphy, a freshman football player at Curry College learned some of the criminal justice pitfalls one can encounter when accused of the sexual assault of another student.

The allegations came this past October. Mr. Murphy was held on bail after he was arrested. He was arraigned on three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older and one count each of accosting or annoying someone of the opposite sex and possession of amphetamines.

Naturally, Mr. Murphy is presumed innocent, even while held in custody, and the allegations are now part of his criminal record.

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