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.

At the end of last week, the United States Attorney’s office issued a press release. The posting of it, as we have discussed in the past, as recently as last week, is apparently deemed necessary in LawenforcementLand to let us know that they are doing their job and arresting people.

Whether those people turn out to be guilty, of course, is another issue. In the meantime, of course, they will be presumed innocent…and assumed guilty.

To be fair, though, the federal prosecutor’s office generally gets the convictions that they are after.

As I recall, this was released around the same time I was getting posts on my IPhone that they were trying to find some gang member who apparently had escaped from federal custody. Yes, that would be the same office.

But I digress.

According to the release, two gentlemen from Cambridge were among 56 alleged “MS-13” gang members, leaders and associates who were taken into custody by law enforcement Friday morning.
Erick Argueta Larios, aka “Lobo,” 31, and Herzzon Sandoval, aka “Casper,” 34, both of Cambridge, had been indicted on federal racketeering conspiracy charges.
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Yesterday, we discussed the recent shooting/stabbing case which unfolded in Brookline this week.

“Yes, you were kind of mean to the nice Police Chief about his statements and the arrests.”

Do you think so?

“Yes and you left off suggesting that the way the police handled this matter put me in some kind of danger”.

So I did. I tend to find that when the authorities decide to make “urgent” and rushed arrests…before even thinking the whole matter through… the general population is put at risk.

“How so?”

In a number of ways. For example, one thing I often find when law enforcement rushes through to make arrests is that they increase the risks of getting it wrong. This is a reality to which, when mentioned, officers generally scoff. You will notice that they also seldom reconsider and admit that they might have been wrong.

Not solving a violent case correctly, as opposed to “expediently” puts us all in danger as the true culprits are often left unprosecuted. This should be apparent on its face. The flip side of this danger is something fewer people end up having to worry about.

This would be the folks who end up facing charges for things like home invasion, assault and attempted murder who shouldn’t be.

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It is a Boston violent story that is continuing to unfold. The ongoing criminal investigation apparently continues although law enforcement is already pointing fingers.

Wednesday, three men were wounded in shootings and stabbings in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner. Brookline police say that the violence was related to a home invasion.

Brookline Police Chief Daniel C. O’Leary explained that the incident began around 11:50 a.m. Wednesday when officers responded to a report a disturbance on St. Paul Street. When officers arrived, they say they found signs of a struggle in the stairs and hallway leading up to an apartment. One man, who was found with several gunshot wounds to the leg as well as a stab wound, was found and taken out of the apartment.
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You may have been expecting to see this kind of story during our current presidential race theatrics. Sometimes, though, national political temperament is reflected by local political temperament.

I am referring to a new Massachusetts assault case pending in Holyoke. It is a case now scheduled for a trail for April 4th.

The former mayor of Chicopee, Michael Bissonnette (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) is charged with attacking Police Lt. John Pronovost on September 8th at a city polling location.
Apparently, the dispute started when the officer asked the Defendant, who was seeking re-election, to remove a campaign sticker, believing he was in violation of a law that bars campaigning too close to a voting site.

The men got into a shouting match and insulted each other.

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You have met with your attorney on your drug case. It is your fifth time in court on this case. Your lawyer tells you that the next date is for trial. She explains that she may be able to talk the court and the prosecutor into giving you probation instead of jail.

“What?”, you say. “No jail? Count me in!”

You figure you are home free.

You are wrong.

Attorney Sam’s Take On The Risks Of Probation

Don’t get me wrong…being on probation is better than being in prison. However, there are some things you have to keep in mind because this may not be the gift from Heaven that you assume it is.
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Boston’s MBTA travelers have been having a rough time over the past year. First were the disasters of the Winter of 2015. This was followed by other types of problems such as a runaway train and threats of fare hikes. A couple of days ago, there was the example of another type of T Disaster.

Someone apparently got angry and began to shoot at people. Two men were hit. Thankfully, the injuries were not life threatening.

This is not to say that the shootings were simply random or the typically touted “acts of terror”. They followed a fight.

Hence the explosive anger.

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Many people assume that law enforcement has some kind of duty to notify a suspect before they seek criminal charges against them. This is not true. In fact, to the contrary, the police often try to catch a suspect by surprise when arresting him or her so that the suspect does not flee.

Sometimes they even do it for media-related purposes.

If you are actually being charged with a crime, one of the following will occur:

1. A police officer or detective will show up, put handcuffs on you and arrest you. He/she may give you a chance to make a statement first…as discussed in many of my blogs, you probably do not want to take that opportunity;

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Kevin Burnham, a “decorated and highly-respected” Springfield police officer who retired in 2014 (and hereinafter, the “Defendant”) has been indicted with stealing approximately $385,317 which had been evidence in 170 drug cases. He has pleaded “not guilty” and released on his own recognizance.

The Defendant must turn in his passport, not travel out of state without Probation Department permission, turn his guns over to counsel who must give them to any successor counsel, and give his license to carry firearms to the police commissioner.

The defense attorney at the bail hearing was appointed “for arraignment only” and so now the Defendant must find his own criminal defense attorney by January 19th.

The Indictments charging the Defendant with larceny counts name a timeline of more than a four year period .
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Michael P. McCarthy, 35 and hereinafter, the “Defendant” went to court today. He is the gent who stands accused of actually killing the toddler known for months as “Baby Doe”.

The court was Suffolk Superior Court in Boston. The charge is Murder in the First Degree.

This was not the first time the Defendant was in court on this matter. He has been in jail since September 18, 2015. At the time, he was held without bail and the matter was in District Court.

Now, the case has been indicted. He is in Superior Court where a conviction on the charge is possible (the charge cannot be prosecuted in District Court) and he faces the sentence of Life without the possibility of parole.

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I have been around as a Boston criminal defense attorney for an uncountable number of years. Laws and procedures that make little to no sense is nothing new in the trenches.

One such sentencing-related law was changed this past week.

On Wednesday, the state House of Representatives unanimously voted to repeal a 1989 law which dealt with convictions for drug offenses. The law basically mandated that someone convicted of such a crime (whether by plea or after trial) would automatically have their driver’s license suspended whether or not said drug matter had anything to do with driving.

The Senate passed a similar law repealing that 27-year-old legislation in the fall. Governor Charlie Baker has indicated he is “open” to the legislation as well, the Boston Globe reports.

The original hope had been that the added punishment would intended to deter drug use. The problem was more in Reality than in Hope Land. In Reality, suspending licenses limited the ability of prior drug users to get their life back on the path to recovery.
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