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.

Former Boston Hit And Run Driver Must Have Golden-Tongued Attorney After Driving Drunk

It is time for the “Hey, I’ll Bet I Can Make This Situation Worse” Club to announce its new spin-off organization, “Bet They Nail Me This Time!” I would like to nominate for the BTNMTT initial poster child a certain 19 year old woman, Elizabeth F. (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). Lately, she hails from Norfolk. However, back in 2006, she and her lawyer were trying to keep her free after she was involved in a Boston fatal hit-and-run case.

On Sunday, the Defendant, still on probation for the earlier case, was arrested in Ashland on drunk driving charges after she was found passed out behind the wheel of her car that had gone off the road, police said.

She was not alone this time. She was with elder 20 year old Carrie O. (hereinafter, the “Co-defendant”)… who was also passed out in the car.

As a result of their investigation, police say that the women appeared to be passed out from alcohol, not from any injury they received when the car crashed into a snow bank.

Fortunately, nobody was on the receiving end of the vehicle this time.

The Defendant was already on probation in connection with the December, 2006, death of Jeffrey Cardin, 48, of Wrentham. She, then 17, struck and killed Cardin on Shears Street in Wrentham. She turned herself in after seeing news reports about the incident, but claimed she had not realized she had hit someone.

In that case, the Defendant was charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury and death in the 2006 crash. She was found guilty in 2007 to the lesser charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury. She was then sentenced to three years probation, her license suspended for six months and was ordered to remain drug and alcohol free.

Woops. So much for that condition.

Police said they found a bottle of 80 proof brandy and beer in the car. They also allegedly found a bag of marijuana in the Co-defendant’s purse.

The Defendant was charged with Massachusetts Operating Under The Influence of Alcohol, driving a vehicle negligently as to endanger and being a minor transporting liquor. Struggling to maintain consistency of bad judgment, she also ended up being charged with resisting arrest.

Failing to uphold the image of the BTNMTT, she was amazingly released without bail at her arraignment. She is expected to return to court on April 22.

The Co-defendant was charged with being a minor in possession of liquor and given a civil infraction for marijuana possession.

Attorney Sam’s take:

Despite the difficulties she is obviously combating, the Defendant has been very lucky in terms of the Criminal Justice System. She could have seen incarceration on her first case and she is a candidate for jail in this case as well.

While she was charged with leaving the scene after causing personal injury, in fact a death, she was apparently not prosecuted for felony of vehicular homicide. Most people in such circumstances are. It would appear, however, that no case could be made as to what led up to the accident about which the Defendant claimed to be oblivious. If she had been found to be drunk or simply driving recklessly, it may have been a different result. However, some time had gone by between the accident and her turning herself in. The cause of the accident, as well as ability to be ignorant about hitting someone and killing them remain somewhat of a mystery.

What is not a mystery, however, is whether she has now violated probation – she has. It is, of course, a violation of probation to violate the law. Being a minor in possession of alcohol, much less transporting it, is a crime. Drunk driving is also a crime in the Commonwealth.

Need some more probation violations? Well, in Massachusetts, the simple act of getting charged with a new crime (whether or not you end up convicted) is a probation violation.

The Defendant is absolutely qualified to become a guest of the Commonwealth. Is it a likely result? Well, so far, luck has been with her…sort of.

After all, the alleged drunken encounter with the snow bank could have ended much differently. Either she or the Co-Defendant (or some innocent passer-by) could have been injured or killed.

If that lightening had struck twice…she would be unlikely to be released without bail today.

The full articles of this story can be found at http://www.thebostonchannel.com/print/18899252/detail.html

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