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.

Attorney Sam’s Take: Does Michael Jackson Homicide Doc Read The Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog?

The Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog has regularly suggested how an experienced defense attorney can help you if there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest.

It may be that Dr. Conrad Murray,( hereinafter, the “Defendant”) the doctor who administered the fatal dose of Propofol to Michael Jackson and now is to face homicide charges is a reader! Well, if not, at least he is being similarly advised.

According to law enforcement, his attorneys have been in contact with the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office to surrender on charges of involuntary manslaughter . Apparently, the plan is that the prosecutor will file the charges with the court and then immediately notify the Defendant’s lawyers. They will then bring the Defendant downtown to court to surrender to a judge.

What happens next is anybody’s guess. He could be arrested and held. He could be simply arraigned. There is one sticking point, though. It would appear that this is not the Defendant’s only legal problem at the moment. Apparently, there is a case against him in Las Vegas brought by a medical imaging company for non-payment of fees. There is currently a default judgment against the Defendant in that matter.

The charge against the Defendant is to be involuntary manslaughter , which carries a maximum sentence of 4 years in prison. A lawyer claiming to represent the Jackson family has released a statement that they are upset with the charge, calling it “just a slap on the wrist.”

Of course, today’s blog is not really about the Defendant or the Jacksons. It is about you.

It is better to be coming in to answer charges as soon as possible and, most importantly, voluntarily. Otherwise, it gives the prosecutor the argument that you should be held on high bail because you are unlikely to return to court on your own.

Yes, I know that you know that you will come back. I understand that you are presumed innocent. Of course you feel it is ridiculous that they are making such a big thing out of it.

But understand…it is a big thing to you as well. It is your liberty.

Sometimes, in cases where you have defaulted a long time ago, it can take awhile to work out your planned return to the temple of justice. This is especially true when your default occurred a long time ago. It is still worth going through an attorney in these instances . Otherwise, while you will have the good argument that you returned on your own, you may well be held until the court and the Commonwealth dig up their old file on you to figure out what to do with you. Further, you want an experienced criminal defense attorney on hand to explain to the court where you have been and what happened.

Contrary to some self-help approaches I have seen tried in court, “I dunno” and “I was scared to come back” are not good arguments.

If there is a default or arrest warrant currently pending with your name on it and you wish to discuss it with me, please feel free to contact me at 617-492-3000.

In the meantime, have a great, safe and law-abiding weekend!

To find the original story upon which this story is based, please go to http://www.tmz.com/2010/02/03/michael-jackson-doctor-ready-to-surrender/?icid=main|htmlws-main-w|dl2|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tmz.com%2F2010%2F02%2F03%2Fmichael-jackson-doctor-ready-to-surrender%2F#ixzz0ef1Jj9rU

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