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.

Boston And The Rest Of The World Watch As Lindsay Lohan’s Probation For Drunk Driving Is Surrendered

Today’s posting on the Boston criminal lawyer blog does not really involve Boston.

It does involve criminal law, though. As well as show business.

You may have heard snippets over the past months of Lindsay Lohan and her difficulties with the law. One such difficulty has been showing up in court for such incidentals such as probation violation hearings.

Finally, it would seem that the court had enough.

Yesterday, a Los Angeles judge found Ms. Lohan in violation of her probation. The actress was sentenced to 90 days in jail. The hearing revolved around a missed court date in May. Ms. Lohan had claimed that the reason she had missed the court date was that she had lost her passport at the Cannes Film Festival and was unable to travel back to the states to attend the court date.

I hate when that happens, don’t you?

Well, anyway, Judge Marsha Revel referenced several instances involving Lohan’s 2007 Driving While Intoxicated arrest in which she lied about possessing drugs and drinking. “It’s like someone who cheats but doesn’t think it’s cheating if they don’t get caught,” the judge said in court.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

We have discussed the realities of being on probation many times. The truth is that it really does not matter what state in the union you live in. If you are on probation, you had better do what the Department of Probation tells you to do. Further, neither said department nor judges take very kindly to feeling ignored.

Not showing up in court usually brings about default warrants. Ordinarily, Ms.Lohan would be returned to court in handcuffs.

“Yeah, why should she be treated differently?”

Well, the suggestion is that she is a person of privilege and so the normal rules do not apply to her. That may well be correct to a certain extent. However, there is a down side to that. The down side is that you never know when the powers that be are going to decide to enforce those normal rules because they have had enough.

Other than being a celebrity, there are reasons Ms. Lohan may have been given the benefit of the doubt in the past. She is not a person with a bad criminal record. It would be somewhat tough for her to simply skip court and never come back because she is so recognizable. Finally, one would expect that with so much to lose, she would not play games with the court.

in short, she should be a good bail risk.

But then, sometimes such suppositions are incorrect.

“Well, she lost her passport…what was she supposed to do?”

Take a hint from Ms. Lohan’s misfortune. If you have a court date, and are not able to move it with the help of your attorney (before the actual court date, that is), show up.

You could lose your passport? Either keep it stapled to your body or simply do not go.

Might get a cold? Do not go out.

Might oversleep? Stay awake.

Am I sounding foolish? Maybe. But the fact is that when you have a court date, it is vital that you show up. This is particularly true if, Like Ms. Lohan, you are facing a probation violation and already have a few strikes against you from the start.

It is an area in which one does not take chances if one is wise.

But then, people are not always wise.

When your wisdom has failed you in such matters, you need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so as to minimize damage and defend you.

If you find yourself in such a predicament and would like to consult with me regarding representing you , please feel free to give me a call at 617-492-3000 .

To view the original story upon which today’s blog was based, please go to http://news-briefs.ew.com/2010/07/06/judge-rules-lohan-90-days-in-jail/

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