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: Massachusetts Driver With Three Revoked Licenses Is Arrested For OUI And Other Criminal Charges

Today’s tale takes us to the town of Quincy, where a local gentleman is having issues with the criminal justice system. His issues surround his driving license. You see, it had been revoked three times. Now, he faces a plethora of criminal charges, including Operating Under The Influence.The gentleman, Rony S. Santos-Cruz, 24, (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) has entered a not guilty plea in Quincy District Court and posted $1,000 cash bail to regain his freedom in his latest crash into the judicial system.

According to Assistant District Attorney Erin McFarland of Quincy, the Defendant, while under the influence, struck four vehicles. Oh, and he was driving while his license was revoked. Again. She also explained during arraignment that the Defendant admitted to driving the blue Buick involved in the accidents, and that the vehicle he was driving had severe front end damage, including a blown tire and several dents and scratches.

Apparently, when asked where he was going and where he had come from, the Defendant answered , “home”.

I imagine it was simply a round trip to the parked cars and back.

Allegedly.

After the Defendant failed various field sobriety tests, he showed the interesting judgment of voluntarily taking a blood alcohol test. Said test awarded him the number of .23.

The legal limit is .08.

Perhaps sobering up, the Defendant recognized reality and told troopers at booking, “I guess I (expletive) up,” according to the prosecutor..

A View From The Trenches:

Sometimes, you have to wonder if some people actually want to go to jail.

For example, once you have failed the field sobriety tests…why go on to take the breathalyzer?

I also have to wonder at what passed for the Defendant’s wisdom in making statements to the police. I always tell you to cooperate with the police in terms of not fighting or trying to run from or out-talk the police. You’ve got to give them your identification information and all…but pithy little observations are seldom something to volunteer.

For example, when the Defendant was asked about his three previous revoked licenses, he offered the sage observation that, “we all have to start somewhere,” according to the report.

According to reports, the Defendant had no prior record…only revoked drivers licenses. This is probably why the court mandated the bail that it did. Many of these cases involve long histories of drunk driving, driving with a suspended license and the like. In this case, the Defendant will likely also be looking at malicious destruction of property or similar charges which will encourage the Commonwealth to seek restitution along with any other criminal sentences.

Of course, I have no involvement with the Defendant’s case and so do not really know his state of mind as to whether or not he really wanted to be arrested. However, let’s assume for the moment that you have made a mistake or two or will in the future. Let’s assume further that you would actually prefer not to face charges or, at least, get the best possible result when facing criminal prosecution.

What can I tell you here to help you in that endeavor?

Well,I could suggest you be very careful not to break the law. However, sometimes that is not the cure-all. Sometimes things happen which feel out of your control. Sometimes, you are investigated or suspected of having committed a crime when you have not done so.

In all these scenarios, the advice is the same.

Do not try to be your own lawyer. One of my heroes, Abraham Lincoln, once remarked that a man who represents himself has a fool for a client. In my opinion, he was right…even if that “fool” has his own license to practice law. There are a number of reasons for this, but we need not go through them here. Particularly since most lawyers already seem to understand this. It is the non-lawyers, who have not seen the realities of the criminal justice system, who think “it’s a no-brainer” and seek to handle the situation themselves.

Usually, they make their plight worse. They may be brilliant people…but the criminal justice system is another land…sometimes a foreign one…with its own realities and rules. It really shouldn’t be. A major purpose of my writings is to demystify it as much as possible.

But that will take time.

In the meantime, get an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through this mysterious territory. Be very sure that there are traps and dangers all around you. Listen to that attorney and, hopefully, you will come out as unscathed as possible on the other side.

Should you wish that attorney to be me, please feel free to call me to arrange a free initial consultation at 617-492-3000.

For the original story upon which today’s blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/11/man_arrested_af_7.html

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