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: A Boston Man Faces Criminal Charges For Breaking Into A Tow Truck

A Boston man was arrested Sunday morning. He was charged with breaking into a tow truck in Brighton. He was carrying a large attitude and a strong desire to re-invigorate the “Let’s Do Everything Possible To Make Matters Worse” club.

Of course, William Ashmore, 36 (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) had his reasons. After all, his vehicle had been towed and, according to law enforcement, the towing company was refusing to give it back to him.

Now, to be fair…they had a point of view too. They wanted him to pay the required fee first.

When the police came to investigate, the Defendant ordered that they release the vehicle to him. When they explained that he had to pay the fee first, he is said to have begun disparaging the officers.

Apparently, said communications included questioning of the officers. Questions included tidbits like, “I went to college … what did you do?”

Not generally a good move. On the other hand, this was apparently not the Defendant in the mood for a well thought-out plan..

Anyway, the police say that they tried explaining to the Defendant that his level of education really had nothing to do with the fact that he would have to pay the tow attendant in order to get his car back.

This is said to have been met with even more hostility.

Wouldn’t you just know it? The officers looked further into the episode and found that the Defendant had been seen on surveillance tape breaking into one of the tow trucks. Not only that, but an employee reported that he had been making threats of physical harm (ie assault) if the car was not released, police said.

Bring on the Commonwealth’s bracelets of shame!

The Defendant charged with breaking and entering a motor vehicle. So far, that is. I count at least two other crimes he could be charged with according to the above description.

A View From The Trenches:

I suppose that in order to appreciate the right way to deal with law enforcement, one has to examine examples of what not to do. Sort of a Ying-yang thing.

First of all, police usually appear to uphold the rules, not ignore them. In other words, when the police came, they were not there to tell the towing company, “Hey, give the guy his car back. He went to college! And all!”

Further, when the police arrive to investigate, they generally like to be the ones to ask the questions and make the demands. Not the other way around. I often suggest that you act respectful and not try to out-fight, out-wit or out-run them. Perhaps I should add another piece of advice – don’t try to out-demand them.

Won’t work. Bad results.

I have often advised you that the “self help:” approach to law and order is not appreciated by the powers that be. This would include instances like this one. The courts tend to take a dim view of breaking into locations and motor vehicles in order to threaten or steal one’s property back.

Sometimes I wonder if I repeat myself too much.

Apparently not.

Anyway, if you have had a lapse in judgment, or are accused of having one, and it looks like you are headed for the criminal courts, you want to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. Even if you have gone to college.

If you would like to discuss such a situation with me, please feel free to call me to arrange a free initial consultation at 617-492-3000. After all, I went to college and everything!

To view the original story in which parts of this blog were based, please go to : http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/12/boston_man_arre_2.html

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