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.

Mattapan Man Seeks Driving License After Six OUI and One Vehicular Homicide Convictions- Attorney Sam’s Take

We take today’s blog from the “You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me” section of the news. It involves a man who clearly picked the wrong time to attempt to get back his Massachusetts driver’s license.

One would imagine that even without the pending Parole debacle claiming the front page every day , that Algary Horton, 53, of Mattapan (hereinafter, the “Nondriver”) would still be refused.

You see, the Nondriver does not have the greatest driving record. He has been convicted six times for drunk driving for example. Oh yes, and there was that time, in 1993, when he killed a woman on one of those allegedly drunken drivers and then fled the scene.

The Nondriver does get points for consistency, however. He was convicted of OUI in 1979, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1998 and 2004, authorities said.

In the 1993 case, interestingly not his last, the Nondriver was also found guilty of vehicular homicide when his vehicle veered off Park Street in Dorchester, plowing into a 38-year-old woman. She, a mother of three, was sent flying into the air while her children and friends looked on in horror. The Nondriver drove on.

In that case, he was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison. Somehow, however, he was back behind the wheel and driving (although without a valid license) for the occasions of his 1998, 2003 and 2004 arrests, authorities said.

Meanwhile, not to be deterred, the Nondriver continues to appeal and fight for his privilege to drive to be returned to him.

Don’t think he hasn’t been busy while carless, mind you. Apparently, he also has three pending assault cases in Dorchester District Court, court officials confirmed
He’s probably no longer a threat.

As a Boston-based drunk driving defense attorney of many years, I have seen some very odd results of cases…and their aftermaths.

The pending plight of the Nondriver and his nonlicense is not as shocking to me as it probably is to you. For anyone in this man’s position to try to get his license back, particularly when the recent Parole Board fiasco is still playing out is to be living in another universe. Had he given the situation some more thought, perhaps he would realize that if, at this time, he was given his license back, whoever made such a decision would likely be drawn and quartered.

However, there is an interesting question here. How many of these convictions were plea bargains and how many were trials?

“Sam, why on Earth should that matter?”

Sometimes there is a snowball effect. Sometimes, when one is facing trial and potential jail time, one pleads guilty in order to avoid the risk. Believe it or not, innocent people do this as well as guilty people.

Why might they do this? Well, for many, jail is a pretty scary possibility. Further, they might find themselves with an attorney in whom they have little faith. Perhaps the attorney is exuding the vibes of “Omigod, we’re gonna lose! We’re gonna lose!”

And so, in panic, they plead guilty.

Pleading guilty sometimes makes sense under such circumstances. Sometimes, however, it does not. Particularly in certain cases, where one’s future in job potential, immigration consequences or ability to drive may be in jeopardy.

Then, at the next case, the prior conviction-by-way-of-plea is considered and the odds for either acquittal or more consideration become worse.

How best to avoid such a catastrophe? Retain and experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled matters like yours. Also, make sure it is someone in whom you have faith. That way, you know whether you can believe what he or she is telling you.

Before the moment of panic.

If you want to contact me to discuss such a case, please feel to call me to arrange a free initial consultation at 617-492-3000.

To view the original story, and charming photograph about which parts of this blog were based, please go to : http://news.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20110115man_in_fatal_oui_loses_bid_to_regain_license/ and http://news.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20110114despite_6_ouis_including_one_fatal_man_wants_license_back/

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