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.

Criminal Defendants From Medford To Milton Learn Lessons About OUI, Assault And Dangerous Weapons

Yesterday, Wayne Leduc, 40, of Milton (hereinafter, “Trooper Crasher”) pleaded not guilty to charges of drunk driving and operating to endanger and went home after posting bail. One would hope that he was not his own transportation home, Either way, he had better be careful out there.

Simply put, it seems to be getting more and more dangerous to commute in any way here in the Commonwealth!

Trooper Crasher’s charges resulted from a little problem he is said to have had on Interstate 93 in Quincy. It happened on Sunday morning. According to the Commonwealth, he was involved in accident which injured a state trooper. Oh, yes…and they say he was under the influence of alcohol as well.

Apparently, the 43-year-old trooper had pulled over another vehicle at the spot in Quincy. He was standing in front of his cruiser when Trooper Crasher smashed into the rear of the cruiser, propelling it into the trooper, according to the state police.

The trooper suffered leg injuries and was taken to Boston Medical Center for treatment. Other troopers who responded to the scene arrested Trooper Crasher.

One might think that this type of thing does not happen very often. One would unfortunately be incorrect. For example, last Wednesday, another trooper was seriously injured on Route 30 in Framingham when his cruiser was struck head-on by a car that crossed the median. Further, in the past year, we have had several cases wherein troopers were stuck, sometimes killed, when vehicles struck them on various roads.

Now, you might think that this is some kind of personal crime wave against law enforcement, or that windshields now need to be checked to make sure there is no blue tint which is causing officers and their vehicles to become invisible to various drivers. However, police officers are not the only victims in these cases of late.

Earlier this very morning an innocent Kingston bank was the victim of such an accident. While this driver’s name has not yet been released (we’ll call him “Building Smasher”), the vehicle crashed into the front lobby of the bank, injuring one person.

Apparently, the driver was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and the passenger refused medical attention according to the Commonwealth.

The cause of that accident is still under investigation.

You might figure that, since the roads seem to be unduly dangerous, it would be safer to take public transportation. But this, too, is not a surefire way to get about safely anymore it seems.

For example, Marc Sico and James J. Marino, both 19 and from Medford (hereinafter, collectively as “Pedestrian Bashers”) are said to have created a rather violent scene near Back Bay Station in Boston On Sunday. They are now charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a shod foot. While Pedestrian Bashers trotted home after pleading not guilty, the Commonwealth announced that more charges are likely to be brought as they have received information about another such assault on Dartmouth Street.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Motor Vehicle Crimes, Assaults And Weapons:

The various Crashers, Smashers and Bashers above have one thing in common. They allegedly wielded what the law considers weapons if used in particular ways. Said ways are determined by what the prosecution believes the defendants’ motives were.

If you are believed to have intentionally struck someone with a car, the charge, among other things will be vehicular assault. You intentionally touched someone in an offensive manner with the weapon; the weapon was the car.

Most people would consider being struck with a moving automobile to be offensive, and that is all it takes to be assault.

Vehicular assault, or assault with a dangerous weapon is not always charged in an accident where someone is hit and a driver is considered under the influence. However, if a driver is found to be under the influence and that driver strikes and kills someone, then that person will face a charge of vehicular homicide. Voluntary intoxication and the argument, “Hey, I had no intent to hit anybody…I was too stinkin’drunk to have any intent” is not a viable defense.

As we have discussed in the past, anything can be considered a weapon if used in the right way. A pencil could be a dangerous weapon. A shoe on a foot can qualify. If you attack someone with what is deemed to be used as a weapon, then it raises the charge to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, which is a felony charge.

And so, I suppose today’s warning is to both drivers and pedestrians…assaulters and assaultees everywhere. Use anything other than your body to offensively touch someone and you are opening the door to felony charges. This includes driving recklessly or drunk with a multi-ton weapon such as a motor vehicle.

And for the innocent pedestrians and, it would seem, law enforcement…be very careful out there!

If you are facing criminal charges and would like to meet with me to discuss them and see how I can help, please feel free to call me to arrange a free initial consultation at 617-492-3000.

To view the original stories upon which this blog is based, please go to : http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2011/03/vehicle_crashes_1.html , http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/03/15/teens_charged_with_assault_near_t_station/ and http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/03/15/man_pleads_not_guilty_in_crash_injuring_trooper/

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