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.

A Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Looks At Carson Beach, Police And Criminal Trials (Part 2 of 2)

Last week, we discussed the recent melee that occurred at Boston’s Carson Beach.

What really transpired depends on who you ask.

If you ask the Massachusetts State Police, you will hear tales of Boston gang-related violence. You might imagine you would hear of Massachusetts weapons like guns, knives or, at least, pepper spray being used. Of course, in the aftermath, you would, however, hear the only weaponry at the location were the batons used by law enforcement.

On the other hand, the local Boston police will tell you of, at worst, multiple plain ol’ Boston assaults taking place. Simply, a bunch of fights coincidently taking place at the same time and place…until the state police came in, that is, and really shook up the place.

The donnybrook is said to have marred an otherwise perfect day for beachgoers, many of whom soldiered on with their own more civil holiday weekend festivities.

Boston EMS supervisor on scene said no injuries were reported.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Police Confusion And Trial Strategy

We have often discussed that it is a mistake to engage police officers when they come to question you. Trying to out-reason, out-shout, out-run or out-fight is a bad idea; it will only make matters worse…for you.

There are many reasons why police need to retain absolute control over a potential crime scene.

One of the most obvious reasons, of course, is that of the inherent danger the police officer, and those at the scene suddenly face. Tempers could flare and, should things get out of control, people could get hurt or killed. This would include, of course the police officer. Further, if things get really hairy, the officer might feel forced to fire his Massachusetts firearm. Believe me, he/she really does not want to do that.

There are a couple reasons, though, that we have seldom discussed. For example, police departments are para-military outfits. They operate in much the same way as the various military branches. Near and dear to both of them is organization. Chaos and confusion are the enemy. This is one reason why, when police officers approach you, you can almost always be sure that they will keep to script whenever possible.

This may put the rest of us even more ill-at-ease, but it is what they are trained to do. It keeps it orderly for them and helps them to keep control of the scene. If you upset that control, then the officer gets nervous and things can easily get out of control. Of course, the result may be that the officer does something that will look bad in court. Of course, in those instances, it will often be your word against the officer’s word as to what happened.

That is, if you decide to testify (subject matter for another blog). Rest assured, the officer will.

There is another truth of which law enforcement is aware. It involves one of the thorns in their collective side. Experienced criminal defense attorneys.

That’s right, people like me.

You see, confusion at the scene cannot but help the defense in most cases.

If three government witnesses take the stand and testify under oath that they saw the defendant perform a Roxbury murder, and all three witnesses describe it significantly differently, then the combined result is not terribly convincing.

Further, if a Dorchester criminal investigator takes the stand to reveal his findings and it turns out that most of the answers are less than certain…again, not terribly impressive.

You must remember that the prosecution in a criminal case has the burden to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Despite what the rest of the system does prior to trial, juries usually at least try to hold the government to that burden. If various important facts are in question, then it becomes difficult for the government to meet its burden. All it takes is one unconvinced juror to prevent a guilty verdict..

Of course, there is a caveat to this. If you want to be able to take advantage of such confusion, then you had best have an experienced criminal defense attorney to do it. There is an art to it. Push it too much or too little and it is the defense attorney, and so you, who seem incredible.

We always seem to come down to that truth, don’t we? And here I’ll bet you were brought up to believe that the justice system was in no way a game, that if you simply told the police and the court the truth you would be ok, right?

I know a lot of people behind bars who believed that too.

If you would like to discuss a criminal matter with me, please feel free to call me at 617-492-3000 to arrange a free initial consultation..

To view the article upon which this blog is based, please go to http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/2011_0531cops_run_battling_moboff_crowded_city_beach/

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