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.

SALEM MOTHER OPENS THE DOOR TO HER SON’S PROSECUTION AND DCF “HELP”

Well, in a world in which some mothers who lose control resort to the killing of their children…I suppose you could call this Salem mother’s approach refreshing.

According to the Commonwealth, she called the police on the kids. Apparently, her five kids had been fighting all day. Particularly that 15-year-old son and the 16-year-old daughter.

Fight, fight, fight! Bicker, bicker, bicker!

Instructions from mom? “Arrest them both…I can’t take this anymore!”, she cried.

Well, the officers did not quite do that. They did, however, issue a summons to the 15-year-old for hitting his 8-year-old sister.

They call that “assault and battery” in the Halls of Justice, you know. It’s a good thing they weren’t in school…it would also be Massachusetts bullying! Actually, just the arguing would likely trigger that charge.

Well, the kids were not brought to involuntary Commonwealth housing.

Yet, that is.

You see, the officers also notified the Department of Children and Families about the situation in the home.

Strap yourself in, mom! You and the kids are in for a wilder ride than you expected!

Attorney Sam’s Take On DCF And Juvenile Prosecutions

I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that mom did not really want the kids to be arrested. She likely called the police in hopes to calm the pandemonium . Maybe it even worked…for the moment.

But mom is now learning that that the “help” she sought does not stop there.

First of all, her son now faces juvenile criminal charges. Unless she can end this case at a Clerk Magistrate’s hearing, sonny is going to have a juvenile criminal record to keep him company unless and until he can get a court to seal that record many years out. Maybe he has a history of doing this. Maybe he will be unlucky and find himself in the custody of the Department of Youth Services (DYS).

That little prosecution will likely pale in comparison to what the Department of Children and Families (DCF) may do.

DCF is the pleasant little agency that, when there is a need (rest assured, mom has demonstrated such a need) comes in to “help” the mom and kids out. “Help” can range from mandating certain things that mom must and must not do to simply removing the children from her home.

“For how long?”

For as long as “necessary”…so long as the court does not stop them…which it usually doesn’t.

Although I will anyway, you really do not need an experienced Boston criminal lawyer to tell you that mom is likely to be seen as “in over her head”. After all, she lost control of the kids to the extent that she had to call law enforcement and volunteer two of her kids for incarceration.

“Can’t you cut her a break, Sam? Five kids are a lot of kids!”

Oh, I am not condemning mom. I have two kids. I know how out-of-control things can get sometimes. However, when you invite the Commonwealth in to take over…be prepared for them to take over. Police officers are there to enforce the law. When they hear about an assault…they act on it. They are also mandatory reporters who must report these things to DCF. DCF is primarily interested in helping kids…and you know what a mess most of us parents are! Just ask the kids! No wonder DCF often thinks that the kids might be better off in a nice quiet foster home!

“But, it was mom who called the police to restore the peace! Wasn’t that an act that shows she is responsible?”

Correction…arguably, she is the one who lost control of the situation and so needed to call the troops in from fighting off murderers and drug dealers in the streets. As for the fact that it was she who called the police, let me introduce you to several male clients who called the police in when there was an altercation with their lover and ended up being the one arrested for domestic violence despite the fact that it was they who had the wounds!

“But don’t those facts indicate that it was they who were the victim?”

One might think so. But then, one would apparently be wrong.

Of course, that is an argument for another day…!

In order to view the original article upon which today’s blog is based, please go to http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/01/04/report-mother-fed-up-with-her-fighting-kids-calls-police/

Contact Information