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.

MBTA TRUCK COLLIDES WITH MOVIE TRUCK OUTSIDE ROXBURY MUNICIPAL COURT-CRIMINAL CHARGES TO FOLLOW?

No, the upcoming Sandra Bullock new movie, filmed in Boston, is not, “The
Trouble With Parked Trucks”. It was an accident.

This morning’s vehicular incident outside Roxbury Municipal Court brings certain
criminal justice issues to mind. well, at least to my mind. I suppose that
grants me enough reason to give you Attorney Sam’s take on it.

The MBTA bus smashed into the movie production truck while the latter was parked
outside the courthouse.

There were approximately 20 people on board the Route 28 bus. 15 people
were examined by emergency medical personnel and 4 were placed on back boards.
At least four ambulances were dispatched to the scene.

Normally, parked vehicles have the “right of way” I believe. Given that people
were injured, you may be sure that some personal injury lawsuits will be
forthcoming. Given that one of the vehicles was parked at the time, a criminal
investigation
and criminal charges may well be brought as well.

It has not been a particularly good month thus far for vehicular tragedies. For
example, one very young girl was killed on route 1 in Saugus recently.

Massachusetts is not alone, however. In Bottineau, North Dakota, there was such
a tragic accident this past Sunday.

In that accident, a pickup truck driver drove over a tent, killing two children
and injuring two others at a campground. While civil litigation is sure to
result, the local prosecutors are also saying that criminal charges will also be
brought.

Of course, vehicular accidents are not only in the United States. Nor are
related criminal charges being brought in such matters. Criminal penalties do,
however, differ.

For example, in Saudi Arabia, a certain alleged joyrider faces a rather tough
sentence.

You see, joyriding is apparently very popular in Saudi Arabia. It was not so
much the joyriding that captured the ire of officials, but the fact that the
driver ended up hitting and killing two people accidently.

The criminal sanction?

Beheading!

Attorney Sam’s Take On Criminal Prosecutions Of Vehicular Accidents

It is the summer. People like to celebrate when the weather is wonderful. Many
like to travel. However, it is important to remember that dangers lurk
everywhere…especially in traffic. The potential pitfalls are not only to the
victims of vehicular accidents, but to the drivers as well.

I will leave discussions of resulting civil litigation to the experts at Altman
& Altman, LLP
with whom I am affiliated. My territory is criminal law. In a society where more and more accidents are being criminalized, I expect we will be seeing more and more of these drivers facing criminal actions.

“What do you mean ‘criminalized’? Are the alleged actions illegal or legal?”

Well, that now turns out to be a subjective question. In days gone by, the
question would be whether the driver was simply negligent and the result would
be determined in a civil lawsuit. However, there are new statutes on the books
making more and more actions illegal. Take texting while driving for example.
That is now a vehicular crime. I am sure you recall the recent case of a lad who was convicted of vehicular homicide because he was texting and killed someone.

However, it does not end there.

These days, tragedies are accompanied by protests for criminal sanctions. As a
result, more accidents which used to test the theory of negligence are
prosecuted as reckless acts which can be prosecuted as crimes.

Was it not just this past summer when those in charge of a community pool faced
criminal charges as a result of the discovery of an accidentally drowned body
being found in the pool? The crime was not the drowning…it had more to do
with the condition of the pool leading to the fact that the body was not
discovered for days. Not too many years ago, there was a case in Rhode Island
where people associated with a rock performance which burned down a club faced
criminal charges. No intentional crime was being alleged in these cases. It
was recklessness.

Recklessness, or “depraved indifference” in criminal cases is not really new.
Homicide cases have long been brought under such theories. However, as we have
become more and more anxious to bring things into the criminal courts (note this
Boston criminal attorney’s long-standing tirades about the new bullying law), the innocently negligent are more and more at risk.

And anybody do mess up.

So, if you are being investigated for a mistake, do not feel overly confident
simply because you feel you are “pure of heart”. You may be at risk for the
pointed finger of criminal blame and not even know it.

Consult an expert.

Consult a criminal defense attorney.

An experienced criminal defense attorney!

For the original stories upon which this blog was based, please go to
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/09/4618414/truck-drives-over-tent-in-north.html,
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/beheaded-for-a-car-accident-saudi-arabian-joyrider-gets-death-sentence/and q42cbYtrCvH8K6ChVcd4xO/story.html?p1=News_links

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