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.

BROCKTON DRIVER WITH SUSPENDED LICENSE IS CHARGED WITH VEHICULAR HOMICIDE

Yesterday, Attorney Sam’s Take began witth the question of what is a criminal We discussed the case of an Ohio bus driver and passenger who had clearly had a bad day. Their actions made them each vulnerable to criminal prosecution.

Today’s tale hails from Brockton; it is worse.

Antwoin Moore, 27, (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) made a couple of bad judgment calls on Friday. As a result, he is presently a guest of the Commonwealth.

You see, the Defendant was out driving (allegedly) Friday. That might not have been so bad but for the fact that his driving license had been suspended. Even that might not have been all that bad if not for his second bad judgement call. When the police tried to pull him over, he apparently decided to to try and out-race them.

Naturally, he lost the race. Unfortunately, another driver lost her life when her vehicle was struck by the Defendant during the chase. When the dust settled, the Defendant was in custody and Maryanne Kotsiopoulos, 49, of Brockton was brought to Brockton where she was pronounced dead.

On Monday, the Defendant was arraingned on six charges, including manslaughter (the vehicular homicide), assault with a dangerous weapon, driving with a suspended license, and reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

The Defendant has pleaded not guilty.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Very Bad Choices

I have represented a number of folks who have been charged with driving with a suspended license. It is really a drag. Depending on your record, it could mean jail time. It will almost certainly mean that you are going to have to wait even longer to get your license back.

I can understand not wanting to be pulled over in such a situation.

However.

Attempting a drag race with the police brings with it difficulties that make such inconveniences quite acceptable in comparison.

First of all, you are not going to win the race. You will be caught.

Second, by simply trying to evade law enforcement, you have not only begun collecting even more criminal charges, but are also arguing to the coming court tribunal that you are not a particularly good candidate for bail. After all, if you tried to run under those circumstances, one would expect you would not be too favorably inclidned to stick around if you are facing worse criminal charges.

By engaging in the chase, you are also openning yourself for criminal and civil liability for any property damage and human carnage which results.

In this case, that included the death of an innocent woman.

Whatever happens, the Defendant will have to live with that knowledge. He will also likely have a CORI which will be there to remind him as time moves on. That is, after he gets out of custody. The criminal matter aside, there is the civil liability as well. You might be surprised to learn how much a wrongful death lawsuit might cost you. Particularly when you are having trouble finding work due to your criminal record and inability to drive anymore.

“Sam, sometimes, we hear about cases in which drivers have something to hide in the car, such as guns, drugs or even dead bodies. Does it make sense to try and run then?”

I suppose the hidden dead body gets as close as you can get to making it a close call. The answer, though, would still be “no”. You will most likely fail in your attempt to escape. If you try to escape, you will be handing the prosecution a nice argument that you have shown conisouness of guilt. Such evidence makes it a bit more difficult to claim that you did not know the guns, drugs or body was in the car.

The best advice?

Usually to pull over, cooperate and then shut up and get an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you deal with whatever you have gotten yourself into…regardless of whether or not you feel you are guilty of anything.

To read the original story upon which today’s blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2012/10/15/brockton-man-charged-with-crashing-car-and-killing-woman-during-police-chase/7jyGrGrklZBDYOPW6T4smM/story.html

Contact Information