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.

ATTORNEY SAM’S TAKE: YOUR MASSACHUSETTS BAIL APPEAL

We now return to the predicament I left you in early last week. You can find it here.

A couple of weeks have gone by since your arraignment. The outlook has changed a little bit. While you were muddling through your “adventures” in the local jail, combating isolation, humiliation and fear, you received a visitor. He introduced himself as “Attorney Larry Liberty”. He explained that your family wanted to hire him as your lawyer.

He told you the amount of his fee which you found to be astronomical. He explained to you that the fee would cover both the criminal case as well as the DCF case and that it was a flat fee. You did not understand what a” DCF case” was, but you knew that any progress was likely to be good progress.

Attorney Liberty seemed to know what he was talking about and had a familiarity with the case, so you decided not to make a fuss. All you knew was that you wanted to get out of here. You agreed to let him represent you.

A week later, you were brought into a room and told you were going to appeal your bail status. You stood in front of a camera and t television screen. On the screen you could see attorney Liberty and the prosecutor. Through the camera, they could see you.

The prosecutor and Attorney Liberty took turns arguing about whether or not you should be released on lower bail. Attorney Liberty insisted that the bail be lowered to $10,000. Upon hearing that, you wondered how you would be able to pay $10,000. On the other hand, you had no idea how you were going to pay this attorney in the first place so you quieted the thoughts and simply watched and listened.

The prosecutor argued that the judge should not change the bail conditions. She kept saying that you were a sexual predator, that the case was very strong and that you could not be trusted to return to court if released.

You periodically tried to break in to say something or correct a mistake, but you were ignored.

After the 15 minute hearing, the judge said that he would lower your bill to $10,000.

Attorney Liberty told the court that your family would post the bail that afternoon.

The judge said that there were a number of conditions which would have to be met while you are not in custody. First of all, you would have to wear a “GPS bracelet” at all times. You would be allowed to leave home to go back to work, but you were otherwise to stay in your home. You would, however, be allowed medical appointments and meetings with your attorney. You would have to alert probation, though. Further, you would have to go to the courthouse once a week to check in with the probation officer assigned to you.

You were released that afternoon and your spouse and Child were there to meet you. You had not seen them for weeks. You allowed yourself to enjoy the rest of the day as much as possible with your family. In your home.

The next day, the stark light of reality began to shine in your eyes.

First of all, you learned how your spouse had been able to come up with the money for bail and the down payment for the attorney. It turned out to be a combination of a mortgage on your home as well as loans from family members, some of you would have rather stuck hot needles in your eyes then ask for anything, much less money.

Fortunately, you had a well-paying job so you should be able to pay off the remainder owed the attorney in accordance with a payment plan set up with his office.

And, of course, at least you were home.

You next learned what a “DCF matter” is.

Apparently, the fact that you were charged with sexual assault worried the Department of Children and Families concerned that you might now sexually assault your child. They were in the middle of doing their investigation.

You also decided to call your job and let them know that you would be reporting back to work tomorrow morning. The awkward silence which followed confused and then worried you.

You were not prepared for what came next. You see, yours was a service-type of job. That necessitated interacting with people at their homes. Given the charges that were now pending against you, they could not afford the liability in assuming that you were not a sex offender. Therefore, they were sorry to inform you, you were fired.

Minutes after the phone call, the doorbell went off. You went to the door and found two unhappy looking women there. They told you that they were from DCF and asked to speak with your spouse. As your spouse approached, they suggested that they and your spouse have a “private” meeting in the other room. They then ignored you and went into the meeting.

Fifteen minutes passed.

Finally, the DCF folks and your spouse came back into the room. The DCF duo walked back to the door, continuing to ignore you save the expression usually reserved for being victim of a horribly bad odor. They left without another word.

Your spouse then informed you that DCF was now threatening to remove your child from the home unless you move out of the home.. Apparently, you were now considered a threat.

Assuming this to be a mistake, you immediately called Attorney Liberty and left word for him to call you as soon as possible. When he did so, you explained what had just happened with DCF. You expected him to give you the good news that it was all a mistake on DCF’s part.

Instead, he gave you the bad news that this was even a bigger problem than you thought. You see, the judge had agreed to the new bail conditions based upon the fact that you had a job and that you would be living with your family and staying at the home. The fact that the family was there to watch you seemed to make a difference to this particular judge.

The bottom line was that the judge might not be content with the new bail amount if you were to move out of the house and stay on your own somewhere else.
Attorney Liberty said he would call probation and DCF and see what he could work out. He would then call you back.

It turns out that those DCF folks and your probation officer are very busy people. As the week came to an end, you heard nothing back. When you were panicked enough to call Attorney Liberty again, he explained that he was still waiting for them to get back to him.

You angrily hung up the phone. You looked up to see your spouse now eyeing you in a different way.

Was that suspicion you now saw in her eyes?

To Be Concluded Next Week

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