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.

FRANKLIN MAN FACES HIS FOURTH OUI AS WELL AS LEAVING THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT CHARGES

Law enforcement is often on high alert for drunken behavior…particularly drunk driving…during holidays. Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17th, is one such holiday.

‘Nuff said.

Apparently, Franklin’s Dominick Revell, 43, (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) did not get that particular memo. The Commonwealth alleges that he was operating his vehicle under the influence on Tuesday.

So they arrested him.

The Defendant was brought to court and arraigned on Wednesday at the West Roxbury District Court. The Commonwealth told the court that he was found unconscious at about 8:50 p.m. Tuesday in a car outside a McDonald’s restaurant on American Legion Highway in Roslindale. It was there, they claimed, that he had allegedly rear-ended a 77-year-old Mattapan man’s vehicle in the drive-through.

The prosecution claims that the Defendant was high on heroin at the time.

Just as they had been when they charged him with OUI – Heroin the last three times!

They also charged him with possession of drugs.

Well, at least they did not go with charging him with possession with intent to distribute this time…yet.

By the way, law enforcement says he also put up a struggle with them.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Drunk Driving Arrests

There is one part of this report that deserves immediate understanding. Apparently, the Defendant has been charged with OUI three times before. This is not the same thing as having been convicted of OUI three times before. We therefore do not know what potential criminal sentence he is facing.

If he is convicted on this case and he has three prior convictions for OUI, then he is facing mandatory incarceration. However, he would also have likely had his license taken away. There is no information here that he was driving without a license.

We also don’t know how long ago was his last conviction, assuming he has been convicted in the past for this charge. Under the current law, it does not matter how long ago the prior convictions were. They still count.Further, first time conviction for OUI generally carries a possible continuance without a finding disposition.  Although, if convicted again, that CWOF is counted as a guilty finding.

“But, Sam, he was found asleep in the vehicle. One would imagine that the vehicle was not moving. Can he really be charged with operating the vehicle under those circumstances?”

While the answer to this question may hinge on certain facts, the general answer is “yes”. This is particularly true if the keys are in the control of the defendant. The car need not even be running.

It is also worth noting that we do not know what witness statements there are with regard to the accident. The defendant may well have been identified by witnesses.

But the Degendant’s woes do not end at the driving. He is  clearly not one of our regular readers.  I come to that conclusion from his taking his bad situation and making it worse.

Don’t get me wrong… If he did have three prior convictions for OUI, I can understand why the defendant was extremely reluctant to be taken into custody in this case. However, if the allegations are true, the solution is seldom to make matters worse.

First of all, the defendant is accused of leaving the scene of an accident which caused property damage.

“Oh, come on Sam! There may have been very little damage at all,”

That would not matter.  Unless by “very little” you mean “no”.

Under Massachusetts law, any amounqt of damage, no matter how slight triggers the statute. You would be surprised how little it takes and how seriously the Commonwealth takes this particular crime.

So. Assuming truth to the allegations, the Defendant made matters worse by leaving the scene.

Thereis also the allegation about which I have been warning readers, and anybody else who will listen to me for a very long time.  I refer to my warnings of what not to do when approached by law enforcement.

Do not try to out-run, out-talk or out-fight the officers!

According to the Commonwealth , the Defendant put up a struggle.

We do not know the extent of that allegation any more than we know the truth of any of the charges. Although the amount of injuries on the person of the Defendant might give us an indication.

The Defendant, as you can tell, is in a great deal of trouble.

The solution? Creative and experienced criminal defense representation of course.

Next blog we return to the topic of mandatory minumim prison sentences in drug cases

Meantime, have a great, safe and law-abiding weekend!

To review the story upon which this blog is based, please go to
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/03/18/franklin-man-arraigned-fourth-oui-drug-charges/bFMf9lNgZACi5OWqCOOTmM/story.html.

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