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.

MASSACHUSETTS MAN CHARGED WITH OUI HAS CHILDREN TAKEN BY DCF (Part 1 of 2)

…And another gent is learning about what I have begun to think of as the “Commonwealth Double Whammy”.

According to the Boston Herald,  Florian Roshi, 34 from Weymouth and hereinafter the “Defendant”, is now facing criminal charges and his three children are in the custody of the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”).

The Defendant is facing charges of Operating Under The Influence of Drugs and Child Endangerment. As reported, it sounds like he is in a lot of trouble.

The Commonwealth alleges that the Defendant was driving a truck while under the influence. They say the truck careened off the road and scraped along a guardrail.  Showing questionable judgment, the Defendant made statements. He allegedly told police that he “swerved and heard glass break. When officers asked what took so long to stop, he did not have an answer.”

The prosecutor told the judge at the Defendant’s Arraignment that a 4-year-old “went through the front passenger window of the truck”.

The child restraint seat in the back “was not anchored or secured to the vehicle in any manner. It was merely placed in the rear of the vehicle,” the prosecutor said. Apparently, the 4-year-old suffered “significant road rash” on his face and was expected to undergo an MRI at Children’s Hospital.

Authorities say that the Defendant abandoned the vehicle and child in the breakdown lane of Route 3. He is then said to have walked a quarter-mile back with his uninjured 8-year-old child to where his 4-year-old lay injured.  According to law enforcement, the child was being comforted in the arms of a good Samaritan while his father “had an emotion neutral look on his face” and “a glazed over look in his eyes.”

During his Arraignment, the Defendant shook his head as the prosecutor continued, telling Judge Mark Coven that police found a bag containing a white powdery substance on the front passenger seat of the Defendant’s white Ford F-250 pickup, a burnt marijuana joint in a cigarette box in the center console, a scrub pad she referred to as “a crack sponge,” and two bottles of medication for the treatment of anxiety and seizures.

The defendant’s attorney, said her client has “been sober for eight years.” She also suggested his alleged lack of emotion over his little boy being ejected through a pane of glass was a result of “shock.”

At the end of the Arraignment, the court bumped up the bail the Defendant posted $2,500 after his arrest to $5,000.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Immediate Observations Thus

Far

There is more to this story and we will continue discussing it on my next blog tomorrow.

We already have a few items which are worth pointing to reflecting how the Defendant has made his situation, already bad, worse.

First, of course, was the alleged drug use, drug possession, doing both with a young child in the car and the accident. Those things are at the crux of the prosecution, are merely allegations at this point and, at any rate, obvious.

For our purposes, let’s point to a few things that might not have immediately jumped out at you.

First, of course, the Defendant’s first response was to immediately take off from the car and the child. While what the defense attorney said is true, it is still a problem. In fact, it might have made sense to go further on her explanation and indicate how different people respond differently when faced with such a situation and, at any rate, he may have been looking for help for the child. In fairness, the attorney may have said that…I am merely going from the article.

In any event,  leaving the scene will most likely be used as “consciousness of guilt” evidence by the Commonwealth should the matter go to trial.

The next thing is something we often discuss. The Defendant apparently made statements to law enforcement. Now, this could be explained a variety of ways, but the fact is that it is usually a very bad idea. The police just came to this scene, see the child lying there…unkn0owing how bad off he is…and knowing the Defendant had taken off and allegedly had all this contraband in his car. The chances are, the officers are unlikely to give too many benefits of any doubt.

Lastly for today, the shaking of his head at Arraignment. One of the first things I tell any client before an Arraignment, hearing or trial is to show no response whatsoever. Just be stoic. There are exceptions, as with most rules, but this case did not have them.

Shaking your head to the court, indicating that the prosecutor or police are lying about you, tends to convince the judge otherwise.

See you tomorrow.

 

 

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