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 STUDENTS ARE ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT AFTER THE SUPERBOWL

Well, it’s the day after.

This morning, I was curious as to the reaction by my fellow Bostonians (and environs) to the loss of the New England Patriots. I was a bit surprised to hear on Radio 1030 that, while Boston’s Finest were out in droves…ready for trouble…the mood was quiet…if a bit dismal. Not much action.

Not so, apparently, throughout the Commonwealth. For example, the Boston Herald  tells us that six people were arrested and several others injured when mayhem erupted. Fists were flying and folks were falling on the campus of University of Massachusetts Amherst after the New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles, 41-33. The medical calls included head injuries, cuts and drunkenness, according to UMass.

The school announced this morning that approximately 2,000 people gathered on the Southwest residential plaza after the game ended at 10:17 p.m. Fights began breaking out “and the crowd threw objects and set off smoke bombs and firecrackers,” according to the school. By 11:30 p.m., the area was cleared, courtesy of the Amherst and state police. The officers used PepperBall to clear the crowd after issuing multiple dispersal orders.

UMass police are pursuing criminal charges and the school said “the university will also initiate a prompt review of the matter under its student conduct process as appropriate.”

Attorney Sam’s Take On Stupid Behavior And Real Consequences

I would like to make sure that I understand the situation here.

The students involved in the so-called melee were college students. Assuming that they were not enrolled in college simply because they had nothing better to do, they have some amount of interest in their future. You know, education, higher learning degrees…that sort of thing.

So…surely one must assume there had to be something urgent and important to make them risk all that and explode into violence. Right?

Well, the details of the words which preceded the fists have not yet become known. I’m going to take a guess as to their level of import and the subject matter. I mean, I was not there, but I have handled such matters in court before over the past thirty plus years in the criminal justice system.

I’m going to anticipate a couple of gems like “Patriots suck!” And “the Eagles Suck!” Were expressed.  A couple of “F-bombs” and epithets about coaches were probably also heard.

Certainly, when such important points of view are voiced, the only reasonable response is to crack heads.

If you detect a certain amount of sarcasm here, you are correct.

“Sam, what’s the big deal? So, some kids got rowdy after a game. What else is new?”

What is new is that these events are not simply dismissed with a wink and a nod like they used to be. It sounds like we are talking about charges of assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Probably some resisting arrests and assault and battery on a police officer.

Some of these charges are felony charges.

“So, what….they are going to send the kids to prison?”

Well, they could, but that is not really what I am talking about.

The first court appearance when one faces criminal charges is an Arraignment. That’s the one where you plead “not guilty” most likely, potentially meet a court appointed lawyer and deal with the issue of bail.

“Yes, I know that.”

But something else happens that may even be more important.

At soon as you are arraigned, the criminal charge(s) are entered upon your record. Your CORI. There they will remain for quite some time.

Whether the case ends in a “not guilty”, dismissal or guilty…that record will remain. In today’s marketplace, potential employers do a record checks. So do schools, such as business school, law school and medical school.

The educators and employers tend not to have much of a sense of humor about these events. There are too many candidates to choose from. Why would they take a chance on you, with your criminal record.

“So, you are saying that just by be arraigned…my future could be ruined?”

That’s what I am saying. At least injured a bit.

“But at that point, I am not convicted of anything.”

True.

“I am presumed innocent.”

Yeah, that’s what they say.

The difference between theory and reality in the criminal justice system can be very scary. This is why you need someone with expertise to guide you through it.

Better yet…don’t get charged with a crime!

However, if it is too late to turn back that particular clock…you’d better do your best at damage control.

You know what I am going to recommend.  It rhymes with “sawyer”.

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