You know, it is not just Metro Boston law enforcement who know how to investigate. They are all trained to do it. That is why I keep telling you not to try to outwit them because you are not likely to succeed. Keep quiet, comply and get a criminal defense lawyer.
Michael W., 23, (hereinafter, the “Defendant”), thought he could fool the officer who stopped him earlier this week. He was riding in a car when it was stopped for speeding in Ashland, Massachusetts. When questioned as to his identity, the Defendant apparently gave the police a false name.
Unfortunately for the Defendant, however, the name he gave belonged to someone whom the officer knew was already in jail, according to the police.
Of course, the Defendant had a reason for wanting to be someone else…there was currently a warrant out for his arrest for the crime of rape.
Officer Doug Grout was on patrol on West Union Street when he stopped a car for speeding around 10 p.m. Sgt. Greg Wildman assisted Grout at the scene and recognized the Defendant. Briggs said Wildman recognized him because he had been arrested in June and charged with raping a woman outside of a party, Briggs said.
However, when questioned by Wildman, the Defendant denied he was the same person. “He originally gave Sgt. Wildman a fake name,” said Briggs. “It was someone Sgt. Wildman knew, and it was someone he knew to be incarcerated.” Further, the officers knew that there were currently outstanding warrants which charged the Defendant with rape, indecent assault and battery, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, attempting to commit a crime and defacing property
The Defendant had a habit of posting bail but failing to return to court for subsequent hearings.
And so, the officers ordered the Defendant from the car and were going to arrest him on the outstanding warrant. Naturally, a man of the Defendant’s sound judgment was not going to go quietly, but was determined to aggravate the situation.
“[The Defendant] began resisting and tried to run away,” said Briggs. “Grout had to assist Wildman, and finally a third officer had to help to handcuff him. Even after he was arrested, [the Defendant] was uncooperative, yelling and screaming in the back of the cruiser.
This won the Defendant charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest to add to his collection.
The Ashland police brought the Defendant to Framingham District Court, where he was ordered held on $1,000 bail for the new charges. Of course, even if he posts the bail, he will not be released.
His bail was revoked on the original rape case, ordering him held without bail in that case.
The Defendant’s strategies of life appear to be somewhat consistent when it comes to criminal justice. Let’s look at the events surrounding the original rape case.
The Defendant is alleged to have raped a woman while she was “being sick” outside a party. According to the Commonwealth, the two, who had been acquainted, were at the same party and, during the party, the complainant was not feeling well.
She decided to go outside. While she was leaning against the house, the Defendant came out and asked if she wanted to go for a walk. According to the Commonwealth, the pair walked on Myrtle Street around 1:30 a.m., when she ran beside a house and threw up. This, apparently, was a “turn on”, or, at least an opportunity, for the Defendant, who sexually assaulted her while she was being sick.
The complainant went back to the party and told a friend what had happened and the friend brought her to the hospital to be examined for rape trauma. Before she actually reported the rape to the police (which was done around 1:30 p.m.), a friend of the Defendant’s called her on his behalf to pressure her not to pursue the matter.
That phone call was not successful. So, it was up to the Defendant to try to help himself out of the jam. Among his lies to the police when they came to question him, he told them that he lived in Miami, Florida.
The police already knew he lived in Framingham.
Once in court, the Defendant was reunited with earlier warrants which included earlier Framingham District Court for drug charges, possession of marihuana from Waltham District Court and defacing property from Natick District Court.
It’s too bad the criminal justice system does not give points for consistency.
Could someone out there tell the Defendant about this daily blog? I am beginning to think that people like him are not among my regular readers…!
The tale of the Defendant illustrates one of the most repetitive messages of this daily blog. It also seems to be one that is still being ignored on a regular basis.
Upon being investigated or questioned by the police, you have certain rights. One of these rights is to not be so interviewed and refuse to answer their questions. You also have the right to ask for a lawyer. These are rights that you have which, quite frankly, many officers may wish you did not exercise.
Asserting these rights are usually in your best interest…although giving your name and such information and complying with the police desire that you “come along quietly” is necessary.
You do not really have the right to try to mislead or trick the police officers. Sometimes, doing so will anger the officers. Sometimes, however, they will be only too happy to have you play that game because they can use your clever answers against you at trial. In any event, this is usually not in your best interest.
Juries have a nasty habit of not believing the defense of those who are demonstrated liars.
Trying to outrun or outfight the police officers makes nobody happy. It tends to anger the officers and it will certainly come back to haunt you when you get to court.
And, rest assured, you will get to court.
Speaking of getting to court…when you have a criminal case pending in court, you will return to court to finish that case sooner or later. You can try, as apparently the Defendant did, to set a new record for number of cases in which you have warrants awaiting you, but this will end up being against your own interest as well. The likely result is that, probably at the most inconvenient time, you will be arrested on the warrant, brought back to court, and held on high bail or without the opportunity to bail at all.
In short, the Criminal Justice System is not a system you should try to “handle” on your own without an experienced defense lawyer. The “Do it yourself” approach is not in your best interest, any more than the Defendant’s “I am who I say I am”, tactics helped him.
Have a great and law-abiding weekend!
Samuel Goldberg is the senior criminal defense attorney at the firm of Altman & Altman, LLP. A former prosecutor in New York, he has worked as a Boston defense attorney over 18 years. 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
The full articles of this story can be found http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x1999206121/Cops-False-name-didnt-fool-officer and http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/homepage/x8755 95495/Man-charged-with-rape-outside-Ashland-party