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.

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A recent report issued by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety titled “Unlicensed to Kill” focuses on unlicensed drivers on America’s roadways. According to the report, approximately one out of every five fatal vehicle crashes involves an unlicensed driver, or a driver whose license is in question by law enforcement. The report goes on to say that about 8,500 fatal car accidents are caused by unlicensed drivers annually. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving an unlicensed driver.

The Link Between Fatal Crashes and Unlicensed Drivers

Research has revealed that individuals with license suspensions and cancellations are more likely to use excessive speed, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and to be distracted while driving. Of the fatal accidents caused by unlicensed drivers, about 30 percent are caused by drivers who have had at least three license suspensions or cancellations in the previous three years. “It’s like a revolving door. These people are being suspended and suspended and suspended again, and still, they’re driving,” said Lindsay I. Griffin, researcher at the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University.Young adults, between the ages of 21 and 34, are the most likely to have a revoked or suspended license. Most disturbing, in nearly 50 percent of the fatal accidents involving an unlicensed driver, the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

No License, No Insurance

Drivers without valid licenses are not eligible for motor vehicle insurance, which means that recovering damages in an accident involving an unlicensed driver is more difficult. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can be added to your existing insurance policy to protect you against extreme losses. This type of coverage will cover full or partial damages if you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have liability insurance, or whose liability limit is too low to cover your expenses. If you don’t already carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, it is in your best interest to add this coverage to your existing policy today. The cost is generally quite small, but it could make a world of difference if you’re involved in an accident with an this type of driver.

How to Avoid an Accident Involving an Unlicensed Driver

It’s impossible to identify unlicensed drivers while you’re driving, so how do you avoid a collision with one of these unlawful drivers? The best way to avoid an accident with any negligent motorist is to always remain alert when driving. Stay focused on the road and avoid distractions, such as texting or talking on the phone, adjusting the stereo or navigation system, and eating or applying makeup. Defensive driving is the single best protection against car crashes. Maintain plenty of distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you, drive at or under the speed limit, and avoid vehicles that appear to be speeding or driving erratically. Continue reading

A little cold today given that we continue to go from Spring to Winter within hours? The snowfall making you chilly? Want to warm up?

Well, here is way not to do that. It seems that our criminal justice heroes, in the face of gangs, heroin deaths and traffic fatalities, have returned to fighting the most vicious of crimes.

We are talking about the nonsensical battle against the oldest profession…prostitution.

No, not human trafficking or rape….voluntary sex for a fee. The solicitation of it.
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…And so our list continues.

Law enforcement has appeared at your door, interested in coming in to either look around, have a chat or both.

Now what?

I had just finished the second of five points for you to keep in mind when we left off.

Suggestion 3. Thou Shalt Not Give False Information

Whether or not you choose to carry on conversations with the investigating officers is your choice. However, that does not mean that you are free to tell them anything you want.

The law does not give you the license to lie to the investigators.

In fact, in Massachusetts, to give false information to law enforcement is to commit a felony. That felony, ironically, is called “Intimidation Of A Witness” for some reason which continues to allude me.

Sometimes, as it does with logic, the law has its own way of defining words.

However, the meaning of the law is clear. You cannot lie to law enforcement.
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A basic rule of criminal procedure is that the Commonwealth must turnover any and all exculpatory evidence (evidence which can lead the fact finder to believe the defendant is innocent) within their possession to the defense. In most cases there is rarely much exculpatory evidence, because if there were, the defendant would probably not have been charged in the first place. A problem arises when there is exculpatory evidence but it is not in the Commonwealth’s possession (even if commonsense says it should be).
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A car chase that took place in Revere, Massachusetts has responding police officers for the city and state searching for five suspects following their pursuit of the individuals in question. According to preliminary reports provided for the situation, Revere Police Officers and State Police Officers are seeking help from the public after they lost sight of five suspects whose vehicle crashed into a convenience store following a car chase with the police.

Initial reports for the accident and subsequent investigation into the matter have stated that Massachusetts State Police troopers had been chasing a car that was connected to an armed robbery in a nearby area when the crash occurred. While attempting to flee from the Massachusetts State Police, the suspects crashed their vehicle into the front of a Tedeschi’s convenience store. The convenience store is located on Shirley Avenue in Revere and suffered extensive damage to the façade following the accident. Reports have indicated that while the Tedeschi’s store was open at the time of the accident, there were no injuries reported from patrons who may have been inside at the time.

After crashing their vehicle into the front of the store, the five suspects quickly exited and fled from police officers on foot. Police have not immediately provided a physical description of the suspects in question, but they have asked for assistance from any possible witnesses who saw either the armed robbery earlier in the evening or the ensuing chase and crash that took place afterward. No word has been given on whether any of the suspects may have sustained injuries following the crash into the convenience store. Continue reading

This is a case of “be careful what you ask for”. Many defendants who are being held on bail which they deem unfair desire a hearing at which to appeal said bail.

It’s an understandable and reasonable request. Sometimes, though, an attorney suggests that the timing is not “quite right”. It is often a good idea to listen to such an attorney assuming he or she has some experience in the criminal justice system.

Because sometimes things can go horribly wrong.

Take the example of 42-year-old James Tarjick Jr. of Becket (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) for example. He and his brother were charged with breaking into more than 100 homes in western Massachusetts. He has pleaded not guilty to 24 charges.

His brother, Aaron, is already in prison on unrelated child rape charges.

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This is America. The land of the free and of free enterprise.

Well, almost.

28-year-old Thomas W. Romano III (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) has learned that not quite anything goes in commerce. The lesson has been taught to him at Lowell District Court.

According to the Lowell Sun, the Defendant has admitted to taking a big, and lucrative, shortcut by starting his own trash-removal company. The scheme was particularly profitable as it involved the stealing of commercial trash containers throughout the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire, according to the Commonwealth.
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…And so the “war against drugs” continues…more or less.

The question today is one of penalty. In other words, the prisoners of the drug wars. What do you do with them once you’ve got them?

On the criminal justice platter is the question of mandatory minimum prison sentences for those convicted of participating in drug crimes. We have discussed this issue a number of times. Usually, defense attorneys are against such sentences as they currently exist. Prosecutors, at least those who have media priviledge, are for them.

Now, the Supreme Judicial Court Chief , Justice Ralph D. Gants, has come out against such sentences.

Justice Gants’ view, no doubt based on many years of experience as a lawyer (including as a prosecutor) as well as on the bench, is contrary to that of Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. Legal politics being what it is, DA Conley sped up to the same legal summit at which Justice Gants had expressed his view to blast said Justice and his view.

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There is an abundance of high profile criminal cases pending in various courts. A number of these cases feature sports figures in the role of “The Defendant”. However, no, this is not that Michael Jordan.

This Michael Jordan is a 27-year-old Boston gent (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) who has been charged with gunning down another man in the shadow of one of Boston’s most famous houses of worship, Trinity Church in the Copley Square area.

He has been ordered held without bail..

He was arraigned and has pleaded “not guilty” to first-degree murder and other charges. The allegations date back to August 2013 when he is alleged to have shot and killed 22-year-old Ahmir Lee.
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As last week began, I told you that we would be ending the week with another criminal justice aspect of what puts our kids at risk.

As the week went on, between school shootings, strong-arming federal agents and dead infants, it turned out to be rather difficult to choose. But, as we begin a new week, let’s hit some of these…starting with a story from Saturday’s Boston Globe.

It is the story of the death of a 3 ½ year old boy from Norton

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