Sometimes, when reviewing stories for the Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog, I come across stories which almost make me speechless. Of course, that is a terrible thing for an experienced criminal defense attorney to be. Fortunately, Attorney Sam’s Take is written, not spoken.
In any event, this is one of those stories.
It concerns 53-year-old Juan Antonetty of Lowell (hereinafter, “Defendantx2” and his most recent trip to the Lowell District Court today.
You see, Defendantx2 had a pending drug case. He had been charged by police with possessing with the intent to distribute the class A drug, heroin. Yesterday, he was showing up in court for his Arraignment.
It is normal to want to put your best foot forward at an arraignment. After all, it is the first time you are showing up in court to answer on charges and, of course, there is that pesky bail issue that could come up.
On the other hand, for other folks, going to court for whatever reason may simply be a regular occurrence so that the time for making a good impression is a thing of distant history.
In any event, Defendantx2 came to court on Wednesday, presumably ready for an issue of bail to come up. After all, he had been arrested for possession with the intent to distribute and taken into custody at that time. Law enforcement claims that, after they saw him sell heroin to a female, they apprehended him and he had had 5 more bags of heroin in his coat. Another reason the issue would come up would be his record. He was not exactly a stranger to the justice system, having 13 convictions on his record. The police initially held him on bail. He made that bail, though, and so was to come to court the next day.
Which he did.
Sure enough, the issue of bail did come up at the arraignment. The court, while the parties prepared for the bail argument, ordered that Defendantx2 be taken into custody in the meantime so as to avert any potential flight from the courthouse.
Downstairs, court officers performed a routine and required search.
And there it was that Defendantx2 earned his title.
According to the authorities, he was found to have 15 more bags of heroin in his socks.
Needless to say, his arraignment was postponed a bit. He was re-arrested and finally arraigned today, when he pleaded not guilty on two, not one, cases of distribution of heroin and two counts of possession with the intent to distribute heroin.
He was ordered held on a total of $5,000 cash bail.
Attorney Sam’s Take On Subsequent Arrests And Bail
I suppose that I could tell you that the moral of this story is to not bring your illegal contraband into a court of law…especially when you are going in to answer criminal charges. I think, though, that that is a message that is rather obvious and something you do not need an experienced criminal defense attorney to advise you.
There is an interesting part to this story, though, that is worth pointing out.
We have discussed bail issues in the past. If you are a regular reader of this daily blog, you know that when one is arrested while out on bail, he can be held for up to 60 days with no possibility for bail.
In this case, one would have to imagine that both the prosecutor and the judge would be eager to hit Defendantx2 with such a penalty. After all, his record aside, he is allegedly walking around with more drugs, packaged to sell, while facing charges for the very same thing.
So, why wasn’t he held without bail?
When one is arraigned, and bail conditions set, a defendant is told on the record that if he or she is re-arrested while out on bail they can be held without bail. This “bail warning” is something which must be given in order to hold the defendant to that rule.
Defendantx2 was likely never given that warning because they never finished the arraignment on Wednesday. The search took place before the actual bail hearing. This is why the court likely did not feel comfortable holding him without bail.
Of course, that “technicality” is not known by all attorneys. Therefore, it is another example of why you would want to have an experienced defense attorney with you…even at arraignment. In this case, if the prosecutor or the judge tried to hold him without bail, the experienced defense attorney could make this argument which might not be otherwise readily apparent.
For the original story upon which this blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2012/10/04/lowell-man-allegedly-appears-court-with-heroin-hidden-socks/UA12LPT9wHZPC2klZsIi8N/story.html and http://www.lowellsun.com/breakingnews/ci_21698848/prosecutor-drug-suspect-showed-up-at-court-heroin