Massachusetts Vehicular Crimes Increase Penalties During Police Car Chases – Take It From A Boston Defense Attorney

Well, it has been awhile since the Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog covered one of these.

It just goes to show that with all the mkhigh profile cases like those of a certain never-to-be-tenured professor’s alleged homicides, the Kerrigan family woes and assorted homicides we have been discussing lately, poor judgment is also demonstrated in the actual streets of the Commonwealth …just like always.

Today’s tale hails from Framingham.

It was Saturday night when Herman H., 23 of Framingham (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) was found hiding under a car in a garage and arrested.

You see, according to law enforcement, the Defendant had been witnessed going the wrong way on a local one-way-street. So, the police, doing what they do, followed him until he finally stopped.

Next, the police approached the Defendant’s vehicle. Again, it is what they do.

But, the Defendant then allegedly did what one is absolutely not supposed to do. He drove off.

He finally stopped. Good move.

Then, he left the automobile and took off on foot. Bad move.

According to the police, a 30-45 minute search and related foot chase ensured until the Defendant was found in the garage, under a car.

The Defendant had been driving without a license, apparently. Now, as a result of the evening’s theatrics, he stands charged with operating after suspension; failure to stop for police; speeding; driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle; attaching plates; stop sign violation; red light violation; and two one-way violations.

I wonder if it was worth it.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

I am going to guess…not so much.

We have not discussed this type of case for awhile. However, as in days of old, the Defendant may now consider himself nominated for inclusion into the “Hey, I’ll Bet I Can Make This Situation Worse” Club. I mean…when he gets out of custody.

You see, it is not very wise to drive when you do not have a valid driver’s license. It is illegal and, yes, it is a criminal charge that is rather easy for the Commonwealth to prove.

That being said…

Being stopped for not having a license…or even drunk driving for that matter…is better than getting arrested for a host of felonies and misdemeanors resulting from a police chase. First of all, one usually loses police chases…unless one is actually the police.

Second, the sky is the limit when it comes to the extent of civil and criminal liability in such cases. Whatever happens is on you.

Let’s be clear about that. Let’s say you smash into a parked car during the chase.

You will be charged with the damaged property (as well as leaving the scene should you do so thereafter).

What if you accidently run over people, or sideswipe a sign that flies off and decapitates an onlooker or two.

You win the assault and battery or homicide charge…depending on the extent of the damage.

Most people I talk to would prefer facing a traffic violation than life felonies..

Want more reasons that it is not worth the risk?

How about that the chase makes a nice little argument to the court that you should be held on high bail because of your propensity to flee? How about that it also gives the prosecutor an argument to present to the jury of consciousness of guilt?

All in all, there is a better approach.

Pull over. Politely do what the police officer says and, otherwise, keep your mouth (and the accelerator) closed. Wait for the earliest time you can hire an experienced criminal defense attorney and make your stand then.

Much better history of success with that approach.

In the meantime, of course, if you wish to discuss such a matter with me, please feel free to contact me at 617-492-3000.

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