Police Officer Pleads Not Guilty to Many Charges, Including Drunk Driving and Drug Possession

Salem police officer William D. Riley pleaded not guilty to several charges, including operating under the influence of alcohol, domestic assault with a firearm, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and possession of Class E drugs, in Salem District Court on Tuesday. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for January 13.

Riley was arrested Friday evening when Salem police responded to a Dunlap Street domestic dispute. According to the woman who called the police, she had been in an argument with Riley, during which he said he had a loaded gun outside and after which he followed her outside, put a gun in his car, and drove off in it. The woman gave a box of what she said were Riley’s steroids to the officers. The police found Riley in his car on Dunlap, allegedly showing signs of intoxication.

The police department suspended Riley without pay and may take further disciplinary action against him.

Source: The Boston Globe, Salem police officer pleads not guilty

The drug possession charge may be very difficult for a prosecutor to prove in this case because the steroids were not in Riley’s physical control and there is no indication from these facts that Riley had the ability or intention to exercise control over them. It could also be difficult to prove the domestic assault with a firearm charge. There can be no criminal assault where there is no attempted battery and no threat or unlawful act that would place a person in immediate fear. From the facts given here, it is unclear whether Riley’s alleged actions would rise to the level of an assault. It would also be interesting to find out what the alleged signs of intoxication were. An emotional argument with a romantic partner may be a perfectly good reason for exhibiting certain “signs of intoxication” like glassy or bloodshot eyes and angry or irritated reactions.

To speak with a Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer, call Altman & Altman at 617 492 3000 or 800 481 6199 or contact us online.

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