March 2012 Archives

March 20, 2012

Massachusetts Mothers Charged with Drunk Driving and Reckless Endangerment of a Child

Two mothers, both friends, were each charged with Massachusetts Drunk Driving Crimes last week after they allegedly drove impaired by alcohol with their children in the car. Both mothers were charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Child Endangerment While Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol.

According to the Harwich Police Department, officers first attempted to pull over a vehicle, but the car sped away at over 70 miles an hour last Thursday morning. When the car was eventually pulled over, it was discovered that she also had in the car her 1 year old infant. She was arrested after she submitted to Field Sobriety Tests.

Some time later, a friend went to the Harwich police station to pick up the woman's infant. When she got there, police also suspected her of having driven drunk and she was also arrested for OUI / DUI. When police discovered that she had also gone to the police station with her daughter, she was also charged with Child Endangerment While Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol.

The Massachusetts DUI / OUI Crime of Child Endangerment While Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol was passed in 2005 and makes it a crime to drive under the influence of alcohol while also having a minor child in the vehicle. A conviction for this crime would result in a minimum-mandatory sentence to the House of Correction for not less than 90 days and up to 2.5 years; as well as a suspension of the person's driver's license for 1 year.

Because the elements (what the government would have to prove in court) are differed for each crime, a person may be prosecuted for both OUI / DUI and Child Endangerment While OUI / DUI.

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March 13, 2012

Bedford Man Arrested for Drunk Driving After I-93 Crash

Massachusetts State Police arrested a Bedford man this past weekend on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges following a crash on I-93 north that injure four.

According to state police, James Milligan was allegedly driving the wrong way on I-93 north when he allegedly caused a four car crash. He will be summonsed for arraignment to Woburn District Court on charges of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, Leaving the Scene of Property Damage, and Leaving the Scene of an Accident after Causing Serious Bodily Injury.

The crime of Leaving the Scene of an Accident After Causing Serious Bodily Injury is a felony that is punishable with imprisonment for not less than 6 months and up to 2 years in the House of Corrections. It punishes those persons who were involved in an accident where personal injury resulted and then left the scene without leaving making their identity, address and registration information known.

OUI / DUI in Massachusetts is punishable by imprisonment for up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections, but Massachusetts offers an 'alternative disposition' for first-time OUI /DUI offenders if the person 'admits to sufficient facts for a finding of guilty'.

With this disposition, the defendant is typically placed on probation; ordered to enter and complete a Drug-Alcohol Education Program; and will lose his/her driver's license for a period between 45 and 90 days. In additional, a defendant will also face hefty fines and fees with any disposition that is not entirely resolved in his/her favor.

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March 7, 2012

Stoneham Man Indicted on Massachusetts DUI / OUI Crimes and Attempted Murder

Massachusetts prosecutors have obtained indictments in Middlesex Superior Court against a Stoneham man who is alleged to have drove under the influence of alcohol and drugs and striking two Stoneham police officers.

Thomas Fernandes, 30, of Stoughton, was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court for OUI / DUI Liquor; Reckless Driving; Leaving the Scene of an Accident; Armed Assault to Murder; Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon; Failure to Stop for Police; Resisting Arrest; and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class A Substance.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Thomas Fernandes allegedly drove his car down a wrong way street while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, during which time he allegedly crashed with other cars and tried to leave the scene. Prosecutors further allege that, while trying to get away, he also struck two police officers who tried to stop him.

At one point, Stoneham police officers reportedly opened the driver's side door and tried to remove the keys from the ignition. Prosecutors allege that the driver then put the car in reverse and dragged the officers who were partially inside the car; and also allegedly struck officers with the car door. When Fernandes was ultimately arrested, it is alleged that he had a plastic prescription bottle containing heroin.

In many types of these cases where officer safety is jeopardized, prosecutors will often charge the defendant with just about every criminal charge possible. Particularly in cases where a police officer suffered some serious injury, a case such as this will surely be prosecuted very aggressively. For that reason, it is critical that the defense be just as aggressive and thick-skinned to ensure the absolute fairest and best possible resolution.

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March 6, 2012

Taunton Truck Driver Facing DUI / OUI Charges After Allegedly Lying About Fall River Crash

The Taunton truck driver who allegedly crashed his truck under a bridge in Fall River last month in an apparent road rage incident is now being charged with Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges after investigators believe he lied.

The truck driver, who is 42, is facing criminal OUI / DUI charges including Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

Following the crash on Route 79 under the bridge in Fall River, Massachusetts State Police responded and found the man apparently unconscious and hanging over a jersey barrier. His truck was nearby and engulfed in flames.

After being taken to the hospital, the man allegedly gave several interviews to reporters and claimed that he had been a victim of road rage, alleging that people in a black car had fired a gun at him.

The Massachusetts State Police, however, have since released a statement that there is no evidence to support the man's road rage claim. In a follow-up interview, the man allegedly recanted his road-rage story and admitted he had made it up. State Police have now filed OUI / DUI Charges against him.

Unfortunately, circumstances such as these present themselves all too often. Many people are under the mistaken belief that they can talk their way out of criminal charges, whether from lying to the police and trying to be 'honest' and upfront with them. At the end of the day, if there are criminal charges to be filed, the police will file them.

The best advice any lawyer can give to anyone in these or similar circumstances is to exercise your 5th amendment right to remain silent. There is a reason why this is a constitutional right, because in fact, "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."

Accordingly, the better practice is always to first consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Even in circumstances where there might still be a chance to talk your way of being charged with a crime, it would be best to try to accomplish this with the guidance and assistance of an attorney.

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