Recently in DUI / OUI Drugs Category

March 11, 2013

Massachusetts DUI Stop Leads to Drug Charges


A Massachusetts man pulled over in Hingham for suspected OUI / DUI Charges is arrested and additionally charged with Drug Crimes.

The defendant, Stephen Conte, was pulled over by Hingham Police for allegedly operating under the influence of alcohol this past weekend when police saw his car swerve and hit a snow bank. After the vehicle backed up and continued driving, the officer turned his cruiser around but reportedly lost sight of the car.

According to Hingham police, the defendant's car was located and speeding, and was eventually pulled over.

Police allege that the operator appeared confused and ignored officers' questions as to whether he had been drinking. He was subsequently arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol.

Prosecutors further alleged that located within the vehicle were an open container of alcohol as well as marijuana on the floor of the car. Police reportedly also seized a backpack with containing marijuana, oxycodone pills, digital scales and other drug paraphernalia, as well as $3,500 cash.

The defendant was ultimately charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol; Failure to Stop for Police; and Possession with Intent to Distribute Drugs.

Although cases such as these may appear to be 'lost causes', the specific details of what the officers did or did not see and their actions in pulling over and searching the defendant may lead to circumstances warranting some defensible issues.

For instance, the circumstances giving rise to the allegations of OUI / DUI may be weak the defendant may have a very defensible case against this charge. Well what about the drugs in the car?

Following an arrest, police must follow certain procedures and the defendant is still entitled to certain constitutional protections concerning his property, in this case, the vehicle. If the circumstances involving the officers' search and seizure of the evidence violated any constitutional rights, the defendant may challenge their seizure. If successful, the evidence would be excluded or 'suppressed' from being introduced at trial against him.

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November 15, 2012

Wellesley ER Doctor Charged with OUI / DUI Drugs & Alcohol


A Newton-Wellesley Hospital emergency room doctor was arrested earlier this month on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges after she allegedly crash into traffic in State Street in Wellesley.

Dr. Kristin Howard, 56, was charged with Operating Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Leaving the Scene of Property Damage and Unlawful Possession of Class C and E Substances.

According to police, the doctor allegedly drove through the Wellesley whole foods parking lot, through grass and bushes, and into the street, striking another car and pushing it into a car on the other side of the street.

OUI / DUI in Massachusetts is punishable by imprisonment for up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections, along with a loss of license for 1 year. Massachusetts drunk driving laws also provide for an 'alternative disposition' for first-time DUI / OUI offenders if the defendant elects to change his/her plea to a Continuance Without a Finding and be subject to probation and regular reporting; ordered to enter and complete a drug alcohol education program; fines/fees in the area of $1,000 or more; and loss of a driver's license for a period between 45 and 90 days.

With most OUI / DUI cases, the immediate charges and allegations may appear very overwhelming and almost insurmountable. In reality, however, a great many drunk driving cases have very legitimate and strong defenses, so even first-time offenders should strongly consider consulting with an attorney who can evaluate each aspect of his/her case and make an informed decision whether to enter into a change of plea or proceed to trial.

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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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August 1, 2011

Boston Special Needs Driver Charged with Drunk Driving


Boghosian_03driver1_MET[1].jpgAddis Gabriel Wildeguiorguis, of Dorchester, was arrested on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Law Violations this morning after he crashed a van with 12 special needs individuals into a garbage truck. He was arraigned in Newton District Court on OUI / DUI charges including Operating Under the Influence of Drugs and Unlawful Possession of a Class B Substance, Crack Cocaine.

According to Newton Police and the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Wildeguiorguis was driving a van for AART Transportation when he allegedly drove right into a garbage truck. Passengers in the van included 12 special needs individuals, who were being transported to a center to receive services or treatment.

Prosecutors allege that when police responded, Wildeguiorguis told officers he had ingested oxycodone pills. Following his alleged admission of having ingested the pills, he was arrested for DUI / OUI. A search of the van following his arrest allegedly yielded a crack pipe and a bag believed to contain crack cocaine.

Following Wildeguiorguis arraignment in Newton District Court for OUI Drugs, he was held on $5,000 bail.

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July 20, 2011

Quincy Man Arrested for DUI After Car Catches on Fire


Paul Zangla, 45, of Quincy, was arrested on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges after being rescued from his burning car following a crash. He was charged with Operating Under the Influence of Drugs and Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

According to the Quincy Police Department, officers responded to the scene of an accident and observed a man tending to a man, later identified as Paul Zangla, near the scene of a burning car. Officers reported that Zangla was unconscious and was falling in and out of sleep. Zangla reportedly had no perception of his surroundings and was inquiring what had happened to his car.

The witness who was on scene told officers that he was home sleeping when he heard a loud bang. Going out to investigate, he reportedly saw that a car had crashed into a dump truck and had caught on fire. The man then said he pulled Zangla out of the burning car and tended to him until police arrived.

Quincy Police charged Paul Zangla with OUI Drugs alleging that his speech was slurred and that Zangla allegedly admitted to injecting heroin the night before.

First off, there is a serious question whether any statements Zangla made at the scene of the accident, where he clearly suffered injuries and was falling in and out of consciousness were "knowingly and voluntarily" made. Secondly, where the accident reportedly occurred at 5:48 a.m., the cause attributable may be as much on sleep deprivation than anything else.

...and lastly, where there are no witnesses to corroborate any other indicia of impaired operation as a result of ingestion of drugs, I would venture to guess that the government's prosecution against Paul Zangla has some deficiencies.

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July 5, 2011

Brookline Man Arrested for Drunk Driving After Striking 8 Year Old


Joseph Palermo, 42, of Brookline, was arrested this past weekend on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Crimes after allegedly hitting an 8 year old boy. Palermo was arraigned in Brookline District Court on the DUI charge of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Drugs.

According to the Brookline Police, Joseph Palermo struck the 8 year old boy who had suddenly ran in front of his car. Palermo maintains that he was driving slow at the time and there is no indication from the Brookline Police that he was not driving slowly and appropriately.

After allegedly striking the boy, Palermo immediately got out of his car and checked on the well-being of the child to determine if he needed any aid. The child was alert and only complained of stomach pains.

After Brookline Police arrived, they allegedly smelled an odor of marijuana on Palermo's breath, and then searched his car. The search allegedly revealed the presence of a small smoking pipe as well as a small amount of marijuana.

Although unfortunate circumstances that a child was struck by a car, there is no indication to me that the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office has any basis for the DUI / OUI charge. Quite simply, the only reason Joseph Palermo was arrested and charged with DUI is because the Brookline Police had to charge him with something after a child was hit.

Specifically, there doesn't appear to be any evidence that Joseph Palermo's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely was impaired by the marijuana; there is no evidence of negligent driving or other indicia of his inability to properly and safely control the vehicle. Nor have I been informed of any other factors that might contribute to any alleged intoxication, whether from Field Sobriety Tests or a Breathalyzer Test.

At the end of the day, this was nothing more than an accident where a child ran out in front of a car....it was an accident, nothing more, nothing less...

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May 24, 2011

Braintree Police Arrest Quincy Man Driving U-Haul for DUI Drugs


Anthony M. Mahoney, 25, of Quincy, was arrested Monday night in Braintree on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges for allegedly driving a U-Haul truck while high on drugs. He was charged with Operating Under the Influence of Drugs.

According to the Braintree Police Department, a driver called police on Monday night and complained that he was nearly forced off the road by a man driving a U-Haul truck. Officers responded to the area located the U-Haul truck in the area of Elm and Middle Streets in Braintree.

The driver, according to Braintree Police, had signs of 'impaired operation', but the officers did not detect any smell of alcohol. The officers then had Anthony Mahoney exit his vehicle to perform Field Sobriety Tests, and while doing so, officers searched the U-Haul. As a result of the search, police allegedly found residue of a white substance on the center console of the truck, as well as the corner of a torn baggie, which police allege is "commonly used to package narcotics".

Anthony Mahoney was placed under arrest for OUI / DUI Drugs, and once at the station, was reportedly asked to perform additional Field Sobriety Tests.

What strikes me as most disturbing in this case is, what prompted the Braintree Police Officers to initiate a search of the U-Haul? If what has been reported is correct, Anthony Mahoney was not "arrested" until after the discovery of the alleged white powder. Without any other 'reasonable suspicion' that Mahoney had committed a crime, there was no justification for them to enter a search the vehicle prior to that time...

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April 27, 2011

North Andover Man Arrested for OUI Drugs


George Tzokos, 42, of North Andover, was arrested this past Monday for allegedly violating the Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws and has been charged with Operating Under the Influence of Drugs.

According to the North Andover Police Department, George Tzokos was stopped by police after allegedly making an illegal left turn. Officers who pulled him over allege that he 'appeared to be under the influence of an opiate'. There is no indication what other factors led police to believe that Tzokos was Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, e.g., whether he submitted to any Field Sobriety Tests and/or an Alcohol Breath Test.

A passenger in Tzokos' car, Damian Kazakides, was also arrested and charged with Unlawful Possession of Class E Drugs.

Massachusetts DUI / OUI Law of Operating Under the Influence of Drugs carries a potential for imprisonment of up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections, fines up to $5,000 and suspension of the person's Massachusetts Driver's License for 1 year.

1st Offense Massachusetts OUI / DUI Offenders can often take advantage of an 'Alternative Disposition' where the person charged elects to change his plea from 'not guilty' and admit 'sufficient facts for a finding of guilty'. In this scenario, the OUI / DUI charge would be 'Continued Without a Finding' and the person would be placed on probation; ordered to enter and complete a Drug-Alcohol Education Program; pay fines/fees in the area of $1,000 or more; and lose his/her Massachusetts Driver's License between 45-90 days.

Notwithstanding the tempting 'Alternative Disposition', each and every Massachusetts OUI Arrest should be evaluated to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the government's case. Though many people charged with drunk driving crimes believe that there is no chance to beat the case, the reality is that the majority of OUI cases have very triable issues that should be considered. As such, anyone charged with a DUI / OUI in Massachusetts should Contact a Boston DUI Lawyer.

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April 11, 2011

Bridgewater Woman Arrested on OUI Drugs Charges in Abington


police lights.jpegLinda Marie Couite, 46, was arrested on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges after allegedly leading police on a short slow-moving pursuit in Abington.

Couite was arraigned in Brockton District Court for Operating Under the Influence of Drugs, Failing to Stop for Police, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, and Unlawful Possession of Drugs.

According to the Abington Police Department, officers were called to investigate reports of an 'erratic driver' driving on Washington Street in Abington. Officers reported that Couite allegedly drove her car the wrong way and into traffic, on the sidewalk, and ultimately collided with another car head-on.

Abington Police, after arresting Linda Marie Couite for DUI and Drug Charges, searched her and allegedly discovered two pills of suboxone and seven pills of a Class E Controlled Substance, namely, carisoprodol (which is a muscle relaxant).

The penalties for Operating Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol can be severe, even for first-offenders, including imprisonment in the House of Corrections for up to 2.5 years; fines, fees and assessment totaling up to $5,000; and suspension of your Massachusetts Driver's License for 1 year.

Massachusetts DUI Law does provide, however, what is called an 'Alternative 24D Disposition' for first-time OUI offenders, but only if the person 'admits sufficient facts' for a plea of 'Continuance Without a Finding' (similar to a plea of 'no contest').

Whether charged with Drunk Driving in Massachusetts as a first or repeat offender, it is important that you consider and evaluate all your legal options and Consult with a Boston DUI Lawyer.

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April 6, 2011

Massachusetts Police Arrest Man for Driving Under Influence of Cocaine


Michael Pacheco, 34, of Springfield, was arrested on his third Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charge after he was allegedly observed parking his car behind a dumpster at the Indian Orchard Plaza parking lot.

Pacheco has been charged with Operating Under the Influence of Drugs, 3rd Subsequent Offense and Resisting Arrest. He reportedly has been previously convicted of DUI / OUI Charges in 2006 and 2009.

Springfield Police officers reportedly first approached Pacheco because he pulled his car behind a dumpster. As the police approached him, Pacheco allegedly ran, and was later apprehended nearby. Once seized by police and questioned why he ran, Michael Pacheco allegedly stated that he did so because he was drunk.

Pacheco reportedly admitted to using cocaine, and a search of his car allegedly revealed several empty and full bottles of alcohol.

Notably, it does not appear that the Springfield Police Officers observed any indications of impaired driving from the manner Pacheco was driving his car, nor anything else to lead them to suspect that he was operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That he pulled in behind a dumpster in a public parking lot also could mean nothing in the analysis of this Massachusetts DUI case, particularly if there were no trespassing signs visible in the area.

From my perspective, it appears that Michael Pacheco has several grounds of defense in challenging his arrest. That the Springfield Police Officers did not observe Pacheco to be committing any crimes and there was no reason why they suspected him to be involved in any criminal activity, he potentially has a decent argument to constitutionally challenge the Search & Seizure of his person. The fact that Pacheco allegedly ran away upon the police approaching really means nothing, and without any reasonably suspicion that Pacheco was involved in any criminal activity, they were unjustified in pursuing him.

A successful legal challenge in this DUI case and calling into question the constitutionality of Pacheco's arrest could ultimately result in any statements he allegedly made, as well as any evidence recovered in his car, being excluded from trial.

This case very much illustrates that there are many avenues to fight your Massachusetts OUI Charges, which is why you are best served to Consult with a Boston DUI Lawyer if ever charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs.

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February 22, 2011

Wilmington Driver Charged with DUI and Vehicular Homicide


Charles McNeil, 43, of Wilmington, was arraigned this morning in Woburn District Court on Massachusetts DUI Charges for allegedly striking and killing a pedestrian. McNeil was formally arraigned on Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Drugs, 2nd Offense; Motor Vehicle Homicide; and Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

According to the Wilmington Police Department and the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Charles McNeil was allagedly on anti-depressants when he was driving on Route 38 in Wilmington when he struck and killed Kim Forte. The accident occurred at the intersection of Main and Glen Roads this past Monday.

McNeil reportedly stopped at the crash scene, and when Wilmington Police Officers responded, he submitted to and allegedly failed two Field Sobriety Tests.

At his arraignment, McNeil was reported to have been coming from McLean Hospital where he had been released and prescribed anti-depressants for treatment of depression following the death of his 21 month old son, who past away from kidney failure.

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February 18, 2011

Dorchester Man Charged with DUI Drugs in Braintree


Lee E. Harvey, 18, of Dorchester, was arrested earlier this week on Massachusetts DUI Charges in Braintree and charged with Operation Under the Influence of Drugs.

According to the Braintree Police Department, officers allegedly observed Harvey make an 'abrupt' turn into a parking lot. Probably because they saw a few young kids in the car and for no other reason despite not claiming that any motor vehicle violations were committed, officers then approached the car.

As they approached however, the police allege that one of the passengers, a Randolph man, got out of the car and fled. That man was later stopped a short distance later and he, along with another passenger and two Boston women, were questioned but not arrested for any crimes.

Harvey, however, was arrested after the Braintree Police Officers reportedly smelled a "strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from inside" the vehicle and because he "exhibited signs of possible marijuana use" and not having a valid driver's license.

Ever more interesting in this case, however, that despite not alleging that Harvey committing any motor vehicle infractions or that he drove his car in a manner that would suggest he was impaired, he was also charged with Operating Under the Influence of Drugs. The DUI Charge, notably, was added because a particular Braintree Police Officer has somehow been declared a "trained drug recognition evaluator" and formed the opinion that Harvey was Operating Under the Influence of Drugs.

...really?

Where Harvey refused to perform Field Sobriety Tests; where there are no allegations that he drove his vehicle in an impaired manner; where there is no other extrinsic evidence that any intoxicated impaired his ability to operate that car safely...I honestly don't see how the OUI charge will hold up...

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January 20, 2011

Revere Man Arrested with Drugs & Alcohol in Car, Charged with 4 DUI


Richard P. Speropoulos, 64, of Revere, Massachusetts, was arrested last week on DUI / Drunk Driving Charges in Lynn when he was allegedly found sitting in his car with a bottle of vodka and a bag of marijuana.

According to the Lynn Police Department, officers purportedly received a 'tip' about an impaired driver on Boston Street. When officers responded to the area, they allegedly found Speropoulos sitting in his car with the engine running. Lynn Police Officers allege that Speropoulos smelled of alcohol and spoke with slurred speech.

Although Field Sobriety Tests were not performed due to ice on the ground, Lynn Police reported that a bottle of vodka, along with 23 grams of marijuana was seized from Speropoulos' vehicle. At booking, he allegedly blew a 0.23 on the Breathalyzer Test.

Can You Be Charged With DUI / Drunk Driving If the Vehicle Is Parked?

Simply put, YES!

Under Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws, a person is considered to "operate" a motor vehicle if he intentionally does any act or makes use of any mechanical or electrical agency of the car which, alone or in sequence, will set in motion the power of the vehicle.

In other words, "operation" or what is considered 'driving' under Massachusetts DUI Laws is not limited to literally driving the vehicle or even setting it in motion. Rather, the law encompasses even the intentional act of starting the vehicle's engine!

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March 24, 2010

Hit & Run In Boston Leads to Drunk Driving Arrest in Brookline


Bonnie McCullough, 31 of Cambridge, was arrested for several drunk driving charges last Friday by Brookline Police after an alleged hit and run incident. Driving in the Allston area of Boston, McCullough is alleged to have hit a man's car without stopping.

The man, who witnessed the incident, got in his car and, while on the phone with Brookline Police, chased McCullough into Brookline, where he was able to get her to pull over and take her keys until Brookline Police arrived.

After Brookline Police responded, McCullough reportedly admitted to drinking several beers and hard alcohol. She was arrested for Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage. At the time of her arrest, it was also discovered that she had less than an ounce of marijuana and was further issued a Civil Citation.

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