Have You Been Charged with a Homicide by Motor Vehicle Offense?

Boston OUI Lawyer

Of all drunk driving-related criminal charges a person can face, homicide by motor vehicle is one of the most serious. This offense involves the reckless or negligent operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, when this causes the death of another person. Though the defendant may have had no intention of or desire to harm anyone, his or her acts alone may be sufficient to result in felony charges and serious penalties.

If you have found yourself in a position where you are facing criminal charges after an auto accident, due to your alleged intoxication, now is the time to involve a Boston OUI lawyer who can fight for your constitutional rights and freedom. Remember that you have the right to remain silent. Remember that you have the right to an attorney. Exercise these rights and involve a legal professional who can help you avoid unintentional self-incrimination and who can prevent violations of your rights by overzealous law enforcement and prosecutors.

“Homicide by Motor Vehicle” Defined in Massachusetts Law

The criminal offense of “homicide by motor vehicle” is described in Massachusetts General Laws, Part I, Title XIV, Chapter 90, Section 24G. There are two sub-sections that apply to this offense; the first involves both OUI and driving in a reckless or negligent manner. According to sub-section (a), the following are the key parts of this criminal offense:

  • A person drove a vehicle on a public roadway or other area where members of the public have access;
  • That person drove while with a blood alcohol level of .08% or more or while “under the influence” of alcohol, marijuana, narcotics, depressants or stimulants;
  • That person operated the vehicle in a negligent or reckless manner, endangering others; and
  • In operating the vehicle, that person caused the death of another person.

To secure a conviction under this law, the prosecution must prove all of the four elements of the crime listed above – beyond all doubt. If the prosecution is able to do so and the defendant is convicted, he or she may face imprisonment in state prison for 2 1/2 to 15 years or imprisonment in jail or a house of correction for 1 to 2 1/2 years, and a fine of up to $5,000. The defendant will be ineligible for parole, probation or any reduction of his or her sentence unless at least 1 year has been served.

The second type of homicide by motor vehicle charge, described in sub-section (b), involves a driver who causes the death of another person while OUI or while driving in a reckless or negligent manner. This is a slightly less serious offense and is punishable by 30 days to 2 1/2 years in jail and/or a fine of $300 to $3,000.

A person who violates sub-section (a) or (b) will also face driver’s license revocation for 15 years. A second conviction under this section will result in license revocation for life. There is no way to have one’s license reinstated once it is revoked under this section, unless the defendant is acquitted or the case is dismissed.

Fight Your Charges with an Experienced Defense Attorney

At Keegan Law, we have more than four decades of experience in the field of criminal justice, including as former police officers and prosecutors. If you have been charged with homicide by motor vehicle or any OUI-related offense, please do not hesitate to call our offices for a confidential review of your case. We will be happy to answer your questions and to address your concerns so you can make informed choices about your charges. Contact a Boston criminal defense attorney today.