OUI Serious Bodily Injury with Negligence
Trustworthy OUI Lawyer to Defend You After a Drunk Driving Accident
Although drunk driving is harshly punished, it remains a common charge. Many people continue to operate their vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Certain factors can intensify the punishments imposed for this offense. If you’ve been charged with an OUI that caused serious bodily injury with negligence, you need legal representation. Experienced Boston criminal defense lawyer Ryan P. Sullivan may be able to build a strong defense on your behalf. Call him if you’re facing charges.
OUI Serious Bodily Injury with Negligence
Under MGL c. 90 s. 24L, you can face either felony or misdemeanor charges for operating a motor vehicle under the influence such that you caused serious bodily injury. For felony OUI with serious bodily injury, a Boston prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you:
(1) operated a motor vehicle on a public way,
(2) you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when you did so,
(3) you acted negligently, recklessly or in a dangerous manner
(4) the result was serious bodily injury to someone.
The substances at issue may include not only alcohol but also marijuana, depressants, stimulants, narcotics or glue vapors.
You are considered “under the influence” if you consumed enough alcohol or drugs that your ability to operate the motor vehicle safely has been reduced. Generally, the law aims to protect the public from drivers whose judgement and prompt decision make have been adversely impacted by intoxicating substances.
What Counts as a “Serious Bodily Injury”?
Under section 24L, “serious bodily injury can include any injury to the body that produces a:
- substantial risk of death
- complete disability or loss of a bodily function
- impairment of a bodily function for a lengthy period of time.
If a jury found you guilty of an OUI with serious bodily injury, you could face 2 ½ -10 years of prison with the possibility of reduction to a minimum of six months imprisonment. You wouldn’t be eligible for parole or probation or another deduction, however, until you served a minimum of six months. You will also face a fine of up to $5000.
You can be charged with an OUI with serious bodily injury if you did not act negligently or recklessly in operating your vehicle, but you were under the influence of alcohol and another person was seriously injured as a result. If you were convicted of this type of OUI with bodily injury you could face up to 2 ½ years and a fine of up to $3000.
In addition to the aforementioned penalties, the registrar may revoke your license for a period of two years after you are convicted. This revocation cannot be stayed by an appeal or a motion for new trial or the right to operate.
The situation is even more dire if another person died as a result of your OUI. In that case, you may also face charges for vehicular homicide.
Our lawyers will need to look closely at the circumstances to determine how best to defend you. Substantive defenses may be available. There are situations in which a procedural defense is likely to be successful. For instance, if evidence about the OUI was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights, we may be able to bring a motion to exclude that evidence.
A prosecutor’s burden of proof is a high one; he or she must prove the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. When the evidence is insufficient, we may be able to raise reasonable doubt about the OUI or the serious bodily injury.
There are also situations in which another element of the case is in question. For instance, there may be some question of whether you acted negligently, recklessly, or dangerously, or doubts about the severity of the injuries.
Consult a Trustworthy Boston Lawyer About an OUI
If you were charged with an OUI with serious bodily injury, you should call seasoned Boston criminal defense attorney Ryan P. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan has more than a decade of experience and will investigate every angle of your OUI in order to build a strong defense. Call him today at (617) 997-7597 or get in touch through our online form to schedule your free consultation.
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